Nectin stabilization at adherens junctions is counteracted by Rab5a-dependent endocytosis

Pasquale Cervero, Kirsten Vrenken, Matthias Klose, Kerstin Rehm, Stefan Linder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cell-cell junctions undergo constant remodeling, which is crucial for the control of vascular integrity. Indeed, transport of junctional components such as cadherins is understood in increasing depth. However, little is known about the respective pathways regulating localization of nectin at cell-cell junctions. Here, we performed an siRNA-based screen of vesicle regulators of the RabGTPase family, leading to the identification of a novel role for Rab5a in the endocytosis nectin-2 at adherens junctions of primary human endothelial cells (HUVEC). Confocal microscopy experiments revealed disordered nectin-2 localization at adherens junctions upon Rab5a depletion. In addition, internalized nectin-2 was shown to prominently localize to Rab5a-positive vesicles in both fixed and living cells. As shown previously, nectin-2 stabilization at junctions is achieved via drebrin-dependent coupling to the subcortical actin cytoskeleton. Consistently, depletion of drebrin in this study leads to enhanced internalization of nectin-2 from junctions. Strikingly, simultaneous silencing of Rab5a and drebrin restored the junctional localization of nectin-2, pointing to Rab5a as counteracting the drebrin-dependent stabilization of nectin-2 at adherens junctions. This mechanism could be further validated by transendothelial resistance measurements. Collectively, our results identify Rab5a as a key player in the endocytosis of nectin-2 and thus in the regulation of adherens junction integrity in primary human endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151184
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherens junctions
  • Drebrin
  • Endocytosis
  • Nectin
  • Rab5a
  • RabGTPases


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