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Surgery. 1997 Aug;122(2):138-44; discussion 144-5.

Activation of pp60c-src is necessary for human vascular smooth muscle cell migration.

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Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass., USA.



The most widely distributed nonreceptor tyrosine kinase is pp60c-src (src), yet the role of this intracellular signaling protein in cell migration has not been defined. Given that smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration is essential for the development of intimal hyperplasia, we investigated the importance of src in locomotion of human vascular SMC.


SMC migration was evaluated using a microchemotaxis chamber assay and videomicroscopy. Src kinase activity was determined by measuring phosphorylation of a synthetic derivative of p34cdc2, a specific substrate for src. Blocking antibodies to src were introduced using a cytoplasmic microinjection technique.


Stimulation of SMC with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and AB resulted in an increase in src activation, whereas PDGF-AA did not consistently enhance src activity. These findings correlated with the ability of the PDGF isotypes to stimulate SMC chemotaxis; PDGF-BB and AB produced 7.4 +/- 0.3- and 5.3 +/- 0.5-fold increases in SMC chemotaxis, whereas PDGF-AA inhibited chemotaxis. SMC migration in response to PDGF-BB and serum was significantly inhibited by intracellular injection of a blocking antibody.


Our findings reveal an association between agonist-induced src activation and chemotaxis. Moreover, an antibody that inhibits src activation dramatically inhibits migration of individual SMC. We conclude that activation of src is necessary for SMC migration. Because of its importance in SMC migration, either molecular or pharmacologic inhibitors of src may be useful in the control of intimal hyperplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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