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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2006 Feb;290(2):C352-61. Epub 2005 Sep 21.

Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of angiopoietin-2 expression mediated by IGF and PDGF in vascular smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.


Angiopoietins play a significant role in vascular development and angiogenesis. Both angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) bind the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2. However, while Ang1 signaling results in the stabilization of vessel structure, Ang2 has been linked to vascular instability. The ratio of these two Tie2 ligands is thus critical for vascular stability and remodeling. This study identifies a mechanism of growth factor-mediated reduction in Ang2 expression in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In response to PDGF, VSMCs downregulated Ang2 mRNA levels by 75% within 4 h, with a subsequent decrease in Ang2 protein levels. Quantitation of endogenous transcription rates revealed that PDGF stimulation did not alter Ang2 transcription rates, but instead induced a posttranscriptional mechanism of rapid Ang2 mRNA destabilization. The Ang2 mRNA half-life was reduced by at least 50% after PDGF treatment. The PDGF-induced mRNA turnover mechanism was dependent on several MAPK pathways, including ERK and JNK. In contrast, IGF-I, which did not significantly activate ERK or JNK, stimulated increased Ang2 expression through transcriptional activation. These findings demonstrate that VSMCs adjust Ang2 expression through multiple mechanisms, including changes in transcription as well as posttranscriptional mRNA destabilization.

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