Inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation prevents thrombin-induced mitogenesis, but not intracellular free calcium release, in vascular smooth muscle cells

Robert H Weiss, Richard Nuccitelli

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α-Thrombin, a G-protein-coupled receptor agonist, is mitogenic for neonatal vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells, but it also causes secretion of the tyrosine kinase-coupled receptor agonist platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). In order to determine the role of growth factors with tyrosine kinase-coupled receptors in thrombin's mitogenic signal transduction cascade, the synergistic effect of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in this system was examined. While bFGF itself is a growth factor for VSM cells, it causes a 1.7-fold synergistic effect when added together with thrombin. Herbimycin A, a specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, both decreases thrombin-induced mitogenesis by >90% and abolishes tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC)-γ-1. The magnitude and time course of the increase in intracellular free calcium concentration in response to thrombin is comparable in both the presence and absence of herbimycin A. These results provide evidence that herbimycin A specifically inhibits PLC-γ-1 tyrosine phosphorylation without affecting VSM cell viability or calcium release. Furthermore, tyrosine phosphorylation is a necessary step in thrombin's mitogenic signal transduction cascade, but it is not essential for thrombin-induced release of calcium from intracellular stores. These data suggest that a tyrosine kinase, possibly supplied by the bFGF receptor, plays an essential role in thrombin-induced mitogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5608-5613
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 15 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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