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Microvasc Res. 2012 Jan;83(1):71-81. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Focal adhesion kinase regulation of mechanotransduction and its impact on endothelial cell functions.

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  • 1Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Lung Injury Center, Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

Vascular endothelial cells lining the blood vessels form the interface between the bloodstream and the vessel wall and as such they are continuously subjected to shear and cyclic stress from the flowing blood in the lumen. Additional mechanical stimuli are also imposed on these cells in the form of substrate stiffness transmitted from the extracellular matrix components in the basement membrane, and additional mechanical loads imposed on the lung endothelium as the result of respiration or mechanical ventilation in clinical settings. Focal adhesions (FAs) are complex structures assembled at the abluminal endothelial plasma membrane which connect the extracellular filamentous meshwork to the intracellular cytoskeleton and hence constitute the ideal checkpoint capable of controlling or mediating transduction of bidirectional mechanical signals. In this review we focus on focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a component of FAs, which has been studied for a number of years with regards to its involvement in mechanotransduction. We analyzed the recent advances in the understanding of the role of FAK in the signaling cascade(s) initiated by various mechanical stimuli with particular emphasis on potential implications on endothelial cell functions.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21741394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3218242
Free PMC Article

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