Nrf3-Pla2g7 Interaction Plays an Essential Role in Smooth Muscle Differentiation From Stem Cells

Qingzhong Xiao, Anna Elena Pepe, Gang Wang, Zhenling Luo, Li Zhang, Lingfang Zeng, Zhongyi Zhang, Yanhua Hu, Shu Ye, Qingbo Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objective-Phospholipase A2, group 7 (Pla2g7) is an important mediator in cardiovascular development and diseases because of its divergent physiological and pathological functions in inflammation and oxidative stress. However, little is known about the functional role of Pla2g7 in smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation from stem cells. Methods and Results-In the present study, embryonic stem cells were cultivated on collagen IV-coated plates to allow SMC differentiation. Pla2g7 gene expression and activity were upregulated significantly following 4 to 14 days of cell differentiation and colocalized with SMC differentiation markers in the differentiated SMCs. Knockdown of Pla2g7 resulted in downregulation of smooth muscle-specific markers in vitro and impairment of SMC differentiation in vivo, whereas enforced expression of Pla2g7 enhanced SMC differentiation and increased reactive oxygen species generation. Importantly, enforced expression of Pla2g7 significantly increased the binding of serum response factor to SMC differentiation gene promoters, resulting in SMC differentiation, which was abolished by free radical scavenger and flavoprotein inhibitor of NADPH oxidase but not hydrogen peroxide inhibitor. Moreover, we demonstrated that nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 3 (Nrf3) regulates Pla2g7 gene expression through direct binding to the promoter regions of Pla2g7 gene. Conclusion-Our findings demonstrated that Pla2g7 plays a crucial physiological role in SMC differentiation from stem cells, and the fine interactions between Nrf3 and Pla2g7 are essential for SMC differentiation. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012; 32: 730-744.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730 - 744
Number of pages15
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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