Rasip1 is essential to blood vessel stability and angiogenic blood vessel growth.
ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular function depends on patent, continuous and stable blood vessel formation by endothelial cells (ECs). Blood vessel development initiates by vasculogenesis, as ECs coalesce into linear aggregates and organize to form central lumens that allow blood flow. Molecular mechanisms underlying in vivo vascular 'tubulogenesis' are only beginning to be unraveled. We previously showed that the GTPase-interacting protein called Rasip1 is required for the formation of continuous vascular lumens in the early embryo. Rasip1(-/-) ECs exhibit loss of proper cell polarity and cell shape, disrupted localization of EC-EC junctions and defects in adhesion of ECs to extracellular matrix. In vitro studies showed that Rasip1 depletion in cultured ECs blocked tubulogenesis. Whether Rasip1 is required in blood vessels after their initial formation remained unclear. Here, we show that Rasip1 is essential for vessel formation and maintenance in the embryo, but not in quiescent adult vessels. Rasip1 is also required for angiogenesis in three models of blood vessel growth: in vitro matrix invasion, retinal blood vessel growth and directed in vivo angiogenesis assays. Rasip1 is thus necessary in growing embryonic blood vessels, postnatal angiogenic sprouting and remodeling, but is dispensable for maintenance of established blood vessels, making it a potential anti-angiogenic therapeutic target.
Project description:Cardiovascular function depends on patent blood vessel formation by endothelial cells (ECs). However, the mechanisms underlying vascular "tubulogenesis" are only beginning to be unraveled. We show that endothelial tubulogenesis requires the Ras interacting protein 1, Rasip1, and its binding partner, the RhoGAP Arhgap29. Mice lacking Rasip1 fail to form patent lumens in all blood vessels, including the early endocardial tube. Rasipl null angioblasts fail to properly localize the polarity determinant Par3 and display defective cell polarity, resulting in mislocalized junctional complexes and loss of adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM). Similarly, depletion of either Rasip1 or Arhgap29 in cultured ECs blocks in vitro lumen formation, fundamentally alters the cytoskeleton, and reduces integrin-dependent adhesion to ECM. These defects result from increased RhoA/ROCK/myosin II activity and blockade of Cdc42 and Rac1 signaling. This study identifies Rasip1 as a unique, endothelial-specific regulator of Rho GTPase signaling, which is essential for blood vessel morphogenesis.
Project description:Vascular tubulogenesis is essential to cardiovascular development. Within initial vascular cords of endothelial cells, apical membranes are established and become cleared of cell-cell junctions, thereby allowing continuous central lumens to open. Rasip1 (Ras-interacting protein 1) is required for apical junction clearance, as well as for regulation of Rho GTPase (enzyme that hydrolyzes GTP) activity. However, it remains unknown how activities of different Rho GTPases are coordinated by Rasip1 to direct tubulogenesis.The aim of this study is to determine the mechanisms downstream of Rasip1 that drive vascular tubulogenesis.Using conditional mouse mutant models and pharmacological approaches, we dissect GTPase pathways downstream of Rasip1. We show that clearance of endothelial cell apical junctions during vascular tubulogenesis depends on Rasip1, as well as the GTPase Cdc42 (cell division control protein 42 homolog) and the kinase Pak4 (serine/threonine-protein kinase 4). Genetic deletion of Rasip1 or Cdc42, or inhibition of Pak4, all blocks endothelial cell tubulogenesis. By contrast, inactivation of RhoA (Ras homologue gene family member A) signaling leads to vessel overexpansion, implicating actomyosin contractility in control of lumen diameter. Interestingly, blocking activity of NMII (nonmuscle myosin II) either before, or after, lumen morphogenesis results in dramatically different tubulogenesis phenotypes, suggesting time-dependent roles.Rasip1 controls different pools of GTPases, which in turn regulate different pools of NMII to coordinate junction clearance (remodeling) and actomyosin contractility during vascular tubulogenesis. Rasip1 promotes activity of Cdc42 to activate Pak4, which in turn activates NMII, clearing apical junctions. Once lumens open, Rasip1 suppresses actomyosin contractility via inhibition of RhoA by Arhgap29, allowing controlled expansion of vessel lumens during embryonic growth. These findings elucidate the stepwise processes regulated by Rasip1 through downstream Rho GTPases and NMII.
