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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 May 2024 - 24 May 2024

2024 May 18

Commun Biol




Endothelial ROBO4 suppresses PTGS2/COX-2 expression and inflammatory diseases.


Tanaka M, Shirakura K, Takayama Y, Μatsui M, Watanabe Y, Yamamoto T, Takahashi J, Tanaka S, Hino N, Doi T, Obana M, Fujio Y, Takayama K, Okada Y


Accumulating evidence suggests that endothelial cells can be useful therapeutic targets. One of the potential targets is an endothelial cell-specific protein, Roundabout4 (ROBO4). ROBO4 has been shown to ameliorate multiple diseases in mice, including infectious diseases and sepsis. However, its mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, using RNA-seq analysis, we found that ROBO4 downregulates prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), which encodes cyclooxygenase-2. Mechanistic analysis reveals that ROBO4 interacts with IQ motif-containing GTPase-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) and TNF receptor-associated factor 7 (TRAF7), a ubiquitin E3 ligase. In this complex, ROBO4 enhances IQGAP1 ubiquitination through TRAF7, inhibits prolonged RAC1 activation, and decreases PTGS2 expression in inflammatory endothelial cells. In addition, Robo4-deficiency in mice exacerbates PTGS2-associated inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, edema, and pain. Thus, we reveal the molecular mechanism by which ROBO4 suppresses the inflammatory response and vascular hyperpermeability, highlighting its potential as a promising therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases.