Reporter genes, including green fluorescent protein (GFP), have been used to monitor the expression of transgenes introduced into vascular cells by gene transfer vectors. Here, we demonstrate that GFP by itself can selectively induce expression of certain genes in endothelial cells. Elevation of the cytoplasmic concentration of GFP in endothelial cells, specifically, resulted in a robust up-regulation of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). GFP induced both mRNA and protein expression of HSP70 in a dose-dependent manner. GFP-mediated up-regulation of HSP70 resulted in induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) followed by prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. GFP-mediated up-regulation of HSP70 is independent of mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling cascades because inhibition of these pathways had no effect on HSP70 increases. Adenoviral delivery of GFP into murine vasculature significantly enhanced blood flow, suggesting that sufficient PGE2 is produced to induce vasodilation. Identification of the molecular partners that interact with GFP will increase our understanding of the vascular-specific factors that regulate stress angiogenesis and hemostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology