JOURNAL ARTICLE

Angiotensin II increases CTGF expression via MAPKs/TGF-β1/TRAF6 pathway in atrial fibroblasts

Jun Gu, Xu Liu, Quan-xing Wang, Hong-wei Tan, Meng Guo, Wei-feng Jiang, Li Zhou
Experimental Cell Research 2012 October 1, 318 (16): 2105-15
22749815
The activation of transforming growth factor-β1(TGF-β1)/Smad signaling pathway and increased expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) induced by angiotensin II (AngII) have been proposed as a mechanism for atrial fibrosis. However, whether TGFβ1/non-Smad signaling pathways involved in AngII-induced fibrogenetic factor expression remained unknown. Recently tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6)/TGFβ-associated kinase 1 (TAK1) has been shown to be crucial for the activation of TGF-β1/non-Smad signaling pathways. In the present study, we explored the role of TGF-β1/TRAF6 pathway in AngII-induced CTGF expression in cultured adult atrial fibroblasts. AngII (1 μM) provoked the activation of P38 mitogen activated protein kinase (P38 MAPK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2(ERK1/2) and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK). AngII (1 μM) also promoted TGFβ1, TRAF6, CTGF expression and TAK1 phosphorylation, which were suppressed by angiotensin type I receptor antagonist (Losartan) as well as p38 MAPK inhibitor (SB202190), ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059) and JNK inhibitor (SP600125). Meanwhile, both TGFβ1 antibody and TRAF6 siRNA decreased the stimulatory effect of AngII on TRAF6, CTGF expression and TAK1 phosphorylation, which also attenuated AngII-induced atrial fibroblasts proliferation. In summary, the MAPKs/TGFβ1/TRAF6 pathway is an important signaling pathway in AngII-induced CTGF expression, and inhibition of TRAF6 may therefore represent a new target for reversing Ang II-induced atrial fibrosis.

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