M G Melaragno

University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States

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Publications (7)50.19 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase originally identified as a transforming gene product in human myeloid leukemia cells. Previously, we showed that Axl expression correlated with neointima formation in balloon-injured rat carotid, and that Axl expression was highly regulated by angiotensin II. In the present study we tested the mechanisms by which Axl regulates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth focusing on its ability to inhibit apoptosis. Treatment of cultured rat aortic VSMC for 24 h with 0% serum resulted in 19.8 +/- 1.4% apoptotic cells. Treatment of VSMC with 100 ng/ml Gas6 (the putative ligand for Axl) decreased apoptosis to 8.9 +/- 0.7% (P = 0.002, N = 17) as compared to a decrease with 10% serum to 3.0 +/- 0.2% (P = 0.001, N = 17). The ability of Gas6 to prevent apoptosis required both Gas6 binding to Axl and Axl kinase activity since treatment with a soluble, competitive Axl extracellular domain protein or transfection of a kinase inactive mutant (Axl-K567R) completely prevented the anti-apoptotic effect. Prevention of apoptosis by Gas6-Axl required activation of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) as shown by treatment with LY294002 or transfection of an Axl deletion mutant that does not bind PI3K (Axl- triangle up PI3K). There was no significant role for ERK1/2 in the anti-apoptotic effects of Gas6-Axl since ERK1/2 activity was maintained in cells transfected with Axl- triangle up PI3K and Axl-K567R. These findings establish the Gas6-Axl-PI3K-Akt pathway as an anti-apoptotic mechanism for VSMC that may be important in the response to vascular injury.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 11/2004; 37(4):881-7. · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Critical events for vasoconstrictor and growth factor signal transduction include stimulation of phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma) and elevation of intracellular calcium. c-Src has been proposed as a common mediator for these signals activated by both G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and tyrosine kinase-coupled receptors (TKRs). Here we show that the GPCR kinase-interacting protein-1 (GIT1) is a substrate for c-Src that undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation in response to angiotensin II (AngII) and EGF in vascular smooth muscle and 293 cells. GIT1 associates with PLCgamma via the PLCgamma Src homology 2 and 3 domains constitutively, and the interaction is unaltered by AngII and EGF. GIT1 interaction with PLCgamma is required for PLCgamma activation based on inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation and calcium mobilization after GIT1 knockdown with antisense GIT1 oligonucleotides. GIT1 interacts with PLCgamma via a novel Spa homology domain (SHD) and a coiled-coil domain. Deletion mutation analysis showed that GIT1(SHD) is required for AngII- and EGF-mediated PLCgamma activation (measured by phosphorylation of Tyr783 and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate formation). We propose that GIT1 is a novel regulator of PLCgamma function that mediates PLCgamma activation by c-Src and integrates signal transduction by GPCRs and TKRs.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2004; 278(50):49936-44. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human Bcr gene was originally identified by its presence in the chimeric Bcr/Abl oncogene, which is causative for chronic myeloblastic leukemia. Because Bcr encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase, we studied its kinase activity and determined the role of Bcr in the PDGF signaling pathway to ERK1/2 activation and DNA synthesis in rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs). In RASMCs, platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF) stimulated Bcr kinase activity, with a maximum at 1 minute. Because phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3-K) is essential for Bcr/Abl leukemogenesis, we evaluated the role of mouse PDGF-beta-receptor binding sites for PI3-K (Y708, Y719) and for phospholipase C-gamma (Y977, Y989) in PDGF-mediated Bcr kinase activation. The mutant PDGF receptor Y708F/Y719F but not Y977F/Y989F showed significantly reduced Bcr kinase activity. To determine the role of Bcr in PDGF-mediated signal transduction events leading to ERK1/2 and its downstream Elk1 transcription activation, wild-type (WT) and kinase-negative (KN) Bcr were transiently expressed in RASMCs. Bcr WT enhanced, whereas Bcr KN inhibited, PDGF-stimulated ERK1/2 and Elk1 transcriptional activity. Overexpression of Bcr also enhanced PDGF-induced Ras/Raf-1 activity and DNA synthesis, but this regulation is independent of the kinase activity of Bcr. Finally, we found that Bcr expression was increased in the neointimal layer after balloon injury of rat carotid artery. These results demonstrated the importance of Bcr in PDGF-mediated events, such as activation of Ras, Raf-1, ERK1/2, and Elk1, and stimulation of DNA synthesis.
