Send to

Choose Destination
Kidney Int. 2002 Oct;62(4):1149-59.

CTGF expression in mesangial cells: involvement of SMADs, MAP kinase, and PKC.

Author information

FibroGen, Inc., 225 Gateway Boulevard, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.



The induction of excess matrix in renal fibrosis seems to be mediated, at least in part, by the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-mediated induction of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in mesangial cells.


By examining CTGF protein and mRNA expression and promoter activity in the presence or absence of TGF-beta or inhibitors, the signaling pathways controlling basal and TGF-beta-induced CTGF expression in mesangial cells were investigated.


TGF-beta enhances CTGF mRNA and protein expression in mesangial cells. Mutation of a consensus SMAD binding element in the CTGF promoter completely abolished TGF-beta-induced CTGF expression and reduced basal CTGF expression. The previously identified basal control element-1 (BCE-1) site, but not Sp1 contributes to basal CTGF promoter activity. Ras/MEK/ERK, protein kinase C (PKC) and tyrosine kinase activity also contribute to basal and TGF-beta-induced CTGF promoter activity in cultured mesangial cells.


The TGF-beta-induction of CTGF in mesangial cells requires SMADs and PKC/ras/MEK/ERK pathways. SMADs are involved in basal CTGF expression, which presumably reflects the fact that mesangial cells express TGF-beta endogenously. TGF-beta also induces CTGF through ras/MEK/ERK. Inhibiting ras/MEK/ERK seems not to reduce phosphorylation (that is, activation) of SMADs, suggesting that SMADs, although necessary, are insufficient for the TGF-beta-stimulation of the CTGF promoter through ras/MEK/ERK. Thus, maximal TGF-beta induction of CTGF requires synergy between SMAD and ras/MEK/ERK signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center