Project description:Although major progress in our understanding of the genes and mechanisms that regulate lymphatic vasculature development has been made, we still do not know how lumen formation and maintenance occurs. Here, we identify the Ras-interacting protein Rasip1 as a key player in this process. We show that lymphatic endothelial cell-specific Rasip1-deficient mouse embryos exhibit enlarged and blood-filled lymphatics at embryonic day 14.5. These vessels have patent lumens with disorganized junctions. Later on, as those vessels become fragmented and lumens collapse, cell junctions become irregular. In addition, Rasip1 deletion at later stages impairs lymphatic valve formation. We determined that Rasip1 is essential for lymphatic lumen maintenance during embryonic development by regulating junction integrity, as Rasip1 loss results in reduced levels of junction molecules and defective cytoskeleton organization in vitro and in vivo We determined that Rasip1 regulates Cdc42 activity, as deletion of Cdc42 results in similar phenotypes to those seen following the loss of Rasip1 Furthermore, ectopic Cdc42 expression rescues the phenotypes in Rasip1-deficient lymphatic endothelial cells, supporting the suggestion that Rasip1 regulates Cdc42 activity to regulate cell junctions and cytoskeleton organization, which are both activities required for lymphatic lumen maintenance.
Project description:Ras proteins are small GTPases that regulate cellular growth and differentiation. Components of the Ras signaling pathway have been shown to be important during embryonic vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Here, we report that Rasip1, which encodes a novel Ras-interacting protein, is strongly expressed in vascular endothelial cells throughout development, in both mouse and frog. Similar to the well-characterized vascular markers VEGFR2 and PECAM, Rasip1 is specifically expressed in angioblasts prior to vessel formation, in the initial embryonic vascular plexus, in the growing blood vessels during angiogenesis and in the endothelium of mature blood vessels into the postnatal period. Rasip1 expression is undetectable in VEGFR2 null embryos, which lack endothelial cells, suggesting that Rasip1 is endothelial specific. siRNA-mediated reduction of Rasip1 severely impairs angiogenesis and motility in endothelial cell cultures, and morpholino knockdown experiments in frog embryos demonstrate that Rasip1 is required for embryonic vessel formation in vivo. Together, these data identify Rasip1 as a novel endothelial factor that plays an essential role in vascular development.
Project description:The Rho family of small GTPases has been shown to be required in endothelial cells (ECs) during blood vessel formation. However, the underlying cellular events controlled by different GTPases remain unclear. Here, we assess the cellular mechanisms by which Cdc42 regulates mammalian vascular morphogenesis and maintenance. In vivo deletion of Cdc42 in embryonic ECs (Cdc42(Tie2KO)) results in blocked lumen formation and endothelial tearing, leading to lethality of mutant embryos by E9-10 due to failed blood circulation. Similarly, inducible deletion of Cdc42 (Cdc42(Cad5KO)) at mid-gestation blocks angiogenic tubulogenesis. By contrast, deletion of Cdc42 in postnatal retinal vessels leads to aberrant vascular remodeling and sprouting, as well as markedly reduced filopodia formation. We find that Cdc42 is essential for organization of EC adhesion, as its loss results in disorganized cell-cell junctions and reduced focal adhesions. Endothelial polarity is also rapidly lost upon Cdc42 deletion, as seen by failed localization of apical podocalyxin (PODXL) and basal actin. We link observed failures to a defect in F-actin organization, both in vitro and in vivo, which secondarily impairs EC adhesion and polarity. We also identify Cdc42 effectors Pak2/4 and N-WASP, as well as the actomyosin machinery, to be crucial for EC actin organization. This work supports the notion of Cdc42 as a central regulator of the cellular machinery in ECs that drives blood vessel formation.
Project description:Establishment and stabilization of endothelial tubes with patent lumens is vital during vertebrate development. Ras-interacting protein 1 (RASIP1) has been described as an essential regulator of de novo lumenogenesis through modulation of endothelial cell (EC) adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we show that in mouse and zebrafish embryos, Rasip1-deficient vessels transition from an angioblast cord to a hollow tube, permit circulation of primitive erythrocytes, but ultimately collapse, leading to hemorrhage and embryonic lethality. Knockdown of RASIP1 does not alter EC-ECM adhesion, but causes cell-cell detachment and increases permeability of EC monolayers in vitro. We also found that endogenous RASIP1 in ECs binds Ras-related protein 1 (RAP1), but not Ras homolog gene family member A or cell division control protein 42 homolog. Using an exchange protein directly activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate 1 (EPAC1)-RAP1-dependent model of nascent junction formation, we demonstrate that a fraction of the RASIP1 protein pool localizes to cell-cell contacts. Loss of RASIP1 phenocopies loss of RAP1 or EPAC1 in ECs by altering junctional actin organization, localization of the actin-bundling protein nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIB, and junction remodeling. Our data show that RASIP1 regulates the integrity of newly formed blood vessels as an effector of EPAC1-RAP1 signaling.
