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

Syndecan-4 is a primary-response gene induced by basic fibroblast growth factor and arterial injury in vascular smooth muscle cells.

Syndecans are a family of transmembrane proteoglycans that have been implicated in cell-extracellular matrix adhesion and growth factor binding. We reported previously that syndecan-1 expression by cultured rate vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is induced by serum- or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). We now report that syndecan-4 mRNA is rapidly induced in cultured VSMCs in response to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or serum stimulation. In the presence of cycloheximide, induction of syndecan-4 mRNA was enhanced. These characteristics identified syndecan-4 as a primary-response gene product in VSMCs. In contrast, syndecan-1 mRNA expression in response to serum was completely blocked in the presence of cycloheximide. We also examined the expression of syndecan mRNAs in VSMCs in response to balloon catheter injury in vivo. A reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique was developed that enabled us to amplify all four syndecan mRNAs in a single reaction tube and determine relative changes in their expression. All four syndecan mRNAs were detected in uninjured rat carotid arteries. In endothelium-denuded arteries, the medial layer (presumably VSMCs) accounted for 70% to 90% of the syndecan mRNAs in the vessel wall. The levels of syndecan-2 and syndecan-3 mRNAs were not altered significantly after balloon injury. In contrast, syndecan-4 mRNA was increased at early times after injury but then decreased to control level by 7 days. Syndecan-1 mRNA levels showed a slower but prolonged increase that reached a maximum at 7 days after injury. Immunostaining with anti-syndecan-4 antibodies demonstrated a rapid increase in syndecan-4 proteoglycan expression in the injured carotid artery.[1]


  1. Syndecan-4 is a primary-response gene induced by basic fibroblast growth factor and arterial injury in vascular smooth muscle cells. Cizmeci-Smith, G., Langan, E., Youkey, J., Showalter, L.J., Carey, D.J. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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