Fluvastatin protects vascular smooth muscle cells against oxidative stress through the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant pathway.
ABSTRACT HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have pleiotropic actions, including the ability to reduce vascular oxidative stress. Transcription factor nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an important regulator of cellular oxidative stress. This study examined the role of Nrf2 in statin-mediated antioxidant effects in vascular smooth muscle cells.
In cultured human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (hCASMCs), fluvastatin activated the nuclear translocation of Nrf2, as evaluated by Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses. Nrf2-antioxidant response element (ARE) activity was measured with a luciferase assay after transfection of reporter plasmids containing AREs. Fluvastatin significantly increased the transcriptional activity of the ARE. Electromobility shift assays using an ARE probe detected a complex that was significantly increased in intensity by fluvastatin. Western blotting and luciferase assay revealed fluvastatin activated Nrf2 via the PI3K/Akt pathway. Statins upregulated the Nrf2-related antioxidant genes heme oxygenase-1, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase-1, and glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunits. Inhibition of Nrf2 by siRNA reduced statin-induced upregulation of these antioxidant genes. Moreover, Nrf2 siRNA markedly reduced the cytoprotective effects of fluvastatin against H(2)O(2) administration in hCASMCs.
Fluvastatin exerts cytoprotective effects against oxidative stress, inducing antioxidant genes through Nrf2/ARE in hCASMCs. These results suggest that the Nrf2/ARE pathway plays an important role in the regulation of statin-mediated antioxidant effects in vascular smooth muscle cells.
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ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that antioxidant response element (ARE)-regulated genes, such as heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), are induced in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) upon exposure to laminar shear stress. In the present study, we have confirmed a critical role for NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in the induction of gene expression in HUVEC exposed to laminar shear stress. Although the mRNA levels of Nrf2 were unchanged during exposure to shear stress, the protein levels of Nrf2 were markedly increased. Small interfering RNA (SiRNA) against Nrf2 significantly attenuated the expression of Nrf2-regulated genes such as HO-1, SQSTM1, NQO1, glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLM), and ferritin heavy chain. Nrf2 was rapidly degraded in cells treated with cycloheximide under static conditions, but shear stress decreased the rate of Nrf2 degradation. Incubation with the thiol antioxidant N-acetylcysteine strongly inhibited both the Nrf2 accumulation and the expression of Nrf2-regulated genes such as HO-1, GCLM, and SQSTM1. Nitric oxide (NO) production was increased with the strength of shear stress but neither the inhibitor of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) nor the siRNA against eNOS affected the expression of Nrf2-regulated genes. A xanthine oxidase inhibitor oxypurinol and the flavoprotein inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium, which inhibits NAD(P)H oxidase and mitochondrial respiratory chain, markedly suppressed the expression of these genes. Moreover, diphenylpyrenlphosphine, a reducing compound of lipid hydroperoxides, also significantly suppressed Nrf2-regulated gene expression. Taken together, these findings suggest that shear stress stabilizes Nrf2 protein via the lipid peroxidation elicited by xanthine oxidase and flavoprotein mediated generation of superoxide, resulting in gene induction by the Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway.Free Radical Biology and Medicine 02/2007; 42(2):260-9. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Growing evidence indicates that chronic and acute overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under pathophysiologic conditions is integral in the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). These ROS can be released from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate) oxidase, xanthine oxidase, lipoxygenase, mitochondria, or the uncoupling of nitric oxide synthase in vascular cells. ROS mediate various signaling pathways that underlie vascular inflammation in atherogenesis: from the initiation of fatty streak development through lesion progress to ultimate plaque rupture. Various animal models of oxidative stress support the notion that ROS have a causal role in atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Human investigations also support the oxidative stress hypothesis of atherosclerosis. Oxidative stress is the unifying mechanism for many CVD risk factors, which additionally supports its central role in CVD. Despite the demonstrated role of antioxidants in cellular and animal studies, the ineffectiveness of antioxidants in reducing cardiovascular death and morbidity in clinical trials has led many investigators to question the importance of oxidative stress in human atherosclerosis. Others have argued that the prime factor for the mixed outcomes from using antioxidants to prevent CVD may be the lack of specific and sensitive biomarkers by which to assess the oxidative stress phenotypes underlying CVD. A better understanding of the complexity of cellular redox reactions, development of a new class of antioxidants targeted to specific subcellular locales, and the phenotype-genotype linkage analysis for oxidative stress will likely be avenues for future research in this area as we move toward the broader use of pharmacological and regenerative therapies in the treatment and prevention of CVD.Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 01/2005; 25(1):29-38. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase (HO-1, encoded by Hmox1) is an inducible protein activated in systemic inflammatory conditions by oxidant stress. Vascular injury is characterized by a local reparative process with inflammatory components, indicating a potential protective role for HO-1 in arterial wound repair. Here we report that HO-1 directly reduces vasoconstriction and inhibits cell proliferation during vascular injury. Expression of HO-1 in arteries stimulated vascular relaxation, mediated by guanylate cyclase and cGMP, independent of nitric oxide. The unexpected effects of HO-1 on vascular smooth muscle cell growth were mediated by cell-cycle arrest involving p21Cip1. HO-1 reduced the proliferative response to vascular injury in vivo; expression of HO-1 in pig arteries inhibited lesion formation and Hmox1 -/- mice produced hyperplastic arteries compared with controls. Induction of the HO-1 pathway moderates the severity of vascular injury by at least two adaptive mechanisms independent of nitric oxide, and is a potential therapeutic target for diseases of the vasculature.Nature Medicine 05/2001; 7(6):693-698. · 22.86 Impact Factor