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Publications (24)77.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hypothermia is rapidly induced during cold exposure when thermoregulatory mechanisms, including fatty acid (FA) utilization, are disturbed. FA binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5, which are abundantly expressed in adipose tissues and macrophages, have been identified as key molecules in the pathogenesis of overnutrition-related diseases, such as insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. We have recently shown that FABP4/5 are prominently expressed in capillary endothelial cells in the heart and skeletal muscle and play a crucial role in FA utilization in these tissues. However, the role of FABP4/5 in thermogenesis remains to be determined. In this study, we showed that thermogenesis is severely impaired in mice lacking both FABP4 and FABP5 (DKO mice), as manifested shortly after cold exposure during fasting. In DKO mice, the storage of both triacylglycerol in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and glycogen in skeletal muscle (SkM) was nearly depleted after fasting, and a biodistribution analysis using 125I-BMIPP revealed that non-esterified FAs (NEFAs) are not efficiently taken up by BAT despite the robustly elevated levels of serum NEFAs. In addition to the severe hypoglycemia observed in DKO mice during fasting, cold exposure did not induce the uptake of glucose analogue 18F-FDG by BAT. These findings strongly suggest that DKO mice exhibit pronounced hypothermia after fasting due to the depletion of energy storage in BAT and SkM and the reduced supply of energy substrates to these tissues. In conclusion, FABP4/5 play an indispensable role in thermogenesis in BAT and SkM. Our study underscores the importance of FABP4/5 for overcoming life-threatening environments, such as cold and starvation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90825. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the established role of alveolar type II epithelial cells for the maintenance of pulmonary function, little is known about the deregulation of lipid composition in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. The elongation of long-chain fatty acids family member 6 (Elovl6) is a rate-limiting enzyme catalysing the elongation of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Here we show that Elovl6 expression is significantly downregulated after an intratracheal instillation of bleomycin (BLM) and in human lung with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Elovl6-deficient (Elovl6(-/-)) mice treated with BLM exhibit severe fibroproliferative response and derangement of fatty acid profile compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, Elovl6 knockdown induces a change in fatty acid composition similar to that in Elovl6(-/-) mice, resulting in induction of apoptosis, TGF-β1 expression and reactive oxygen species generation. Our findings demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for Elovl6 in the regulation of lung homeostasis, and in pathogenesis and exacerbation of BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
    Nature Communications 10/2013; 4:2563. · 10.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fatty acids (FAs) are the major substrate for energy production in the heart. Here, we hypothesize that capillary endothelial fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5 play an important role in providing sufficient FAs to the myocardium. Both FABP4/5 were abundantly expressed in capillary endothelium in the heart and skeletal muscle. The uptake of a FA analogue, 125I-15-(p-iodophenyl)-3-(R,S)-methyl pentadecanoic acid, was significantly reduced in these tissues in double-knockout (DKO) mice for FABP4/5 compared with wild-type mice. In contrast, the uptake of a glucose analogue, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose, was remarkably increased in DKO mice. The expression of transcripts for the oxidative catabolism of FAs was reduced during fasting, whereas transcripts for the glycolytic pathway were not altered in DKO hearts. Notably, metabolome analysis revealed that phosphocreatine and ADP levels were significantly lower in DKO hearts, whereas ATP content was kept at a normal level. The protein expression levels of the glucose transporter Glut4 and the phosphorylated form of phosphofructokinase-2 were increased in DKO hearts, whereas the phosphorylation of insulin receptor-β and Akt was comparable between wild-type and DKO hearts during fasting, suggesting that a dramatic increase in glucose usage during fasting is insulin independent and is at least partly attributed to the post-transcriptional and allosteric regulation of key proteins that regulate glucose uptake and glycolysis. Capillary endothelial FABP4/5 are required for FA transport into FA-consuming tissues that include the heart. These findings identify FABP4/5 as promising targets for controlling the metabolism of energy substrates in FA-consuming organs that have muscle-type continuous capillary.