Cellular Adhesion and Cytoskeletal Linkers: Calcium Signaling, Proteases and Cellular Mechanics Impact Angiogenic Induction?

In a recent report that was published in Microvascular Research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20709086 (ePub ahead of print), we have revealed a key relationship between the control of microvascular pericyte shape, contractility and mechanical stiffness. The work points to the pivotal role that the neutral cysteine protease family member, calpain I, is likely to be playing in modulating pericyte adhesion and signaling (to/through the basement membrane and onto the capillary endothelium). We postulate that these mechano-chemical signaling networks that originate within pericyte cytoplasm and the plasma membrane-cytoskeletal interface are likely to orchestrate capillary dynamics during physiologic or, possibly, pathologic angiogenesis.

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