Different cells can contribute to repair following vascular injury by differentiating into smooth muscle (SM) cells; however the extracellular signals involved are presently poorly characterized. Mesoangioblasts are progenitor cells capable of differentiating into various mesoderm cell types including SM cells. In this study the biological action exerted by the pleiotropic sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) in human mesoangioblasts has been initially investigated by cDNA microarray analysis. Obtained data confirmed the anti-apoptotic action of this sphingolipid and identified for the first time a strong differentiating action toward SM cells. Quantitative mRNA and protein analysis corroborated the microarray results demonstrating enhanced expression of myogenic marker proteins and regulation of the expression of transcription factor GATA6 and its co-regulator, LMCD1. Importantly, GATA6 up-regulation induced by S1P was responsible for the enhanced expression of SM-specific contractile proteins. Moreover, by specific gene silencing experiments GATA6 was critical in the pro-differentiating activity of the cytokine TGFβ. Finally, the pharmacological inhibition of endogenous S1P formation in response to TGFβ abrogated GATA6 up-regulation, supporting the view that the S1P pathway plays a physiological role in mediating the pro-myogenic effect of TGFβ. This study individuates GATA6 as novel player in the complex transcriptional regulation of mesoangioblast differentiation into SM cells and highlights a role for S1P to favour vascular regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)