Biology of the lymphatic marker LYVE-1 and applications in research into lymphatic trafficking and lymphangiogenesis.
The pace of research into the lymphatic system continues to accelerate with the availability of new molecular markers. One such marker, LYVE-1, the lymphatic receptor for the extracellular matrix mucopolysaccharide hyaluronan, has been a key component of many important studies on embryonic and tumour-induced lymphangiogenesis, and continues to be used for the detection and isolation of lymphatic endothelial cells. However, LYVE-1 is interesting in its own right. Being a member of the Link protein family whose only other major hyaluronan receptor is directly involved in leukocyte migration and tumour metastasis, LYVE-1 is already implicated in the trafficking of cells within lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes. The current challenge is to determine the precise roles played by LYVE-1 and other scavenger type receptors in the immune functions of the lymphatics as well as to use LYVE-1 and other markers to investigate the way in which tumours exploit lymphatic vessels for metastasis.