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Hypertension. 1996 Mar;27(3 Pt 2):502-7.

Role of transcriptional cis-elements, angiotensinogen gene-activating elements, of angiotensinogen gene in blood pressure regulation.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


Results of recent genetic studies suggest that the angiotensinogen gene is a possible determinant of hypertension. Using antisense technology, we demonstrated that generation of circulating angiotensinogen is a rate-limiting step in blood pressure regulation. In the present study, we examined how the angiotensinogen gene is regulated in vivo. The transcriptional cis-elements, angiotensinogen gene-activating elements (AGE) 2 and 3, have been reported to regulate angiotensinogen production in human hepatocytes in vitro. To determine the critical transcriptional regulator of angiotensinogen production in vivo, we used synthetic double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) as "decoy" cis-elements to block the binding of nuclear factors to promoter regions of the targeted gene, resulting in the inhibition of gene transactivation. Here we examined whether AGE 2 and AGE 3 in the promoter region of the angiotensinogen gene have a pivotal role in hepatic angiotensinogen production in vivo. Hepatic angiotensinogen mRNA was decreased by the transfection of AGE 2 but not mismatched decoy ODN. Transfection of decoy but not mismatched ODN against AGE 2 resulted in a transient decrease in blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), accompanied by a reduction in plasma angiotensinogen and angiotensin II levels. In contrast, transfection of AGE 3 decoy ODN had little effect on blood pressure. Overall, our results demonstrate that transfection of decoy ODN against AGE 2, but not against AGE 3, of the angiotensinogen gene resulted in a transient decrease in high blood pressure of SHR, suggesting that the transcriptional cis-element AGE 2, rather than AGE 3, has an important role in blood pressure regulation through the control of circulating angiotensinogen.

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