Integrins-FAK-Rho GTPases pathway in endothelial cells sense and response to surface wettability of plasma nanocoatings.

Research paper by Yang Y Shen, Yunlong Y Ma, Min M Gao, Yi Y Lai, Guixue G Wang, Qingsong Q Yu, Fu-zhai FZ Cui, Xiaoheng X Liu

Indexed on: 17 May '13Published on: 17 May '13Published in: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces


Vascular endothelial cell (EC) adhesion and migration are essential processes in re-endothelialization of implanted biomaterials, which are affected by surface properties of implanted materials such as surface wettability. Our previous study demonstrated that, as model substrates, EC adhesion/migration showed an opposite behavior on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces of plasma SiOx:H nanocoatings. Extending our previous works, the expression and distribution of crucial proteins in integrins-FAK-Rho GTPases signaling pathways were examined, respectively. The results showed that a hydrophilic surface could enhance the expression of focal adhesion protein associated with cell adhesion; however, the hydrophobic surface could improve the expression of Rho GTPases associated with cell migration and phosphorylation level of FAK, revealing the potential reason of surface wettability mediating different cells' adhesion/migration behaviors. These findings reveal the relationship and molecular mechanism of endothelial cell adhesion/migration, which was expected to guide the surface modification of implants for accelerating endothelialization.