Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a vasoactive peptide which signals through two G-protein coupled receptors, endothelin receptor A (ETA) and B (ETB). We determined that ET-1 activation of its ETB receptor in stably cDNA transfected CHO cells leads to a 55% reduction in cell number by end-point cell counting and a 35% decrease in cell growth by a real-time cell-substrate impedance-based assay after 24h of cell growth. When CHO ETB cells were synchronized in the late G1 cell cycle phase, ET-1 delayed their S phase progression compared to control by 30% as determined by [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation. On the other hand, no such delay was observed during late G2/M to G1 transit when cells were treated with ET-1 after release from mitotic arrest. Using the cell-substrate impedance-based assay, we observed that ET-1 induces opposing morphological changes in CHO ETA and CHO ETB cells with ETB causing an increase in the cell footprint and ETA a decrease. Likewise, in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells, which express both ETA and ETB receptors, ET-1 induces an ETA-dependent contraction and an ETB dependent dilation. These results are shedding light on a possible beneficial role for ETB in diseases involving ET-1 dysfunction such as pulmonary hypertension.
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