Smooth muscle actin and myosin expression in cultured airway smooth muscle cells

Jean Z. Wong, Janet Woodcock-Mitchell, John Mitchell, Patricia Rippetoe, Sheryl White, Marlene Absher, Linda Baldor, John Evans, Kirk M. McHugh, Robert B. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this study, the expression of smooth muscle actin and myosin was examined in cultures of rat tracheal smooth muscle cells. Protein and mRNA analyses demonstrated that these cells express α- and γ-smooth muscle actin and smooth muscle myosin and nonmuscle myosin-B heavy chains. The expression of the smooth muscle specific actin and myosin isoforms was regulated in the same direction when growth conditions were changed. Thus, at confluency in 1 or 10% serum-containing medium as well as for low-density cells (50-60% confluent) deprived of serum, the expression of the smooth muscle forms of actin and myosin was relatively high. Conversely, in rapidly proliferating cultures at low density in 10% serum, smooth muscle contractile protein expression was low. The expression of nonmuscle myosin-B mRNA and protein was more stable and was upregulated only to a small degree in growing cells. Our results provide new insight into the molecular basis of differentiation and contractile function in airway smooth muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L786-L792
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 18-5
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Growth state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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