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Blood. 2010 Jun 24;115(25):5259-69. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-11-252692. Epub 2010 Mar 9.

Endothelial lumen signaling complexes control 3D matrix-specific tubulogenesis through interdependent Cdc42- and MT1-MMP-mediated events.

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  • 1Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO 85212, USA.


Here, we define an endothelial cell (EC) lumen signaling complex involving Cdc42, Par6b, Par3, junction adhesion molecule (Jam)-B and Jam-C, membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), and integrin alpha(2)beta(1), which coassociate to control human EC tubulogenesis in 3D collagen matrices. Blockade of both Jam-B and Jam-C using antibodies, siRNA, or dominant-negative mutants completely interferes with lumen and tube formation resulting from a lack of Cdc42 activation, inhibition of Cdc42-GTP-dependent signal transduction, and blockade of MT1-MMP-dependent proteolysis. This process requires interdependent Cdc42 and MT1-MMP signaling, which involves Par3 binding to the Jam-B and Jam-C cytoplasmic tails, an interaction that is necessary to physically couple the components of the lumen signaling complex. MT1-MMP proteolytic activity is necessary for Cdc42 activation during EC tube formation in 3D collagen matrices but not on 2D collagen surfaces, whereas Cdc42 activation is necessary for MT1-MMP to create vascular guidance tunnels and tube networks in 3D matrices through proteolytic events. This work reveals a novel interdependent role for Cdc42-dependent signaling and MT1-MMP-dependent proteolysis, a process that occurs selectively in 3D collagen matrices and that requires EC lumen signaling complexes, to control human EC tubulogenesis during vascular morphogenesis.

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