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Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Sep;6(9):872-83. Epub 2004 Aug 22.

Dysregulation of HSG triggers vascular proliferative disorders.

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The Institute of Cardiovascular Science & The Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, Beijing 100083, China.


Vascular proliferative disorders, such as atherosclerosis and restenosis, are the most common causes of severe cardiovascular diseases, but a common molecular mechanism remains elusive. Here, we identify and characterize a novel hyperplasia suppressor gene, named HSG (later re-named rat mitofusin-2). HSG expression was markedly reduced in hyper-proliferative vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from spontaneously hypertensive rat arteries, balloon-injured Wistar Kyoto rat arteries, or ApoE-knockout mouse atherosclerotic arteries. Overexpression of HSG overtly suppressed serum-evoked VSMC proliferation in culture, and blocked balloon injury induced neointimal VSMC proliferation and restenosis in rat carotid arteries. The HSG anti-proliferative effect was mediated by inhibition of ERK/MAPK signalling and subsequent cell-cycle arrest. Deletion of the p21(ras) signature motif, but not the mitochondrial targeting domain, abolished HSG-induced growth arrest, indicating that rHSG-induced anti-proliferation was independent of mitochondrial fusion. Thus, rHSG functions as a cell proliferation suppressor, whereas dysregulation of rHSG results in proliferative disorders.

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