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J Biol Chem. 2014 Mar 14;289(11):7264-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.518951. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 increases synthesis of collagen type I via induction of the mRNA-binding protein LARP6 expression and binding to the 5' stem-loop of COL1a1 and COL1a2 mRNA.

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From the Heart and Vascular Institute, and Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112 and.


Collagen content in atherosclerotic plaque is a hallmark of plaque stability. Our earlier studies showed that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) increases collagen content in atherosclerotic plaques of Apoe(-/-) mice. To identify mechanisms we investigated the effect of IGF-1 on the la ribonucleoprotein domain family member 6 (LARP6). LARP6 binds a stem-loop motif in the 5'-UTR of the mRNAs encoding the collagen type I α-subunits (α1(I) and α2(I)), and coordinates their translation into the heterotrimeric collagen type I molecule. In human aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs), IGF-1 rapidly increased LARP6 expression and the rate of collagen synthesis and extracellular accumulation. IGF-1 increased both LARP6 and collagen type I expression via a post-transcriptional and translation-dependent mechanism involving PI3K/Akt/p70S6k-signaling. Immunoprecipitation of LARP6, followed by qPCR indicated that IGF-1 increased the level of COL1a1 and COL1a2 mRNA bound to LARP6. Mutation of the 5' stem-loop of Col1a1 mRNA, which inhibits binding of LARP6, abolished the ability of IGF-1 to increase synthesis of collagen type I. Furthermore, overexpression of a 5' stem-loop RNA molecular decoy that sequesters LARP6, prevented the ability of IGF-1 to increase pro-α1(I) and mature α1(I) expression in cultured medium. IGF-1 infusion in Apoe(-/-) mice increased expression of LARP6 and pro-α1(I) in aortic lysates, and SMC-specific IGF-1-overexpression robustly increased collagen fibrillogenesis in atherosclerotic plaque. In conclusion, we identify LARP6 as a critical mediator by which IGF-1 augments synthesis of collagen type I in vascular smooth muscle, which may play an important role in promoting atherosclerotic plaque stability.


5′ Stem-loop; Acheron; Akt; Atherosclerosis; Fibrillogenesis; Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF); Post-transcriptional; Protein Synthesis; Translation; Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

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