Vascular mechanotransduction has long been recognized as mediating physiological processes such as flow-dependent dilation and pathological processes such as the localization of lesions in atherosclerosis. There is a consensus that hemodynamic forces represent two distinct biomechanical stimuli;that is, while unidirectional laminar fluid shear is atheroprotective, rapidly changing and/or reverse fluid shear stress (coupled with low average shear) is atherogenic. The overall goal of this application is to determine the molecular basis of mechanochemical signal transduction and the endothelium's ability to discriminate between these two biomechanical stimuli. We have already demonstrated that the atherogenic/inflammatory hemodynamic signaling originates from a macromolecular complex assembled around PECAM-1 at the endothelial cell-cell junction. One of the objectives of this application is to define the organization of the macromolecular complex located at the endothelial cell-cell junction and elucidate its mechanism of activation. The second objective is to investigate the hypothesis that the structural geometry of the junction regulates the sensitivity of the macromolecular complex to rapidly changing shear and confers the ability to discriminate between unidirectional and oscillatory/reverse flow. This project will use an entirely integrative approach using molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry, vital cell imaging, and cell biomechanics. In particular, the specific aims are: 1) To investigate the interaction of PECAM-1 with VE-cadherin and VEGFR2 at the molecular level and the regulation of mechanochemical signaling through this interaction;2) Determine the role of junctional GPCRs and G-proteins in mechanochemical signaling and their regulation by PECAM-1;3) Characterize the geometry of the cell-cell junction by measuring its angle of inclination in in vivo and flow-adapted in vitro endothelium;and 4) Determine whether junctional inclination regulates endothelial response to reverse and oscillatory flow. The understanding of the molecular and structural mechanisms by which the endothelium senses oscillatory and reverse flow is crucial for the development of targeted therapies for flow-induced vascular inflammation and atherogenesis.

Public Health Relevance

Atherosclerosis occurs at regions of the vasculature where blood flow is highly unsteady and oscillatory, suggesting that this blood flow pattern promotes the disease. This project will determine how this blood flow pattern induces the signals that lead to atherosclerosis. If successful, it will provide a basis for drug design for its treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences Study Section (BTSS)
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Fleg, Jerome
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La Jolla Institute
San Diego
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Dela Paz, Nathaniel G; Frangos, John A (2018) Yoda1-induced phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 does not require Piezo1 activation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 497:220-225
Ong, Peng Kai; Moreira, Aline S; Daniel-Ribeiro, Cláudio T et al. (2018) Reversal of cerebrovascular constriction in experimental cerebral malaria by L-arginine. Sci Rep 8:15957
Russell-Puleri, Sparkle; Dela Paz, Nathaniel G; Adams, Diana et al. (2017) Fluid shear stress induces upregulation of COX-2 and PGI2release in endothelial cells via a pathway involving PECAM-1, PI3K, FAK, and p38. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 312:H485-H500
Dela Paz, Nathaniel G; Melchior, Benoît; Frangos, John A (2017) Shear stress induces G?q/11activation independently of G protein-coupled receptor activation in endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 312:C428-C437
Bertinaria, Massimo; Orjuela-Sanchez, Pamela; Marini, Elisabetta et al. (2015) NO-Donor Dihydroartemisinin Derivatives as Multitarget Agents for the Treatment of Cerebral Malaria. J Med Chem 58:7895-9
Melchior, Benoît; Frangos, John A (2014) Distinctive subcellular Akt-1 responses to shear stress in endothelial cells. J Cell Biochem 115:121-9
dela Paz, Nathaniel G; Melchior, Benot; Shayo, Francisca Y et al. (2014) Heparan sulfates mediate the interaction between platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) and the G?q/11 subunits of heterotrimeric G proteins. J Biol Chem 289:7413-24
Cabrales, Pedro; Martins, Yuri C; Ong, Peng Kai et al. (2013) Cerebral tissue oxygenation impairment during experimental cerebral malaria. Virulence 4:686-97
Orjuela-Sánchez, Pamela; Ong, Peng Kai; Zanini, Graziela M et al. (2013) Transdermal glyceryl trinitrate as an effective adjunctive treatment with artemether for late-stage experimental cerebral malaria. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57:5462-71
dela Paz, Nathaniel G; Melchior, Benoit; Frangos, John A (2013) Early VEGFR2 activation in response to flow is VEGF-dependent and mediated by MMP activity. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 434:641-6

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