Copper transporter ATP7A interacts with IQGAP1, a Rac1 binding scaffolding protein: Role in PDGF-induced VSMC migration and vascular remodeling

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6 Scopus citations


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration contributes to neointimal formation after vascular injury. We previously demonstrated that copper (Cu) transporter ATP7A is involved in platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced VSMC migration in a Cu-and Rac1-dependent manner. The underlying mechanism is still unknown. Here we show that ATP7A interacts with IQGAP1, a Rac1 and receptor tyrosine kinase binding scaffolding proteins, which mediates PDGF-induced VSMC migration and vascular remodeling. In cultured rat aortic SMCs, PDGF stimulation rapidly promoted ATP7A association with IQGAP1 and Rac1 and their translocation to the lipid rafts and leading edge. Cotransfection assay revealed that ATP7A directly bound to NH2-terminal domain of IQGAP1. Functionally, either ATP7A or IQGAP1 depletion using siRNA significantly inhibited PDGF-induced VSMC migration without additive effects, suggesting that IQGAP1 and ATP7A are in the same axis to promote migration. Furthermore, IQGAP1 siRNA blocked PDGF-induced ATP7A association with Rac1 as well as its translocation to leading edge, while PDGF-induced IQGAP1 translocation was not affected by ATP7A siRNA or Cu chelator. Overexpression of mutant IQGAP1 lacking a Rac1 binding site prevented PDGF-induced translocation of Rac1, but not ATP7A, to the leading edge, thereby inhibiting lamellipodia formation and VSMC migration. In vivo, ATP7A colocalized with IQGAP1 at neointimal VSMCs in a mice wire injury model, while neointimal formation and extracellular matrix deposition induced by vascular injury were inhibited in ATP7A mutant mice with reduced Cu transporter function. In summary, IQGAP1 functions as ATP7A and Rac1 binding scaffolding protein to organize PDGF-dependent ATP7A translocation to the lamellipodial leading edge, thereby promoting VSMC migration and vascular remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C850-C862
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Copper transporter
  • Migration
  • Platelet-derived growth factor
  • Vascular remodeling
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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