Research Papers:

CD93 and dystroglycan cooperation in human endothelial cell adhesion and migration

Federico Galvagni, Federica Nardi, Marco Maida, Giulia Bernardini, Silvia Vannuccini, Felice Petraglia, Annalisa Santucci and Maurizio Orlandini _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:10090-10103. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7136

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Federico Galvagni1,*, Federica Nardi1,*, Marco Maida1, Giulia Bernardini1, Silvia Vannuccini2, Felice Petraglia2, Annalisa Santucci1, Maurizio Orlandini1

1Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, 2-53100 Siena, Italy

2Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Maurizio Orlandini, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: angiogenesis, signal transduction, C1qRp, Src, Cbl

Received: June 29, 2015     Accepted: January 22, 2016     Published: February 02, 2016


CD93 is a transmembrane glycoprotein predominantly expressed in endothelial cells. Although CD93 displays proangiogenic activity, its molecular function in angiogenesis still needs to be clarified. To get molecular insight into the biological role of CD93 in the endothelium, we performed proteomic analyses to examine changes in the protein profile of endothelial cells after CD93 silencing. Among differentially expressed proteins, we identified dystroglycan, a laminin-binding protein involved in angiogenesis, whose expression is increased in vascular endothelial cells within malignant tumors. Using immunofluorescence, FRET, and proximity ligation analyses, we observed a close interaction between CD93 and β-dystroglycan. Moreover, silencing experiments showed that CD93 and dystroglycan promoted endothelial cell migration and organization into capillary-like structures. CD93 proved to be phosphorylated on tyrosine 628 and 644 following cell adhesion on laminin through dystroglycan. This phosphorylation was shown to be necessary for a proper endothelial migratory phenotype. Moreover, we showed that during cell spreading phosphorylated CD93 recruited the signaling protein Cbl, which in turn was phosphorylated on tyrosine 774. Altogether, our results identify a new signaling pathway which is activated by the cooperation between CD93 and dystroglycan and involved in the control of endothelial cell function.

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