Bone morphogenic protein 2 induces Runx2 and osteopontin expression in human aortic valve interstitial cells: Role of Smad1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2
Bone morphogenic protein 2 is found in calcified areas of stenotic aortic valves, and prolonged stimulation of aortic valve interstitial cells with bone morphogenic protein 2 results in increased expression of alkaline phosphatase, indicating a mechanistic role for bone morphogenic protein 2 in aortic valve calcification. The purposes of this study were to assess the effect of bone morphogenic protein 2 on the expression of the osteogenic factors Runx2 and osteopontin in human aortic valve interstitial cells and to determine the signaling mechanisms that mediate the expression of these early osteogenic factors.Methods:
Interstitial cells were isolated from normal and stenotic human aortic valve leaflets, and cellular bone morphogenic protein 2 levels were analyzed by means of immunoblotting. Cultured interstitial cells from normal aortic valves were stimulated with bone morphogenic protein 2 to determine its effect on cellular Runx2 and osteopontin levels.Results:
Interstitial cells from stenotic aortic valves express greater levels of bone morphogenic protein 2 than cells from normal valves. Stimulation of human aortic valve interstitial cells with bone morphogenic protein 2 induced marked increases in Runx2 and osteopontin levels at 48 hours. The changes in Runx2 and osteopontin levels were preceded by phosphorylation of Smad1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 but not p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Silencing Smad1 reduced Runx2 and osteopontin levels, whereas inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 reduced osteopontin expression without an influence on Runx2 expression.Conclusions:
Interstitial cells of stenotic human aortic valves are characterized by increased bone morphogenic protein 2 levels. A short period of exposure of human aortic valve interstitial cells to bone morphogenic protein 2 induces the expression of Runx2 and osteopontin. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathway modulates bone morphogenic protein 2-induced osteopontin expression, and the Smad1 pathway plays a role in regulating the expression of both Runx2 and osteopontin induced by bone morphogenic protein 2.