Annexin 2 regulates endothelial morphogenesis by controlling AKT activation and junctional integrity.
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Sprouting angiogenesis is a multistep process that involves endothelial cell activation, basement membrane degradation, proliferation, lumen formation, and stabilization. In this study, we identified annexin 2 as a regulator of endothelial morphogenesis using a three-dimensional in vitro model where sprouting angiogenesis was driven by sphingosine 1-phosphate and angiogenic growth factors. We observed that sphingosine 1-phosphate triggered annexin 2 translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane and its association with vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin. In addition, annexin 2 depletion attenuated Akt activation, which was associated with increased phosphorylation of VE-cadherin and endothelial barrier leakage. Disrupting homotypic VE-cadherin interactions with EGTA, antibodies to the extracellular domain of VE-cadherin, or gene silencing all resulted in decreased Akt (but not Erk1/2) activation. Furthermore, expression of constitutively active Akt restored reduced endothelial sprouting responses observed with annexin 2 and VE-cadherin knockdown. Collectively, we report that annexin 2 regulates endothelial morphogenesis through an adherens junction-mediated pathway upstream of Akt.
author list (cited authors)
Su, S., Maxwell, S. A., & Bayless, K. J.
complete list of authors
Su, Shih-Chi||Maxwell, Steve A||Bayless, Kayla J