Distinct NF-kappa B regulation by shear stress through ras-dependent I kappa B alpha oscillations - Real-time analysis of flow-mediated activation in live cells

R. Ganguli, L. Persson, I. Palmer, R. Smallwood, R.A. Black, E. Qwarnstrom

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    NF-{kappa}B, a transcription factor central to inflammatory regulation during development of atherosclerosis, is activated by soluble mediators and through biomechanical inputs such as flow-mediated shear- stress. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying shear stress mediated signal transduction in vascular cells we have developed a system that applies flow-mediated shear stress in a controlled manner, while inserted in a confocal microscope. In combination with GFP-based methods, this allows continuous monitoring of flow induced signal transduction in live cells and in real time. Flow-mediated shear stress, induced using the system, caused a successive increase in NF-{kappa}B-regulated gene activation. Experiments assessing the mechanisms underlying the NF-{kappa}B induced activity showed time and flow rate dependent effects on the inhibitor, I{kappa}B{alpha}, involving nuclear translocation characterized by a biphasic or cyclic pattern. The effect was observed in both endothelial- and smooth muscle cells, demonstrated to impact noncomplexed I{kappa}B{alpha}, and to involve mechanisms distinct from those mediating cytokine signals. In contrast, effects on the NF-{kappa}B subunit relA were similar to those observed during cytokine stimulation. Further experiments showed the flow induced inter-compartmental transport of I{kappa}B{alpha} to be regulated through the Ras GTP-ase, demonstrating a pronounced reduction in the effects following blocking of Ras activity. These studies show that flow-mediated shear stress, regulated by the Ras GTP-ase, uses distinct mechanisms of NF-{kappa}B control at the molecular level. The oscillatory pattern, reflecting inter-compartmental translocation of I{kappa}B{alpha}, is likely to have fundamental impact on pathway regulation and on development of shear stress-induced distinct vascular cell phenotypes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)626-634
    Number of pages8
    JournalCirculation Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • shear stress
    • transduction
    • circulation
    • atherosclerosis
    • biomechanics
    • bioengineering
    • medicine
    • cells

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