Cardiovascular Functions of Ena/VASP Proteins: Past, Present and Beyond

  • Peter M Benz
  • Timo Frömel
  • Hebatullah Laban
  • Joana Zink
  • Lea Ulrich
  • Dieter Groneberg
  • Reinier A Boon
  • Philip Poley
  • Thomas Renne
  • Cor de Wit
  • Ingrid Fleming


Actin binding proteins are of crucial importance for the spatiotemporal regulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics, thereby mediating a tremendous range of cellular processes. Since their initial discovery more than 30 years ago, the enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (Ena/VASP) family has evolved as one of the most fascinating and versatile family of actin regulating proteins. The proteins directly enhance actin filament assembly, but they also organize higher order actin networks and link kinase signaling pathways to actin filament assembly. Thereby, Ena/VASP proteins regulate dynamic cellular processes ranging from membrane protrusions and trafficking, and cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions, to the generation of mechanical tension and contractile force. Important insights have been gained into the physiological functions of Ena/VASP proteins in platelets, leukocytes, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. In this review, we summarize the unique and redundant functions of Ena/VASP proteins in cardiovascular cells and discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Article number1740
Publication statusPublished - 28.06.2023
PubMed 37443774