ABSTRACT: In the present study, we have analyzed the response of human smooth muscle cell (SMC)s to oxidative stress, in terms of recruitment of key elements of the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) pathway, such as Rac(1), p38, and the small heat shock protein (HSP)27. The level of expression of three small HSPs, alphaB-crystallin, HSP20, HSP27, as well as the phosphorylation levels of HSP27 and p38, were higher in cultured, asynchronously growing SMCs originating from left interior mammary artery (LIMA) than those originating from aorta, saphenous vein, and umbilical vein, validating the choice of SMCs from LIMA as a model system in our study. In synchronized, quiescent SMCs from LIMA, oxidative stress (H(2)O(2) stimulation)-induced membrane translocation of Rac(1), p38 phosphorylation, membrane translocation, and phosphorylation of HSP27. In these cells, simvastatin (S), an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, blocked, in a mevalonate-dependent way, oxidative stress-induced membrane translocation of Rac(1). However, S pretreatment prior to oxidative stress increased the levels of p38 phosphorylation, HSP27 membrane translocation/phosphorylation, actin polymerization, and apoptosis in these cells, in a mevalonate-dependent way. These results establish that S pretreatment has a stimulatory effect on the stress-activated p38/HSP27 pathway, despite its blocking effect on Rac(1) activation.
Biochemical Pharmacology 12/2002; 64(10):1483-91. · 4.70 Impact Factor