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J Pharmacol Sci. 2012;119(1):91-6. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Down-regulation of myosin light chain kinase expression in vascular smooth muscle cells accelerates cell proliferation: requirement of its actin-binding domain for reversion to normal rates.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


Myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) is a multi-domain protein with kinase and actin-binding domains, among others. Deficiency of MLCK expression in GBaSM-4 vascular smooth muscle cells enhanced cell proliferation rate and shortened cell doubling time. Transient transfection of the MLCK-deficient cells with cDNA constructs of either wild-type MLCK or its mutant lacking the kinase activity reverted the cell proliferation rate to that of wild-type cells, whereas that of MLCK lacking the actin-binding domain maintained cell proliferation at an elevated rate similar to the MLCK-deficient cells. Thus, the actin-binding domain of MLCK seems to play a role in regulating cell proliferation.

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