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J Biol Chem. 2010 Feb 5;285(6):4038-48. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.078345. Epub 2009 Nov 23.

c-Jun regulates shear- and injury-inducible Egr-1 expression, vein graft stenosis after autologous end-to-side transplantation in rabbits, and intimal hyperplasia in human saphenous veins.

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Centre for Vascular Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem. 2013 Nov 1;288(44):31918.


Coronary artery bypass graft failure represents an unsolved problem in interventional cardiology and heart surgery. Late occlusion of autologous saphenous vein bypass grafts is a consequence of neointima formation underpinned by smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration and proliferation. Poor long term patency and the lack of pharmacologic agents that prevent graft failure necessitate effective alternative therapies. Our objective here was to evaluate the effect of targeted inhibition of the bZIP transcription factor c-Jun on intimal hyperplasia in human saphenous veins and vein graft stenosis after autologous end-to-side transplantation. DNAzymes targeting c-Jun attenuated intimal hyperplasia in human saphenous vein explants. Adenovirus-forced c-Jun expression stimulated SMC proliferation, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and MMP-2 expression. c-Jun DNAzymes abrogated Adeno-c-Jun-inducible SMC growth and wound repair and reduced intimal thickening in jugular veins of New Zealand white rabbits 4 weeks after autologous end-to-side transplantation to carotid arteries. Conversely, in a DNAzyme-free setting, Adeno-c-Jun potentiated neointima formation in the veins compared with Adeno-LacZ. Inducible c-Jun expression is ERK1/2- and JNK-dependent but p38-independent. Injury- and shear-inducible c-Jun controls early growth response-1. These data demonstrate that strategies targeting c-Jun may be useful for the prevention of vein graft stenosis. Control of one important shear-responsive transcription factor by another indicates the existence of transcriptional amplification mechanisms that magnify the vascular response to cell injury or stress through inducible transcriptional networks.

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