Angiomotin like-1 is a novel component of the N-cadherin complex affecting endothelial/pericyte interaction in normal and tumor angiogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Transmission of mechanical force via cell junctions is an important component that molds cells into shapes consistent with proper organ function. Of particular interest are the cadherin transmembrane proteins, which play an essential role in connecting cell junctions to the intra-cellular cytoskeleton. Understanding how these biomechanical complexes orchestrate intrinsic and extrinsic forces is important for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving morphogenesis. We have previously identified the Amot protein family, which are scaffold proteins that integrate polarity, junctional, and cytoskeletal cues to modulate cellular shape in endothelial as well as epithelial cells. In this report, we show that AmotL1 is a novel partner of the N-cadherin protein complex. We studied the role of AmotL1 in normal retinal as well as tumor angiogenesis using inducible endothelial-specific knock-out mice. We show that AmotL1 is essential for normal establishment of vascular networks in the post-natal mouse retina as well as in a transgenic breast cancer model. The observed phenotypes were consistent with a non-autonomous pericyte defect. We show that AmotL1 forms a complex with N-cadherin present on both endothelial cells and pericytes. We propose that AmotL1 is an essential effector of the N-cadherin mediated endothelial/pericyte junctional complex.
Project description:Angiomotin (Amot) family contains three members: Amot (p80 and p130 isoforms), Amot-like protein 1 (Amotl1), and Amot-like protein 2 (Amotl2). Amot proteins play an important role in tube formation and migration of endothelial cells and the regulation of tight junctions, polarity, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in epithelial cells. Moreover, these proteins regulate the proliferation and migration of cancer cells. In most cancers, Amot family members promote the proliferation and invasion of cancer cells, including breast cancer, osteosarcoma, colon cancer, prostate cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, cervical cancer, liver cancer, and renal cell cancer. However, in glioblastoma, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer, Amot inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In addition, there are controversies on the regulation of Yes-associated protein (YAP) by Amot. Amot promotes either the internalization of YAP into the nucleus or the retention of YAP in the cytoplasm of different cell types. Moreover, Amot regulates the AMPK, mTOR, Wnt, and MAPK signaling pathways. However, it is unclear whether Amot is an oncogene or a tumor suppressor gene in different cellular processes. This review focuses on the multifunctional roles of Amot in cancers.
Project description:The mechanisms that regulate the physical interaction of pericytes and endothelial cells and the effects of these interactions on interendothelial cell junctions are not well understood. We determined the extent to which vascular pericytes could regulate pericyte-endothelial adhesion and the consequences that this disruption might have on the function of the endothelial barrier.Human retinal microvascular endothelial cells were cocultured with pericytes, and the effect on the monolayer resistance of endothelial cells and expression of the cell junction molecules N-cadherin and VE-cadherin were measured. The molecules responsible for the effect of pericytes or pericyte-conditioned media on the endothelial resistance and cell junction molecules were further analyzed. Our results indicate that pericytes increase the barrier properties of endothelial cell monolayers. This barrier function is maintained through the secretion of pericyte-derived sphingosine 1-phosphate. Sphingosine 1-phosphate aids in maintenance of microvascular stability by upregulating the expression of N-cadherin and VE-cadherin, and downregulating the expression of angiopoietin 2.Under normal circumstances, the retinal vascular pericytes maintain pericyte-endothelial contacts and vascular barrier function through the secretion of sphingosine 1-phosphate. Alteration of pericyte-derived sphingosine 1-phosphate production may be an important mechanism in the development of diseases characterized by vascular dysfunction and increased permeability.
Project description:LATS2 kinase functions as part of the Hippo pathway to promote contact inhibition of growth and tumor suppression by phosphorylating and inhibiting the transcriptional coactivator YAP. LATS2 is activated by the MST2 kinase. How LATS2 is activated by MST2 in response to changes in cell density is unknown. Here we identify the angiomotin-family tight junction protein AMOTL2 as a novel activator of LATS2. Like AMOTL2, the other angiomotin-family proteins AMOT and AMOTL1 also activate LATS2 through a novel conserved domain that binds and activates LATS2. AMOTL2 binds MST2, LATS2, and YAP, suggesting that AMOTL2 might serve as a scaffold protein. We show that LATS2, AMOTL2, and YAP all localize to tight junctions, raising the possibility that clustering of Hippo pathway components at tight junctions might function to trigger LATS2 activation and growth inhibition in response to increased cell density.
