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J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 30;293(13):4805-4817. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.812172. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

The Rab-effector protein RABEP2 regulates endosomal trafficking to mediate vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2)-dependent signaling.

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From the Department of Internal Medicine, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, and.
Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520.
From the Department of Internal Medicine, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, and


As a master regulator of endothelial cell function, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) activates multiple downstream signaling pathways that are critical for vascular development and normal vessel function. VEGFR2 trafficking through various endosomal compartments modulates its signaling output. Accordingly, proteins that regulate the speed and direction by which VEGFR2 traffics through endosomes have been demonstrated to be particularly important for arteriogenesis. However, little is known about how these proteins control VEGFR2 trafficking and about the implications of this control for endothelial cell function. Here, we show that Rab GTPase-binding effector protein 2 (RABEP2), a Rab-effector protein implicated in arteriogenesis, modulates VEGFR2 trafficking. By employing high-resolution microscopy and biochemical assays, we demonstrate that RABEP2 interacts with the small GTPase Rab4 and regulates VEGFR2 endosomal trafficking to maintain cell-surface expression of VEGFR2 and VEGF signaling. Lack of RABEP2 also led to prolonged retention of VEGFR2 in Rab5-positive sorting endosomes, which increased VEGFR2's exposure to phosphotyrosine phosphatase 1b (PTP1b), causing diminished VEGFR2 signaling. Finally, the loss of RABEP2 increased VEGFR2 degradation by diverting VEGFR2 to Rab7-positive endosomes destined for the lysosome. These results implicate RABEP2 as a key modulator of VEGFR2 endosomal trafficking, and demonstrate the importance of RABEP2 and Rab4 for VEGFR2 signaling in endothelial cells.


Rab; angiogenesis; endothelial cell; receptor endocytosis; vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

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