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

Platelet-derived growth factor regulates vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation by inducing cationic amino acid transporter gene expression.

Since recent studies demonstrated that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) induces vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation by stimulating polyamine synthesis, we examined whether the transcellular transport of L-ornithine, the cationic amino acid precursor of polyamines, could regulate the mitogenic response of PDGF. Treatment of SMC with PDGF stimulated DNA and putrescine synthesis, and this was enhanced further by increasing the extracellular concentration of L-ornithine. The potentiating effect of L-ornithine was reversed by the competitive inhibitor of cationic amino acid transport, methyl-L-arginine, or by preventing putrescine formation with alpha-difluoromethylornithine. Cationic amino acid uptake by SMC was Na+-independent and was mediated by both a high and low affinity carrier system. Treatment of SMC with PDGF initially (0-2 h) decreased basic amino acid transport, while longer exposures (6-24 h) progressively increased uptake. Kinetic studies indicated that PDGF-induced inhibition was associated with a decrease in affinity for cationic amino acids, while the stimulation was mediated by an increase in transport capacity. Endogenous PDGF released by collagen-activated platelets likewise up-regulated cationic amino acid transport in SMC. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction detected the presence of mRNA encoding two distinct cationic amino acid transporter (CAT) proteins, CAT-1 and CAT-2B. Treatment of SMC with PDGF strongly induced the expression CAT-2B mRNA and modestly elevated the level of CAT-1 mRNA. These results demonstrate that PDGF-induced polyamine synthesis and SMC mitogenesis are dependent on the transcellular transport of L-ornithine. The capacity of PDGF to up-regulate the transport of L-ornithine by inducing the expression of the genes for CAT-1 and CAT-2B may modulate its mitogenic effect by providing SMC with the necessary intracellular precursor for polyamine biosynthesis.[1]


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