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Rap1 signaling in endothelial barrier control.

Authors: Willem-Jan WJ. Pannekoek, Anneke A. Post, Johannes L JL. Bos
Published: 10/07/2014, Cell adhesion & migration


The small G-protein Rap1 plays an important role in the regulation of endothelial barrier function, a process controlled largely by cellâ€"cell adhesions and their connection to the actin cytoskeleton. During the various stages of barrier dynamics, different guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) control Rap1 activity, indicating that Rap1 integrates multiple input signals. Once activated, Rap1 induces numerous signaling cascades, together responsible for the increased endothelial barrier function. Most notably, Rap1 activation results in the inhibition of Rho to decrease radial stress fibers and the activation of Cdc42 to increase junctional actin. This implies that Rap regulates endothelial barrier function by dual control of cytoskeletal tension. The molecular details of the signaling pathways are becoming to be elucidated.