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Cardiovasc Res. 2010 Sep 1;87(4):647-55. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvq123. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Fra-2 mediates oxygen-sensitive induction of transforming growth factor beta in cardiac fibroblasts.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 513 Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, 473 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

In the ischaemia-reperfused heart, transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) proteins trigger the differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) contributing to fibrosis. Reoxygenation of the heart, in addition to being a trigger for reperfusion injury, induces tissue remodelling by hyperoxia-sensitive signalling processes involving TGFbeta. Here, we sought to characterize the molecular mechanisms responsible for the O(2)-sensitive transcriptional induction of TGFbeta in murine CF and to test the significance of such findings in the infarcted myocardium in vivo using laser capture microdissection.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

All three isoforms of TGFbeta were induced in the CF-rich peri-infarct tissue as well as in CF exposed to hyperoxic challenge. Reporter studies demonstrated that TGFbeta transcription is hyperoxia inducible. Deletion of any one or both of the activating protein-1 (AP-1) binding sites in the TGFbeta reporter construct resulted in loss of O(2) sensitivity, demonstrating that AP-1 confers O(2) sensitivity to TGFbeta transcription. Fos-related AP-1 transcription factor (Fra-2) and Ask-1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1) were identified as key mediators of AP-1-dependent O(2)-sensitive TGFbeta transcription. Knockdown of Fra-2 significantly blunted O(2)-induced expression of TGFbeta1 as well as TGFbeta3 in CF. Knockdown of Ask-1 blunted hyperoxia-induced Fra-2 gene expression and nuclear localization in CF. Collectively, these observations point towards a central role of Ask-1 and Fra-2 in O(2)-inducible AP-1 activation and induction of TGFbeta.

CONCLUSION:

Taken together with the observation that Fra-2-regulated genes are implicated in fibrosis, identification of Fra-2 as an O(2)-sensitive transcriptional regulator of inducible TGFbeta expression positions Fra-2 as an important player in reoxygenation-induced fibrosis.

PMID:
20427335
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2920807
Free PMC Article

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