Research Article

Overexpression of the growth arrest-specific homeobox gene Gax inhibits proliferation, migration, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis in serum-induced vascular smooth muscle cells

Published: March 24, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (1) : 1993-2008 DOI: 10.4238/2014.March.24.4

Abstract

The Gax gene has been implicated in a variety of cell-developmental and biological processes, and aberrant Gax expression is linked to many diseases. In this study, to provide important insights for Gax-based gene therapy in vein graft restenosis and its anti-restenotic mechanism, we used rabbit vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to investigate the effects of Gax overexpression on proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and apoptosis in a serum-stimulated culture. Rabbit VSMC lines that stably overexpressed Gax were established by transfection with recombinant adenoviral vector Ad5-Gax. The effect of Gax overexpression on in vitro serum-induced VSMCs proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and apoptosis was assessed by MTT, wound healing, and flow cytometry assays, respectively. To investigate the effect of Gax overexpression on PCNA and MMP-2 in serum-induced VSMCs, immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and gelatin zymography were performed. The results clearly showed that Gax overexpression decreases PCNA expression in serum-induced VSMCs. Gax overexpression also significantly inhibited cell proliferation by blocking entry into the S-phase of the cell cycle, promoted cell apoptosis, and reduced cell migration activity by downregulating MMP-2 release and activity. These findings indicate that Gax would be an optimal target gene for gene therapy to treat vein graft restenosis.

The Gax gene has been implicated in a variety of cell-developmental and biological processes, and aberrant Gax expression is linked to many diseases. In this study, to provide important insights for Gax-based gene therapy in vein graft restenosis and its anti-restenotic mechanism, we used rabbit vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to investigate the effects of Gax overexpression on proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and apoptosis in a serum-stimulated culture. Rabbit VSMC lines that stably overexpressed Gax were established by transfection with recombinant adenoviral vector Ad5-Gax. The effect of Gax overexpression on in vitro serum-induced VSMCs proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and apoptosis was assessed by MTT, wound healing, and flow cytometry assays, respectively. To investigate the effect of Gax overexpression on PCNA and MMP-2 in serum-induced VSMCs, immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and gelatin zymography were performed. The results clearly showed that Gax overexpression decreases PCNA expression in serum-induced VSMCs. Gax overexpression also significantly inhibited cell proliferation by blocking entry into the S-phase of the cell cycle, promoted cell apoptosis, and reduced cell migration activity by downregulating MMP-2 release and activity. These findings indicate that Gax would be an optimal target gene for gene therapy to treat vein graft restenosis.