Multivalent complexes of endothelial adhesion receptors (e.g., selectins) engage leukocytes to orchestrate their migration to inflamed tissues. Proper anchorage and sufficient density (clustering) of endothelial receptors are required for efficient leukocyte capture and rolling. We demonstrate that a polarized spectrin network dictates the stability of the endothelial cytoskeleton, which is attached to the apical membrane, at least in part, by the abundant transmembrane protein CD44. Single-particle tracking revealed that CD44 undergoes prolonged periods of immobilization as it tethers to the cytoskeleton. The CD44-spectrin “picket fence” alters the behavior of bystander molecules—notably, selectins—curtailing their mobility, inducing their apical accumulation, and favoring their clustering within caveolae. Accordingly, depletion of either spectrin or CD44 virtually eliminated leukocyte rolling and adhesion to the endothelium. Our results indicate that a unique spectrin-based apical cytoskeleton tethered to transmembrane pickets—notably, CD44—is essential for proper extravasation of leukocytes in response to inflammation.
- endothelial cell
- rolling adhesion
- single-particle tracking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)