Here, we define an endothelial cell (EC) lumen signaling complex involving Cdc42, Par6b, Par3, junction adhesion molecule (Jam)-B and Jam-C, membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), and integrin α2β 1, which coassociate to control human EC tubulogenesis in 3D collagen matrices. Blockade of both Jam-B and Jam-C using antibodies, siRNA, or dominant-negative mutants completely interferes with lumen and tube formation resulting from a lack of Cdc42 activation, inhibition of Cdc42-GTP-dependent signal transduction, and blockade of MT1-MMP-dependent proteolysis. This process requires interdependent Cdc42 and MT1-MMP signaling, which involves Par3 binding to the Jam-B and Jam-C cytoplasmic tails, an interaction that is necessary to physically couple the components of the lumen signaling complex. MT1-MMP proteolytic activity is necessary for Cdc42 activation during EC tube formation in 3D collagen matrices but not on 2D collagen surfaces, whereas Cdc42 activation is necessary for MT1-MMP to create vascular guidance tunnels and tube networks in 3D matrices through proteolytic events. This work reveals a novel interdependent role for Cdc42-dependent signaling and MT1-MMP-dependent proteolysis, a process that occurs selectively in 3D collagen matrices and that requires EC lumen signaling complexes, to control human EC tubulogenesis during vascular morphogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology