Ca(2+) sensitivity of smooth muscle (SM) contraction is determined by CPI-17, an inhibitor protein for myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP). CPI-17 is highly expressed in mature SM cells, but the expression level varies under pathological conditions. Here, we determined the expression of CPI-17 in embryonic SM tissues and arterial neointimal lesions using immunohistochemistry. As seen in adult animals, the predominant expression of CPI-17 was detected at SM tissues on mouse embryonic sections, whereas MLCP was ubiquitously expressed. Compared with SM alpha-actin, CPI-17 expression doubled in arterial SM from embryonic day E10 to E14. Like SM alpha-actin and other SM marker proteins, CPI-17 was expressed in embryonic heart, and the expression was down-regulated at E17. In adult rat, CPI-17 expression level was reduced to 30% in the neointima of injured rat aorta, compared with the SM layers, whereas the expression of MLCP was unchanged in both regions. Unlike other SM proteins, CPI-17 was detected at non-SM organs in the mouse embryo, such as embryonic neurons and epithelium. Thus, CPI-17 expression is reversibly controlled in response to the phenotype transition of SM cells that restricts the signal to differentiated SM cells and particular cell types.
Kim, Jee In; Young, Garbo D; Jin, Li; Somlyo, Avril V; and Eto, Masumi, "Expression of CPI-17 in smooth muscle during embryonic development and in neointimal lesion formation." (2009). Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Faculty Papers. Paper 5.