The EMBO journal

Endothelial basement membrane laminin 511 is essential for shear stress response.

PMID 27940654


Shear detection and mechanotransduction by arterial endothelium requires junctional complexes containing PECAM-1 and VE-cadherin, as well as firm anchorage to the underlying basement membrane. While considerable information is available for junctional complexes in these processes, gained largely from in vitro studies, little is known about the contribution of the endothelial basement membrane. Using resistance artery explants, we show that the integral endothelial basement membrane component, laminin 511 (laminin α5), is central to shear detection and mechanotransduction and its elimination at this site results in ablation of dilation in response to increased shear stress. Loss of endothelial laminin 511 correlates with reduced cortical stiffness of arterial endothelium in vivo, smaller integrin β1-positive/vinculin-positive focal adhesions, and reduced junctional association of actin-myosin II In vitro assays reveal that β1 integrin-mediated interaction with laminin 511 results in high strengths of adhesion, which promotes p120 catenin association with VE-cadherin, stabilizing it at cell junctions and increasing cell-cell adhesion strength. This highlights the importance of endothelial laminin 511 in shear response in the physiologically relevant context of resistance arteries.

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