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

Role of the actin cytoskeleton in angiotensin II signaling in human vascular smooth muscle cells.

Angiotensin II (Ang II) regulates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) function by activating signaling cascades that promote vasoconstriction, growth, and inflammation. Subcellular mechanisms coordinating these processes are unclear. In the present study, we questioned the role of the actin cytoskeleton in Ang II mediated signaling through mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in VSMCs. Human VSMCs were studied. Cells were exposed to Ang II (10-7 mol/L) in the absence and presence of cytochalasin B (10-6 mol/L, 60 min), which disrupts the actin cytoskeleton. Phosphorylation of p38MAP kinase, JNK, and ERK1/2 was assessed by immuno blotting. ROS generation was measured using the fluoroprobe chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (4 micromol/L). Interaction between the cytoskeleton and NADPH oxidase was determined by evaluating the presence of p47phox in the Triton X-100 insoluble membrane fraction. Ang II significantly increased phosphorylation of p38MAP kinase, JNK, and ERK1/2 (two- to threefold above control, p < 0.05). Cytochalasin B pretreatment attenuated p38MAP kinase and JNK effects (p < 0.05) without altering ERK1/2 phosphorylation. ROS formation, which was increased in Ang II stimulated cells, was significantly reduced by cytochalasin B (p < 0.01). p47phox, critically involved in NADPH oxidase activation, colocalized with the actin cytoskeleton in Ang II stimulated cells. Our data demonstrate that Ang II mediated ROS formation and activation of p38MAP kinase and JNK, but not ERK1/2, involves the actin cytoskeleton in VSMCs. In addition, Ang II promotes interaction between actin and p47phox. These data indicate that the cytoskeleton is involved in differential MAP kinase signaling and ROS generation by Ang II in VSMCs. Together, these studies suggest that the cytoskeleton may be a central point of crosstalk in growth- and redox-signaling pathways by Ang II, which may be important in the regulation of VSMC function.[1]


  1. Role of the actin cytoskeleton in angiotensin II signaling in human vascular smooth muscle cells. Touyz, R.M., Yao, G., Schiffrin, E.L. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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