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A null mutation was introduced into the mouse desmin gene by homologous recombination. The desmin knockout mice (Des -/-) develop normally and are fertile. However, defects were observed after birth in skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles (Li, Z., E. Colucci-Guyon, M. Pincon-Raymond, M. Mericskay, S. Pournin, D. Paulin, and C. Babinet. 1996. Dev. Biol.(More)
Synemin is a unique cytoplasmic intermediate filament protein for which there is limited understanding of its exact cellular functions. The single human synemin gene encodes at least two splice variants named alpha-synemin and beta-synemin, with the larger alpha-synemin containing an additional 312 amino acid insert within the C-terminal tail domain. We(More)
One intrinsic abnormality of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PA-SMCs) in human idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (iPH) is an exaggerated proliferative response to internalized serotonin (5-HT) caused by increased expression of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT). To investigate whether 5-HTT overexpression in PA-SMCs is sufficient to produce PH, we generated(More)
Serum response factor (SRF) is a crucial transcriptional factor for muscle-specific gene expression. We investigated SRF function in adult skeletal muscles, using mice with a postmitotic myofiber-targeted disruption of the SRF gene. Mutant mice displayed severe skeletal muscle mass reductions due to a postnatal muscle growth defect resulting in highly(More)
Serum response factor (SRF) is a transcription factor that controls the expression of cytoskeletal proteins and immediate early genes in different cell types. Here, we found that SRF expression is restricted to endothelial cells (ECs) of small vessels such as capillaries in the mouse embryo. EC-specific Srf deletion led to aneurysms and hemorrhages from(More)
Elevated blood level of C-reactive protein (CRP) is associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease. However, whether this association reflects functional importance of CRP in the pathogenesis of kidney disease remains unclear. In this study, we examined the biological role of CRP in a well-characterized model of progressive kidney disease,(More)
BACKGROUND Intermediate filaments (IFs) are major components of the mammalian cytoskeleton and expressed in cell-type-specific patterns. Morphological changes during cell differentiation are linked to IF network remodeling. However, little is known concerning the presence and the role of IFs in embryonic stem (ES) cells and during their differentiation. (More)
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are the stromal cells of the vascular wall, continually exposed to mechanical signals and biochemical components generated in the blood compartment. They are involved in all the physiological functions and the pathological changes taking place in the vascular wall. Owing to their contractile tonus, VSMCs of resistance(More)
Desmin is a muscle-specific protein and a key subunit of the intermediate filament in cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscles. Desmin filaments are mainly located at the periphery of Z-disk of striated muscles and at the dense bodies of smooth muscle cells, and they have been postulated to play a critical role in the maintenance of structural and mechanical(More)
Serum response factor (SRF) is at the confluence of multiple signaling pathways controlling the transcription of immediate-early response genes and muscle-specific genes. There are active SRF target sequences in more than 50 genes expressed in the three muscle lineages including normal and diseased hearts. However, the role of SRF in heart formation has not(More)