Foxc2 is a common mediator of insulin and transforming growth factor β signaling to regulate plasminogen activator inhibitor type I gene expression

Hideo Fujita, Myengmo Kang, Mesut Eren, Linda A. Gleaves, Douglas E. Vaughan, Tsutomu Kume*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Elevated plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor type I (PAI-1), a significant risk factor of ischemic heart disease, are associated with insulin resistance in which insulin and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β play a pivotal role in regulating PAI-1 production. Forkhead transcription factor FOXC2 is an important regulator of insulin resistance. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms to link FOXC2 to PAI-1 levels in insulin resistance remain to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that Foxc2 is a common transcriptional activator of insulin and TGF-β signaling to directly regulate PAI-1 expression via 2 distinct target sites, an insulin response element (IRE) and a novel forkhead-binding element (FBE), adjacent to a Smad-binding site. We found that in adipocytes and endothelial cells Foxc2 mediates insulin action competing with another Forkhead protein, FOXO1, via the insulin response element, and simultaneously cooperate with the TGF-β/Smad pathway to transactivate PAI-1. Importantly, Foxc2 haploinsufficiency in mice significantly attenuates TGF-β1-induced PAI-1 expression in the cardiovascular system and adipose tissue. Taken together, we propose that Foxc2 is a key molecule to regulate PAI-1 gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Forkhead transcription factor
  • Insulin response element
  • Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 promoter
  • Response site
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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