ANG II regulates growth factor expression in the kidney. We investigated whether ANG II regulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) synthesis in proximal tubular epithelial (MCT) cells. ANG II (1 nM) increased VEGF protein expression within 5 min, the effect lasting for 30 min. There was no change in VEGF mRNA levels or mRNA stability, and transcription inhibitors did not affect ANG II-induced VEGF expression. Regulation of VEGF translation was investigated. Polyribosomal analysis revealed selective enrichment of heavy ribosomes (polysomes) with VEGF mRNA transcripts compared with light ribosomes in ANG II-treated cells, although distribution of GAPDH was unaltered. In vitro translation of total RNA from polysomal fractions showed selective increase in VEGF protein synthesis in ANG II-treated cells. Preincubation with LY-294002, a PI 3-kinase inhibitor, or expression of dominant-negative Akt prevented ANG II-stimulated increase in VEGF translation. ANG II increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E and its binding protein 4E-BP1, critical events that regulate the initiation phase of protein translation. ANG II failed to increase VEGF mRNA translation in cells stably expressing the phosphorylation mutant of 4E-BP1. Our data illustrate that a rapid increase in VEGF protein expression by ANG II is regulated at the initiation phase of translation of VEGF mRNA in renal epithelial cells. Regulation of VEGF translation by ANG II represents a novel pathway of renal response to injury.
- Protein expression
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