The emerging role of the thioredoxin system in angiogenesis
Although there have been a multitude of studies, the mechanisms of angiogenesis remain incompletely understood. Increasing evidence suggests that cellular redox homeostasis is an important regulator of angiogenesis. The thioredoxin (TRX) system functions as an endogenous antioxidant that can exert influence over endothelial cell function via modulation of cellular redox status. It has become apparent that the cytosolic TRX1 isoform participates in both canonical and novel angiogenic signaling pathways and may represent an avenue for therapeutic exploitation. Recent studies have further identified a role for the mitochondrial isoform TRX2 in ischemia-induced angiogenesis. TRX-interacting protein (TXNIP) is the endogenous inhibitor of TRX redox activity that has been implicated in growth factor-mediated angiogenesis. As TXNIP is strongly induced by glucose, this molecule could be of consequence to disordered angiogenesis manifest in diabetes mellitus. This review will focus on data implicating the TRX system in endothelial cell homeostasis and angiogenesis.