Statin-inhibited endothelial permeability could be associated with its effect on PECAM-1 in endothelial cells

Heming Wei, Lu Fang, Jie Song, Subroto Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) are known to inhibit leukocyte recruitment to endothelium but the mechanism is less understood. Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) is an endothelial junction protein involved in leukocyte diapedesis. We hypothesize that in endothelial cells, statins may well recruit PECAM-1 to exert their inhibitory effect on leukocyte trans-endothelial migration (TEM). In lovastatin-treated resting human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), increased levels of mRNA and protein of PECAM-1 as well as its bio-synthesis (all ∼2-fold) were observed by real-time PCR, Western blotting and 35S-labeled methionine incorporation assay, respectively. Moreover, in lovastatin treated resting cells as well as TNF-α activated endothelial cells, unanimously decreased Triton X-100 insoluble and soluble PECAM-1 ratio was observed. Such changes were accompanied by decreased TEM of U-937 cells (a promonocyte cell line). All lovastatin's effects were abrogated by mevalonic acid. In resting HUVECs, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP), but not farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) (both are isoprenoid intermediates in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway) compromised the effect of lovastatin on PECAM-1 expression, whereas C3 toxin, an inhibitor of small G proteins, exerted statin-like effect. Conclusion: Statin-reduced endothelial permeability could be attributed to altered intracellular distribution of PECAM-1 in endothelial cells. We speculate that lovastatin regulates PECAM-1 expression in HUVECs through the mevalonate-GGPP pathway by inhibiting of Rho small GTPase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1278
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 14 2005


  • Endothelial cell
  • Lovastatin
  • PECAM-1
  • RhoA small GTPase
  • TNF-α
  • eNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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