Regulated expression of the ets-1 transcription factor in vascular smooth muscle cells in vivo and in vitro.
Ets-1 regulates the transcription of several genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins (ie, osteopontin and tenascin) as well as enzymes involved in degradation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ie, stromelysin and urokinase plasminogen activator). In the present study, we investigated the regulation of c-ets-1 in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells as well as in the arterial wall after balloon injury in vivo. Serum-starved smooth muscle cells exposed to serum for various time points express a major c-ets-1 mRNA transcript of 5.3 kb and minor bands of 4.0 and 2.5 kb with a peak at 2 hours after stimulation. These effects were concentration dependent. Western blotting revealed an increase in 55- and 40-kD immunoreactive ets-1 proteins in cells treated with serum for 2 hours, and binding to an oligonucleotide containing the ets-1 consensus cis-acting motif was demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Ets-1 mRNA abundance was induced with a peak at 2 hours after stimulation with platelet-derived growth factor-BB and with angiotensin II. There was a distinct increase of ets-1 immunoreactivity in the inner layer of the media 2 hours after balloon catheter injury of rat arteries, which declined after 6 hours and returned to the basal level 1 day after vessel wall damage. Arterial c-ets-1 mRNA content was induced with an identical time course. These findings suggest that c-ets-1 may be of importance in the mitogenic signaling pathway of smooth muscle cells grown in culture. In addition, ets-1 may play a role in the activation of smooth muscle cells in vivo after mechanical injury of the vessel wall. Because the ets-1 transcription factor activates the gene expression of a number of mRNA species involved in matrix deposition and degradation, these data are compatible with a role for ets-1 in vascular remodeling and/or cell migration.