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Mol Biol Rep. 1995-1996;22(1):1-24.

Signals controlling the expression of PDGF.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


PDGF is an important polypeptide growth factor that plays an essential role during early vertebrate development and is associated with tissue repair and wound healing in the adult vertebrate. Moreover, PDGF is thought to play a role in a variety of pathological phenomena, such as cancer, fibrosis and atherosclerosis. PDGF is expressed as a dimer of A and/or B chains, the precursors of which are encoded by two single copy genes. Although the PDGF genes are expressed coordinately in a number of cell types, they are independently expressed in a majority of cell types. The expression of either PDGF gene can be affected by very diverse extracellular stimuli and the type of response is dependent on the cell type that is exposed to the stimulus. Expression of the PDGF chains can be modulated at every imaginable level: by regulating accessibility of the transcription start site, by varying the transcription initiation rate, by using alternative transcription start sites, by alternative splicing, by using alternative polyadenylation signals, by varying mRNA decay rates, by regulating efficiency of translation, by protein modification, and by regulating secretion. Even upon secretion, the activity of PDGF can be modulated by non-specific or specific PDGF-binding proteins. This review provides an overview of the cell types in which the PDGF genes are expressed, of the factors that are known to affect the expression of PDGF, and of the various levels at which the expression of PDGF genes can be regulated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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