EphB2 and EphB4 receptors forward signaling promotes SDF-1-induced endothelial cell chemotaxis and branching remodeling

O. Salvucci, M.D.L.L. Sierra, J.A. Martina, P.J. McCormick, G. Tosato

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Abstract

The complex molecular mechanisms that drive endothelial cell movement and the formation of new vessels are poorly understood and require further investigation. Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their membrane-anchored ephrin ligands regulate cell movements mostly by cell-cell contact, whereas the G-protein-coupled receptor CXCR4 and its unique SDF-1 chemokine ligand regulate cell movement mostly through soluble gradients. By using biochemical and functional approaches, we investigated how ephrinB and SDF-1 orchestrate endothelial cell movement and morphogenesis into capillary-like structures. We describe how endogenous EphB2 and EphB4 signaling are required for the formation of extracellular matrix-dependent capillary-like structures in primary human endothelial cells. We further demonstrate that EphB2 and EphB4 activation enhance SDF-1-induced signaling and chemotaxis that are also required for extracellular matrix-dependent endothelial cell clustering. These results support a model in which SDF-1 gradients first promote endothelial cell clustering and then EphB2 and EphB4 critically contribute to subsequent cell movement and alignment into cord-like structures. This study reveals a requirement for endogenous Eph signaling in endothelial cell morphogenic processes, uncovers a novel link between EphB forward signaling and SDF-1-induced signaling, and demonstrates a mechanism for cooperative regulation of endothelial cell movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2914-2922
Number of pages9
JournalBlood
Volume108
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006

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