The Dynamic Actin Cytoskeleton in Smooth Muscle.Adv Pharmacol. 2018; 81:1-38.AP
Smooth muscle contraction requires both myosin activation and actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Actin cytoskeletal reorganization facilitates smooth muscle contraction by promoting force transmission between the contractile unit and the extracellular matrix (ECM), and by enhancing intercellular mechanical transduction. Myosin may be viewed to serve as an "engine" for smooth muscle contraction whereas the actin cytoskeleton may function as a "transmission system" in smooth muscle. The actin cytoskeleton in smooth muscle also undergoes restructuring upon activation with growth factors or the ECM, which controls smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration. Abnormal smooth muscle contraction, cell proliferation, and motility contribute to the development of vascular and pulmonary diseases. A number of actin-regulatory proteins including protein kinases have been discovered to orchestrate actin dynamics in smooth muscle. In particular, Abelson tyrosine kinase (c-Abl) is an important molecule that controls actin dynamics, contraction, growth, and motility in smooth muscle. Moreover, c-Abl coordinates the regulation of blood pressure and contributes to the pathogenesis of airway hyperresponsiveness and vascular/airway remodeling in vivo. Thus, c-Abl may be a novel pharmacological target for the development of new therapy to treat smooth muscle diseases such as hypertension and asthma.