ATP acts as a survival signal and prevents the mineralization of aortic valve.
ABSTRACT Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a disorder related to progressive mineralization of valvular tissue that is a leading cause of heart disease. Thus far, there is no medical treatment to prevent the mineralization of aortic valves. It is generally thought that pathologic mineralization is linked to apoptosis of vascular cells. However, the role of apoptosis during mineralization as well as the survival signals for valvular interstitial cells (VICs), the main cellular component of aortic valves, remains to be identified. Here, through several lines of evidence, we show that bioavailability of extracellular ATP is a signal which determines survival or apoptosis of VICs and, in doing so, plays a major role in the development of CAVD. Specifically, in CAVD and in VIC cultures undergoing mineralization, we found a high level of the ectonucleotidase ENPP1. In addition, a genetic polymorphism in the intron 9 of the ENPP1 gene was associated with CAVD in a case-control cohort as well as with mRNA expression levels of ENPP1 in aortic valves. A high level of ENPP1 in CAVD promoted apoptosis-mediated mineralization of VICs by depleting the extracellular pool of ATP. We then documented that release of ATP by VICs promoted cell survival via the P2Y(2) receptor and the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Hence, our results show that level of ENPP1 modulates extracellular concentration of ATP, which is an important survival signal for VICs. These findings may help to develop novel pharmacological treatment for CAVD.
- SourceAvailable from: Ablajan Mahmut[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The regulation of phosphate (Pi) handling is crucial during calcification of the aortic valve. Gene profiling of Pi transporters revealed that VIC culture expresses SLC201A1/Pit1 and SLC20A2/Pit2. On exposure to a mineralizing medium (2 mM Pi), the expression of Pi transporters in VIC culture is increased several folds, with the highest magnitude for SLC20A1. By using siRNAs, we established that silencing SLC20A1 significantly reduced Pi-induced mineralization of VICs. In human pathological specimens, we found that the expression of SCL20A1 was increased in CAVD tissues compared to control non-mineralized aortic valves. Treatment of VIC culture with Pi promoted the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and cytochrome c release within the cytosol, leading to apoptosis. Inhibition of Pi transporters with phosphonoformic acid (PFA) prevented Pi-mediated apoptosis of VICs. Moreover, we discovered that the level of the Akt-1 transcript is diminished in CAVD tissues compared with control valves. Accordingly, treatment with Pi caused a reduction of the Akt-1 transcript in VIC culture, and treatment with PFA or siRNA against SLC20A1 restored the level of Akt-1. Overexpression of Akt-1 (pCMVAkt-1) prevented both Pi-induced apoptosis and mineralization of VIC culture. These results strongly suggest that overexpression of SLC20A1 promotes apoptosis and mineralization by altering the level of Akt-1.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53393. · 3.73 Impact Factor