Angiotensin II induces c-fos expression in smooth muscle via transcriptional control.
Angiotensin II (Ang II) has been shown to cause hypertrophy of cultured quiescent rat aortic smooth muscle cells. This observation along with the recent demonstration of angiotensinogen messenger RNA (mRNA) in the vessel wall has led us to postulate a role for Ang II in hypertensive smooth muscle hypertrophy. One of the earliest responses in a wide variety of cells in response to a growth-promoting agent is the induction of the proto-oncogene c-fos. To investigate the mechanism of the action of Ang II, we investigated the effect of Ang II on the expression of the c-fos gene in rat aortic smooth muscle cells that were made quiescent by being grown in a defined serum-free media for 48 hours. Ang II (10(-6)-10(-10) M) resulted in a dose-dependent increase in c-fos mRNA expression. This induction was angiotensin-receptor specific since it was completely abolished by the competitive inhibitor saralasin. Inhibition of protein synthesis did not block the rise in c-fos mRNA expression; it resulted in a superinduction and stabilization of the c-fos mRNA. Using a nuclear runoff transcription assay, we demonstrated that Ang II stimulated the transcription rate of the c-fos gene. This activation of c-fos gene expression may be an important mechanism in the angiotensin-induced smooth muscle hypertrophy.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association