Annexin A2 supports pulmonary microvascular integrity by linking vascular endothelial cadherin and protein tyrosine phosphatases
Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
Relative or absolute hypoxia activates signaling pathways that alter gene expression and stabilize the pulmonary microvasculature. Alveolar hypoxia occurs in disorders ranging from altitude sickness to airway obstruction, apnea, and atelectasis. Here, we report that the phospholipid-binding protein, annexin A2 (ANXA2) functions to maintain vascular integrity in the face of alveolar hypoxia. We demonstrate that microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) from Anxa2(-/-) mice display reduced barrier function and excessive Src-related tyrosine phosphorylation of the adherens junction protein vascular endothelial cadherin (VEC). Moreover, unlike Anxa2(+/+) controls, Anxa2(-/-) mice develop pulmonary edema and neutrophil infiltration in the lung parenchyma in response to subacute alveolar hypoxia. Mice deficient in the ANXA2-binding partner, S100A10, failed to demonstrate hypoxia-induced pulmonary edema under the same conditions. Further analyses reveal that ANXA2 forms a complex with VEC and its phosphatases, EC-specific protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP) and Src homology phosphatase 2 (SHP2), both of which are implicated in vascular integrity. In the absence of ANXA2, VEC is hyperphosphorylated at tyrosine 731 in response to vascular endothelial growth factor, which likely contributes to hypoxia-induced extravasation of fluid and leukocytes. We conclude that ANXA2 contributes to pulmonary microvascular integrity by enabling VEC-related phosphatase activity, thereby preventing vascular leak during alveolar hypoxia.