The specific role of VEGFA-induced permeability and vascular leakage in physiology and pathology has remained unclear. Here we show that VEGFA-induced vascular leakage depends on signalling initiated via the VEGFR2 phosphosite Y949, regulating dynamic c-Src and VE-cadherin phosphorylation. Abolished Y949 signalling in the mouse mutant Vegfr2(Y949F/Y949F) leads to VEGFA-resistant endothelial adherens junctions and a block in molecular extravasation. Vessels in Vegfr2(Y949F/Y949F) mice remain sensitive to inflammatory cytokines, and vascular morphology, blood pressure and flow parameters are normal. Tumour-bearing Vegfr2(Y949F/Y949F) mice display reduced vascular leakage and oedema, improved response to chemotherapy and, importantly, reduced metastatic spread. The inflammatory infiltration in the tumour micro-environment is unaffected. Blocking VEGFA-induced disassembly of endothelial junctions, thereby suppressing tumour oedema and metastatic spread, may be preferable to full vascular suppression in the treatment of certain cancer forms.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cell and Molecular Biology