CD44 regulates hepatocyte growth factor-mediated vascular integrity: Role of c-Met, Tiam1/Rac1, dynamin 2, and cortactin

Patrick A. Singleton, Ravi Salgia, Liliana Moreno-Vinasco, Jaideep Moitra, Saad Sammani, Tamara Mirzapoiazova, Joe G.N. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The preservation of vascular endothelial cell (EC) barrier integrity is critical to normal vessel homeostasis, with barrier dysfunction being a feature of inflammation, tumor angiogenesis, atherosclerosis, and acute lung injury. Therefore, agents that preserve or restore vascular integrity have important therapeutic implications. In this study, we explored the regulation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-mediated enhancement of EC barrier function via CD44 isoforms. We observed that HGF promoted c-Met association with CD44v10 and recruitment of c-Met into caveolin-enriched microdomains (CEM) containing CD44s (standard form). Treatment of EC with CD44v10-blocking antibodies inhibited HGF-mediated c-Met phosphorylation and c-Met recruitment to CEM. Silencing CD44 expression (small interfering RNA) attenuated HGF-induced recruitment of c-Met, Tiam1 (a Rac1 exchange factor), cortactin (an actin cytoskeletal regulator), and dynamin 2 (a vesicular regulator) to CEM as well as HGF-induced trans-EC electrical resistance. In addition, silencing Tiam1 or dynamin 2 reduced HGF-induced Rac1 activation, cortactin recruitment to CEM, and EC barrier regulation. We observed that both HGF- and high molecular weight hyaluronan (CD44 ligand)-mediated protection from lipopolysaccharide-induced pulmonary vascular hyperpermeability was significantly reduced in CD44 knock-out mice, thus validating these in vitro findings in an in vivo murine model of inflammatory lung injury. Taken together, these results suggest that CD44 is an important regulator of HGF/c-Met-mediated in vitro and in vivo barrier enhancement, a process with essential involvement of Tiam1, Rac1, dynamin 2, and cortactin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30643-30657
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 19 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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