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J Physiol. 2015 Sep 1;593(17):3815-28. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.285304. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Control of vascular smooth muscle function by Src-family kinases and reactive oxygen species in health and disease.

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Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are now recognised as second messenger molecules that regulate cellular function by reversibly oxidising specific amino acid residues of key target proteins. Amongst these are the Src-family kinases (SrcFKs), a multi-functional group of non-receptor tyrosine kinases highly expressed in vascular smooth muscle (VSM). In this review we examine the evidence supporting a role for ROS-induced SrcFK activity in normal VSM contractile function and in vascular remodelling in cardiovascular disease. VSM contractile responses to G-protein-coupled receptor stimulation, as well as hypoxia in pulmonary artery, are shown to be dependent on both ROS and SrcFK activity. Specific phosphorylation targets are identified amongst those that alter intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, including transient receptor potential channels, voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels and various types of K(+) channels, as well as amongst those that regulate actin cytoskeleton dynamics and myosin phosphatase activity, including focal adhesion kinase, protein tyrosine kinase-2, Janus kinase, other focal adhesion-associated proteins, and Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors. We also examine a growing weight of evidence in favour of a key role for SrcFKs in multiple pro-proliferative and anti-apoptotic signalling pathways relating to oxidative stress and vascular remodelling, with a particular focus on pulmonary hypertension, including growth-factor receptor transactivation and downstream signalling, hypoxia-inducible factors, positive feedback between SrcFK and STAT3 signalling and positive feedback between SrcFK and NADPH oxidase dependent ROS production. We also discuss evidence for and against the potential therapeutic targeting of SrcFKs in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

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