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Angiogenesis. 2013 Oct;16(4):795-807. doi: 10.1007/s10456-013-9356-7. Epub 2013 May 26.

Paralemmin-1 is expressed in lymphatic endothelial cells and modulates cell migration, cell maturation and tumor lymphangiogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Mattenstrasse 28, 4058, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

The lymphatic system, the network of lymphatic vessels and lymphoid organs, maintains the body fluid balance and ensures the immunological surveillance of the body. In the adult organism, the de novo formation of lymphatic vessels is mainly observed in pathological conditions. In contrast to the molecular mechanisms governing the generation of the lymphatic vasculature during embryogenesis, the processes underlying pathological lymphangiogenesis are less well understood. A genome-wide screen comparing the transcriptome of tumor-derived lymphatic endothelial cells with that of blood vessel endothelial cells identified paralemmin-1 as a protein prominently expressed in lymphatic endothelial cells. Paralemmin-1 is a lipid-anchored membrane protein that in fibroblasts and neurons plays a role in the regulation of cell shape, plasma membrane dynamics and cell motility. Here, we show that paralemmin-1 is expressed in tumor-derived lymphatic endothelial cells as well as in lymphatic endothelial cells of normal, non-tumorigenic tissue. Paralemmin-1 represses cell migration and delays the formation of tube-like structures of lymphatic endothelial cells in vitro by modulating cell-substrate adhesion, filopodia formation and plasma membrane blebbing. While constitutive genetic ablation of paralemmin-1 expression in mice has no effect on the development and physiological function of the lymphatic system, the loss of paralemmin-1 impaired tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis. Together, these results newly identify paralemmin-1 as a protein highly expressed in lymphatic endothelial cells. Similar to its function in neurons, it may link the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane and thereby modulate lymphatic endothelial cell adhesion, migration and lymphangiogenesis.

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