Recently, a novel pro-angiogenic factor called Gremlin has been identified that behaves in a similar way to the VEGF. In this connection, Gremlin is able to bind VEGF in a heterodimer complex, which can interact with some VEGFR receptors in a similar way in comparison to the wild type heterodimer. Interestingly, the VEGF-Gremlin compound can interact with high affinity with VEGFR-2 but with low affinity with the other VEGFR receptors. The aim of this research is to shed lights on the molecular interaction which drive the VEGF-Gremlin hetero-dimerization, allowing the specific interaction with specific VEGFR receptors.
Figure : Heterodimer complex of VEGF and Gremlin, in red is shown the Gremlin protein and in blue the VEGF protein.