We have taken advantage of an enhancer trap event in a line of transgenic mice to identify a unique developmentally regulated endothelial cell locus (Del1). The protein encoded in this locus contains three EGF-like repeats homologous to those in Notch and related proteins, including an EGF- like repeat that contains an RGD motif, and two discoidin I-like domains. Del1 is shown to be a matrix protein and to promote adhesion of endothelial cells through interaction with the αvβ3 integrin receptor. Embryonic endothelial-like yolk sac cells expressing recombinant Del1 protein, or grown on an extracellular matrix containing Del1 protein, are inhibited from forming vascular-like structures. Expression of Dell protein in the chick chorioallantoic membrane leads to loss of vascular integrity and promotes vessel remodeling. Del1 is thus a new ligand for the αvβ3 integrin receptor and may function to regulate vascular morphogenesis or remodeling in embryonic development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology