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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in Nature Communications.

2013 November 27; 4: 2824.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3824. Copyright © Nature


Mechanisms governing the distinct temporal dynamics that characterize post-natal angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis elicited by cutaneous wounds and inflammation remain unclear. RhoB, a stress-induced small GTPase, modulates cellular responses to growth factors, genotoxic stress and neoplastic transformation. Here we show, using RhoB null mice, that loss of RhoB decreases pathological angiogenesis in the ischaemic retina and reduces angiogenesis in response to cutaneous wounding, but enhances lymphangiogenesis following both dermal wounding and inflammatory challenge. We link these unique and opposing roles of RhoB in blood versus lymphatic vasculatures to the RhoB-mediated differential regulation of sprouting and proliferation in primary human blood versus lymphatic endothelial cells. We demonstrate that nuclear RhoB-GTP controls expression of distinct gene sets in each endothelial lineage by regulating VEZF1-mediated transcription. Finally, we identify a small-molecule inhibitor of VEZF1-DNA interaction that recapitulates RhoB loss in ischaemic retinopathy. Our findings establish the first intra-endothelial molecular pathway governing the phased response of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis following injury.