Directed migration of endothelial cells (ECs) is an important process during both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. The binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) on the EC surface is necessary for directed migration of these cells. Here, we used TAXIScan, an optically accessible real-time horizontal cell dynamics assay approach, and demonstrate that reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), which is abundantly expressed in ECs, mediates VEGF/VEGFR-2-dependent directed migration. We noted that a continuous supply of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-retained VEGFR-2 to the plasma membrane is required to maintain VEGFR-2 at the cell surface. siRNA-mediated NOX4 silencing decreased the ER-retained form of VEGFR-2, resulting in decreased cell surface expression levels of the receptor. We also found that ER-localized NOX4 interacts with ER-retained VEGFR-2 and thereby stabilizes this ER-retained form at the protein level in the ER. We conclude that NOX4 contributes to the directed migration of ECs by maintaining VEGFR-2 levels at their surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology