Role of Afadin in Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor- and Sphingosine 1-Phosphate-Induced Angiogenesis

H. Tawa, Y. Rikitake, M. Takahashi, H. Amano, M. Miyata, S. Satomi-Kobayashi, M. Kinugasa, Y. Nagamatsu, T. Majima, H. Ogita, J. Miyoshi, K.-i. Hirata (+1 others)
2010 Circulation Research  
Rationale: Angiogenesis contributes to physiological and pathological conditions, including atherosclerosis. The Rap1 small G protein regulates vascular integrity and angiogenesis. However, little is known about the effectors of Rap1 involved in angiogenesis. It is not known whether afadin, an adherens junction protein that connects immunoglobulin-like adhesion molecule nectins to the actin cytoskeleton and binds activated Rap1, plays a role in angiogenesis. Objective: We investigated the role
more » ... f endothelial afadin in angiogenesis and attempted to clarify the underlying molecular mechanism. Methods and Results: Treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) induced the activation of Rap1. Activated Rap1 regulated intracellular localization of afadin. Knockdown of Rap1 or afadin by small interfering RNA inhibited the VEGF-and S1P-induced capillary-like network formation, migration, and proliferation, and increased the serum deprivation-induced apoptosis of HUVECs. Knockdown of Rap1 or afadin decreased the accumulation of adherens and tight junction proteins to the cell-cell contact sites. Rap1 regulated the interaction between afadin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), recruitment of the afadin-PI3K complex to the leading edge, and the activation of Akt, indicating the involvement of Rap1 and afadin in the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. Binding of afadin to Rap1 regulated the activity of Rap1 in a positive-feedback manner. In vivo, conditional deletion of afadin in mouse vascular endothelium using a Cre-loxP system impaired the VEGF-and S1P-induced angiogenesis. Conclusions: These results demonstrate a novel molecular mechanism by which Rap1 and afadin regulate the VEGF-and S1P-induced angiogenesis. (Circ Res. 2010;106:1731-1742.)
doi:10.1161/circresaha.110.216747 pmid:20413783 fatcat:zmo6thaejrhrhdfxbmjii7ky5q