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

Activation of GATA-4 by serotonin in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) is a mitogen of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) and plays an important role in the development of pulmonary hypertension. Signal transduction initiated by 5-HT involves serotonin transporter-dependent generation of reactive oxygen species and activation of the MEK-ERK pathway. However, the downstream transcriptional regulatory components have not been identified. In systemic smooth muscle cells, GATA-6 has been shown to regulate mitogenesis by driving cells into a quiescent state, and the down-regulation of GATA-6 induces mitogenesis. Thus, the present study tested the hypothesis that 5-HT induces mitogenesis of PASMC by down-regulating GATA-6. Quiescent bovine PASMC were treated with 5-HT, and the binding activity of nuclear extracts toward GATA DNA sequence was monitored. Surprisingly, PASMC express GATA-4, and 5-HT up-regulates the GATA DNA binding activity. Pretreatment of cells with inhibitors of serotonin transporter, reactive oxygen species, and MEK blocks GATA-4 activation by 5-HT. GATA-4 is not activated when the ERK phosphorylation site is mutated, indicating that 5-HT phosphorylates GATA-4 via the MEK/ERK pathway. GATA up-regulation is also induced by other mitogens of PASMC such as endothelin-1 and platelet-derived growth factor. Dominant negative mutants of GATA-4 suppress cyclin D2 expression and cell growth, indicating that GATA-4 activation regulates PASMC proliferation. Thus, GATA-4 mediates 5-HT-induced growth of PASMC and may be an important therapeutic target for the prevention of pulmonary hypertension.[1]


  1. Activation of GATA-4 by serotonin in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Suzuki, Y.J., Day, R.M., Tan, C.C., Sandven, T.H., Liang, Q., Molkentin, J.D., Fanburg, B.L. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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