Angiogenesis is a process to generate new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels and to maintain vessels, and plays critical roles in normal development and disease. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying angiogenesis are not fully understood. This study examined the roles of exocyst complex component (Exoc) 3-like 2 (Exoc3l2) during development in mice. We found that Exoc3l1, Exoc3l2, Exoc3l3 and Exoc3l4 are expressed abundantly in endothelial cells at embryonic day 8.5. The generation of Exoc3l2 knock-out (KO) mice showed that disruption of Exoc3l2 resulted in lethal in utero. Substantial numbers of Exoc3l2 KO embryos exhibited hemorrhaging. Deletion of Exoc3l2 using Tie2-Cre transgenic mice demonstrated that Exoc3l2 in hematopoietic and endothelial lineages was responsible for the phenotype. Taken together, these findings reveal that Exoc3l2 is essential for cardiovascular and brain development in mice.
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