Licht AH, Pein OT, Florin L, Hartenstein B, Reuter H, Arnold B, Lichter P, Angel P, Schorpp-Kistner M
The molecular mechanism triggering the organization of endothelial cells (ECs) in multicellular tubules is mechanistically still poorly understood. We demonstrate that cell-autonomous endothelial functions of the AP-1 subunit JunB are required for proper endothelial morphogenesis both in vivo in mouse embryos with endothelial-specific ablation of JunB and in in vitro angiogenesis models. By cDNA microarray analysis, we identified core-binding factor beta (CBFbeta), which together with the Runx proteins forms the heterodimeric core-binding transcription complex CBF, as a novel JunB target gene. In line with our findings, expression of the CBF target MMP-13 was impaired in JunB-deficient ECs. Reintroduction of CBFbeta into JunB-deficient ECs rescued the tube formation defect and MMP-13 expression, indicating an important role for CBFbeta in EC morphogenesis.