Although Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) activity has been implicated in cardiovascular diseases, the tissue- and isoform-specific roles of ROCKs in the vascular response to injury are not known. To address the role of ROCKs in this process, we generated haploinsufficient Rock1 (Rock1(+/-)) and Rock2 (Rock2(+/-)) mice and performed carotid artery ligations. Following this intervention, we found reduced neointima formation in Rock1(+/-) mice compared with that of WT or Rock2(+/-) mice. This correlated with decreased vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and survival, decreased levels proinflammatory adhesion molecule expression, and reduced leukocyte infiltration. In addition, thioglycollate-induced peritoneal leukocyte recruitment and accumulation were substantially reduced in Rock1(+/-) mice compared with those of WT and Rock2(+/-) mice. To determine the role of leukocyte-derived ROCK1 in neointima formation, we performed reciprocal bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in WT and Rock1(+/-) mice. Rock1(+/-) to WT BMT led to reduced neointima formation and leukocyte infiltration following carotid ligation compared with those of WT to WT BMT. In contrast, WT to Rock1(+/-) BMT resulted in increased neointima formation. These findings indicate that ROCK1 in BM-derived cells mediates neointima formation following vascular injury and suggest that ROCK1 may represent a promising therapeutic target in vascular inflammatory diseases.
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"Small GTP-binding proteins are important intermediates which generate in the process of cholesterol biosynthesis, and have complex physiological and pathological effects such as regulating cell’s mobility, migration, proliferation, survival and apoptosis
[8,9]. Importantly, many studies have shown that increased activity of small GTP-binding proteins was associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and CVD
[10,11], and statins’ potent cardio-protective efficacy was largely dependent on inhibiting these small GTP-binding proteins isoprenylation rather than lipid-lowering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Rho kinase over-activation is associated with nitric oxide (NO) reduction and atherosclerosis. Metformin is favorable for endothelial function improvement and cardiovascular outcomes. Whether cardio-protective effect of metformin is associated with Rho kinase activity is unknown.
Hyperlipidemia model of rats were established accordingly. Thereafter, medical interventions in terms of atorvastatin, metformin or combined therapy were administered for 4 weeks. Laboratory parameters were compared among each groups at initial, 6 weeks of high-fat and high-cholesterol diet administration, and 4 weeks of medical intervention. Lineal regression analyses were performed.
No significant difference of laboratory parameters was observed initially. Six weeks of high-fat and high-cholesterol diet administration, serum levels of cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and Rho kinase activity were significantly increased while NO production was concomitantly reduced in comparison to the sham group. After 4 weeks of medical intervention, CRP level and Rho kinase activity were profoundly diminished while NO production was significantly enhanced in the atorvastatin and metformin groups, and these benefits were further enhanced with combined therapy. Lineal regression analyses showed that Rho kinase activity was negatively correlated with NO production but positively correlated with CRP level.
In rats with hyperlipidemia, metformin and atorvastatin therapy is favorable for NO production and CRP reduction, which might be associated with Rho kinase activity decrease.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Lipids in Health and Disease
"However, differences in function between the two isoforms have been observed in ROCK I and II knockout studies. ROCK II knockout mice show intrauterine growth retardation caused by deregulation of the placenta, limited axonal growth after trauma to the central nervous system, and enhanced adipogenesis (Thumkeo et al. 2003; Noguchi et al. 2007; Duffy et al. 2009), whereas studies of ROCK I knockout mice have suggested that the protein is involved in cardiac fibrosis development, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, insulin resistance, and acute inflammation (Zhang YM et al. 2006; Noma et al. 2008; Lee et al. 2009; Vemula et al. 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer-associated changes in cellular behavior, such as modified cell-cell contact, increased migratory potential, and generation of cellular force, all require alteration of the cytoskeleton. Two homologous mammalian serine/threonine kinases, Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK I and II), are key regulators of the actin cytoskeleton acting downstream of the small GTPase Rho. ROCK is associated with cancer progression, and ROCK protein expression is elevated in several types of cancer. ROCKs exist in a closed, inactive conformation under quiescent conditions, which is changed to an open, active conformation by the direct binding of guanosine triphosphate (GTP)–loaded Rho. In recent years, a number of ROCK isoform-specific binding partners have been found to modulate the kinase activity through direct interactions with the catalytic domain or via altered cellular localization of the kinases. Thus, these findings demonstrate additional modes to regulate ROCK activity. This review describes the molecular mechanisms of ROCK activity regulation in cancer, with emphasis on ROCK isoform-specific regulation and interaction partners, and discusses the potential of ROCKs as therapeutic targets in cancer.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
"Recent studies also found that RhoA/ROCK-dependent moesin phosphorylation involved in the advanced glycation end products-mediated endothelial dysfunction . Rho/ROCK pathway activation in endothelial cells and leucocytes participates in the regulation of genes such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 , angiotensin II-induced MCP-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [34,35]. Previous studies suggest that Rho/ROCK signal pathway modulates gene expression via regulating the serum response factor activity [36,37] or other signal pathway such as ERK , p38 MAPK, CPI-17, and so on . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggested that the RhoA/ROCK pathway may contribute to vascular complications in diabetes. The present study was designed to investigate whether ROCK inhibitor fasudil could prevent high glucose-induced monocyte-endothelial cells adhesion, and whether this was related to fasudil effects on vascular endothelial cell expression of chemotactic factors, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1).
HUVECs were stimulated with high glucose (HG) or HG + fasudil in different concentration or different time. Monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion was determined using fluorescence-labeled monocytes. The mRNA and protein expression of VCAM-1 and MCP-1 were measured using real-time PCR and western blot. The protein levels of RhoA, ROCKI and p-MYPT were determined using western blot analysis. ELISA was employed to measure the expression of soluble VCAM-1 and MCP-1 in cell supernatants and human serum samples.
Fasudil significantly suppressed HG-induced adhesion of THP-1 to HUVECs. Fasudil reduced Rho/ROCK activity (as indicated by lower p-MYPT/MYPT ratio), and prevented HG induced increases in VCAM-1 and MCP-1 mRNA and protein levels. Fasudil also decreased MCP-1 concentration in HUVEC supernatants, but increased sVCAM-1 shedding into the media. In human diabetic subjects, 2 weeks of fasudil treatment significantly decreased serum MCP-1 level from 27.9 ± 10.6 pg/ml to 13.8 ± 7.0 pg/ml (P < 0.05), while sVCAM-1 increased from 23.2 ± 7.5 ng/ml to 39.7 ± 5.6 ng/ml after fasudil treatment (P < 0.05).
Treatment with the Rho/ROCK pathway inhibitor fasudil attenuated HG-induced monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion, possibly by reducing endothelial expression of VCAM-1 and MCP-1. These results suggest inhibition of Rho/ROCK signaling may have therapeutic potential in preventing diabetes associated vascular inflammation and atherogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Cardiovascular Diabetology