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Trends Cell Biol. 2009 Jan;19(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Cell adhesion dynamics at endothelial junctions: VE-cadherin as a major player.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Biomedicine, Röntgenstrasse 20, Münster, Germany.


The regulation of endothelial cell contacts is of central importance for the barrier function of the blood vessel wall and for the control of leukocyte extravasation. In addition, the plasticity of endothelial cell contacts is regulated during angiogenesis by growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor and angiopoietin-1. Despite the participation of several adhesion molecules and receptors in the control of endothelial cell contacts, most of the currently known mechanisms involve vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin), an essential adhesion molecule for the stability of endothelial junctions. Here, we focus on recent results showing how leukocytes and angiogenic factors regulate endothelial junctions.

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