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

Midkine, a newly discovered regulator of the renin-angiotensin pathway in mouse aorta: significance of the pleiotrophin/midkine developmental gene family in angiotensin II signaling.

We previously demonstrated that pleiotrophin ( PTN the protein, Ptn the gene) highly regulates the levels of expression of the genes encoding the proteins of the renin-angiotensin pathway in mouse aorta. We now demonstrate that the levels of expression of these same genes are significantly regulated in mouse aorta by the PTN family member midkine ( MK the protein, Mk the gene); a 3-fold increase in expression of renin, an 82-fold increase in angiotensinogen, a 6-fold decrease in the angiotensin converting enzyme, and a 6.5-fold increase in the angiotensin II type 1 and a 9-fold increase in the angiotensin II type 2 receptor mRNAs were found in Mk-/- mouse aorta in comparison with the wild type (WT, +/+). The results in Mk-/- mice are remarkably similar to those previously reported in Ptn-/- mouse aorta, with the single exception of that the levels of the angiotensinogen gene expression in Ptn-/- mice are equal to those in WT+/+ mouse aorta, and thus, in contrast to Mk gene expression unaffected by levels of Ptn gene expression. The data indicate that MK and PTN share striking but not complete functional redundancy. These data support potentially high levels importance of MK and the MK/ PTN developmental gene family in downstream signals initiated by angiotensin II either in development or in the many pathological conditions in which MK expression levels are increased, such as atherosclerosis and many human neoplasms that acquire constitutive endogenous Mk gene expression by mutation during tumor progression and potentially provide a target through the renin-angiotensin pathway to treat advanced malignancies.[1]


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