N-cadherin coordinates AMP kinase-mediated lung vascular repair

Academic Article


  • Injury to the pulmonary circulation compromises endothelial barrier function and increases lung edema. Resolution of lung damage involves restoring barrier integrity, a process requiring reestablishment of endothelial cell-cell adhesions. However, mechanisms underlying repair in lung endothelium are poorly understood. In pulmonary microvascular endothelium, AMP kinase 1 (AMPK 1) stimulation enhances recovery of the endothelial barrier after LPS-induced vascular damage. AMPK 1 colocalizes to a discrete membrane compartment with the adhesion protein neuronal cadherin (N-cadherin). This study sought to determine N-cadherin’s role in the repair process. Short-hairpin RNA against full-length N-cadherin or a C-terminally truncated N-cadherin, designed to disrupt the cadherin’s interactions with intracellular proteins, were expressed in lung endothelium. Disruption of N-cadherin’s intracellular domain caused translocation of AMPK away from the membrane and attenuated AMPK-mediated restoration of barrier function in LPS-treated endothelium. AMPK activity measurements indicated that lower basal AMPK activity in cells expressing the truncated N-cadherin compared with controls. Moreover, the AMPK stimulator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) failed to increase AMPK activity in cells expressing the modified N-cadherin, indicating uncoupling of a functional association between AMPK and the cadherin. Isolated lung studies confirmed a physiologic role for this pathway in vivo. AMPK activation reversed LPSinduced increase in permeability, whereas N-cadherin inhibition hindered AMPK-mediated repair. Thus N-cadherin coordinates the vascular protective actions of AMPK through a functional link with the kinase. This study provides insight into intrinsic repair mechanisms in the lung and supports AMPK stimulation as a modality for treating vascular disease.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jian MY; Liu Y; Li Q; Wolkowicz P; Alexeyev M; Zmijewski J; Creighton J
  • Start Page

  • L71
  • End Page

  • L85
  • Volume

  • 310
  • Issue

  • 1