Hypoxia increases AP-1 binding activity by enhancing capacitative Ca 2+ entry in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells

Ivana Fantozzi, Shen Zhang, Oleksandr Platoshyn, Carmelle V. Remillard, Randy T. Cowling, Jason X.J. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Activating protein (AP)-1 transcription factors modulate expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and migration. Chronic hypoxia increases pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation by upregulating AP-1-responsive genes encoding for endothelium-derived vasoactive and mitogenic factors implicated in pulmonary hypertension development. The expression of AP-1 transcription factors is sensitive to changes in cytosolic free [Ca 2+] ([Ca2+]cyt). Capacitative Ca2+ entry (CCE) via store-operated Ca2+ channels (SOC) is an important mechanism for raising [Ca2+]cyt in pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAEC). Using combined molecular biological, fluorescence microscopy, and biophysical approaches, we examined the effect of chronic hypoxia (3% O2, 72 h) on AP-1 DNA binding activity, CCE, and transient receptor potential (TRP) gene expression in human (h) PAEC. EMSA showed that AP-1 binding to hPAEC nuclear protein extracts was significantly enhanced by hypoxia, the increase being dependent on store-operated Ca 2+ influx and sensitive to La3+, an SOC inhibitor. Hypoxia also increased basal [Ca2+]cyt, the amount of CCE produced by store depletion with cyclopiazonic acid, and the amplitude of SOC-mediated currents (ISOC). The increases of CCE amplitude and ISOC current density by hypoxia were paralleled by enhanced TRPC4 mRNA and protein expression. Hypoxia-enhanced CCE and TRPC4 expression were also attenuated by La3+. These data suggest that hypoxia increases AP-1 binding activity by enhancing Ca2+ influx via La 3+-sensitive TRP-encoded SOC channels in hPAEC. The Ca 2+-mediated increase in AP-1 binding may play an important role in upregulating AP-1-responsive gene expression, in stimulating pulmonary vascular cell proliferation and, ultimately, in pulmonary vascular remodeling in patients with hypoxia-mediated pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1233-L1245
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6 29-6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Activating protein-1
  • Store-operated channels
  • Transient receptor potential genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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