Similar regulatory mechanisms of caveolins and cavins by myocardin family coactivators in arterial and bladder smooth muscle

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Caveolae are membrane invaginations present at high densities in muscle and fat. Recent work has demonstrated that myocardin family coactivators (MYOCD, MKL1), which are important for contractile differentiation and cell motility, increase caveolin (CAV1, CAV2, CAV3) and cavin (CAVIN1, CAVIN2, CAVIN3) transcription, but several aspects of this control mechanism remain to be investigated. Here, using promoter reporter assays we found that both MKL1/MRTF-A and MKL2/MRTF-B control caveolins and cavins via their proximal promoter sequences. Silencing of MKL1 and MKL2 in smooth muscle cells moreover reduced CAV1 and CAVIN1 mRNA levels by well over 50%, as did treatment with second generation inhibitors of MKL activity. GATA6, which modulates expression of smooth muscle-specific genes, reduced CAV1 and CAV2, whereas the cavins were unaffected or increased. Viral overexpression of MKL1 and myocardin induced caveolin and cavin expression in bladder smooth muscle cells from rats and humans and MYOCD correlated tightly with CAV1 and CAVIN1 in human bladder specimens. A recently described activator of MKL-driven transcription (ISX) failed to induce CAV1/CAVIN1 which may be due to an unusual transactivation mechanism. In all, these findings further support the view that myocardin family coactivators are important transcriptional drivers of caveolins and cavins in smooth muscle.


External organisations
  • Guangzhou Medical University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0176759
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017 May 1