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

Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor regulates fibroblast growth factor-2 expression in aortic smooth muscle cells.

Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is a vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) mitogen and chemotactic factor that is expressed by endothelial cells, SMCs, monocytes/macrophages, and T lymphocytes. Both the membrane-anchored HB-EGF precursor and the secreted mature HB-EGF protein are biologically active; thus, HB-EGF may stimulate SMC growth via autocrine, paracrine, and juxtacrine mechanisms. In the present study, we report that HB-EGF treatment of serum-starved at aortic SMCs can induce fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 (basic FGF) gene expression but not FGF-1 (acidic FGF) gene expression. Increased FGF-2 mRNA expression is first detectable at 1 hour after HB-EGF addition, and maximal FGF-2 mRNA levels, corresponding to an approximately 46-fold level of induction, are present at 4 hours. The effect of HB-EGF on FGF-2 mRNA levels appears to be mediated primarily by a transcriptional mechanism and requires de novo synthesized proteins. HB-EGF induction of FGF-2 mRNA levels can be inhibited by treating cells with the anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid dexamethasone or the glycosaminoglycan heparin. Finally, Western blot analyses indicate that HB-EGF-treated SMCs also produce an increased amount of FGF-2 protein. These results indicate that HB-EGF expressed at sites of vascular injury or inflammation in vivo may upregulate FGF-2 production by SMCs.[1]


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