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Age dependence of smooth muscle myosin expression by cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells

Low, R. B.
White, S. L.
Low, E. S.
Neuville, P.
Published in Differentiation. 1999, vol. 65, no. 3, p. 151-159
Abstract Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) in vivo are highly heterogeneous phenotypically, particularly during development and in the adult during periods of remodeling. Much remains to be learned, however, regarding regulation of the SMC phenotype at the gene level. Here, we studied smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC) expression at the transcriptional and mRNA levels in SMC cultured from newborn, adult, and old animals, which express different patterns of differentiation markers. We also examined regulation of SMMHC gene expression by TGF-beta, a cytokine known to be involved in the differentiation process. The activity of SMMHC promoter constructs, the expression of which is smooth-muscle-specific, was greatest in SMC from newborn animals and least in cells from old animals. Thus, differences in the degree of differentiation of SMC from these three sources may at least in part be due to transcriptional events. SMC from the three animal sources each contained mRNAs for the SM-1A and SM-2A tail but not those for the SM-1B and SM-2B head isoforms. Total SMMHC mRNA levels reflected similar differences as found at the transcriptional level. SM-2A mRNA as a proportion of total SMMHC mRNA was greatest in SMC from newborn animals, consistent with their higher degree of differentiation. TGF-beta up-regulated both transcription and mRNA levels but did not change the proportions of SMMHC mRNAs. Though the levels of transcriptional activity and mRNA were widely different in untreated cells, the degree of TGF-beta stimulation was approximately the same in all cases.
Keywords Age FactorsAnimalsAorta, ThoracicCell Differentiation/drug effectsCells, CulturedGene Expression Regulation/ drug effectsMuscle, Smooth, Vascular/ cytology/metabolismMyosin Heavy Chains/ biosynthesis/geneticsPromoter Regions, GeneticProtein Isoforms/ biosynthesis/geneticsRNA, Messenger/biosynthesis/geneticsRatsRats, WistarRegulatory Sequences, Nucleic AcidTranscription, Genetic/drug effectsTransforming Growth Factor beta/ pharmacology
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PMID: 10631812
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