CCM2-deficient endothelial cells undergo a ROCK-dependent reprogramming into senescence-associated secretory phenotype

Angiogenesis. 2021 Nov;24(4):843-860. doi: 10.1007/s10456-021-09809-2. Epub 2021 Aug 3.


Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a cerebrovascular disease in which stacks of dilated haemorrhagic capillaries form focally in the brain. Whether and how defective mechanotransduction, cellular mosaicism and inflammation interplay to sustain the progression of CCM disease is unknown. Here, we reveal that CCM1- and CCM2-silenced endothelial cells expanded in vitro enter into senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) that they use to invade the extracellular matrix and attract surrounding wild-type endothelial and immune cells. Further, we demonstrate that this SASP is driven by the cytoskeletal, molecular and transcriptomic disorders provoked by ROCK dysfunctions. By this, we propose that CCM2 and ROCK could be parts of a scaffold controlling senescence, bringing new insights into the emerging field of the control of ageing by cellular mechanics. These in vitro findings reconcile the known dysregulated traits of CCM2-deficient endothelial cells into a unique endothelial fate. Based on these in vitro results, we propose that a SASP could link the increased ROCK-dependent cell contractility in CCM2-deficient endothelial cells with microenvironment remodelling and long-range chemo-attraction of endothelial and immune cells.

Keywords: Cerebral cavernous malformations; Mechanotransduction; Microenvironment remodeling; ROCK; Senescence associated secretory phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Endothelial Cells* / metabolism
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous, Central Nervous System*
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Phenotype
  • Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • CCM2 protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins