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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 May 27;259(1):50-5.

The requirement of both intracellular reactive oxygen species and intracellular calcium elevation for the induction of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor in vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.


Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF), which is a potent mitogen for vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) and fibroblasts, has been reported to be strongly implicated in atherosclerosis and wound healing. HB-EGF mRNA is known to be induced by thrombin, angiotensin-II, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and HB-EGF itself in SMC. In vascular endothelial cells (EC), its mRNA is induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta. Only phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate is a common inducer for HB-EGF mRNA. The present study shows that calcium ionophore A23187 also induced HB-EGF mRNA in both SMC and in EC and that both intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and an increase in calcium levels were essential for the induction of this growth factor mRNA. While HB-EGF caused an increase in both intracellular ROS and calcium in SMC, it increased only calcium, but not the intracellular ROS in EC. When the intracellular ROS was elevated by treatment with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or by depletion of glutathione by buthionine sulfoxamine, both HB-EGF and thrombin were observed to upregulate HB-EGF mRNA in EC. These data suggest that H2O2, produced by activated leukocytes in inflammatory lesions, upregulates HB-EGF mRNA by cooperating with thrombin, angiotensin-II, and the above growth factors. Since activated macrophages under the EC are thought to elevate the ROS in neighboring EC, this mechanism might play a major role in the progression of atherosclerosis and for wound healing.

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