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Although major progress in our understanding of the genes and mechanisms that regulate lymphatic vasculature development has been made, we still do not know how lumen formation and maintenance occurs. Here, we identify the Ras-interacting protein Rasip1 as a key player in this process. We show that lymphatic endothelial cell-specific Rasip1-deficient mouse embryos exhibit enlarged and blood-filled lymphatics at embryonic day 14.5. These vessels have patent lumens with disorganized junctions. Later on, as those vessels become fragmented and lumens collapse, cell junctions become irregular. In addition, Rasip1 deletion at later stages impairs lymphatic valve formation. We determined that Rasip1 is essential for lymphatic lumen maintenance during embryonic development by regulating junction integrity, as Rasip1 loss results in reduced levels of junction molecules and defective cytoskeleton organization in vitro and in vivo We determined that Rasip1 regulates Cdc42 activity, as deletion of Cdc42 results in similar phenotypes to those seen following the loss of Rasip1 Furthermore, ectopic Cdc42 expression rescues the phenotypes in Rasip1-deficient lymphatic endothelial cells, supporting the suggestion that Rasip1 regulates Cdc42 activity to regulate cell junctions and cytoskeleton organization, which are both activities required for lymphatic lumen maintenance. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Xiaolei Liu, Xiaowu Gu, Wanshu Ma, Michael Oxendine, Hyea Jin Gil, George E Davis, Ondine Cleaver, Guillermo Oliver. Rasip1 controls lymphatic vessel lumen maintenance by regulating endothelial cell junctions. Development (Cambridge, England). 2018 Aug 20;145(17)

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PMID: 30042182

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