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Differential effect of platelet-derived growth factor- versus serum-induced growth on smooth muscle alpha-actin and nonmuscle beta-actin mRNA expression in cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells



Differential effect of platelet-derived growth factor- versus serum-induced growth on smooth muscle alpha-actin and nonmuscle beta-actin mRNA expression in cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells



Journal of Biological Chemistry 264(18): 10501-6



Previous studies have demonstrated that rat aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) show marked changes in smooth muscle (SM) alpha-actin content and fractional synthesis as a function of cell density and growth (Owens, G. K., Loeb, A., Gordon, D., and Thompson, M. M. (1986) J. Cell Biol. 102, 343-352; Blank, R., Thompson, M. M., and Owens, G. K. (1988) J. Cell Biol. 107, 299-306). Results of this study show that, although there is a 6-fold increase in SM alpha-actin content in postconfluent density arrested cultures as compared to proliferating subconfluent cultures, SM alpha-actin mRNA levels are not different between these cells. This suggests that the SM alpha-actin gene is constitutively active under both of these conditions and that accumulation of SM alpha-actin in postconfluent cells is due to translational and/or post-translational controls. The relationship between growth and cytodifferentiation was further explored by examining the effects of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)- or serum-induced growth on actin expression in postconfluent, quiescent cultures maintained in a defined serum-free media. Although both factors have been shown to stimulate proliferation and decrease fractional SM alpha-actin synthesis (Blank et al., 1988), their effects on actin mRNA levels were quite different. PDGF was found to induce a dramatic drop in SM alpha-actin steady state mRNA level but had no effect on nonmuscle beta-actin mRNA level. In contrast, serum stimulation was shown to increase nonmuscle beta-actin mRNA level, whereas SM alpha-actin mRNA level remained constant. Taken together these results indicate that PDGF is a specific and potent repressor of SM alpha-actin expression in vascular SMC and implicate a possible developmental role for PDGF in control of SMC differentiation. In addition, the observation that the level of SM alpha-actin mRNA is unaltered in serum-stimulated cells indicates that an absolute decrease in SM alpha-actin mRNA is not obligatory for cell cycle entrance.

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Accession: 039824571

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PMID: 2732233


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