Rebecca Zee

Whitaker Wellness Institute, Newport Beach, California, United States

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Publications (6)21.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Characteristic morphological and molecular alterations such as vessel wall thickening and reduction of nitric oxide occur in the aging vasculature leading to the gradual loss of vascular homeostasis. Consequently, the risk of developing acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases increases with age. Current research of the underlying molecular mechanisms of endothelial function demonstrates a duality of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in contributing to vascular homeostasis or leading to detrimental effects when formed in excess. Furthermore, changes in function and redox status of vascular smooth muscle cells contribute to age-related vascular remodeling. The age-dependent increase in free radical formation causes deterioration of the nitric oxide signaling cascade, alters and activates prostaglandin metabolism, and promotes novel oxidative posttranslational protein modifications that interfere with vascular and cell signaling pathways. As a result, vascular dysfunction manifests. Compensatory mechanisms are initially activated to cope with age-induced oxidative stress, but become futile, which results in irreversible oxidative modifications of biological macromolecules. These findings support the 'free radical theory of aging' but also show that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are essential signaling molecules, regulating vascular homeostasis.
    Annals of Medicine 03/2012; · 4.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we demonstrate a new paradigm in redox signaling, whereby oxidants resulting from metabolic stress directly alter protein palmitoylation by oxidizing reactive cysteine thiolates. In mice fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet and in cultured endothelial cells (ECs) treated with high palmitate and high glucose (HPHG), there was decreased HRas palmitoylation on Cys181/184 (61±24% decrease for cardiac tissue and 38±7.0% in ECs). This was due to oxidation of Cys181/184, detected using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI TOF)-TOF. Decrease in HRas palmitoylation affected its compartmentalization and Ras binding domain binding activity, with a shift from plasma membrane tethering to Golgi localization. Loss of plasma membrane-bound HRas decreased growth factor-stimulated ERK phosphorylation (84±8.6% decrease) and increased apoptotic signaling (24±6.5-fold increase) after HPHG treatment that was prevented by overexpressing wild-type but not C181/184S HRas. The essential role of HRas in metabolic stress was made evident by the similar effects of expressing an inactive dominant negative N17-HRas or a MEK inhibitor. Furthermore, the relevance of thiol oxidation was demonstrated by overexpressing manganese superoxide dismutase, which improved HRas palmitoylation and ERK phosphorylation, while lessening apoptosis in HPHG treated ECs.
    The FASEB Journal 11/2011; 26(2):832-41. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Free Radical Biology and Medicine - FREE RADICAL BIOL MED. 01/2011; 51.
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    ABSTRACT: Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is an NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylase that is sensitive to oxidative signals. Our purpose was to determine whether SIRT1 activity is sensitive to the low molecular weight nitrosothiol, S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), which can transduce oxidative signals into physiological responses. SIRT1 formed mixed disulfides with GSNO-Sepharose, and mass spectrometry identified several cysteines that are modified by GSNO, including Cys-67 which was S-glutathiolated. GSNO had no effect on basal SIRT1 deacetylase activity, but inhibited stimulation of activity by resveratrol (RSV) with an IC(50) of 69 microM. These observations indicate that S-glutathiolation of SIRT1 by low concentrations of reactive glutathione can modulate its enzymatic activity.
    Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 04/2010; 13(7):1023-32. · 8.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aging is an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, which can be accelerated by atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, or obesity. Vascular aging is mainly characterized by endothelial dysfunction, an alteration of endothelium-dependent signaling processes, and vascular remodeling. The underlying mechanisms include increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inactivation of nitric oxide (•NO), and subsequent formation of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species (RNOS). Elevated RNOS may exhibit new messenger functions by posttranslational oxidative modification of intracellular regulatory proteins or lead to irreversible alterations of biological macromolecules. Various cellular sources may contribute to radical formation and are discussed in the context of the free radical hypothesis of aging. Clinically, endothelial dysfunction can be assessed by plethysmography, which may serve as an independent predictor for the risk of cardiovascular events. Current concepts in vascular aging, consequences for the development of cardiovascular events, and the particular role mitochondria may play in the development of RNOS-induced pathologic processes are discussed. KeywordsAging-Mitochondrial oxidative stress-Vascular oxidative stress-Vascular dysfunction-Endothelial dysfunction-Antioxidant proteins
    12/2009: pages 237-257;
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    ABSTRACT: Ageing is an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Vascular ageing is mainly characterized by endothelial dysfunction, an alteration of endothelium-dependent signalling processes and vascular remodelling. The underlying mechanisms comprise increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inactivation of nitric oxide (.NO) and subsequent formation of peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)). Elevated ONOO(-) may exhibit new messenger functions by post-translational oxidative modification of intracellular regulatory proteins. Mitochondria are a major source of age-associated superoxide formation, as electrons are misdirected from the respiratory chain. Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), a mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme, is an integral part of the nucleoids and may protect mitochondrial DNA from ROS. A model linking .NO, mitochondria, MnSOD and its acetylation/deacetylation by sirtuins (NAD+-dependent class III histone deacetylases) may be the basis for a potentially new powerful therapeutic intervention in the ageing process.
    Experimental physiology 12/2008; 94(3):305-10. · 3.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

68 Citations
21.81 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2011
    • Whitaker Wellness Institute
      Newport Beach, California, United States
    • University of Zurich
      • Institute of Physiology
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2009
    • Boston University
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States