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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 4;277(1):502-8. Epub 2001 Oct 30.

RGC-32 increases p34CDC2 kinase activity and entry of aortic smooth muscle cells into S-phase.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Department of Pathology, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Proliferation of aortic smooth muscle cells contributes to atherogenesis and neointima formation. Sublytic activation of complement, particularly C5b-9, induces cell cycle progression in aortic smooth muscle cells. RGC-32 is a novel protein that may promote cell cycle progression in response to complement activation. We cloned human RGC-32 cDNA from a human fetal brain cDNA library. The human RGC-32 cDNA encodes a 117-amino acid protein with 92% similarity to the rat and mouse protein. Human RGC-32 maps to chromosome 13 and is expressed in most tissues. Sublytic complement activation enhanced RGC-32 mRNA expression in human aortic smooth muscle cells and induced nuclear translocation of the protein. RGC-32 was physically associated with cyclin-dependent kinase p34CDC2 and increased the kinase activity in vivo and in vitro. In addition, RGC-32 was phosphorylated by p34CDC2-cyclin B1 in vitro. Mutation of RGC-32 protein at Thr-91 prevented the p34CDC2-mediated phosphorylation and resulted in loss of p34CDC2 kinase enhancing activity. Overexpression of RGC-32 induced quiescent aortic smooth muscle cells to enter S-phase. These data indicate that cell cycle activation by C5b-9 may involve p34CDC2 activity through RGC-32. RGC-32 appears to be a cell cycle regulatory factor that mediates cell proliferation, both as an activator and substrate of p34CDC2.

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