Cell Communication Insights

TGF-β1 -Induced Expression of the Anti-Apoptotic PAI-1 Protein Requires EGFR Signaling

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Cell Communication Insights 2009:2 1-11

Original Research

Published on 11 Jun 2009

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TGF-β1 and its target gene encoding plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) are major regulators of capillary outgrowth, vessel maturation and angiogenic network stability. The increasing realization of the complexity of PAI-1 action in the vascular system requires analysis of specific signaling events that impact its expression in a physiologically-relevant cell system. PAI-1 was required for tubular differentiation and maintenance of cellular survival in complex gels since targeted disruption of PAI-1 synthesis or activity with antisense constructs or function-blocking antibodies resulted in network regression. Indeed, serum-deprivation-induced apoptosis of tubulogenic T2 cells was concentration-dependently inhibited by addition of a stable PAI-1 mutant protein consistent with the established pro-survival role of PAI-1 in vascular endothelial cells. PAI-1 induction and ERK pathway activation in response to TGF-β1 was attenuated by EGFR signaling blockade (with AG1478) or preincubation with the MMP/ADAM inhibitor GM6001. The combination of AG1478 + GM6001 completely ablated both responses suggesting that EGFR transactivation is important in PAI-1 gene control and may, at least partially, involve ligand shedding. TGF-β1-stimulated PAI-1 induction was preceded, in fact, by EGFR phosphorylation on Y845 (a src kinase target residue). EGFR1 knockdown with lentiviral shRNA constructs, moreover, effectively decreased (by >75%) TGF-β1-stimulated PAI-1 expression whereas infection with control (i.e. GFP) viruses had no effect. TGF-β1 failed to induce PAI-1 synthesis in EGFR-deficient fibroblasts while introduction of a wild-type EGFR1 construct in EGFR -/- cells rescued the PAI-1 response to TGF-β1 confirming, at a genetic level, the targeted knockdown data. The continued clarification of novel cooperative signaling cascades that impact expression of important angiogenic genes (e.g. PAI-1) may provide therapeutically useful targets to manage the pathophysiology of human neoplastic and vascular diseases.




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