Response Gene to Complement 32 Promotes Vascular Lesion Formation Through Stimulation of Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation and Migration
Objective—The objectives of this study were to determine the role of response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) in vascular lesion formation after experimental angioplasty and to explore the underlying mechanisms.
Methods and Results—Using a rat carotid artery balloon-injury model, we documented for the first time that neointima formation was closely associated with a significantly increased expression of RGC-32 protein. Short hairpin RNA knockdown of RGC-32 via adenovirus-mediated gene delivery dramatically inhibited the lesion formation by 62% as compared with control groups 14 days after injury. Conversely, RGC-32 overexpression significantly promoted the neointima formation by 33%. Gain- and loss-of-function studies in primary culture of rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs) indicated that RGC-32 is essential for both the proliferation and migration of RASMCs. RGC-32 induced RASMC proliferation by enhancing p34CDC2 activity. RGC-32 stimulated the migration of RASMC by inducing focal adhesion contact and stress fiber formation. These effects were caused by the enhanced ROKα activity due to RGC-32-induced downregulation of Rad GTPase.
Conclusion—RGC-32 plays an important role in vascular lesion formation following vascular injury. Increased RGC-32 expression in vascular injury appears to be a novel mechanism underlying the migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Therefore, targeting RGC-32 is a potential therapeutic strategy for the prevention of vascular remodeling in proliferative vascular diseases.
- Received January 26, 2011.
- Accepted May 20, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.