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Circ Res. 1998 Feb 9;82(2):139-46.

Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase inhibits osteopontin and thrombospondin production in rat aortic smooth muscle cells.

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Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-0019, USA.


Vascular lesions resulting from injury are characterized by a thickening of the intima brought about in part through the production of increased amounts of extracellular matrix proteins by the vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), an important mediator of NO and cGMP signaling in VSMCs, inhibits the production of two extracellular matrix proteins, osteopontin and thrombospondin, which are involved in the formation of the neointima. VSMCs deficient in PKG were stably transfected with cDNAs encoding either the holoenzyme PKG-Ialpha or the constitutively active catalytic domain of PKG-I in order to directly examine the effects of PKG on osteopontin and thrombospondin production. Cells expressing either of the PKG constructs had dramatically reduced levels of osteopontin and thrombospondin-1 protein compared with control-transfected PKG-deficient cells. PKG transfection also altered the morphology of the VSMCs. These results indicate that PKG may be involved in suppressing extracellular matrix protein expression, which is one important characteristic of synthetic secretory VSMCs. Suppression of these matrix proteins may underlie the effects of NO-cGMP signaling to inhibit VSMC migration and phenotypic modulation.

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