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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 31;7(1):10132. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10392-0.

A CDC42-centered signaling unit is a dominant positive regulator of endothelial integrity.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Molecular Cytology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Medical Oncology, RNA Interference Functional Oncogenomics Laboratory, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Physiology, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. p.hordijk@vumc.nl.

Abstract

Endothelial barrier function is carefully controlled to protect tissues from edema and damage inflicted by extravasated leukocytes. RhoGTPases, in conjunction with myriad regulatory proteins, exert both positive and negative effects on the endothelial barrier integrity. Precise knowledge about the relevant mechanisms is currently fragmented and we therefore performed a comprehensive analysis of endothelial barrier regulation by RhoGTPases and their regulators. Combining RNAi with electrical impedance measurements we quantified the relevance of 270 Rho-associated genes for endothelial barrier function. Statistical analysis identified 10 targets of which six promoted- and four reduced endothelial barrier function upon downregulation. We analyzed in more detail two of these which were not previously identified as regulators of endothelial integrity. We found that the Rac1-GEF (Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor) TIAM2 is a positive regulator and the Cdc42(Rac1)-GAP (GTPase-Activating Protein) SYDE1 is a negative regulator of the endothelial barrier function. Finally, we found that the GAP SYDE1 is part of a Cdc42-centered signaling unit, also comprising the Cdc42-GEF FARP1 and the Cdc42 effector PAK7 which controls the integrity of the endothelial barrier. In conclusion, using a siRNA-based screen, we identified new regulators of barrier function and found that Cdc42 is a dominant positive regulator of endothelial integrity.

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