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Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, Germany

Taha A.A.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | Schnittler H.-J.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology
Cell Adhesion and Migration | Year: 2014

Endothelial adherens junctions are critical for physiological and pathological processes such as differentiation, maintenance of entire monolayer integrity, and the remodeling. The endothelial-specific VE-cadherin/catenin complex provides the backbone of adherens junctions and acts in close interaction with actin filaments and actin/myosin-mediated contractility to fulfill the junction demands. The functional connection between the cadherin/catenin complex and actin filaments might be either directly through α- catenins, or indirectly e.g., via linker proteins such as vinculin, p120ctn, α- actinin, or EPLIN. However, both junction integrity and dynamic remodeling have to be contemporarily coordinated. The actin-related protein complex ARP2/3 and its activating molecules, such as N-WASP and WAVE, have been shown to regulate the lammelli-podia- mediated formation of cell junctions in both epithelium and endothelium. Recent reports now demonstrate a novel aspect of the ARP2/3 complex and the nucleating-promoting factors in the maintenance of endothelial barrier function and junction remodeling of established endothelial cell junctions. Those mechanisms open novel possibilities; not only in fulfilling physiological demands but obtained information may be of critical importance in pathologies such as wound healing, angiogenesis, inflammation, and cell diapedesis. © 2014 Landes Bioscience. Source

Fraccaroli A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Pitter B.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Taha A.A.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | Seebach J.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | And 9 more authors.
Circulation Research | Year: 2015

Rationale: Angiogenesis and vessel integrity depend on the adhesion of endothelial cells (ECs) to the extracellular matrix and to adjacent ECs. The focal adhesion protein α-parvin (α-pv) is essential for vascular development. However, the role of α-pv in ECs in vivo is not known. Objective: To determine the function of α-pv in ECs during vascular development in vivo and the underlying mechanisms. Methods and Results: We deleted the α-pv gene specifically in ECs of mice to study its role in angiogenesis and vascular development. Here, we show that endothelial-specific deletion of α-pv in mice results in late embryonic lethality associated with hemorrhages and reduced vascular density. Postnatal-induced EC-specific deletion of α-pv leads to retinal hypovascularization because of reduced vessel sprouting and excessive vessel regression. In the absence of α-pv, blood vessels display impaired VE-cadherin junction morphology. In vitro, α-pv-deficient ECs show reduced stable adherens junctions, decreased monolayer formation, and impaired motility, associated with reduced formation of integrin-mediated cell-extracellular matrix adhesion structures and an altered actin cytoskeleton. Conclusions: Endothelial α-pv is essential for vessel sprouting and for vessel stability. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Taha A.A.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | Taha M.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | Seebach J.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology | Schnittler H.-J.,Institute of Anatomy and Vascular Biology
Molecular Biology of the Cell | Year: 2014

Maintenance and remodeling of endothelial cell junctions critically depend on the VE-cadherin/catenin complex and its interaction with the actin filament cytoskeleton. Here we demonstrate that local lack of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin at established cell junctions causes actin-driven and actin-related protein 2/3 complex (ARP2/3)-controlled lamellipodia to appear intermittently at those sites. Lamellipodia overlap the VE-cadherin-free adjacent plasma membranes and facilitate formation of new VE-cadherin adhesion sites, which quickly move into the junctions, driving VE-cadherin dynamics and remodeling. Inhibition of the ARP2/3 complex by expression of the N-WASP (V)CA domain or application of two ARP2/3 inhibitors, CK-548 and CK-666, blocks VE-cadherin dynamics and causes intercellular gaps. Furthermore, expression of carboxy-terminal-truncated VE-cadherin increases the number of ARP2/3-controlled lamellipodia, whereas overexpression of wild-type VE-cadherin largely blocks it and decreases cell motility. The data demonstrate a functional interrelationship between VE-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and actin-driven, ARP2/3-controlled formation of new VE-cadherin adhesion sites via intermittently appearing lamellipodia at established cell junctions. This coordinated mechanism controls VE-cadherin dynamics and cell motility and maintains monolayer integrity, thus potentially being relevant in disease and angiogenesis. © 2014 Authors. Source

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