Ras/Rap Signaling and Endothelial Morphogenesis

Summary

Principal Investigator: Victoria Bautch
Abstract: Endothelial cells communicate with each other via cell-cell interactions during development and in stable vessels. One important structure is the adherens junction, which links the actin cytoskeleton of individual cells via cadherin-based interactions. Although endothelial adherens junctions are important in vascular development, surprisingly little is known about their formation and regulation. In mature vessels, adherens junctions are required to form a barrier that controls the movement of fluids and macromolecules between blood and tissue sites. The second messenger diacylglycerol (DAG) promotes vascular permeability and disrupts endothelial barrier function, and phorbol esters mimic DAG activity. The goal of this proposal is to determine how a novel endothelial DAG/phorbol ester receptor we recently identified, RasGRPS, affects adherens junctions developmentally and impacts on .vessel permeability in adult vessels. RasGRPS activates the small GTPases Ras and/or Rap, and our preliminary data point to a crucial role for RasGRPS irf the response of developing vessels to DAG/phorbol esters, via a mechanism similar to the permeability response of adult vessels. Thus we hypothesize that RasGRPS-mediated Ras/Rap signaling is a critical endothelial control point for the regulation of adherens junctions, in situations where cellular signaling through DAG is dominant. We set this up experimentally by exogenous administration of phorbol esters, but we posit that this scenario is recapitulated in disease states that are characterized by elevated DAG levels, such as diabetes. We propose that the vascular complications of diabetes in both adults and developing fetuses can be ameliorated by blockade of RasGRPS activity. These hypotheses will be tested in three aims that fully characterize the RasGRPS-dependent response of developing vessels and endothelial cells to DAG/phorbol esters at the cellular and molecular levels, and examine the consequences of genetic manipulation of RasGRPS on endothelial barrier function and the vascular complications of diabetes in embryos and adults.
Funding Period: 2006-02-15 - 2010-01-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc The Ras activator RasGRP3 mediates diabetes-induced embryonic defects and affects endothelial cell migration
    Paramjeet K Randhawa
    Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
    Circ Res 108:1199-208. 2011
  2. ncbi In vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into primitive blood vessels
    Svetlana N Rylova
    Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    Methods Enzymol 443:103-17. 2008
  3. ncbi Differentiation and dynamic analysis of primitive vessels from embryonic stem cells
    Gefei Zeng
    Department of Biology, Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Methods Mol Biol 482:333-44. 2009

Detail Information

Publications3

  1. pmc The Ras activator RasGRP3 mediates diabetes-induced embryonic defects and affects endothelial cell migration
    Paramjeet K Randhawa
    Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
    Circ Res 108:1199-208. 2011
    ....
  2. ncbi In vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into primitive blood vessels
    Svetlana N Rylova
    Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    Methods Enzymol 443:103-17. 2008
    ..We also include protocols for establishing transgenic ES cell lines and visualization of blood vessels by use of endothelial specific molecular markers...
  3. ncbi Differentiation and dynamic analysis of primitive vessels from embryonic stem cells
    Gefei Zeng
    Department of Biology, Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Methods Mol Biol 482:333-44. 2009
    ..Here we describe protocols for making transgenic ES cells and imaging the processes of blood vessel development. We also provide methods for ES cell maintenance and differentiation, and methods for analysis of vascular marker expression...