The adaptor protein shb binds to tyrosine 1175 in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 and regulates VEGF-dependent cellular migration.
Previous studies have shown that the adaptor protein Shb is involved in receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. In this study, we demonstrate that Shb is phosphorylated in an Src-dependent manner upon vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulation using porcine aortic endothelial cells expressing the human VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) (KDR). In co-immunoprecipitation experiments, we could detect an interaction between Shb and the VEGFR-2 in human telomerase-immortalized microvascular endothelial cells. Furthermore, in a glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay, the Src homology 2 domain of Shb was shown to interact with phosphorylated tyrosine 1175 in the C-terminal tail of VEGFR-2. VEGF-induced Shb phosphorylation was lost in porcine aortic endothelial cells expressing a chimeric murine VEGFR-2 (Flk-1) with a mutation at the corresponding position. Shb expression was specifically decreased by 80%, in a transient manner, by using the short interfering RNA technique. Reduced Shb expression led to a loss of stimulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase at tyrosine 576, the generation of focal adhesions, and stress fiber formation in response to VEGF. Furthermore, we show that VEGF-induced migration is inhibited in Shb short interfering RNA-treated cells. Our data demonstrate that Shb is important for VEGF signaling in endothelial cells. This is achieved by Shb binding to tyrosine 1175 in the VEGFR-2, which regulates VEGF-induced formation of focal adhesions and cell migration, of which the latter occurs in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent manner.