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Cells that form vascular system employ different mechanisms to offset deleterious consequences of exposure to cytokines and cells present in blood. Vascular homeostasis is sustained in part by genes, whose expression increases in response to hemodynamic forces in these cells. PP1201 (also known as RECS1) is one such gene whose expression level increases in response to laminar shear stress. Aged mice deficient in PP1201 are prone to develop cystic medial degeneration (CMD), a form of aortic aneurism manifested with loss of smooth muscle cells and accumulation of basophilic substances. Here we found that higher levels of PP1201 can protect against Fas ligand (FasL)-induced apoptosis. PP1201 interacted with the Fas receptor (CD95/Apo1) and colocalized with it in the Golgi compartment. Unlike its homolog lifeguard (LFG), PP1201 overexpression in several types of cells including primary human aortic smooth muscle cells (AoSMC) decreased the expression of Fas on the plasma membrane without changing the total Fas levels. Only high but not constitutive level of PP1201 controls Fas signaling. Our data suggest that PP1201 functions as an anti-apoptotic protein and its increased expression in vascular cells can contribute to homeostasis by reducing Fas trafficking to the cell membrane.


Sudhanshu Shukla, Ken-ichi Fujita, Qi Xiao, Zhiyong Liao, Susan Garfield, Srinivasa M Srinivasula. A shear stress responsive gene product PP1201 protects against Fas-mediated apoptosis by reducing Fas expression on the cell surface. Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death. 2011 Feb;16(2):162-73

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PMID: 21107705

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