Endothelial cells express a spectrin-like cytoskeletal protein.
Vascular endothelium was investigated by indirect immunofluorescence and immunoautoradiography for the possible presence of spectrin-like molecules. Antibodies were raised against electrophoretically purified rat, rabbit, and bovine red blood cell spectrin and against rabbit brain fodrin. Antibody specificity was assessed by immunoblotting and double-diffusion technique. Homogenates of endothelial cells freshly isolated from heart microvasculature or aorta, as well as cultured aortic endothelial cells, were analyzed by gel electrophoresis. Immunoautoradiograms of gels incubated with spectrin specific antibody, followed by radio-labeled protein A, revealed two bands of electrophoretic mobility similar to that of the alpha- and beta-subunits of spectrin. Indirect immunofluorescence of endothelial cells, both in situ and in vitro, showed the existence of a protein which cross-reacted with the antibodies against spectrin and fodrin. Controls, in which endothelial cells were exposed to spectrin antibody absorbed with pure spectrin or preimmune serum, were negative. These findings indicate that endothelial cells express a protein antigenically related to the spectrin family; both spectrin- and fodrin-like molecules, in various proportions, may coexist. In the endothelial cell, these proteins may play an important role in modulation of the cytoskeleton in response to various stimuli, and in maintaining the biochemically differentiated microdomains of plasmalemma.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association