Vascular endothelial (VE) protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) is an endothelial-specific phosphatase that stabilizes VE-cadherin junctions. Although studies have focused on the role of VE-PTP in dephosphorylating VE-cadherin in the activated endothelium, little is known of VE-PTP’s role in the quiescent endothelial monolayer. Here, we used the photoconvertible fluorescent protein VE-cadherin-Dendra2 to monitor VE-cadherin dynamics at adherens junctions (AJs) in confluent endothelial monolayers. We discovered that VE-PTP stabilizes VE-cadherin junctions by reducing the rate of VE-cadherin internalization independently of its phosphatase activity. VE-PTP serves as an adaptor protein that through binding and inhibiting the RhoGEF GEF-H1 modulates RhoA activity and tension across VE-cadherin junctions. Overexpression of the VEPTP cytosolic domain mutant interacting with GEF-H1 in VE-PTP–depleted endothelial cells reduced GEF-H1 activity and restored VE-cadherin dynamics at AJs. Thus, VE-PTP stabilizes VE-cadherin junctions and restricts endothelial permeability by inhibiting GEF-H1, thereby limiting RhoA signaling at AJs and reducing the VE-cadherin internalization rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology