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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2006 Aug;41(2):236-47. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Using U0126 to dissect the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) cascade in the regulation of gene expression by endothelin-1 in cardiac myocytes.

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National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) Division, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Flowers Building (Floor 4), UK.


The hypertrophic agonist endothelin-1 rapidly but transiently activates the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) cascade (and other signalling pathways) in cardiac myocytes, but the events linking this to hypertrophy are not understood. Using Affymetrix rat U34A microarrays, we identified the short-term (2-4 h) changes in gene expression induced in neonatal myocytes by endothelin-1 alone or in combination with the ERK1/2 cascade inhibitor, U0126. Expression of 15 genes was significantly changed by U0126 alone, and expression of an additional 78 genes was significantly changed by endothelin-1. Of the genes upregulated by U0126, four are classically induced through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) by dioxins suggesting that U0126 activates the xenobiotic response element in cardiac myocytes potentially independently of effects on ERK1/2 signalling. The 78 genes showing altered expression with endothelin-1 formed five clusters: (i) three clusters showing upregulation by endothelin-1 according to time course (4 h > 2 h; 2 h > 4 h; 2 h approximately 4 h) with at least partial inhibition by U0126; (ii) a cluster of 11 genes upregulated by endothelin-1 but unaffected by U0126 suggesting regulation through signalling pathways other than ERK1/2; (iii) a cluster of six genes downregulated by endothelin-1 with attenuation by U0126. Thus, U0126 apparently activates the AhR in cardiac myocytes (which must be taken into account in protracted studies), but careful analysis allows identification of genes potentially regulated acutely via the ERK1/2 cascade. Our data suggest that the majority of changes in gene expression induced by endothelin-1 are mediated by the ERK1/2 cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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