Role of Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II in the Regulation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration
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Background The migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is a key event in the pathogenesis of many vascular diseases. We have previously shown that VSMC migration in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is suppressed when cultured cells are growth-arrested and induced to differentiate. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of this suppression.
Methods and Results While both proliferating and growth-arrested VSMCs upregulated expression of the immediate early response genes, c-fos and JE (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1), growth-arrested VSMCs exhibited much smaller changes in intracellular calcium in response to PDGF and failed to activate the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Blocking calcium-calmodulin interactions (50 μmol/L W7) or the activation of CaM kinase II (10 μmol/L KN62) in proliferating cells blocked their migration by more than 90%, whereas inhibition of protein kinase C activation had no significant effect on migration. Pretreatment of growth-arrested VSMCs with the calcium ionophore ionomycin resulted in an approximately 2.5-fold activation of CaM kinase II and increased migration of growth-arrested cells to 84±6% that of proliferating cells. These effects of ionomycin were blocked by inhibitors of CaM kinase II. Constitutively activated (ie, calcium/calmodulin-independent) CaM kinase II introduced by gene transfection into growth-arrested cells significantly increased migration toward PDGF from <20% to >70% that of proliferating cells.
Conclusions These results demonstrate that activation of CaM kinase II is required for VSMC migration, that its activation in response to PDGF is suppressed in growth-arrested VSMCs, and that this suppression of CaM kinase II activation is responsible, in large part, for the failure of growth-arrested VSMCs to migrate toward PDGF.
- Received May 18, 1994.
- Revision received September 12, 1994.
- Accepted October 5, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by American Heart Association