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Wnt5a/Ror2 promotes vascular smooth muscle cells proliferation via activating PKC.

INTRODUCTION: Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) can cause various vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, restenosis, and pulmonary hypertension. However, the effect and underlying mechanism of Wnt5a on the proliferation of VSMCs remain unclear. Our study aimed to investigate whether Wnt5a/Ror2 promotes vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation via activating protein kinase C (PKC), thereby effectively alleviating vascular proliferative diseases.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The proliferation of HA-VSMC cell line was evaluated by CCK-8, EdU, and Plate clone formation assays. The Wnt5a gene knockdown and overexpression were carried out by standard methods. The interaction between Wnt5a and Ror2 was explored by co-immunoprecipitation. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to determine the expression levels of key proteins in VSMCs.

RESULTS: The present study found that the expression of Wnt5a protein increased significantly in the proliferation of VSMCs stimulated by 10% serum in a time-dependent manner. Furthermore, the proliferative rate of VSMCs overexpressing Wnt5a was dramatically accelerated, whereas Wnt5a knockdown using siWnt5a reversed thisproliferative effect. Wnt5a up-regulated the expression of receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (Ror2) by binding to it. Further studies indicated that Wnt5a induces the PKC expression in VSMCs and knockdown of Wnt5a or Ror2 could inhibit PKC phosphorylation.

CONCLUSIONS: Wnt5a could effectively promote the proliferation of VSMCs, which might be related to the binding of Wnt5a and Ror2 to activate PKC.

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