Critical role of rho-kinase and MEK/EFK pathways for angiotensin II-induced plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 gene expression

Kotaro Takeda, Toshihiro Ichiki, Tomotake Tokunou, Naoko Iino, Satoshi Fujii, Akira Kitabatake, Hiroaki Shimokawa, Akira Takeshita

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130 Citations (Scopus)


Plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) plays an integral role not only in the regulation of fibrinolytic activity but also in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and hypertension. We investigated the signaling pathways of angiotensin II (Ang II) leading to PAI-1 gene expression. Ang II increased the PAI-1 mRNA and protein levels in a time- and dose-dependent manner through the Ang II type 1 receptor in vascular smooth muscle cells. PAI-1 gene promoter activity measured by luciferase assay was significantly increased by Ang II. PAI-1 mRNA stability was also increased by Ang II. Ang II-induced PAI-1 mRNA upregulation was inhibited by BAPTA-AM, genistein, and AG1478, suggesting that intracellular calcium, tyrosine kinase, and epidermal growth factor receptor transactivation are involved. Furthermore, PD98059, an inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK), almost completely suppressed Ang II-induced PAI-1 upregulation. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of the dominant-negative form of Rho-kinase or Y27632, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, also completely prevented PAI-1 induction by Ang II without affecting Ang II-induced ERK activation. These data suggest that activation of MEK/ERK and Rho-kinase pathways plays a pivotal role in PAI-1 gene upregulation by Ang II. The Rho-kinase pathway may be a novel target to inhibit Ang II signaling, and its inhibition may be useful in the treatment of hypertension as well as atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-873
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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