VE-cadherin and endothelial adherens junctions: active guardians of vascular integrity

Dev Cell. 2013 Sep 16;26(5):441-54. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.08.020.


VE-cadherin is a component of endothelial cell-to-cell adherens junctions, and it has a key role in the maintenance of vascular integrity. During embryo development, VE-cadherin is required for the organization of a stable vascular system, and in the adult it controls vascular permeability and inhibits unrestrained vascular growth. The mechanisms of action of VE-cadherin are complex and include reshaping and organization of the endothelial cell cytoskeleton and modulation of gene transcription. Here we review some of the most important pathways through which VE-cadherin modulates vascular homeostasis and discuss the emerging concepts in the overall biological role of this protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Cadherins / chemistry
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cell Communication / genetics
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Focal Adhesions / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cadherins
  • cadherin 5