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Endocrinology. 1999 Oct;140(10):4659-68.

Endothelin-mediated vascular growth requires p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase and p70 S6 kinase cascades via transactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide, exerts a growth-promoting effect on vascular smooth muscle cells, implicating its pathogenic role in vascular remodeling. To gain insight into the cellular and molecular mechanism whereby ET-1 induces vascular growth, we studied whether transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinases, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor, are required for activation of p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), and subsequent growth-promotion by ET-1 in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells. Immunoblotting with antiphosphotyrosine antibody revealed that ET-1 rapidly (within 2 min) and transiently induced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, among which 180-kDa protein was shown to be EGFR. ET-1 rapidly increased association of EGFR and Shc with glutathione-S-transferase-Grb2 fusion protein. The ET-1-induced activation of MAP kinase was reduced by an EGFR kinase inhibitor (AG1478) but not by a platelet-derived growth factor receptor kinase inhibitor (AG1296). AG1478 dose-dependently decreased ET-1-stimulated MAP kinase activity as well as [3H]leucine and [3H]thymidine uptake. The ET-1-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of EGFR, as well as MAP kinase activation, was inhibited by an ETA receptor antagonist and intracellular Ca2+ antagonists but not by an ETB receptor antagonist, pertussis toxin, or protein kinase C inhibitors. In addition, dominant negative mutant of H-Ras and a MAP kinase kinase (MEK-1) inhibitor (PD98059) completely blocked ET-1-induced MAP kinase activation as well as [3H]leucine and [3H]thymidine uptake. Both AG1478 and PD98059 inhibited ET-1-induced phosphorylation and activation of p70S6K. Furthermore, rapamycin, a selective inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin, completely blocked ET-1-stimulated [3H]leucine and [3H]thymidine uptake. These results suggest that ETA receptor-mediated vascular growth by ET-1 requires both MAP kinase and p70S6K cascades mediated partly via Ca2+-dependent EGFR transactivation.

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