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VE-cadherin facilitates BMP-induced endothelial cell permeability and signaling.

Benn A., Bredow C., Casanova I., Vukicevic S., Knaus P.

Several vascular disorders, such as aberrant angiogenesis, atherosclerosis and pulmonary hypertension, have been linked to dysfunctional BMP signaling. Vascular hyperpermeability via distortion of endothelial cell adherens junctions is a common feature of these diseases, but the role of BMPs in this process has not been investigated. BMP signaling is initiated by binding of ligand to, and activation of, BMP type I (BMPRI) and type II (BMPRII) receptors. Internalization of VE-cadherin as well as c-Src kinase-dependent phosphorylation have been implicated in the loosening of cell-cell contacts, thereby modulating vascular permeability. Here we demonstrate that BMP6 induces hyperpermeabilization of human endothelial cells by inducing internalization and c-Src-dependent phosphorylation of VE-cadherin. Furthermore, we show BMP-dependent physical interaction of VE-cadherin with the BMP receptor ALK2 (BMPRI) and BMPRII, resulting in stabilization of the BMP receptor complex and, thereby, the support of BMP6-Smad signaling. Our results provide first insights into the molecular mechanism of BMP-induced vascular permeability, a hallmark of various vascular diseases, and provide the basis for further investigations of BMPs as regulators of vascular integrity, both under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

J Cell Sci 129:206-218(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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