Author(s): Grainger DJ, Kemp PR, Liu AC, Lawn RM, Metcalfe JC
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Abstract A HIGH concentration of serum lipoprotein(a) is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Lipoprotein(a) consists of low-density lipoprotein with the additional protein component, apolipoprotein(a), a homologue of plasminogen. Lipoprotein(a) and apolipoprotein(a) enhance proliferation of human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMCs) in culture by inhibiting activation of plasminogen to plasmin, thus blocking the proteolytic activation of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), an autocrine inhibitor of hVSMC proliferation. The hypothesis that this pathway is a key step in atherogenesis is tested on transgenic mice expressing the human apolipoprotein(a) gene. We show here that the activation of TGF-beta is inhibited in the aortic wall and serum of mice expressing apolipoprotein(a), as a consequence of apolipoprotein(a) inhibition of plasminogen activation. These effects are closely correlated with VSMC activation.
This article was published in Nature
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics