Rebecca A Torres

University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, United States

Are you Rebecca A Torres?

Claim your profile

Publications (2)10.05 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that cofilin activation by members of the slingshot (SSH) phosphatase family is a key mechanism regulating vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and neoinitima formation following vascular injury. Scratch wound and modified Boyden chamber assays were used to assess VSMC migration following downregulation of the expression of cofilin and each SSH phosphatase isoform (SSH1, SSH2, and SSH3) by small interfering RNA (siRNA), respectively. Cofilin siRNA greatly attenuated the ability of VSMC migration into the "wound," and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced migration was virtually eliminated versus a 3.5-fold increase in nontreated VSMCs, establishing a critical role for cofilin in VSMC migration. Cofilin activation (dephosphorylation) was increased in PDGF-stimulated VSMCs. Thus, we assessed the role of the SSH family of phosphatases on cofilin activation and VSMC migration. Treatment with either SSH1 or SSH2 siRNA attenuated cofilin activation, whereas SSH3 siRNA had no effect. Only SSH1 siRNA significantly reduced wound healing and PDGF-induced VSMC migration. Both SSH1 expression (4.7-fold) and cofilin expression (3.9-fold) were increased in balloon injured versus noninjured carotid arteries, and expression was prevalent in the neointima. These studies demonstrate that the regulation of VSMC migration by cofilin is SSH1 dependent and that this mechanism potentially contributes to neointima formation following vascular injury in vivo.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 08/2011; 31(11):2424-31. · 6.34 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aberrant vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth is associated with many vascular diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and restenosis. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF) induces VSMC proliferation through control of cell cycle progression and protein and DNA synthesis. Multiple signaling cascades control VSMC growth, including members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family as well as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream effector AKT/protein kinase B (PKB). Little is known about how these signals are integrated by mitogens and whether there are common receptor-proximal signaling control points that synchronize the execution of physiological growth functions. The nonreceptor proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) is activated by a variety of growth factors and G protein receptor agonists in VSMC and lies upstream of both PI3K and MAPK cascades. The present study investigated the role of PYK2 in PDGF signaling in cultured rat aortic VSMC. PYK2 downregulation attenuated PDGF-dependent protein and DNA synthesis, which correlated with inhibition of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) but not p38 MAPK activation. Inhibition of PDGF-dependent protein kinase B (AKT) and ERK1/2 signaling by inhibitors of upstream kinases PI3K and MEK, respectively, as well as downregulation of PYK2 resulted in modulation of the G(1)/S phase of the cell cycle through inhibition of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) phosphorylation and cyclin D(1) expression, as well as p27(Kip) upregulation. Cell division kinase 2 (cdc2) phosphorylation at G(2)/M was also contingent on PDGF-dependent PI3K-AKT and ERK1/2 signaling. These data suggest that PYK2 is an important upstream mediator in PDGF-dependent signaling cascades that regulate VSMC proliferation.
    AJP Cell Physiology 03/2011; 301(1):C242-51. · 3.71 Impact Factor