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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Presenilin-1 regulates the constitutive turnover of the fibronectin matrix in endothelial cells

Rita De Gasperi135, Miguel A Gama Sosa135 and Gregory A Elder2345*

Author Affiliations

1 Research and Development, James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 10468, USA

2 Neurology Service, James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 10468, USA

3 Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 10029, USA

4 Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 10029, USA

5 Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 10029, USA

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BMC Biochemistry 2012, 13:28  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-13-28

Published: 21 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Presenilin-1 (PS1) is a transmembrane protein first discovered because of its association with familial Alzheimer’s disease. Mice with null mutations in PS1 die shortly after birth exhibiting multiple CNS and non-CNS abnormalities. One of the most prominent features in the brains of PS1−/− embryos is a vascular dysgenesis that leads to multiple intracerebral hemorrhages. The molecular and cellular basis for the vascular dysgenesis in PS1−/− mice remains incompletely understood. Because the extracellular matrix plays key roles in vascular development we hypothesized that an abnormal extracellular matrix might be present in endothelial cells lacking PS1 and examined whether the lack of PS1 affects expression of fibronectin a component of the extracellular matrix known to be essential for vascular development.

Results

We report that primary as well as continuously passaged PS1−/− endothelial cells contain more fibronectin than wild type cells and that the excess fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells is incorporated into a fibrillar network. Supporting the in vivo relevance of this observation fibronectin expression was increased in microvascular preparations isolated from E14.5 to E18.5 PS1−/− embryonic brain. Reintroduction of PS1 into PS1−/− endothelial cells led to a progressive decrease in fibronectin levels showing that the increased fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells was due to loss of PS1. Increases in fibronectin protein in PS1−/− endothelial cells could not be explained by increased levels of fibronectin RNA nor based on metabolic labeling studies by increased protein synthesis. Rather we show based on the rate of turnover of exogenously added biotinylated fibronectin that increased fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells results from a slower degradation of the fibronectin fibrillar matrix on the cell surface.

Conclusions

These studies show that PS1 regulates the constitutive turnover of the fibronectin matrix in endothelial cells. These studies provide molecular clues that may help to explain the origin of the vascular dysgenesis that develops in PS1−/− embryonic mice.

Keywords:
Endothelial cells; Extracellular matrix; Fibronectin; Presenilin-1; Vascular development