Research ArticleCell Biology

Mechanism of Stretch-Induced Activation of the Mechanotransducer Zyxin in Vascular Cells

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Science Signaling  11 Dec 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 254, pp. ra91
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003173

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Multistep Process of Zyxin Activation

In vascular cells, stretch triggers the translocation of the cytoskeletal protein zyxin from focal adhesions to the nucleus, where it drives the expression of target genes. Suresh Babu et al. characterized a multistep signaling pathway in human endothelial cells and mouse femoral arteries that led to the stretch-induced phosphorylation of zyxin and its nuclear translocation. The initial response to stretch depended on the ion channel activity of transient receptor potential channel 3 and culminated in activation of cGMP-dependent protein kinase. Similar responses were also observed in lung epithelial cells and bladder smooth muscle cells, suggesting that this mechanism of zyxin activation is shared among different mechanosensitive cells.

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