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An exquisite cross-control mechanism among endothelial cell fate regulators directs the plasticity and heterogeneity of lymphatic endothelial cells.

ABSTRACT: Arteriovenous-lymphatic endothelial cell fates are specified by the master regulators, namely, Notch, COUP-TFII, and Prox1. Whereas Notch is expressed in the arteries and COUP-TFII in the veins, the lymphatics express all 3 cell fate regulators. Previous studies show that lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) fate is highly plastic and reversible, raising a new concept that all 3 endothelial cell fates may co-reside in LECs and a subtle alteration can result in a reprogramming of LEC fate. We provide a molecular basis verifying this concept by identifying a cross-control mechanism among these cell fate regulators. We found that Notch signal down-regulates Prox1 and COUP-TFII through Hey1 and Hey2 and that activated Notch receptor suppresses the lymphatic phenotypes and induces the arterial cell fate. On the contrary, Prox1 and COUP-TFII attenuate vascular endothelial growth factor signaling, known to induce Notch, by repressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and neuropilin-1. We show that previously reported podoplanin-based LEC heterogeneity is associated with differential expression of Notch1 in human cutaneous lymphatics. We propose that the expression of the 3 cell fate regulators is controlled by an exquisite feedback mechanism working in LECs and that LEC fate is a consequence of the Prox1-directed lymphatic equilibrium among the cell fate regulators.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC2904577 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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