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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 15;277(7):5441-7. Epub 2001 Dec 5.

Pyk2/CAKbeta tyrosine kinase activity-mediated angiogenesis of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Tyler, Texas 75708, USA.


Endothelial cell spreading, migration, and morphogenesis are essential for angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. In the present study, we explored roles of tyrosine kinase Pyk2 in angiogenesis of pulmonary endothelial cells. We found that tyrosine kinase Pyk2 was particularly enriched in pulmonary vascular endothelial cells and lung, a major organ site for tumor metastasis. By using adenovirus-mediated expression of various Pyk2 mutants, we demonstrated that Pyk2 tyrosine kinase activity was essential for the pulmonary vascular endothelial cell spreading, migration, morphogenesis, as well as pulmonary vein and artery angiogenesis ex vivo. We further showed that Pyk2 kinase activity was required for the expression of focal adhesion kinase, p130Crk-associated substrate, and its homologue human enhancer of filamentation 1, thus regulating formation of focal adhesions and cytoskeletal reorganization. These results indicate that Pyk2 plays a crucial role in the pulmonary endothelial cell motility such as spreading and migration necessary for angiogenesis.

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