Epidermal growth factor receptor transactivation by angiotensin II requires reactive oxygen species in vascular smooth muscle cells

Masuko Ushio-Fukai, Kathy K. Griendling, Peter L. Becker, Lula Hilenski, Sean Halleran, R. Wayne Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Scopus citations


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a vasoactive hormone with critical roles in vascular smooth muscle cell growth, an important feature of hypertension and atherosclerosis. Many of these effects are dependent on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ang II induces phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGF-R), which serves as a scaffold for various signaling molecules. Here, we provide novel evidence that ROS are critical mediators of EGF-R transactivation by Ang II. Pretreatment of vascular smooth muscle cells with the antioxidants diphenylene iodonium, Tiron, N-acetylcysteine, and ebselen significantly inhibited (≈80% to 90%) tyrosine phosphorylation of the EGF-R by Ang II but not by EGF. Of the 5 autophosphorylation sites on the EGF-R, Ang II mainly phosphorylated Tyr1068 and Tyr1173 in a redox-sensitive manner. The Src family kinase inhibitor PP1, overexpression of kinase-inactive c-Src, or chelation of intracellular Ca2+ attenuated EGF-R transactivation. Although antioxidants had no effects on the Ca2+ mobilization or phosphorylation of Ca2+-dependent tyrosine kinase Pyk2, they inhibited c-Src activation by Ang II, suggesting that c-Src is 1 signaling molecule that links ROS and EGF-R phosphorylation. Furthermore, Ang II-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the autophosphorylation site and the SH2 domain of c-Src was redox sensitive. These findings emphasize the importance of ROS in specific Ang II-stimulated growth-related signaling pathways and suggest that redox-sensitive EGF-R transactivation may be a potential target for antioxidant therapy in vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin II
  • Epidermal growth factor receptors
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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