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Rap1 promotes endothelial mechanosensing complex formation, NO release and normal endothelial function. EMBO Rep 2015 May;16(5):628-37 PMID: 25807985 PMCID: PMC4428051

Pubmed ID





Decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability underlies a number of cardiovascular pathologies, including hypertension. The shear stress exerted by flowing blood is the main determinant of NO release. Rap1 promotes integrin- and cadherin-mediated signaling. Here, we show that Rap1 is a critical regulator of NO production and endothelial function. Rap1 deficiency in murine endothelium attenuates NO production and diminishes NO-dependent vasodilation, leading to endothelial dysfunction and hypertension, without deleterious effects on vessel integrity. Mechanistically, Rap1 is activated by shear stress, promotes the formation of the endothelial mechanosensing complex-comprised of PECAM-1, VE-cadherin and VEGFR2- and downstream signaling to NO production. Our study establishes a novel paradigm for Rap1 as a regulator of mechanotransduction.

Author List

Lakshmikanthan S, Zheng X, Nishijima Y, Sobczak M, Szabo A, Vasquez-Vivar J, Zhang DX, Chrzanowska-Wodnicka M


Magdalena Chrzanowska-Wodnicka PhD Associate Professor in the Pharmacology and Toxicology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Aniko Szabo PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeannette M. Vasquez-Vivar PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
David X. Zhang MD, PhD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84928885238   18 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Blood Pressure
Capillary Permeability
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
Mechanotransduction, Cellular
Mice, Knockout
Models, Biological
Nitric Oxide
Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
Organ Specificity
Signal Transduction
rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins
jenkins-FCD Prod-336 69ef4a6b262d135130251597d5d39873903802b5