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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Apr 1;22(4):617-22.

Vascular endothelial growth factor induces SHC association with vascular endothelial cadherin: a potential feedback mechanism to control vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 signaling.

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  • 1Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy.


Vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin is endothelium specific, mediates homophilic adhesion, and is clustered at intercellular junctions. VE-cadherin is required for normal development of the vasculature in the embryo and for angiogenesis in the adult. Here, we report that VE-cadherin is associated with VE growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) on the exposure of endothelial cells to VEGF. The binding parallels receptor phosphorylation on tyrosine residues, which is maximal at 5 minutes and then declines within 30 minutes. Tyrosine phosphorylation of VE-cadherin was maximal at 30 minutes after the addition of the growth factor. At this time point, the protein could be coimmunoprecipitated with the adaptor protein Shc. Pull-down experiments with different Shc domains and mutants of the VE-cadherin cytoplasmic tail have shown that Shc binds to the carboxy-terminal domain of the VE-cadherin tail through its Src homology 2 domain (SH2). We found that Shc phosphorylation lasts longer in endothelial cells carrying a targeted null mutation in the VE-cadherin gene than in VE-cadherin-positive cells. These data suggest that VE-cadherin expression exerts a negative effect on Shc phosphorylation by VEGFR-2. We speculate that VE-cadherin binding to Shc promotes its dephosphorylation through associated phosphatases.

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