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J Immunol. 2000 Aug 15;165(4):2142-8.

E-selectin-dependent signaling via the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in vascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Vascular Research Division, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


E-selectin, a cytokine-inducible adhesion molecule, supports rolling and stable arrest of leukocytes on activated vascular endothelium. Previous studies have suggested that this transmembrane protein can also transduce signals into the endothelial cell. We now demonstrate activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascade in cultured HUVEC in response to E-selectin-dependent leukocyte adhesion and Ab-mediated cross-linking of cell surface E-selectin. Adhesion of increasing numbers of HL60 cells to IL-1beta-activated HUVEC stimulated robust increases in MAPK activity that were abrogated by an E-selectin blocking Ab. Cross-linking of cell surface E-selectin with Abs, as a mimic of multivalent ligand engagement, strongly stimulated MAPK/extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK)-dependent MAPK activation and concomitant up-regulation of mRNA for c-fos, an immediate early response gene, whereas Ab cross-linking of HLA class I molecules (present at comparable density) failed to do so. Coimmunoprecipitation documented Ras, Raf-1 and, phospho-MEK complex formation. Unactivated HUVEC transduced with a full-length adenoviral E-selectin construct also exhibited cross-link-induced MAPK activation, macromolecular complex formation, and c-fos up-regulation, whereas HUVEC transduced with a cytoplasmic domain deletion mutant failed to respond. These observations indicate that E-selectin can transduce an activating stimulus via the MAPK cascade into the endothelial cell during leukocyte adhesion.

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