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

Human urotensin II is a novel activator of NADPH oxidase in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.

BACKGROUND: Human urotensin II (hU-II) is a potent vasoactive peptide possibly involved in pulmonary hypertension. Because the signaling mechanisms activated by this peptide in the pulmonary vasculature are largely unknown, we investigated the role of hU-II in the activation of NADPH oxidase and the control of redox-sensitive kinase pathways, expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and proliferation in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). METHODS AND RESULTS: hU-II upregulated expression of the NADPH oxidase subunits p22phox and NOX4 and increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which were abrogated by transfecting p22phox or NOX4 antisense vectors. p22phox and NOX4 also contributed to hU-II- induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and protein kinase B (Akt). Furthermore, hU-II increased the expression of PAI-1 and enhanced PASMC proliferation in an NADPH oxidase- and kinase-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS: hU-II is a potent activator of ROS generation by NADPH oxidase in PASMCs, leading to redox-sensitive activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and Akt and subsequently to enhanced PAI-1 expression and increased proliferation. These findings suggest that hU-II may play a novel role in pulmonary hypertension by promoting remodeling processes via activation of NADPH oxidases.[1]


  1. Human urotensin II is a novel activator of NADPH oxidase in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Djordjevic, T., BelAiba, R.S., Bonello, S., Pfeilschifter, J., Hess, J., Görlach, A. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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