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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Feb;39(2):250-262. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311830.

TCF7L2 (Transcription Factor 7-Like 2) Regulation of GATA6 (GATA-Binding Protein 6)-Dependent and -Independent Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Plasticity and Intimal Hyperplasia.

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From the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center (R.S., H.R., Y.X., N.L., N,B., L.H., F.E., J.Z., G.G., K.A.M., A.M.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Pathology (A.A.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Surgery (A.G.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, IL (M.N.).
Department of Genetics (A.M.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


Objective- TCF7L2 (transcription factor 7-like 2) is a Wnt-regulated transcription factor that maintains stemness and promotes proliferation in embryonic tissues and adult stem cells. Mice with a coronary artery disease-linked mutation in Wnt-coreceptor LRP6 (LDL receptor-related protein 6) exhibit vascular smooth muscle cell dedifferentiation and obstructive coronary artery disease, which are paradoxically associated with reduced TCF7L2 expression. We conducted a comprehensive study to explore the role of TCF7L2 in vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation and protection against intimal hyperplasia. Approach and Results- Using multiple mouse models, we demonstrate here that TCF7L2 promotes differentiation and inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. TCF7L2 accomplishes these effects by stabilization of GATA6 (GATA-binding protein 6) and upregulation of SM-MHC (smooth muscle cell myosin heavy chain) and cell cycle inhibitors. Accordingly, TCF7L2 haploinsufficient mice exhibited increased susceptibility to injury-induced hyperplasia, while mice overexpressing TCF7L2 were protected against injury-induced intimal hyperplasia compared with wild-type littermates. Consequently, the overexpression of TCF7L2 in LRP6 mutant mice rescued the injury-induced intimal hyperplasia. Conclusions- Our novel findings imply cell type-specific functional role of TCF7L2 and provide critical insight into mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of intimal hyperplasia.


cell cycle; cell differentiation; hyperplasia; mice, laboratory; mutation

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