The proliferation, differentiation, and protein synthesis of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) play important roles in vascular remodeling. Here, we compared the genetic programming and signaling of SMCs in collagen matrix as a three-dimensional (3-D) environment and on a two-dimensional (2-D) surface. By using DNA microarrays with 9600 genes, we showed that 77 genes were expressed more than twofold and 22 genes were less than one-half in 3-D matrix, when compared with the 2-D condition. The higher expression level of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21) in 3-D matrix suggests that p21 may be responsible for the lower proliferation rate in 3-D matrix. The expression level of collagen I was higher in 3-D matrix, suggesting that SMCs in 3-D matrix have increased matrix synthesis. In addition, SMCs in 3-D matrix had less stress fibers and focal adhesions, and a lower level of tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Overexpression of FAK attenuated the expression of p21 and collagen I in 3-D matrix, suggesting that FAK functions as a molecular switch for cell cycle regulation and matrix synthesis. The information generated in this study helps to elucidate the molecular basis of the modulation of SMC phenotypes by the extracellular matrix.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology|
|State||Published - Jan 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology