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

Notch-mediated CBF-1/RBP-J{kappa}-dependent regulation of human vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype in vitro.

Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic modulation is a key factor in vascular pathology. We have investigated the role of Notch receptor signaling in controlling human vascular smooth muscle cell (hVSMC) differentiation in vitro and established a role for cyclic strain-induced changes in Notch signaling in promoting this phenotypic response. The expression of alpha-actin, calponin, myosin, and smoothelin was examined by performing immunocytochemistry, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR in hVSMCs cultured under static conditions after forced overexpression of constitutively active Notch 1 and 3 receptors, inhibition of endogenous Cp-binding factor 1 (CBF-1)/recombination signal sequence-binding protein-Jkappa (RBP-Jkappa) signaling, and exposure to cyclic strain using a Flexercell Tension Plus unit. Overexpression of constitutively active Notch intracellular (IC) receptors (Notch 1 IC and Notch 3 IC) resulted in a significant downregulation of alpha-actin, calponin, myosin, and smoothelin expression, an effect that was significantly attenuated after inhibition of Notch-mediated, CBF-1/RBP-Jkappa-dependent signaling by coexpression of RPMS-1 (Epstein-Barr virus-encoded gene product) and selective knockdown of basic helix-loop-helix factors [hairy enhancer of split (HES) gene and Hes-related transcription (Hrt) factors Hrt-1, Hrt-2, and Hrt-3] using targeted small interfering RNA. Cells cultured under conditions of defined equibiaxial cyclic strain (10% strain, 60 cycles/min, 24 h) exhibited a significant reduction in Notch 1 IC and Notch 3 IC expression concomitant with a significant increase in VSMC differentiation marker expression. Moreover, this cyclic strain-induced increase was further enhanced after inhibition of CBF-1/RBP-Jkappa-dependent signaling with RPMS-1. These findings suggest that Notch promotes changes in hVSMC phenotype via activation of CBF-1/RBP-Jkappa-dependent pathways in vitro and contributes to the phenotypic response of VSMCs to cyclic strain-induced changes in VSMC differentiation.[1]


  1. Notch-mediated CBF-1/RBP-J{kappa}-dependent regulation of human vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype in vitro. Morrow, D., Scheller, A., Birney, Y.A., Sweeney, C., Guha, S., Cummins, P.M., Murphy, R., Walls, D., Redmond, E.M., Cahill, P.A. Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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