Dr Anne Lagendijk
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Title: "The identification of a novel pathway that specifically controls junctional integrity in veins"

A healthy vasculature is central to a functioning cardiovascular system. One aspect imperative to development of a homeostatic vascular system is stability of junctions between adjacent endothelial cells (ECs). It is appreciated that arteries and veins develop different adhesive properties at EC junctions, underpinning their adaptive functions. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling this heterogenous adhesion and junction integrity are currently not understood.

We have recently uncovered a novel factor that specifically controls venous EC adhesion. We have shown this specific role in vivo in knockout zebrafish lines and also in 3D bioengineered human micro-vessels. Live imaging in zebrafish revealed that the reduction in venous endothelial junction integrity leads to venous vessel decline. Notably, arteries are unaffected. By utilising our recently established vascular Vinculin transgenic line, we will determine whether changes in EC mechanics precede this junctional phenotype. We have further generated a cohort of zebrafish knockout lines to identify the key ligands and receptors in the pathway. This extensive in vivo phenotyping will be combined with phosphoproteomic analysis of our cellular models to determine downstream players in an unbiased manner.

Such vessel-restricted phenotypes are rare, and thus we anticipate that this project will contribute valuable knowledge that will improve our understanding on how heterogenous junction properties are controlled and maintained in both physiological and pathological conditions.

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018