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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1995 Aug;15(8):1229-39.

Functional properties of human vascular endothelial cadherin (7B4/cadherin-5), an endothelium-specific cadherin.

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  • 1Istituto de Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.


Human vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin, 7B4/cadherin-5) is an endothelial-specific cadherin localized at the intercellular junctions. To directly investigate the functional role of this molecule we cloned the full-length cDNA from human endothelial cells and transfected its coding region into Chinese hamster ovary cells. The product of the transfected cDNA had the same molecular weight as the natural VE-cadherin in human endothelial cells, and reacted with several VE-cadherin mouse monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, it selectively concentrated at intercellular junctions, where it codistributed with alpha-catenin. VE-cadherin conferred adhesive properties to transfected cells. It mediated homophilic, calcium-dependent aggregation and cell-to-cell adhesion. In addition, it decreased intercellular permeability to high-molecular weight molecules and reduced cell migration rate across a wounded area. Thus, VE-cadherin may exert a relevant role in endothelial cell biology through control of the cohesion and organization of the intercellular junctions.

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