The role of caldesmon in the regulation of endothelial cytoskeleton and migration

Tamara Mirzapoiazova, Irina A. Kolosova, Lew Romer, Joe G.N. Garcia, Alexander D. Verin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The actin- and myosin-binding protein, caldesmon (CaD) is an essential component of the cytoskeleton in smooth muscle and non-muscle cells and is involved in the regulation of cell contractility, division, and assembly of actin filaments. CaD is abundantly present in endothelial cells (EC); however, the contribution of CaD in endothelial cytoskeletal arrangement is unclear. To examine this contribution, we generated expression constructs of I-CaD cloned from bovine endothelium. Wild-type CaD (WT-CaD) and truncated mutants lacking either the N-terminal myosin-binding site or the C-terminal domain 4b (containing actin- and calmodulin-binding sites) were transfected into human pulmonary artery EC. Cell fractionation experiments and an actin overlay assay demonstrated that deleting domain 4b, but not the N-terminal myosin-binding site, resulted in decreased affinity to both the detergent-insoluble cytoskeleton and soluble actin. Recombinant WT-CaD co-localized with acto-myosin filaments in vivo, but neither of CaD mutants did. Thus both domain 4b and the myosin-binding site are essential for proper localization of CaD in EC. Overexpression of WT-CaD led to cell rounding and formation of a thick peripheral subcortical actin rim in quiescent EC, which correlated with decreased cellular migration. Pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK, but not ERK MAPK, caused disassembly of this peripheral actin rim in CaD-transfected cells and decreased CaD phosphorylation at Ser531 (Ser789 in human h-CaD). These results suggest that CaD is critically involved in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton and migration in EC, and that p38 MAPK-mediated CaD phosphorylation may be involved in endothelial cytoskeletal remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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