Neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein regulates Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced lung vascular permeability through the modulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics

Academic Article


  • Pulmonary edema associated with increased vascular permeability is a severe complication of Pseudomonas (P.) aeruginosa-induced acute lung injury. The mechanisms underlying P aeruginosa-induced vascular permeability are not well understood. In the present study, we investigated the role of neuronal Wiskott Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) in modulating P aeruginosa-induced vascular permeability. Using lung microvascular endothelial and alveolar epithelial cells, we demonstrated that N-WASP downregulation attenuated P aeruginosa-induced actin stress fiber formation and prevented paracellular permeability. P aeruginosa-induced dissociation between VE-cadherin and β-catenin, but increased association between N-WASP and VE-cadherin, suggesting a role for N-WASP in promoting P aeruginosa-induced adherens junction rupture. P aeruginosa increased N-WASP-Y256 phosphorylation, which required the activation of Rho GTPase and focal adhesion kinase. Increased N-WASP-Y256 phosphorylation promotes N-WASP and integrin αVβ6 association as well as TGF-β-mediated permeability across alveolar epithelial cells. Inhibition of N-WASP-Y256 phosphorylation by N-WASP-Y256F overexpression blocked N-WASP effects in P aeruginosa-induced actin stress fiber formation and increased paracellular permeability. In vivo, N-WASP knockdown attenuated the development of pulmonary edema and improved survival in a mouse model of P aeruginosa pneumonia. Together, our data demonstrate that N-WASP plays an essential role in P aeruginosa-induced vascular permeability and pulmonary edema through the modulation of actin cytoskeleton dynamics.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Che P; Wagener BM; Zhao X; Brandon AP; Evans CA; Cai GQ; Zhao R; Xu ZX; Han X; Pittet JF
  • Start Page

  • 3305
  • End Page

  • 3317
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 2