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Physiol Genomics. 2008 Dec 12;36(1):1-14. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90291.2008. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Mechanical strain activates a program of genes functionally involved in paracrine signaling of angiogenesis.

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1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203-2098, USA.

Abstract

Studies were performed to examine the extent to which mechanical stimuli mediate control of angiogenesis in bladder cells both in vitro and in vivo. Differential gene expression between control nonstretched and cyclically stretched bladder smooth muscle cells was assessed using oligonucleotide microarrays and pathway analysis by the web tool Fast Assignment and Transference of Information (FatiGO). Data showed that a substantial proportion (33 of 86) of mechanically responsive genes were angiogenesis-related and include cytokines, growth-related factors, adhesion proteins, and matricellular, signal transduction, extracellular matrix (ECM), and inflammatory molecules. Integrative knowledge of protein-protein interactions revealed that 12 mechano-sensitive gene-encoded proteins have interacting partner(s) in the vascular system confirming their potential role in paracrine regulation of angiogenesis. Angiogenic genes include matricellular proteins such as Cyr61/CCN1, CTGF/CCN2 and tenascin C, components of the VEGF and IGF systems, ECM proteins such as type I collagen and proteoglycans, and matrix metalloproteinases. In an in vivo model of bladder overdistension, 5 of 11 mechano-responsive angiogenic genes, independently tested by real-time PCR, were upregulated as a result of pressure overload including Cyr61/CCN1, CTGF/CCN2, MCP-1, VEGF-A, MMP-1, and midkine. Meanwhile, the molecular anatomy of angiogenic gene promoters reveals the presence of GA box-binding for the myc-associated zinc finger protein, MAZ, often found adjacent to binding sites for mechano-responsive transcription factors (e.g., NF-kappaB), suggesting that the coordinated activity of these factors may induce selective angiogenic gene transcription. These data suggest that mechanical control of angiogenic genes is an integral part of the adaptive and plasticity responses to mechanical overload.

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