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 08/2013; · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelium is a crucial blood-tissue interface controlling energy supply according to organ needs. We investigated whether peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) induces expression of fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) and fatty acid translocase (FAT)/CD36 in capillary endothelial cells (ECs) to promote FA transport into the heart. Expression of FABP4 and CD36 was induced by the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone in human cardiac microvessel ECs (HCMECs), but not in human umbilical vein ECs. Real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry of the heart tissue of control (Pparg(fl/null)) mice showed an increase in expression of FABP4 and CD36 in capillary ECs by either pioglitazone treatment or 48 hours of fasting, and these effects were not found in mice deficient in endothelial PPARγ (Pparg(▵)(EC)(/null)). Luciferase reporter constructs of the Fabp4 and CD36 promoters were markedly activated by pioglitazone in HCMECs through canonical PPAR-responsive elements. Activation of PPARγ facilitated FA uptake by HCMECs, which was partially inhibited by knockdown of either FABP4 or CD36. Uptake of an FA analogue, (125)I-BMIPP, was significantly reduced in heart, red skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue in Pparg(▵)(EC)(/null) mice as compared with Pparg(fl/null) mice after olive oil loading, whereas those values were comparable between Pparg(fl/null) and Pparg(▵)(EC)(/null) null mice on standard chow and a high-fat diet. Furthermore, Pparg(▵)(EC)(/null) mice displayed slower triglyceride clearance after olive oil loading. These findings identified a novel role for capillary endothelial PPARγ as a regulator of FA handing in FA-metabolizing organs including the heart in the postprandial state after long-term fasting.
    Journal of the American Heart Association. 01/2013; 2(1):e004861.
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    ABSTRACT: Free fatty acids (FFAs), elevated in metabolic syndrome and diabetes, play a crucial role in the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) counteracts many aspects of FFA-induced vascular pathology. Although vascular calcification is invariably associated with atherosclerosis, the mechanisms involved are not completely elucidated. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that EPA prevents the osteoblastic differentiation and mineralization of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) induced by palmitic acid (PA), the most abundant long-chain saturated fatty acid in plasma. PA increased and EPA abolished the expression of the genes for bone-related proteins, including bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, Msx2 and osteopontin in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC). Among the long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase (ACSL) subfamily, ACSL3 expression was predominant in HASMC, and PA robustly increased and EPA efficiently inhibited ACSL3 expression. Importantly, PA-induced osteoblastic differentiation was mediated, at least in part, by ACSL3 activation because acyl-CoA synthetase (ACS) inhibitor or siRNA targeted to ACSL3 completely prevented the PA induction of both BMP-2 and Msx2. Conversely, adenovirus-mediated ACSL3 overexpression enhanced PA-induced BMP-2 and Msx2 expression. In addition, EPA, ACSL3 siRNA and ACS inhibitor attenuated calcium deposition and caspase activation induced by PA. Notably, PA induced activation of NF-κB, and NF-κB inhibitor prevented PA-induction of osteoblastic gene expression and calcium deposition. Immunohistochemistry revealed the prominent expression of ACSL3 in VSMC and macrophages in human non-calcifying and calcifying atherosclerotic plaques from the carotid arteries. These results identify ACSL3 and NF-κB as mediators of PA-induced osteoblastic differentiation and calcium deposition in VSMC and suggest that EPA prevents vascular calcification by inhibiting such a new molecular pathway elicited by PA.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e68197. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During prolonged fasting, fatty acid (FA) released from adipose tissue is a major energy source for peripheral tissues, including the heart, skeletal muscle and liver. We recently showed that FA binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5, which are abundantly expressed in adipocytes and macrophages, are prominently expressed in capillary endothelial cells in the heart and skeletal muscle. In addition, mice deficient for both FABP4 and FABP5 (FABP4/5 DKO mice) exhibited defective uptake of FA with compensatory up-regulation of glucose consumption in these tissues during fasting. Here we showed that deletion of FABP4/5 resulted in a marked perturbation of metabolism in response to prolonged fasting, including hyperketotic hypoglycemia and hepatic steatosis. Blood glucose levels were reduced, whereas the levels of non-esterified FA (NEFA) and ketone bodies were markedly increased during fasting. In addition, the uptake of the (125)I-BMIPP FA analogue in the DKO livers was markedly increased after fasting. Consistent