Huiqing Cao

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, United States

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Publications (6)45.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin (IL)-6 induced vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) motility in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, IL-6 stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of gp130, resulting in the recruitment and activation of STAT-3. IL-6-induced VSMC motility was found to be dependent on activation of gp130/STAT-3 signaling. IL-6 also induced cyclin D1 expression in a time- and gp130/STAT-3-dependent manner in VSMCs. Suppression of cyclin D1 levels via the use of its small interfering RNA molecules inhibited IL-6-induced VSMC motility. Furthermore, balloon injury induced IL-6 expression both at mRNA and protein levels in rat carotid artery. Balloon injury also caused increased STAT-3 phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression, leading to smooth muscle cell migration from the media to the intimal region. Blockade of gp130/STAT-3 signaling via adenovirus-mediated expression of dngp130 or dnSTAT-3 attenuated balloon injury-induced STAT-3 phosphorylation and cyclin D1 induction, resulting in reduced smooth muscle cell migration from media to intima and decreased neointima formation. Together, these observations for the first time suggest that IL-6/gp130/STAT-3 signaling plays an important role in vascular wall remodeling particularly in the settings of postangioplasty and thereby in neointima formation.
    Circulation Research 04/2007; 100(6):807-16. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we have demonstrated that STAT-3 plays a role in thrombin-induced VSMC motility. To learn more about the role of STATs in the mitogenic and chemotactic signaling events of thrombin, here we have studied the role of STAT-5. Thrombin activated STAT-5 as measured by its tyrosine phosphorylation, DNA binding, and reporter gene activity. Inhibition of STAT-5B, but not STAT-5A, by adenovirus-mediated expression of its respective dominant-negative mutants suppressed thrombin-induced VSMC growth and motility. Thrombin induced the expression of Hsp27 and FGF-2 in a time- and STAT-5B-dependent manner in VSMC. In addition, small interfering RNA-directed depletion of Hsp27 levels or adenovirus-mediated expression of its dominant-negative mutant attenuated thrombin-induced FGF-2 expression, growth, and motility of VSMC. An increased association of STAT-5B with STAT-3 occurred in response to thrombin and adenovirus-mediated expression of dnSTAT-3 suppressed thrombin-induced Hsp27 and FGF-2 induction, DNA synthesis and motility in VSMC. Together, these results indicate that thrombin-induced VSMC growth and motility require STAT-5B/STAT-3-dependent expression of Hsp27 and FGF-2. These observations also suggest that STAT-5B/STAT-3/Hsp27/FGF-2 signaling via its involvement in the regulation of VSMC growth and motility may play an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as restenosis after angioplasty.
    Circulation Research 05/2006; 98(7):913-22. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the efficacy of cytochrome P450 2C9 metabolites of arachidonic acid, viz. 5,6-, 8,9-, 11,12-, and 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), in inducing angiogenesis, we have studied their effects on human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (HDMVEC) tube formation and migration. All four EETs stimulated HDMVEC tube formation and migration in a dose-dependent manner. Because 14,15-EET was found to be slightly more efficacious than 5,6-, 8,9-, and 11,12-EETs in stimulating HDMVEC tube formation and migration, we next focused on elucidation of the signaling mechanisms underlying its angiogenic activity. 14,15-EET stimulated Akt and S6K1 phosphorylation in Src- and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent manner in HDMVECs. Inhibition of Src and PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling by both pharmacological and dominant-negative mutant approaches suppressed 14,15-EET-induced HDMVEC tube formation and migration in vitro and Matrigel plug angiogenesis in vivo. In addition, 14,15-EET induced the expression of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) in Src- and PI3K-Akt-dependent and mTOR-independent manner in HDMVECs. Neutralizing anti-FGF-2 antibodies completely suppressed 14,15-EET-induced HDMVEC tube formation and migration in vitro and Matrigel plug angiogenesis in vivo. Together, these results show for the first time that Src and PI3K-Akt signaling via targeting in parallel with FGF-2 expression and mTOR-S6K1 activation plays an indispensable role in 14,15-EET-induced angiogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2006; 281(2):905-14. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the mechanisms by which thrombin induces vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) DNA synthesis and motility, we have studied the role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-S6K1 signaling. Thrombin stimulated the phosphorylation of Akt and S6K1 in VSMC in a sustained manner. Blockade of PI3K-Akt-mTOR-S6K1 signaling by LY-294002, and rapamycin suppressed both thrombin-induced VSMC DNA synthesis and migration. Adenovirus-mediated expression of dominant-negative Akt also inhibited thrombin-induced VSMC DNA synthesis and migration. Furthermore, thrombin induced the expression of Fra-1 in a sustained PI3K-Akt-dependent and mTOR-independent manner in VSMC. Suppression of Fra-1 by its small interfering RNA attenuated both thrombin-induced VSMC DNA synthesis and migration. Thrombin also induced the expression of FGF-2 in a PI3K-Akt-Fra-1-dependent and mTOR-independent manner, and neutralizing anti-FGF-2 antibodies inhibited thrombin-stimulated VSMC DNA synthesis and motility. In addition, thrombin stimulated the tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF receptor (EGFR), and inhibition of its kinase activity significantly blocked Akt and S6K1 phosphorylation, Fra-1 and FGF-2 expression, DNA synthesis, and motility induced by thrombin in VSMC. Together these observations suggest that thrombin induces both VSMC DNA synthesis and motility via EGFR-dependent stimulation of PI3K/Akt signaling targeting in parallel the Fra-1-mediated FGF-2 expression and mTOR-S6K1 activation.
