Shear Stress and VE-Cadherin: The Molecular Mechanism of Vascular Fusion

Vincenza Caolo, Hanna M. Peacock, Bahar Kasaai, Geertje Swennen, Emma Gordon, Lena Claesson-Welsh, Mark J. Post, Peter Verhamme, Elizabeth A. V. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective Vascular fusion represents an important mechanism of vessel enlargement during development; however, its significance in postnatal vessel enlargement is still unknown. During fusion, 2 adjoining vessels merge to share 1 larger lumen. The aim of this research was to identify the molecular mechanism responsible for vascular fusion. Approach and Results We previously showed that both low shear stress and DAPT (N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester) treatment in the embryo result in a hyperfused vascular plexus and that increasing shear stress levels could prevent DAPT-induced fusion. We, therefore, investigated vascular endothelial-cadherin (VEC) phosphorylation because this is a common downstream target of low shear stress and DAPT treatment. VEC phosphorylation increases after DAPT treatment and decreased shear stress. The increased phosphorylation occurred independent of the cleavage of the Notch intracellular domain. Increasing shear stress rescues hyperfusion by DAPT treatment by causing the association of the phosphatase vascular endothelial-protein tyrosine phosphatase with VEC, counteracting VEC phosphorylation. Finally, Src (proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src) inhibition prevents VEC phosphorylation in endothelial cells and can rescue hyperfusion induced by low shear stress and DAPT treatment. Moesin, a VEC target that was previously reported to mediate endothelial cell rearrangement during lumenization, relocalizes to cell membranes in vascular beds undergoing hyperfusion. Conclusions This study provides the first evidence that VEC phosphorylation, induced by DAPT treatment and low shear stress, is involved in the process of fusion during vascular remodeling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2174-2183
Number of pages10
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • cadherins
  • endothelial cells
  • hemodynamics
  • notch receptors
  • vascular fusion
  • vascular remodeling
  • yolk sac
  • ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH-FACTOR
  • MOUSE YOLK-SAC
  • IN-VIVO
  • EXTRACELLULAR-MATRIX
  • ADHERENS JUNCTIONS
  • AXON OUTGROWTH
  • SRC KINASE
  • ANGIOGENESIS
  • DEFECTS
  • PTP

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