Abstract

Morphogenesis of hierarchical vascular networks depends on the integration of multiple biomechanical signals by endothelial cells, the cells lining the interior of blood vessels. Expansion of vascular networks arises through sprouting angiogenesis, a process involving extensive cell rearrangements and collective cell migration. Yet, the mechanisms controlling angiogenic collective behaviour remain poorly understood. Here, we show this collective cell behavior is regulated by non-canonical Wnt signaling. We identify that Wnt5a specifically activates Cdc42 at cell junctions downstream of ROR2 to reinforce coupling between adherens junctions and the actin cytoskeleton. We show that Wnt5a signaling stabilizes vinculin binding to alpha-catenin, and abrogation of vinculin in vivo and in vitro leads to uncoordinated polarity and deficient sprouting angiogenesis in Mus musculus. Our findings highlight how non-canonical Wnt signaling coordinates collective cell behavior during vascular morphogenesis by fine-tuning junctional mechanocoupling between endothelial cells.

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All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Joana R Carvalho

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Isabela C Fortunato

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Catarina G Fonseca

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Anna Pezzarossa

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Pedro Barbacena

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Maria A Dominguez-Cejudo

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Francisca F Vasconcelos

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0601-5513
  8. Nuno C Santos

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Filomena A Carvalho

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Claudio A Franco

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    For correspondence
    cfranco@medicina.ulisboa.pt
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2861-3883

Funding

H2020 European Research Council (679368)

  • Claudio A Franco

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (IF/00412/2012/CP0163/CT0007)

  • Claudio A Franco

Fondation Leducq (17CVD03)

  • Claudio A Franco

H2020 Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation (692322)

  • Claudio A Franco

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Gou Young Koh, Institute of Basic Science and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea (South), Republic of

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Mice were maintained at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) under standard husbandry conditions and under national regulations, under the license AWB_2015_11_CAF_Polaridade

Version history

  1. Received: February 6, 2019
  2. Accepted: June 26, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 27, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 6, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Carvalho et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Joana R Carvalho
  2. Isabela C Fortunato
  3. Catarina G Fonseca
  4. Anna Pezzarossa
  5. Pedro Barbacena
  6. Maria A Dominguez-Cejudo
  7. Francisca F Vasconcelos
  8. Nuno C Santos
  9. Filomena A Carvalho
  10. Claudio A Franco
(2019)
Non-canonical Wnt signaling regulates junctional mechanocoupling during angiogenic collective cell migration
eLife 8:e45853.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.45853

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.45853

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