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Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 modulates endothelial cell motility through the small G-protein Rho.

Gratzinger D., Canosa S., Engelhardt B., Madri J.A.

Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), an immunoglobulin family vascular adhesion molecule, is involved in endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis (1, 2). We found that endothelial cells lacking PECAM-1 exhibit increased single cell motility and extension formation but poor wound healing migration, reminiscent of cells in which Rho activity has been suppressed by overexpressing a GTPase-activating protein (3). The ability of PECAM-1 to restore wound healing migration to PECAM-1-deficient cells was independent of its extracellular domain or signaling via its immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif. PECAM-1-deficient endothelial cells had a selective defect in RhoGTP loading, and inhibition of Rho activity mimicked the PECAM-1-deficient phenotype of increased chemokinetic single cell motility at the expense of coordinated wound healing migration. The wound healing advantage of PECAM-1-positive endothelial cells was not only Rho mediated but pertussis toxin inhibitable, characteristic of migration mediated by heterotrimeric G-protein-linked seven-transmembrane receptor signaling such as signaling in response to the serum sphingolipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) (4, 5). Indeed, we found that the wound healing defect of PECAM-1 null endothelial cells is minimized in sphingolipid-depleted media; moreover, PECAM-1 null endothelial cells fail to increase their migration in response to S1P. We have also found that PECAM-1 localizes to rafts and that in its absence heterotrimeric G-protein components are differentially recruited to rafts, providing a potential mechanism for PECAM-1-mediated coordination of S1P signaling. PECAM-1 may thus support the effective S1P/RhoGTP signaling required for wound healing endothelial migration by allowing for the spatially directed, coordinated activation of Galpha signaling pathways.

FASEB J 17:1458-1469(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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