VEGFR2 pY949 signalling regulates adherens junction integrity and metastatic spread

Xiujuan Li, Narendra Padhan, Elisabet O Sjöström, Francis P Roche, Chiara Testini, Naoki Honkura, Miguel Sáinz-Jaspeado, Emma Gordon, Katie Bentley, Andrew Philippides, Vladimir Tolmachev, Elisabetta Dejana, Radu V Stan, Dietmar Vestweber, Kurt Ballmer-Hofer, Christer Betsholtz, Kristian Pietras, Leif Jansson, Lena Claesson-Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11017
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 23

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


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