Project description:In preimplantation mouse embryos, the first cell fate specification to the trophectoderm or inner cell mass occurs by the early blastocyst stage. The cell fate is controlled by cell position-dependent Hippo signaling, although the mechanisms underlying position-dependent Hippo signaling are unknown.We show that a combination of cell polarity and cell-cell adhesion establishes position-dependent Hippo signaling, where the outer and inner cells are polar and nonpolar, respectively. The junction-associated proteins angiomotin (Amot) and angiomotin-like 2 (Amotl2) are essential for Hippo pathway activation and appropriate cell fate specification. In the nonpolar inner cells, Amot localizes to adherens junctions (AJs), and cell-cell adhesion activates the Hippo pathway. In the outer cells, the cell polarity sequesters Amot from basolateral AJs to apical domains, thereby suppressing Hippo signaling. The N-terminal domain of Amot is required for actin binding, Nf2/Merlin-mediated association with the E-cadherin complex, and interaction with Lats protein kinase. In AJs, S176 in the N-terminal domain of Amot is phosphorylated by Lats, which inhibits the actin-binding activity, thereby stabilizing the Amot-Lats interaction to activate the Hippo pathway.We propose that the phosphorylation of S176 in Amot is a critical step for activation of the Hippo pathway in AJs and that cell polarity disconnects the Hippo pathway from cell-cell adhesion by sequestering Amot from AJs. This mechanism converts positional information into differential Hippo signaling, thereby leading to differential cell fates.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Pericytes are specialized perivascular cells embedded within the basement membrane. These cells envelope the abluminal surface of endothelial cells and promote microvessel homeostasis. Recent discoveries of unique pericyte functions, particularly in neural tissues, underscore the need for overcoming existing challenges in establishing a functionally validated pericyte cell line. Here, we present methodologies for addressing these challenges as well as an embryonic pericyte cell line for use with in vitro and ex vivo experimental models. METHODS:We isolated an enriched population of NG2:DsRed+ pericytes from E12.5 mice. This pericyte cell line was compared to MEFs with respect to gene expression, cell morphology and migration, and engagement with endothelial cells during junction stabilization and angiogenesis. RESULTS:NG2+ pericytes displayed gene expression patterns, cell morphology, and 2D migration behaviors distinct from MEFs. In three different vessel formation models, pericytes from this line migrated to and incorporated into developing vessels. When co-cultured with HUVECs, these pericytes stimulated more robust VE-Cadherin junctions between HUVECs as compared to MEFs, as well as contributed to HUVEC organization into primitive vascular structures. CONCLUSIONS:Our data support use of this pericyte cell line in a broad range of models to further understand pericyte functionality during normal and pathological conditions.
Project description:Early stage growth of intracranial B16F10 tumors is reduced by 87% in myeloid-specific NG2 null (Mac-NG2ko) mice and by 77% in pericyte-specific NG2 null (PC-NG2ko) mice, demonstrating the importance of the NG2 proteoglycan in each of these stromal compartments. In both genotypes, loss of pericyte-endothelial cell interaction results in numerous structural defects in tumor blood vessels, including decreased formation of endothelial cell junctions and decreased assembly of the vascular basal lamina. All vascular deficits are larger in Mac-NG2ko mice than in PC-NG2ko mice, correlating with the greater decrease in pericyte-endothelial cell interaction in Mac-NG2ko animals. Accordingly, tumor vessels in Mac-NG2ko mice have a smaller diameter, lower degree of patency, and higher degree of leakiness than tumor vessels in PC-NG2ko mice, leading to less efficient tumor blood flow and to increased intratumoral hypoxia. While reduced pericyte interaction with endothelial cells in PC-NG2ko mice is caused by loss of NG2-dependent pericyte activation of ?1 integrin signaling in endothelial cells, reduced pericyte-endothelial cell interaction in Mac-NG2ko mice is due to a 90% reduction in NG2-dependent macrophage recruitment to tumors. The absence of a macrophage-derived signal(s) in Mac-NG2ko mice results in the loss of pericyte ability to associate with endothelial cells, possibly due to reduced expression of N-cadherin by both pericytes and endothelial cells.
