Serum response factor (SRF) is a transcription factor that controls the expression of cytoskeletal proteins and immediate early genes in different cell types. Here, we found that SRF expression is restricted to endothelial cells (ECs) of small vessels such as capillaries in the mouse embryo. EC-specific Srf deletion led to aneurysms and hemorrhages from 11.5 days of mouse development (E11.5) and lethality at E14.5. Mutant embryos presented a reduced capillary density and defects in EC migration, with fewer numbers of filopodia in tip cells and ECs showing defects in actin polymerization and intercellular junctions. We show that SRF is essential for the expression of VE-cadherin and β-actin in ECs both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, knockdown of SRF in ECs impaired VEGF- and FGF-induced in vitro angiogenesis. Taken together, our results demonstrate that SRF plays an important role in sprouting angiogenesis and small vessel integrity in the mouse embryo. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Franco, C. A., Mericskay, M., Parlakian, A., Gary-Bobo, G., Gao-Li, J., Paulin, D., … Li, Z. (2008). Serum Response Factor Is Required for Sprouting Angiogenesis and Vascular Integrity. Developmental Cell, 15(3), 448–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2008.07.019