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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanical stretch stimulates growth of vascular smooth muscle cells via epidermal growth factor receptor.

We have studied whether activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is involved in stretch- induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and protein synthesis in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Cyclic stretch (1 Hz) induced a rapid (within 5 min) phosphorylation of ERK1/2, an effect that was time and strength dependent and inhibited by an EGFR kinase inhibitor (AG-1478) but not by a platelet-derived growth factor receptor kinase inhibitor (AG-1296). The stretch rapidly (within 2 min) induced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, among which 180-kDa protein was shown to be EGFR as revealed by blockade with AG-1478 as well as immunoprecipitation with anti-EGFR antibody coupled with immunoblotting with anti-phosphotyrosine antibody. The stretch rapidly (within 2 min) induced association of tyrosine-phosphorylated EGFR with adaptor proteins (Shc/Grb2) as revealed by coprecipitation with glutathione-S-transferase-Grb2 fusion protein coupled with immunoblotting with anti-phosphotyrosine, anti-EGFR, and anti-Shc antibodies. Transfection of a dominant-negative mutant of H-Ras also inhibited stretch-induced ERK1/2 activation. Treatment with a stretch-activated ion channel blocker (Gd(3+)) and an intracellular Ca(2+) antagonist (TMB-8) inhibited stretch-induced phosphorylation of EGFR and ERK1/2. Treatment with AG-1478 and a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor (PD-98059), but not AG-1296, blocked [(3)H]leucine uptake stimulated by a high level of stretch. These data suggest that ERK1/2 activation by mechanical stretch requires Ca(2+)-sensitive EGFR activation mainly via stretch-activated ion channels, thereby leading to VSMC growth.[1]


  1. Mechanical stretch stimulates growth of vascular smooth muscle cells via epidermal growth factor receptor. Iwasaki, H., Eguchi, S., Ueno, H., Marumo, F., Hirata, Y. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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