Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

ID family protein expression and regulation in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension

Jonathan W. Lowery, Andrea L. Frump, Lynda Anderson, Gabriella E. DiCarlo, Mark T. Jones, Mark P. de Caestecker


Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling has been linked to the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Inhibitors of differentiation (ID) proteins (ID1–4) are a family of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that are downstream targets of the BMP signaling pathway, but the role that ID proteins play in the development of PH is unknown. To address this, we evaluated pulmonary expression of ID proteins in a mouse model of hypoxia-induced PH. There is selective induction of ID1 and ID3 expression in hypoxic pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in vivo, and ID1 and ID3 expression are increased by hypoxia in cultured pulmonary VSMCs in a BMP-dependent fashion. ID4 protein is barely detectable in the mouse lung, and while ID2 is induced in hypoxic peripheral VSMCs in vivo, it is not increased by hypoxia or BMP signaling in cultured pulmonary VSMCs. In addition, the PH response to chronic hypoxia is indistinguishable between wild type and Id1 null mice. This is associated with a compensatory increase in ID3 but not ID2 expression in pulmonary VSMCs of Id1 null mice. These findings indicate that ID1 is dispensable for mounting a normal pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia, but suggest that ID3 may compensate for loss of ID1 expression in pulmonary VSMCs. Taken together, these findings indicate that ID1 and ID3 expression are regulated in a BMP-dependent fashion in hypoxic pulmonary VSMCs, and that ID1 and ID3 may play a cooperative role in regulating BMP-dependent VSMC responses to chronic hypoxia.

  • hypoxia
  • bone morphogenetic protein signaling
  • ID1
  • ID2
  • ID3
  • vascular smooth muscle cells
  • endothelial cells
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