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F1000 Biol Rep. 2012;4:1. doi: 10.3410/B4-1. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Lessons from the endothelial junctional mechanosensory complex.

Abstract

Mechanotransduction plays a key role in both normal physiology and in diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Nowhere is this more evident than in the vascular system, where fluid shear stress from blood flow plays a critical role in shaping the blood vessels and in determining their function and dysfunction. Responses to flow are mediated in part by a complex of proteins comprised of PECAM-1, VE-cadherin and VEGFR2 at endothelial cell-cell junctions; all proteins that clearly have other, non-mechanical functions. We review recent progress toward understanding the functions and mechanisms of mechanotransduction by this complex and suggest some principles that may apply more broadly.

PMID:
22238515
PMCID:
PMC3251317
DOI:
10.3410/B4-1

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