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Exp Mol Pathol. 2008 Jun;84(3):206-12. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

RNA interference targeting ORC1 gene suppresses the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells in rats.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Southwest Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China. shumaoqin@sina.com.cn

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and postangioplasty restenosis. The largest subunit of the origin recognition complex (ORC), ORC1, plays a critical role during the initiation of DNA replication in eukaryotes. However, the involvement of ORC1 in the initiation of DNA replication in VSMCs has not been studied yet.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to silence ORC1 gene selectively by using RNA interference and analyze the effects of ORC1 gene on the proliferation and apoptosis of rat VSMCs.

METHODS:

Freshly isolated rat VSMCs were transfected with siRNA targeting ORC1 gene capsulated in liposome. ORC1 protein expression was determined by Western blotting and ORC1 mRNA level by RT-PCR. DNA synthesis was analyzed by (3)H thymidine ((3)H-TdR) incorporation and cell proliferative activity and cell cycle distribution by flow cytometry. Two apoptosis-related proteins, Bax and Bcl-2, were examined immunohistochemically.

RESULTS:

Down-regulation of ORC1 mRNA and protein expression was observed in rat VSMCs at 24 h after transfection with the three pairs of siRNA targeting ORC1 gene and this reduction persisted at least 7 days post-transfection. Down-regulation of ORC1 mRNA (60%) and protein (80%) expression was observed at 72 h post-transfection in the cells transfected with B-ORC1 siRNA. A significant decrease in (3)H thymidine incorporation was observed in rat VSMCs with ORC1 gene silencing after serum challenge, but not in the non-silenced control. A significant increase in the proliferation index and a significant decrease in the percentage of cells at G(0)/G(1) phase after serum challenge were observed in the non-silenced control, but not in ORC1 gene silenced cells. A significant increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax was observed after serum challenge in the non-silenced control, but only a slight increase was found in the ORC1 gene silenced cells. ORC1 gene silencing disappeared 7 days after transfection. Continuous serum challenge stimulated VSMCs to synchronously reenter the cell cycle as evidenced by increases in [(3)H] thymidine incorporation, the proliferation index, and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, as non-silenced cells were induced to resume cell cycle progression by the addition of 15% fetal bovine serum to the culture medium.

CONCLUSION:

ORC1 gene silencing causes rat VSMCs to enter a reversible G(0) quiescent, growth arrested state; thus, ORC1 gene may be an important new target for suppressing VSMCs proliferation.

PMID:
18499104
DOI:
10.1016/j.yexmp.2008.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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