Role of p120-catenin in the morphological changes of endothelial cells exposed to fluid shear stress

Naoya Sakamoto, Kei Segawa, Makoto Kanzaki, Toshiro Ohashi, Masaaki Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


p120-Catenin is known to play important roles in cell-cell adhesion stability by binding to cadherin and morphological changes of cells by regulating small RhoGTPase activities. Although the expression and binding states of p120-catenin are thought to dynamically change due to morphological adaptation of endothelial cells (ECs) to fluid shear stress, these dynamics remain to be explored. In the present study, we examined the time course of changes in p120-catenin expression and its binding to vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin in ECs exposed to shear stress. Human umbilical vein ECs began to change their morphologies at 3-6. h, and became elongated and oriented to the direction of flow at 24. h after exposure to a shear stress of 1.5. Pa. Binding and co-localization of p120-catenin with VE-cadherin at the foci of cell-cell adhesions were retained in ECs during exposure to shear stress, indicating that VE-cadherin was stabilized in the plasma membrane. In contrast, cytoplasmic p120-catenin that was dissociated from VE-cadherin was transiently increased at 3-6. h after the flow onset. These results suggest that the transient increase of cytoplasmic p120-catenin may stimulate RhoGTPase activities and act as a switch for the morphological changes in ECs in response to shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


  • Endothelial cells
  • Fluid shear stress
  • P120-Catenin
  • Pseudopodium
  • VE-cadherin


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