Angiogenesis is central to both normal and pathologic processes. Endothelial cells (ECs) express O-glycoproteins that are believed to play important roles in vascular development and stability. Endomucin-1 (EMCN) is a type I O-glycosylated, sialic-rich glycoprotein, specifically expressed by venous and capillary endothelium. Evidence has pointed to a potential role for EMCN in angiogenesis but it had not been directly investigated. In this study, we examined the role of EMCN in angiogenesis by modulating EMCN levels both in vivo and in vitro. Reduction of EMCN in vivo led to the impairment of angiogenesis during normal retinal development in vivo. To determine the cellular basis of this inhibition, gain- and loss-of-function studies were performed in human retinal EC (HREC) in vitro by EMCN over-expression using adenovirus or EMCN gene knockdown by siRNA. We show that EMCN knockdown reduced migration, inhibited cell growth without compromising cell survival, and suppressed tube morphogenesis of ECs, whereas over-expression of EMCN led to increased migration, proliferation and tube formation. Furthermore, knockdown of EMCN suppressed VEGF-induced signaling as measured by decreased phospho-VEGFR2, phospho-ERK1/2 and phospho-p38-MAPK levels. These results suggest a novel role for EMCN as a potent regulator of angiogenesis and point to its potential as a new therapeutic target for angiogenesis-related diseases.