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

Lovastatin modulates in vivo and in vitro the plasminogen activator/plasmin system of rat proximal tubular cells: role of geranylgeranylation and Rho proteins.

Interstitial fibrosis is one of the most deleterious events during the progression of renal deterioration after renal mass reduction. In vivo, hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA reductase inhibitors (HRI) were shown to reduce progression of glomerulosclerosis, but the mechanisms are still unclear. The present study investigates, in vivo, whether lovastatin, a potent HRI, was able to modulate the plasminogen-plasmin pathway, one of the most efficient systems involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, and characterizes in vitro the cellular mechanisms of these effects. Proximal tubules freshly isolated from rats treated for 2 d with lovastatin (4 mg/kg per d) showed increased tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase (uPA) activities and antigens. Incubation with lovastatin (5 microM) of proximal tubules isolated from untreated rats induced an increase in tPA and uPA and a decrease in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) activities. In vitro, supernatants, cytosols, and membranes of renal proximal tubular cells in primary cultures had no detectable uPA activity, and lovastatin (0.1 to 10 microM) induced an increase in tPA and a decrease in PAI-1 activities and antigens. These effects were reversed by mevalonate and geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate (GGPP) but not by farnesyl-pyrophosphate or LDL cholesterol. C3 exoenzyme, an inhibitor of the geranylgeranylated-activated Rho protein, reproduced the effect of lovastatin on tPA and PAI- activity and blocked its reversion by GGPP. The effect of lovastatin was associated with a disruption of cellular actin stress fibers, which was reversed by GGPP and reproduced by C3 exoenzyme. In conclusion, HRI can modify the fibrinolytic potential of proximal tubules, most likely via inhibition of geranylgeranylated Rho protein and disruption of the cytoskeleton. The resulting increase of proteolytic activity of tubular cells may serve to prevent extracellular matrix deposition and renal interstitial fibrosis.[1]


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