Angiogenesis is a complex process involving dynamic interaction of various cell to cell interactions. Endothelial cell interactions regulated by growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, or hemodynamic stress are critical for balancing vascular quiescence and activation. Yes-associated protein (YAP), an effector of Hippo signaling, is known to play significant roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis. However, its role in endothelial cells for angiogenic regulation remains relatively unexplored. We demonstrated the critical role of YAP in vascular endothelial cells and elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in angiogenic regulation of YAP. YAP was expressed in active angiogenic regions where endothelial cell junctions were relatively loosened. Consistently, YAP subcellular localization and activity were regulated by VE-cadherin-mediated PI3K/Akt pathway. YAP thereby regulated endothelial sprouting via angiopoietin-2 expression. These results provide an insight into a model of coordinating endothelial junctional stability and angiogenic activation through YAP. [BMB Reports 2015; 48(8): 429-430]
This work was supported by grants (NRF-2015R1A2A1A05001859;NRF-2013M3A9B6046563; NRF-2011-0019267 to YGK) from the National Research Foundation of Korea and a grant (A085136 to HJC) from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea. Authors would like to thank Dong-Su Jang, MFA (Medical Illustrator, Medical Research Support Section, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea) for his help with the illustrations.