Annexin 2 regulates endothelial morphogenesis by controlling AKT activation and junctional integrity. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Su, S., Maxwell, S. A., & Bayless, K. J.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Su, Shih-Chi||Maxwell, Steve A||Bayless, Kayla J

publication date

  • December 2010