Role of GTPases in control of microvascular permeability.
ABSTRACT Inflammatory mediators increase vascular permeability primarily by formation of intercellular gaps between endothelial cells of post-capillary venules. Under these conditions, endothelial cell-cell contacts such as adherens and tight junctions open to allow paracellular fluid passage. Small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) from the ras superfamily, primarily Rho GTPases (RhoA, Rac1, Cdc42) or Rap1 are known to regulate cell adhesion, in part by reorganization of the junction-associated cortical actin cytoskeleton. In this review, we will discuss the role of small GTPases for the maintenance of microvascular barrier functions under resting conditions as well as under conditions of increased permeability and their involvement in signalling pathways downstream of both barrier-stabilizing and inflammatory mediators. Rac1 and Cdc42 are the main GTPases required for barrier maintenance and stabilization, whereas RhoA negatively regulates barrier properties under both resting and inflammatory conditions. For Rac1 and RhoA, contrary functions under certain conditions have also been described. However, Rac1-mediated barrier destabilization in microvascular endothelium appears to be largely restricted to conditions of enhanced endothelial cell migration and thus to be more closely related to angiogenesis rather than to inflammation. Recent studies revealed that cAMP signalling, which is well known to be barrier protective, enhances barrier functions in part via Rap1-mediated activation of Rac1 and Cdc42 as well as by inhibition of RhoA. Moreover, barrier-stabilizing mediators directly activate Rac1 and Cdc42 or increase cAMP levels. On the other hand, several barrier-disruptive components appear to increase permeability by reduced formation of cAMP, leading to both inactivation of Rac1 and activation of RhoA.
SourceAvailable from: Virginia H Huxley[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin) mediates homophylic adhesion between endothelial cells and is an important regulator of angiogenesis, blood vessel permeability and leukocyte trafficking. Rac1, a member of the Rho family of GTPases, controls VE-cadherin adhesion by acting downstream of several growth factors, including angiopoietin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here we show that UTP-induced activation of the Gq protein-coupled P2Y2 nucleotide receptor (P2Y2R) in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) activated Rac1 and caused a transient complex to form between P2Y2R, VE-cadherin and VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). Knockdown of VE-cadherin expression with siRNA did not affect UTP-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) but led to a loss of UTP-induced Rac1 activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of p120 catenin, a cytoplasmic protein known to interact with VE-cadherin. Activation of the P2Y2R by UTP also caused a prolonged interaction between p120 catenin and vav2 (a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rac) that correlated with the kinetics of UTP-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of p120 catenin and VE-cadherin. Inhibitors of VEGFR-2 (SU1498) or Src (PP2) significantly diminished UTP-induced Rac1 activation, tyrosine phosphorylation of p120 catenin and VE-cadherin, and association of the P2Y2R with VE-cadherin and p120 catenin with vav2. These findings suggest that the P2Y2R uses Src and VEGFR-2 to mediate association of the P2Y2R with VE-cadherin complexes in endothelial adherens junctions to activate Rac1.
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ABSTRACT: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) derived from the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria induces acute lung injury (ALI) in mice. This injury is associated with lung edema, inflammation, diffuse alveolar damage, and severe respiratory insufficiency. We have previously reported that LPS-mediated nitric oxide synthase (NOS) uncoupling, through increases in asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), plays an important role in the development of ALI through the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Therefore, the focus of this study was to determine whether mice deficient in endothelial NOS (eNOS-/-) are protected against ALI. In both wild-type and eNOS-/- mice, ALI was induced by the intratracheal instillation of LPS (2 mg/kg). After 24 hours, we found that eNOS-/-mice were protected against the LPS mediated increase in inflammatory cell infiltration, inflammatory cytokine production, and lung injury. In addition, LPS exposed eNOS-/- mice had increased oxygen saturation and improved lung mechanics. The protection in eNOS-/- mice was associated with an attenuated production of NO, NOS derived superoxide, and peroxynitrite. Furthermore, we found that eNOS-/- mice had less RhoA activation that correlated with a reduction in RhoA nitration at Tyr34. Finally, we found that the reduction in NOS uncoupling in eNOS-/- mice was due to a preservation of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) activity that prevented the LPS-mediated increase in ADMA. Together our data suggest that eNOS derived reactive species play an important role in the development of LPS-mediated lung injury.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(3):e0119918. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119918 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recently we observed that endothelial cells cultured in tightly confluent monolayers display frequent local lamellipodia, and that thrombin, an agent that increases endothelial permeability, reduces lamellipodia protrusions. This led us to test the hypothesis that local lamellipodia contribute to endothelial barrier function. Movements of subcellular structures containing GFP-actin or VE-cadherin-GFP expressed in endothelial cells were recorded using time-lapse microscopy. Transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) served as an index of endothelial barrier function. Changes in both lamellipodia dynamics and TER were assessed during baseline and after cells were treated with either the barrier-disrupting agent thrombin, or the barrier-stabilizing agent sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). The myosin II inhibitor blebbistatin was used to selectively block lamellipodia formation, and was used to test their role in the barrier function of endothelial cell monolayers and isolated, perfused rat mesenteric venules. Myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation was assessed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Rac1 and RhoA activation were evaluated using G-LISA assays. The role of Rac1 was tested with the specific inhibitor NSC23766 or by expressing wild-type or dominant negative GFP-Rac1. The results show that thrombin rapidly decreased both TER and the lamellipodia protrusion frequency. S1P rapidly increased TER in association with increased protrusion frequency. Blebbistatin nearly abolished local lamellipodia protrusions while cortical actin fibers and stress fibers remained intact. Blebbistatin also significantly decreased TER of cultured endothelial cells and increased permeability of isolated rat mesenteric venules. Both thrombin and S1P increased MLC phosphorylation and activation of RhoA. However, thrombin and S1P had differential impacts on Rac1, correlating with the changes in TER and lamellipodia protrusion frequency. Overexpression of Rac1 elevated, while NSC23766 and dominant negative Rac1 reduced barrier function and lamellipodia activity. Combined, these data suggest that local lamellipodia, driven by myosin II and Rac1, are important for dynamic changes in endothelial barrier integrity.PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117970. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117970 · 3.53 Impact Factor