Project description:A critical and understudied property of endothelial cells is their ability to form lumens and tube networks. Although considerable information has been obtained concerning these issues, including the role of Cdc42 and Rac1 and their effectors such as Pak2, Pak4, Par6b, and co-regulators such as integrins, MT1-MMP and Par3; many key questions remain that are necessary to elucidate molecular and signaling requirements for this fundamental process. In this work, we identify new small GTPase regulators of EC tubulogenesis including k-Ras, Rac2 and Rap1b that act in conjunction with Cdc42 as well as the key downstream effectors, IQGAP1, MRCK?, beta-Pix, GIT1, and Rasip1 (which can assemble into multiprotein complexes with key regulators including ?2?1 integrin and MT1-MMP). In addition, we identify the negative regulators, Arhgap31 (by inactivating Cdc42 and Rac) and Rasa1 (by inactivating k-Ras) and the positive regulator, Arhgap29 (by inactivating RhoA) which play a major functional role during the EC tubulogenic process. Human EC siRNA suppression or mouse knockout of Rasip1 leads to identical phenotypes where ECs form extensive cord networks, but cannot generate lumens or tubes. Essential roles for these molecules during EC tubulogenesis include; i) establishment of asymmetric EC cytoskeletal polarization (subapical distribution of acetylated tubulin and basal membrane distribution of F-actin); and ii) directed membrane trafficking of pinocytic vacuoles or other intracellular vesicles along acetylated tubulin tracks to the developing apical membrane surface. Cdc42 co-localizes subapically with acetylated tubulin, while Rac1 and k-Ras strongly label vacuole/ vesicle membranes which accumulate and fuse together in a polarized, perinuclear manner. We observe polarized apical membrane and subapical accumulation of key GTPases and effectors regulating EC lumen formation including Cdc42, Rac1, Rac2, k-Ras, Rap1b, activated c-Raf and Rasip1 to control EC tube network assembly. Overall, this work defines novel key regulators and their functional roles during human EC tubulogenesis.
Project description:It is well established that angiogenesis is a complex and coordinated multistep process. However, there remains a lack of information about the genes that regulate individual stages of vessel formation. Here, we aimed to define the role of human interferon-induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1) during blood vessel formation.We identified IFITM1 in a microarray screen for genes differentially regulated by endothelial cells (ECs) during an in vitro angiogenesis assay and found that IFITM1 expression was strongly induced as ECs sprouted and formed lumens. We showed by immunohistochemistry that human IFITM1 was expressed by stable blood vessels in multiple organs. siRNA-mediated knockdown of IFITM1 expression spared EC sprouting but completely disrupted lumen formation, in both in vitro and in an in vivo xeno-transplant model. ECs lacking IFITM1 underwent early stages of lumenogenesis (ie, intracellular vacuole formation) but failed to mature or expand lumens. Coimmunoprecipitation studies confirmed occludin as an IFITM1 binding partner in ECs, and immunocytochemistry showed a lack of occludin at endothelial tight junctions in the absence of IFITM1. Finally, time-lapse video microscopy revealed that IFITM1 is required for the formation of stable cell-cell contacts during endothelial lumen formation.IFITM1 is essential for the formation of functional blood vessels and stabilizes EC-EC interactions during endothelial lumen formation by regulating tight junction assembly.
Project description:Vessel formation has been extensively studied at the tissue level, but the difficulty in imaging the endothelium with cellular resolution has hampered study of the morphogenesis and behavior of endothelial cells (ECs) in vivo. We are using endothelial-specific transgenes and high-resolution imaging to examine single ECs in zebrafish. By generating mosaics with transgenes that simultaneously mark endothelial nuclei and membranes we are able to definitively identify and study the morphology and behavior of individual ECs during vessel sprouting and lumen formation. Using these methods, we show that developing trunk vessels are composed of ECs of varying morphology, and that single-cell analysis can be used to quantitate alterations in morphology and dynamics in ECs that are defective in proper guidance and patterning. Finally, we use single-cell analysis of intersegmental vessels undergoing lumen formation to demonstrate the coexistence of seamless transcellular lumens and single or multicellular enclosed lumens with autocellular or intercellular junctions, suggesting that heterogeneous mechanisms contribute to vascular lumen formation in vivo. The tools that we have developed for single EC analysis should facilitate further rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis of EC morphology and behavior in vivo.
Project description:To supply tissues with nutrients and oxygen, the cardiovascular system forms a seamless, hierarchically branched, network of lumenized tubes. Here, we show that maintenance of patent vessel lumens requires the B? regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Deficiency of B? in zebrafish precludes vascular lumen stabilization resulting in perfusion defects. Similarly, inactivation of PP2A-B? in cultured ECs induces tubulogenesis failure due to alteration of cytoskeleton dynamics, actomyosin contractility and maturation of cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) contacts. Mechanistically, we show that PP2A-B? controls the activity of HDAC7, an essential transcriptional regulator of vascular stability. In the absence of PP2A-B?, transcriptional repression by HDAC7 is abrogated leading to enhanced expression of the cytoskeleton adaptor protein ArgBP2. ArgBP2 hyperactivates RhoA causing inadequate rearrangements of the EC actomyosin cytoskeleton. This study unravels the first specific role for a PP2A holoenzyme in development: the PP2A-B?/HDAC7/ArgBP2 axis maintains vascular lumens by balancing endothelial cytoskeletal dynamics and cell-matrix adhesion.