Molecular mechanisms that control the formation and integrity of endothelial junctions are important for the development of blood vessels and for the stability and regulation of the vasculature during inflammatory processes. We have recently shown that the endothelial specific receptor type tyrosine phosphatase VE-PTP is an important regulator of endothelial junctions and of blood vessel development. We found that the adhesion molecule VE-cadherin as well as the tyrosine kinase receptor Tie-2 represents important substrates of VE-PTP. The seminar will discuss how the interplay of these membrane proteins influences the integrity of blood vessels and thereby leukocyte extravasation and vascular permeability.
Dietmar Vestweber studied biochemistry at the Universities of Tuebingen and Munich, and received his diploma in 1982. He received his PhD in 1985 at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen for studies on the role of E-cadherin in epithelial junction formation. From 1987 – 1989 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel (Switzerland) working on the mechanisms of protein transport into mitochondria. In 1990 he started an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, where he turned to study leukocyte trafficking. In 1994 Vestweber became full professor for Cell Biology at the University of Muenster. In 1999 he became director of the department of Vascular Cell Biology of the Max Planck Institute in Bad Nauheim. Since 2001 he is the founding director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster. He is interested in leukocyte trafficking and vascular integrity.