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

Signaling mechanisms of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor in vascular smooth muscle cells.

A host of growth factors have been implicated in vascular pathologies; one such factor is heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF). Although HB-EGF has been shown to stimulate mitogenesis and chemotaxis of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), its signaling mechanism remains undefined. In this study, we examined possible signal transduction pathways by which HB-EGF leads to mitogenesis in cultured rat VSMC. HB-EGF induced phosphorylation of the EGF receptor (EGFR) with maximum phosphorylation at 0.5 to 1 minute, whereas erbB4, the other receptor to which HB-EGF binds, was not activated on HB-EGF stimulation. HB-EGF induced a time- and concentration-dependent phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK; p42/44 MAPK, extracellular signal-regulating kinase [ERK] 1/2). It also activated Akt and p70S6 kinase (p70S6K) but not p38 MAPK. HB-EGF-induced phosphorylation of these kinases was blocked by the EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478. To investigate signaling molecules involved in HB-EGF-induced DNA synthesis, we pretreated VSMC with the specific ERK kinase mitogen- activated kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059 and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. These inhibitors significantly blocked HB-EGF-induced DNA synthesis. PD98059 inhibited HB-EGF- induced ERK activation, whereas it had no effect on Akt activation by HB-EGF. By contrast, LY294002 inhibited HB-EGF- induced Akt and p70S6K activation without effecting ERK activation by HB-EGF. These results demonstrate that HB-EGF- induced mitogenesis requires both ERK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (Akt and p70S6K) pathways activated through EGFR, thereby providing a new mechanistic insight by which HB-EGF contributes to vascular remodeling.[1]


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