Julie Maylor

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (6)25.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Numerous cellular responses to hypoxia are mediated by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). HIF-1 plays a central role in the pathogenesis of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Under certain conditions, HIF-1 may utilize feed-forward mechanisms to amplify its activity. Since hypoxia increases endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels in the lung, we hypothesized that during moderate, prolonged hypoxia ET-1 might contribute to HIF-1 signaling in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Primary cultures of rat PASMCs were treated with ET-1 or exposed to moderate, prolonged hypoxia (4% O(2) for 60 h). Levels of the oxygen-sensitive HIF-1α subunit and expression of HIF target genes were increased in both hypoxic cells and cells treated with ET-1. Both hypoxia and ET-1 also increased HIF-1α mRNA expression and decreased mRNA and protein expression of prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2), which is the protein responsible for targeting HIF-1α for O(2)-dependent degradation. The induction of HIF-1α by moderate, prolonged hypoxia was blocked by BQ-123, an antagonist of ET-1 receptor subtype A . The effects of ET-1 were mediated by increased intracellular calcium, generation of reactive oxygen species and ERK1/2 activation. Neither ET-1 nor moderate hypoxia induced the expression of HIF-1α or HIF target genes in aortic smooth muscle cells. These results suggest that ET-1 induces a PASMC-specific increase in HIF-1α levels by upregulation of HIF-1α synthesis and downregulation of PHD2-mediated degradation, thereby amplifying the induction of HIF-1α in PASMCs during moderate, prolonged hypoxia.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 02/2013; 304(8). DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00081.2012 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    Clark Undem · Eon J Rios · Julie Maylor · Larissa A Shimoda
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive production of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor, occurs with several forms of pulmonary hypertension. In addition to modulating vasomotor tone, ET-1 can potentiate pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) growth and migration, both of which contribute to the vascular remodeling that occurs during the development of pulmonary hypertension. It is well established that changes in cell proliferation and migration in PASMCs are associated with alkalinization of intracellular pH (pH(i)), typically due to activation of Na(+)/H(+) exchange (NHE). In the systemic vasculature, ET-1 increases pH(i), Na(+)/H(+) exchange activity and stimulates cell growth via a mechanism dependent on protein kinase C (PKC). These results, coupled with data describing elevated levels of ET-1 in hypertensive animals/humans, suggest that ET-1 may play an important role in modulating pH(i) and smooth muscle growth in the lung; however, the effect of ET-1 on basal pH(i) and NHE activity has yet to be examined in PASMCs. Thus, we used fluorescent microscopy in transiently (3-5 days) cultured rat PASMCs and the pH-sensitive dye, BCECF-AM, to measure changes in basal pH(i) and NHE activity induced by increasing concentrations of ET-1 (10(-10) to 10(-8) M). We found that application of exogenous ET-1 increased pH(i) and NHE activity in PASMCs and that the ET-1-induced augmentation of NHE was prevented in PASMCs pretreated with an inhibitor of Rho kinase, but not inhibitors of PKC. Moreover, direct activation of PKC had no effect on pH(i) or NHE activity in PASMCs. Our results indicate that ET-1 can modulate pH homeostasis in PASMCs via a signaling pathway that includes Rho kinase and that, in contrast to systemic vascular smooth muscle, activation of PKC does not appear to be an important regulator of PASMC pH(i).
    PLoS ONE 09/2012; 7(9):e46303. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0046303 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) migration is a key component of the vascular remodeling that occurs during the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension, although the mechanisms governing this phenomenon remain poorly understood. Aquaporin-1 (AQP1), an integral membrane water channel protein, has recently been shown to aid in migration of endothelial cells. Since AQP1 is expressed in certain types of vascular smooth muscle, we hypothesized that AQP1 would be expressed in PASMCs and would be required for migration in response to hypoxia. Using PCR and immunoblot techniques, we determined the expression of AQPs in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and the effect of hypoxia on AQP levels, and we examined the role of AQP1 in hypoxia-induced migration in rat PASMCs using Transwell filter assays. Moreover, since the cytoplasmic tail of AQP1 contains a putative calcium binding site and an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) is a hallmark of hypoxic exposure in PASMCs, we also determined whether the responses were Ca(2+) dependent. Results were compared with those obtained in aortic smooth muscle cells (AoSMCs). We found that although AQP1 was abundant in both PASMCs and AoSMCs, hypoxia selectively increased AQP1 protein levels, [Ca(2+)](i), and migration in PASMCs. Blockade of Ca(2+) entry through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) or nonselective cation channels prevented the hypoxia-induced increase in PASMC [Ca(2+)](i), AQP1 levels, and migration. Silencing AQP1 via siRNA also prevented hypoxia-induced migration of PASMCs. Our results suggest that hypoxia induces a PASMC-specific increase in [Ca(2+)](i) that results in increased AQP1 protein levels and cell migration.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 06/2012; 303(4):L343-53. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00130.2012 · 4.08 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference, May 18-23, 2012 • San Francisco, California; 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to chronic hypoxia (CH) causes pulmonary hypertension. The vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) is thought to play a role in the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. In pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) from chronically hypoxic rats, ET-1 signaling is altered, with the ET-1-induced change in intracellular calcium concentration (Δ[Ca(2+)](i)) occurring through activation of voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCC) even though ET-1-induced depolarization via inhibition of K(+) channels is lost. The mechanism underlying this response is unclear. We hypothesized that activation of VDCCs by ET-1 following CH might be mediated by protein kinase C (PKC) and/or Rho kinase, both of which have been shown to phosphorylate and activate VDCCs. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of PKC and Rho kinase inhibitors on the ET-1-induced Δ[Ca(2+)](i) in PASMCs from rats exposed to CH (10% O(2), 3 wk) using the Ca(2+)-sensitive dye fura 2-AM and fluorescent microscopy techniques. We found that staurosporine and GF109203X, inhibitors of PKC, and Y-27632 and HA 1077, Rho kinase inhibitors, reduced the ET-1-induced Δ[Ca(2+)](i) by >70%. Inhibition of tyrosine kinases (TKs) with genistein or tyrphostin A23, or combined inhibition of PKC, TKs, and Rho kinase, reduced the Δ[Ca(2+)](i) to a similar extent as inhibition of either PKC or Rho kinase alone. The ability of PKC or Rho kinase to activate VDCCs in our cells was verified using phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and GTP-γ-S. These results suggest that following CH, the ET-1-induced Δ[Ca(2+)](i) in PASMCs occurs via Ca(2+) influx through VDCCs mediated primarily by PKC, TKs, and Rho kinase.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 03/2012; 302(10):L1128-39. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00396.2011 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic hypoxia is an inciting factor for the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The mechanisms involved in the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH) include hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1)-dependent transactivation of genes controlling pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and pH. Recently, digoxin was shown to inhibit HIF-1 transcriptional activity. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that digoxin could prevent and reverse the development of HPH. Mice were injected daily with saline or digoxin and exposed to room air or ambient hypoxia for 3 wk. Treatment with digoxin attenuated the development of right ventricle (RV) hypertrophy and prevented the pulmonary vascular remodeling and increases in PASMC [Ca(2+)](i), pH, and RV pressure that occur in mice exposed to chronic hypoxia. When started after pulmonary hypertension was established, digoxin attenuated the hypoxia-induced increases in RV pressure and PASMC pH and [Ca(2+)](i). These preclinical data support a role for HIF-1 inhibitors in the treatment of HPH.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2012; 109(4):1239-44. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1120385109 · 9.67 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

65 Citations
25.15 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States