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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 6;9(6):e90736. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090736. eCollection 2014.

Inter-cellular exchange of cellular components via VE-cadherin-dependent trans-endocytosis.

Author information

1
Yale Cardiovascular Research Center and Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
2
Yale Cardiovascular Research Center and Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America; Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.

Abstract

Cell-cell communications typically involve receptor-mediated signaling initiated by soluble or cell-bound ligands. Here, we report a unique mode of endocytosis: proteins originating from cell-cell junctions and cytosolic cellular components from the neighboring cell are internalized, leading to direct exchange of cellular components between two adjacent endothelial cells. VE-cadherins form transcellular bridges between two endothelial cells that are the basis of adherence junctions. At such adherens junction sites, we observed the movement of the entire VE-cadherin molecule from one endothelial cell into the other with junctional and cytoplasmic components. This phenomenon, here termed trans-endocytosis, requires the establishment of a VE-cadherin homodimer in trans with internalization proceeding in a Rac1-, and actomyosin-dependent manner. Importantly, the trans-endocytosis is not dependent on any known endocytic pathway including clathrin-dependent endocytosis, macropinocytosis or phagocytosis. This novel form of cell-cell communications, leading to a direct exchange of cellular components, was observed in 2D and 3D-cultured endothelial cells as well as in the developing zebrafish vasculature.

PMID:
24603875
PMCID:
PMC3946293
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0090736
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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