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

Heparin prevents vascular smooth muscle cell progression through the G1 phase of the cell cycle.

To gain insight into the mechanism of the antiproliferative effects of heparin on vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC), the influence of this glycosaminoglycan on cell cycle progression and the expression of the c-fos, c-myc, and c-myb proto-oncogenes and two other growth-regulated genes was examined. SMC, synchronized by a serum-deprivation protocol, enter S phase 12-16 h after serum stimulation. Pretreatment with heparin for 48 h blocked the induction of histone H3 RNA, an S phase-expressed product, and prevented cell replication. Thus, heparin prevents entry of cells into S phase. Conversely, heparin had essentially no effect on changes in expression of the c-fos and c-myc proto-oncogenes during the G0 to G1 transition. Normal increases in c-fos and c-myc RNA were observed 30 min and 2 h following serum addition, respectively. However, the increase in expression of the mRNA of the c-myb proto-oncogene and the mitochondrial ATP/ADP carrier protein, 2F1, which begins to occur 8 h following serum addition to SMC, was completely inhibited by heparin. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the products of a rabbit reticulocyte cell-free translation of RNA isolated at various times confirmed this temporal assessment of the effects of heparin. These results suggest that heparin does not inhibit cell proliferation by blocking the G0 to G1 transition. Rather, heparin may affect a critical event in the mid-G1 phase of the cell cycle which is necessary for subsequent DNA synthesis.[1]


  1. Heparin prevents vascular smooth muscle cell progression through the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Reilly, C.F., Kindy, M.S., Brown, K.E., Rosenberg, R.D., Sonenshein, G.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1989) [Pubmed]
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