Project description:The assembly of individual epithelial or endothelial cells into a tight cellular sheet requires stringent control of cell packing and organization. These processes are dependent on the establishment and further integration of cellular junctions, the cytoskeleton and the formation of apical-basal polarity. However, little is known how these subcellular events are coordinated. The (Angiomotin) Amot protein family consists of scaffold proteins that interact with junctional cadherins, polarity proteins and the cytoskeleton. In this report, we have studied how these protein complexes integrate to control cellular shapes consistent with organ function. Using gene-inactivating studies in zebrafish and cell culture systems in vitro, we show that Par3 to be essential for localization of AmotL2 to cellular junctions to associate with VE/E-cadherin and subsequently the organization of radial actin filaments. Our data provide mechanistic insight in how critical processes such as aortic lumen expansion as well as epithelial packing into hexagonal shapes are controlled.
Project description:The development of the embryonic vascular system into a highly ordered network requires precise control over the migration and branching of endothelial cells (ECs). We have previously identified angiomotin (Amot) as a receptor for the angiogenesis inhibitor angiostatin. Furthermore, DNA vaccination targeting Amot inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth. However, little is known regarding the role of Amot in physiological angiogenesis. We therefore investigated the role of Amot in embryonic neovascularization during zebrafish and mouse embryogenesis. Here we report that knockdown of Amot in zebrafish reduced the number of filopodia of endothelial tip cells and severely impaired the migration of intersegmental vessels. We further show that 75% of Amot knockout mice die between embryonic day 11 (E11) and E11.5 and exhibit severe vascular insufficiency in the intersomitic region as well as dilated vessels in the brain. Furthermore, using ECs differentiated from embryonic stem (ES) cells, we demonstrate that Amot-deficient cells have intact response to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in regard to differentiation and proliferation. However, the chemotactic response to VEGF was abolished in Amot-deficient cells. We provide evidence that Amot is important for endothelial polarization during migration and that Amot controls Rac1 activity in endothelial and epithelial cells. Our data demonstrate a critical role for Amot during vascular patterning and endothelial polarization.
Project description:The NG2 proteoglycan stimulates the proliferation and migration of various immature cell types, including pericytes. However, the role of NG2 in mediating pericyte/endothelial cell interaction has been less clear. In this study, we show that pericyte-specific NG2 ablation causes several structural deficits in blood vessels in intracranial B16F10 melanomas, including decreased pericyte ensheathment of endothelial cells, diminished formation of endothelial junctions, and reduced assembly of the vascular basal lamina. These deficits result in decreased tumor vessel patency, increased vessel leakiness, and increased intratumoral hypoxia. NG2-dependent mechanisms of pericyte interaction with endothelial cells are further explored in pericyte/endothelial cell co-cultures. siRNA-mediated NG2 knockdown in pericytes leads to reduced formation of pericyte/endothelial networks, reduced formation of ZO-1 positive endothelial cell junctions, and increased permeability of endothelial cell monolayers. We also show that NG2 knockdown results in loss of ?1 integrin activation in endothelial cells, revealing a mechanism for NG2-dependent cross talk between pericytes and endothelial cells.
Project description:The Hippo-YAP pathway is a central regulator of cell contact inhibition, proliferation and death. There are conflicting reports regarding the role of Angiomotin (Amot) in regulating this pathway. While some studies suggest a YAP-inhibitory function other studies indicate Amot is required for YAP activity. Here, we describe an Amot-dependent complex comprised of Amot, YAP and Merlin. The phosphorylation of Amot at Serine 176 shifts localization of this complex to the plasma membrane, where it associates with the tight-junction proteins Pals1/PATJ and E-cadherin. Conversely, hypophosphorylated Amot shifts localization of the complex to the nucleus, where it facilitates the association of YAP and TEAD, induces transcriptional activation of YAP target genes and promotes YAP-dependent cell proliferation. We propose that phosphorylation of AmotS176 is a critical post-translational modification that suppresses YAP's ability to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by altering the subcellular localization of an essential YAP co-factor.