Receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE)-dependent signaling has been implicated in ischemia/reperfusion injury in the heart, lung, liver, and brain. Because macrophages contribute to vascular perturbation and tissue injury in hypoxic settings, we tested the hypothesis that RAGE regulates early growth response-1 (Egr-1) expression in hypoxia-exposed macrophages. Molecular analysis, including silencing of RAGE, or blockade of RAGE with sRAGE (the extracellular ligand-binding domain of RAGE), anti-RAGE IgG, or anti-AGE IgG in THP-1 cells, and genetic deletion of RAGE in peritoneal macrophages, revealed that hypoxia-induced up-regulation of Egr-1 is mediated by RAGE signaling. In addition, the observation of increased cellular release of RAGE ligand AGEs in hypoxic THP-1 cells suggests that recruitment of RAGE in hypoxia is stimulated by rapid production of RAGE ligands in this setting. Finally, we show that mDia-1, previously shown to interact with the RAGE cytoplasmic domain, is essential for hypoxia-stimulated regulation of Egr-1, at least in part through protein kinase C βII, ERK1/2, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase signaling triggered by RAGE ligands. Our findings highlight a novel mechanism by which an extracellular signal initiated by RAGE ligand AGEs regulates Egr-1 in a manner requiring mDia-1
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