    AJP Cell Physiology 02/2006; 290(1):C172-82. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the lipoxygenase metabolites of arachidonic acid, 5(S)-, 12(S)-, and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids [5(S)-HETE, 12(S)-HETE, and 15(S)-HETE, respectively] are angiogenic, we have studied their effects on human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (HDMVEC) tube formation and migration. All three HETEs stimulated HDMVEC tube formation and migration. Because 15(S)-HETE was found to be more potent than 5(S)-HETE and 12(S)-HETE in HDMVEC tube formation, we next focused on elucidation of the signaling mechanisms underlying its angiogenic activity. 15(S)-HETE stimulated Akt and S6K1 phosphorylation in HDMVEC in a time-dependent manner. Wortmannin and LY294002, two specific inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), blocked both Akt and S6K1 phosphorylation, whereas rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of Akt downstream effector, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), suppressed only S6K1 phosphorylation induced by 15(S)-HETE suggesting that this eicosanoid activates the PI3K-Akt-mTOR-S6K1 signaling in HDMVEC. Wortmannin, LY294002, and rapamycin also inhibited 15(S)-HETE-induced HDMVEC tube formation and migration. In addition, all three HETEs stimulated angiogenesis as measured by in vivo Matrigel plug assay with 15(S)-HETE being more potent. Pharmacologic inhibition of PI3K-Akt-mTOR-S6K1 signaling completely suppressed 15(S)-HETE-induced in vivo angiogenesis. Consistent with these observations, adenoviral-mediated expression of dominant-negative Akt also blocked 15(S)-HETE-induced HDMVEC tube formation and migration and in vivo angiogenesis. Together, these results show for the first time that 15(S)-HETE stimulates angiogenesis via activation of PI3K-Akt-mTOR-S6K1 signaling.
    Cancer Research 09/2005; 65(16):7283-91. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration from media to intima and its multiplication in intima is a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and restenosis after angioplasty. Previously, we have demonstrated that STAT-3-dependent cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)) expression is needed for VSMC motility induced by platelet-derived growth factor-BB, a receptor tyrosine kinase agonist (Neeli et al. (2005) J. Biol. Chem. 279, 46122-46128). In order to learn more about the STAT-3-cPLA(2) axis in motogenic signaling, here we have studied its role in VSMC motility in response to a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) agonist, thrombin. Thrombin induced VSMC motility in a dose-dependent manner with a maximum effect at 0.5 units/ml. Thrombin activated STAT-3 as measured by its tyrosine phosphorylation and translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Forced expression of a dominant negative mutant of STAT-3 reduced thrombin-induced STAT-3 tyrosine phosphorylation and its translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Thrombin stimulated STAT-3-DNA binding and reporter gene activities in VSMC, and these responses were blocked by FS3DM, a dominant negative mutant of STAT-3. FS3DM also attenuated thrombin-induced VSMC motility. Thrombin induced the expression of cPLA(2) in a time- and STAT-3-dependent manner. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of cPLA(2) blocked thrombin-induced VSMC motility. Furthermore, exogenous addition of arachidonic acid rescued thrombin-induced VSMC motility from inhibition by blockade of STAT-3 activation. Forced expression of cPLA(2) also surpassed the inhibitory effect of dominant negative STAT-3 on thrombin-induced VSMC motility. Together, these results show that thrombin-induced VSMC motility requires STAT-3-dependent induction of expression of cPLA(2).
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2005; 280(4):3112-20. · 4.65 Impact Factor