Involvement of microtubules, p38, and Rho kinases pathway in 2-methoxyestradiol-induced lung vascular barrier dysfunction

Natalia V. Bogatcheva, Djanybek Adyshev, Bolot Mambetsariev, Nurgul Moldobaeva, Alexander D. Verin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


2-Methoxyestradiol (2ME), a promising anti-tumor agent, is currently tested in phase I/II clinical trial to assess drug tolerance and clinical effects. 2ME is known to affect microtubule (MT) polymerization rather than act through estrogen receptors. We hypothesized that 2ME, similar to other MT inhibitors, disrupts endothelial barrier properties. We show that 2ME decreases transendothelial electrical resistance and increases FITC-dextran leakage across human pulmonary artery endothelial monolayer, which correlates with 2ME-induced MT depolymerization. Pretreatment of endothelium with MT stabilizer taxol significantly attenuates the decrease in transendothelial resistance. 2ME treatment results in the induction of F-actin stress fibers, accompanied by the increase in myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation. The experiments with Rho kinase (ROCK) and MLC kinase inhibitors and ROCK small interfering RNA (siRNA) revealed that increase in MLC phosphorylation is attributed to the ROCK activation rather than MLC kinase activation. 2ME induces significant ERK1/2, p38, and JNK phosphorylation and activation; however, only p38 activation is relevant to the 2ME-induced endothelial hyperpermeability. p38 activation is accompanied by a marked increase in MAPKAP2 and 27-kDa heat shock protein (HSP27) phosphorylation level. Taxol significantly decreases p38 phosphorylation and activation in response to 2ME stimulation. Vice versa, p38 inhibitor SB203580 attenuates MT rearrangement in 2ME-challenged cells. Together, these results indicate that 2ME-induced barrier disruption is governed by MT depolymerization and p38- and ROCK-dependent mechanisms. The fact that certain concentrations of 2ME induce endothelial hyperpermeability suggests that the issue of the maximum-tolerated dose of 2ME for cancer treatment should be addressed with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L487-L499
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Permeability
  • Tubulin reorganization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Involvement of microtubules, p38, and Rho kinases pathway in 2-methoxyestradiol-induced lung vascular barrier dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this