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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000 May;20(5):1216-24.

Doxazosin inhibits retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation and G(1)-->S transition in human coronary smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Previous studies have demonstrated that the alpha(1)-adrenergic receptor antagonist doxazosin (Dox) inhibits multiple mitogenic signaling pathways in human vascular smooth muscle cells. This broad antiproliferative activity of Dox occurs through a novel mechanism unrelated to its blocking the alpha(1)-adrenergic receptor. Flow cytometry demonstrated that Dox prevents mitogen-induced G(1)-->S progression of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (CASMCs) in a dose-dependent manner, with a maximal reduction of S-phase transition by 88+/-10.5% in 20 ng/mL platelet-derived growth factor and 1 micromol/L insulin (P+I)-stimulated cells (P<0.01 for 10 micromol/L Dox versus P+I alone) and 52+/-18.7% for 10% FBS-induced mitogenesis (P<0.05 for 10 micromol/L Dox versus 10% FBS alone). Inhibition of G(1) exit by Dox was accompanied by a significant blockade of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) phosphorylation. Hypophosphorylated Rb sequesters the E2F transcription factor, leading to G(1) arrest. Adenoviral overexpression of E2F-1 stimulated quiescent CASMCs to progress through G(1) and enter the S phase. E2F-mediated G(1) exit was not affected by Dox, suggesting that it targets events upstream from Rb hyperphosphorylation. Downregulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitory protein p27 is important for maximal activation of G(1) cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase holoenzymes to overcome the cell cycle inhibitory activity of Rb. In Western blot analysis, p27 levels decreased after mitogenic stimulation (after P+I, 43+/-1.8% of quiescent cells [P<0.01 versus quiescent cells]; after 10% FBS, 55+/-7.7% of quiescent cells [P<0. 05 versus quiescent cells]), whereas the addition of Dox (10 micromol/L) markedly attenuated its downregulation (after P+I, 90+/-8.3% of quiescent cells [P<0.05 versus P+I alone]; after 10% FBS, 78+/-8.3% of quiescent cells [P<0.05 versus 10% FBS alone]). Furthermore, Dox inhibited cyclin A expression, an E2F regulated gene that is essential for cell cycle progression into the S phase. The present study demonstrates that Dox inhibits CASMC proliferation by blocking cell cycle progression from the G(0)/G(1) phase to the S phase. This G(1)-->S blockade likely results from an inhibition of mitogen-induced Rb hyperphosphorylation through prevention of p27 downregulation.

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