TAK1 Prevents Endothelial Apoptosis and Maintains Vascular Integrity (Takakura Lab, in Dev. Cell)

TNFα is a pleiotropic cytokine which has potential to induce apoptosis under inflammation. How endothelial cells (ECs) are spared from this fate in inflammatory environments where TNFα is present is not known. Here, we show that TGFβ-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) ensures EC survival and maintains vascular integrity upon TNFα stimulation. Endothelial-specific TAK1 knockout mice exhibit intestinal and liver hemorrhage due to EC apoptosis, leading to vascular destruction and rapid death. This EC apoptosis was induced by TNFα from myeloid cells responding to intestinal microbiota. TNFα secretion associated with inflammation also induced vascular defects in inflamed organs. Additionally, we determined that TAK1 deletion in tumor ECs resulted in blood vessel and hence tumor regression. Our results illuminate mechanisms ensuring survival of intestinal and liver ECs under physiological conditions and ECs of other organs under inflammatory conditions that could be exploited for anti-angiogenic therapy to treat cancer.

  • The mechanism of vascular maintenance by endothelial TAK1.
    TAK1 maintains vascular integrity of the blood vessels by ensuring EC survival against TNFαinduced by inflammation, gut microbes or tumor. TAK1 deficiency results in EC death leading to vascular dysfunction, hemorrhage and rapid death of animal.