Debunking the myth of the endogenous Antiangiogenic Vegfaxxxb transcripts

Hugues Dardente, William R. English, Manoj K. Valluru, Chryso Kanthou, David Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Following identification of an alternative splicing event that creates a family of transcripts encoding antiangiogenic isoforms of VEGFA, modulation of splice site selection was heralded as an opportunity to regulate angiogenesis in the clinical setting.
The discovery of major flaws in the RT-PCR methodology used in the seminal identification of Vegfaxxxb transcripts in 2002 and subsequent studies cast doubt upon their very existence.
The lack of any reads supporting the putative Vegfaxxxb splice events in multiple large-scale and publicly available RNA-seq data sets also indicates that Vegfaxxxb transcripts are not expressed endogenously.
The absence of Vegfaxxxb mRNA implies that the antibody-based detection of VEGFAxxxb proteins reported by many studies is an artefact.
A model of overall angiogenic potential based upon the balance between classical angiogenic VEGFAxxx and antiangiogenic VEGFAxxxb isoforms is not supported by robust experimental evidence and, therefore, the development of clinical applications based on this model is questionable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-409
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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