Calcium mobilization and Rac1 activation are required for VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) stimulation of NADPH oxidase activity

Joan M. Cook-Mills*, Jacob D. Johnson, Tracy L. Deem, Atsuo Ochi, Lei Wang, Yi Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) plays an important role in the regulation of inflammation in atherosclerosis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and transplantation. VCAM-1 activates endothelial cell NADPH oxidase, and this oxidase activity is required for VCAM-1-dependent lymphocyte migration. We reported previously that a mouse microvascular endothelial cell line promotes lymphocyte migration that is dependent on VCAM-1, but not on other known adhesion molecules. Here we have investigated the signalling mechanisms underlying VCAM-1 function. Lymphocyte binding to VCAM-1 on the endothelial cell surface activated an endothelial cell calcium flux that could be inhibited with anti-α4-integrin and mimicked by anti-VCAM-1-coated beads. VCAM-1 stimulation of calcium responses could be blocked by an inhibitor of intracellular calcium mobilization, a calcium channel inhibitor or a calcium chelator, resulting in the inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity. Addition of ionomycin overcame the calcium channel blocker suppression of VCAM-1-stimulated NADPH oxidase activity, but could not reverse the inhibitory effect imposed by intracellular calcium blockage, indicating that both intracellular and extracellular calcium mobilization are required for VCAM-1-mediated activation of NADPH oxidase. Furthermore, VCAM-1 specifically activated the Rho-family GTPase Racl, and VCAM-1 activation of NADPH oxidase was blocked by a dominant negative Rac1. Thus VCAM-1 stimulates the mobilization of intracellular and extracellular calcium and Rac1 activity that are required for the activation of NADPH oxidase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-547
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Calcium channel
  • Cdc42
  • Intracellular calcium release
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Rac1
  • Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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