    Circulation 10/2001; 104(12):1399-406. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species have been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, hypertension, and restenosis, in part by promoting vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth. Many VSMC growth factors are secreted by VSMC and act in an autocrine manner. Here we demonstrate that cyclophilin A (CyPA), a member of the immunophilin family, is secreted by VSMCs in response to oxidative stress and mediates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) activation and VSMC growth by reactive oxygen species. Human recombinant CyPA can mimic the effects of secreted CyPA to stimulate ERK1/2 and cell growth. The peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity is required for ERK1/2 activation by CyPA. In vivo, CyPA expression and secretion are increased by oxidative stress and vascular injury. These findings are the first to identify CyPA as a secreted redox-sensitive mediator, establish CyPA as a VSMC growth factor, and suggest an important role for CyPA and enzymes with peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases.
    Circulation Research 11/2000; 87(9):789-96. · 11.86 Impact Factor
  • M G Melaragno, Y W Fridell, B C Berk
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    ABSTRACT: Signal transduction downstream of tyrosine kinases has become an increasingly important area of study in cardiovascular biology. In this review, we consider the experimental evidence pointing to significant roles for the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, Gas6, in the vasculature. An introduction to the Gas6/Axl system and a discussion of its discovery is followed by a summary of the data regarding expression of Gas6/Axl in injured arteries. We conclude by discussing mechanisms by which Gas6/Axl signaling may impact on the response of blood vessels to injury, thereby contributing to the development of atherosclerosis and/or restenosis.
    Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine 12/1999; 9(8):250-3. · 1.47 Impact Factor
  • Matthew G. Melaragno, Yih-Woei C. Fridell, Bradford C. Berk
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Signal transduction downstream of tyrosine kinases has become an increasingly important area of study in cardiovascular biology. In this review, we consider the experimental evidence pointing to significant roles for the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, Gas6, in the vasculature. An introduction to the Gas6/Axl system and a discussion of its discovery is followed by a summary of the data regarding expression of Gas6/Axl in injured arteries. We conclude by discussing mechanisms by which Gas6/Axl signaling may impact on the response of blood vessels to injury, thereby contributing to the development of atherosclerosis and/or restenosis.
    Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine - TREND CARDIOVASC MED. 01/1999; 9(8):250-253.
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    ABSTRACT: Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase originally identified as a transforming gene product in human myeloid leukemia cells. Cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells also express Axl, where it has been proposed that Axl may play a role in cell proliferation. In the current study, we tested the hypotheses that Axl expression would parallel neointima formation in balloon-injured rat carotid, and that Axl expression would be regulated by growth factors present at sites of vascular injury. Ribonuclease protection assay showed dynamic increases in Axl mRNA in vessels, with peak expression 7 and 14 days after injury. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed these results and demonstrated that Axl protein expression was localized primarily to cells of the neointima after injury. Northern blot analysis indicated increased mRNA expression for the secreted Axl ligand, Gas6, in injured carotids, with a time course paralleling that of Axl upregulation. Axl and Gas6 expression were temporally correlated with neointima formation, suggesting a role for Axl signaling in this process. Other studies, performed in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells, revealed positive regulation of Axl mRNA expression by thrombin or angiotensin II but not by basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor-BB, or transforming growth factor-ss1. Western blot analysis confirmed these results, showing that Axl protein expression was specifically increased by thrombin or angiotensin II. Our results implicate Axl as a potential mediator of vascular smooth muscle migration and proliferation caused by vascular injury and G protein-coupled receptor agonists.
    Circulation Research 11/1998; 83(7):697-704. · 11.86 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

372 Citations
50.19 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2004
    • University of Rochester
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine
      • • Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute
      Rochester, NY, United States
  • 1998
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Medicine
      Seattle, WA, United States