Rearrangement of adherens junctions by transforming growth factor-β1: Role of contraction

Victor Hurst IV, Peter L. Goldberg, Fred L. Minnear, Ronald L. Heimark, Peter A. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The signal transduction pathways that lead to disruption of pulmonary endothelial monolayer integrity by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) have not been elucidated. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether disassembly of the adherens junction is temporally associated with the TGF-β1-induced decrease in pulmonary endothelial monolayer integrity. Measurement of albumin clearance and electrical resistance showed that monolayer integrity started to decrease between 1 and 2 h post-TGF-β1 treatment and continued to slowly decrease over the next 6 h. Immunofluorescence microscopy of monolayers between 2 and 3 h post-TGF-β1 showed that β-catenin, plakoglobin, α-catenin, and cadherin-5 were colocalized both at the cell periphery and in newly formed bands that are perpendicular to the cell-cell border. At 4 h post-TGF-β1, cells began separating; however, β- and α-catenin, plakoglobin, and cadherin-5 could still be found at the cell periphery at areas of cell separation and in strands between separated cells. By 8 h, these junctional proteins were no longer present at the cell periphery at areas of cell separation. The myosin light chain kinase inhibitor KT-5926 prevented the TGF-β1-induced change in integrity but did not inhibit the formation of actin stress fibers or the formation of bands containing adherens junction proteins that were perpendicular to the cell-cell junction. Overall, these results suggest that adherens junction disassembly occurs after cell separation during TGF-β1- induced decreases in pulmonary endothelial monolayer integrity and that the loss of integrity may be due to the activation of a myosin light chain kinase-dependent signaling cascade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L582-L595
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 20-4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Actin
  • Cadherin
  • Catenin
  • Immunofluorescence microscopy
  • KT- 5926
  • Myosin
  • Myosin light chain
  • Myosin light chain kinase
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Rearrangement of adherens junctions by transforming growth factor-β1: Role of contraction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this