Thrombin induces c-fos expression in cultured human endothelial cells by a Ca2+-dependent mechanism

Maria Grazia Lampugnani, Francesco Colotta, Nadia Polentarutti, Maria Pedenovi, Alberto Mantovani, Elisabetta Dejana

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The proto-oncogene c-fos has been implicated in the modulation of various cell functions. We have found that thrombin, a pleiotropic activator of endothelial cells, induced c-fos mRNA in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HEC). This effect was dose-related (0.05 to 1.0 U/mL) and transient (maximal after 1 hour and negligible within 4 hours). Since thrombin activates phosphoinositide (PI) turnover through a pertussis toxin (PT)-sensitive guanosine triphosphate-binding regulatory protein(s) (G-protein) with subsequent stimulation of protein kinase C (PKC) and Ca2+ movements, we investigated whether these intracellular pathways are also responsible for c-fos induction. PT inhibited thrombin's effect on c-fos expression, but had no effect on c-fos expression by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Down regulation of PKC by prolonged exposure to PMA had no effect on thrombin and ionomycin stimulation of c-fos, but inhibited PMA activation of this gene. Quenching of the Ca1 2+ increase in response to quin2 loading in the absence of external Ca2+ suppressed thrombin activity on c-fos transcription. Under the same conditions PMA activity was not inhibited or only partially inhibited, Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) stimulation of c-fos mRNA level were not inhibited by quin2; on the contrary, ionomycin effect was blocked by this agent. These results indicate that thrombin-induced c-fos expression in HEC does not require a fully active PKC but is dependent on normal intracellular Ca2+ availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1180
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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