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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Sep 20;439(2):235-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.08.051. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Apelin-13-induced proliferation and migration induced of rat vascular smooth muscle cells is mediated by the upregulation of Egr-1.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Qi-Feng Liu, Hong-Wei Yu, Lu You, Ming-Xin Liu, Ke-Yan Li, Gui-Zhou Tao


  1. Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou 121001, China.

PMID: 23973488 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.08.051


Apelin-13 plays an important role in the migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs); however, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Egr-1 is a nuclear transcription factor, which is considered to be the critical initiating factor of the processes of VSMC proliferation and migration. Egr-1 is known to regulate the expression of osteopontin (OPN), which is a marker of the phenotypic modulation that is a necessary condition of VSMC proliferation and migration. We hypothesized that the role of Apelin-13 is mediated via upregulation of Egr-1. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effects of Apelin-13 treatment on Egr-1 mRNA and protein expression in A10 rat aortic VSMCs by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Results showed that, Apelin-13 upregulated the expression of Egr-1. Furthermore, treatment with the extracellular-regulated protein kinase (ERK) inhibitor, PD98059, inhibited the upregulation of Egr-1 by Apelin-13. In addition, this upregulation was inhibited by treatment of VSMCs with the Egr-1 specific deoxyribozyme ED5 (DNAenzyme/10-23 DRz). Furthermore, ED5 treatment was found to significantly inhibit Apelin-13-induced migration and proliferation of VSMCs using transwell and MTT assays, respectively. The evaluation of OPN mRNA and protein expression levels by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses revealed that ED5 treatment also inhibited Apelin-13-induced OPN upregulation. The results of this study indicated that Apelin-13 upregulates Egr-1 via ERK. Furthermore, Apelin-13 induced the proliferation and migration of VSMCs as well as the upregulation of OPN via the upregulation of Egr-1. These results will provide an important theoretical and experimental basis for the control of inappropriate remodeling of vessel walls, and will hopefully lead to the prevention and treatment of vascular remodeling diseases.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Keywords: Apelin-13; Early growth response factor-1; Migration; Osteopontin; Proliferation; Vascular smooth muscle cells


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