Grb2 is required for atherosclerotic lesion formation

Brandon M. Proctor, Jie Ren, Zhouji Chen, Jochen G. Schneider, Trey Coleman, Traian S. Lupu, Clay F. Semenkovich, Anthony J. Muslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - Grb2 is a ubiquitously expressed linker protein that couples growth factor receptor activation to downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. Macrophage proliferation and uptake of modified lipoproteins are critical components of atherogenesis which require MAPK activation. However, the precise role of upstream signaling factors and the interrelationship of various MAPK cascades in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis remains uncertain. Complete deletion of Grb2 in mice results in early embryonic lethality. However, Grb2 heterozygous mice appear normal at birth. To test the role of the Grb2 adapter protein in atherosclerotic lesion formation, we generated Grb2 mice in the apoE genetic background. METHODS AND RESULTS - Grb2 apoE and apoE mice exhibited similar body weight and serum lipid profiles. However, Grb2 apoE mice on a Western diet had reduced lesion formation compared with apoE mice by aortic sinus and en face assays. Transplantation of apoE mice with Grb2 apoE or apoE bone marrow indicated that Grb2 haploinsufficiency in blood-borne cells confers resistance to Western diet-induced atherosclerosis. Cell culture experiments with bone marrow-derived macrophages showed that Grb2 is required for oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-induced MAPK activation and foam cell formation. CONCLUSIONS - Grb2 is required for atherosclerotic lesion formation and uptake of oxidized LDL by macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1367
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Grb2
  • MAPK
  • Macrophage
  • Oxidized LDL


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