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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 9;94(25):13630-5.

Opposing mitogenic and anti-mitogenic actions of parathyroid hormone-related protein in vascular smooth muscle cells: a critical role for nuclear targeting.

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Division of Endocrinology, Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, USA.


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is a prohormone that is posttranslationally processed to a family of mature secretory forms, each of which has its own cognate receptor(s) on the cell surface that mediate the actions of PTHrP. In addition to being secreted via the classical secretory pathway and interacting with cell surface receptors in a paracrine/autocrine fashion, PTHrP appears to be able to enter the nucleus directly following translation and influence cellular events in an "intracrine" fashion. In this report, we demonstrate that PTHrP can be targeted to the nucleus in vascular smooth muscle cells, that this nuclear targeting is associated with a striking increase in mitogenesis, that this nuclear effect on proliferation is the diametric opposite of the effects of PTHrP resulting from interaction with cell surface receptors on vascular smooth muscle cells, and that the regions of the PTHrP sequence responsible for this nuclear targeting represent a classical bipartite nuclear localization signal. This report describes the activation of the cell cycle in association with nuclear localization of PTHrP in any cell type. These findings have important implications for the normal physiology of PTHrP in the many tissues which produce it, and suggest that gene delivery of PTHrP or modified variants may be useful in the management of atherosclerotic vascular disease.

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