The integrin antagonist cilengitide activates αVβ3, disrupts VE-cadherin localization at cell junctions and enhances permeability in endothelial cells

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Abstract

Cilengitide is a high-affinity cyclic pentapeptdic αV integrin antagonist previously reported to suppress angiogenesis by inducing anoikis of endothelial cells adhering through αVβ3/ αVβ5 integrins. Angiogenic endothelial cells express multiple integrins, in particular those of the β1 family, and little is known on the effect of cilengitide on endothelial cells expressing αVβ3 but adhering through β1 integrins. Through morphological, biochemical, pharmacological and functional approaches we investigated the effect of cilengitide on αVβ3-expressing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) cultured on the β1 ligands fibronectin and collagen I. We show that cilengitide activated cell surface αVβ3, stimulated phosphorylation of FAK (Y397 and Y576/577), Src (S418) and VE-cadherin (Y658 and Y731), redistributed αVβ3 at the cell periphery, caused disappearance of VE-cadherin from cellular junctions, increased the permeability of HUVEC monolayers and detached HUVEC adhering on low-density β1 integrin ligands. Pharmacological inhibition of Src kinase activity fully prevented cilengitide-induced phosphorylation of Src, FAK and VE-cadherin, and redistribution of αVβ3 and VE-cadherin and partially prevented increased permeability, but did not prevent HUVEC detachment from low-density matrices. Taken together, these observations reveal a previously unreported effect of cilengitide on endothelial cells namely its ability to elicit signaling events disrupting VE-cadherin localization at cellular contacts and to increase endothelial monolayer permeability. These effects are potentially relevant to the clinical use of cilengitide as anticancer agent. © 2009 Alghisi et al.

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Alghisi, G. C., Ponsonnet, L., & Rüegg, C. (2009). The integrin antagonist cilengitide activates αVβ3, disrupts VE-cadherin localization at cell junctions and enhances permeability in endothelial cells. PLoS ONE, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004449

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