with an increased influx of NEFA into the liver, DKO mice showed marked hepatic steatosis after a 48-hr fast. Although gluconeogenesis was observed shortly after fasting, the substrates for gluconeogenesis were reduced during prolonged fasting, resulting in insufficient gluconeogenesis and enhanced hypoglycemia. These metabolic responses to prolonged fasting in DKO mice were readily reversed by re-feeding. Taken together, these data strongly suggested that a maladaptive response to fasting in DKO mice occurred as a result of an increased influx of NEFA into the liver and pronounced hypoglycemia. Together with our previous study, the metabolic consequence found in the present study is likely to be attributed to an impairment of FA uptake in the heart and skeletal muscle. Thus, our data provided evidence that peripheral uptake of FA via capillary endothelial FABP4/5 is crucial for systemic metabolism and may establish FABP4/5 as potentially novel targets for the modulation of energy homeostasis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e79386. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hyperleptinemia is known to participate in cardiac hypertrophy and hypertension, but the relationship between pressure overload and leptin is poorly understood. We therefore examined the expression of leptin (ob) and the leptin receptor (ob-R) in the pressure-overloaded rat heart. We also examined gene expressions in culture cardiac myocytes to clarify which hypertension-related stimulus induces these genes. RESULTS: Pressure overload was produced by ligation of the rat abdominal aorta, and ob and ob-R isoform mRNAs were measured using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We also measured these gene expressions in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes treated with angiotensin II (ANGII), endothelin-1 (ET-1), or cyclic mechanical stretch. Leptin and the long form of the leptin receptor (ob-Rb) gene were significantly increased 4 weeks after banding, but expression of the short form of the leptin receptor (ob-Ra) was unchanged. ob-Rb protein expression was also detected by immunohistochemistry in hypertrophied cardiac myocytes after banding. Meanwhile, plasma leptin concentrations were not different between the control and banding groups. In cultured myocytes, ANGII and ET-1 increased only ob mRNA expression. However, mechanical stretch activated both ob and ob-Rb mRNA expression in a time-dependent manner, but ob-Ra mRNA was unchanged by any stress. CONCLUSIONS: We first demonstrated that both pressure mediated hypertrophy and mechanical stretch up-regulate ob-Rb gene expression in heart and cardiac myocytes, which are thought to be important for leptin action in cardiac myocytes. These results suggest a new local mechanism by which leptin affects cardiac remodeling in pressure-overloaded hearts.
    BMC Cell Biology 12/2012; 13(1):37. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a direct target gene of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling, plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. We previously showed that Runx2, a key transcription factor in osteoblast differentiation, regulates osteogenic conversion and dedifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that Runx2 modulates CTGF gene expression via the regulation of TGF-β signaling. Expression of the Runx2 gene was decreased, and CTGF mRNA levels were reciprocally increased by TGF-β in a time-dependent manner in cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) and C3H10T1/2 cells. Forced expression of Runx2 decreased and the reduction of Runx2 expression by small interfering RNA enhanced both basal and TGF-β-stimulated CTGF gene expression in HASMCs. Site-directed mutation analysis of the CTGF promoter indicated that transcriptional repression by Runx2 was mediated by the Smad-binding element (SBE) under basal and TGF-β-stimulated conditions. Data obtained from immunoblots of Runx2-, Smad3- or Smad4-transfected cells and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that Runx2 interacts with Smad3 at the SBE. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the expression of Runx2 and CTGF was distinct and almost mutually exclusive in human atherosclerotic plaque. These results for the first time demonstrate that Runx2/Smad3 complex negatively regulates endogenous and TGF-β-induced CTGF gene expression in VSMCs. Thus, the induction of Runx2 expression contributes to the phenotypic modulation of VSMCs, in which the TGF-β/Smad pathway plays a major role.
    Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 01/2012; 19(1):23-35. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mismatch between the uptake and utilization of long-chain fatty acids in the myocardium leads to abnormally high intracellular fatty acid concentration, which ultimately induces myocardial dysfunction. Stearoyl-Coenzyme A desaturase-1 (SCD1) is a rate-limiting enzyme that converts saturated fatty acids (SFAs) to monounsaturated fatty acids. Previous studies have shown that SCD1-deficinent mice are protected from insulin resistance and diet-induced obesity; however, the role of SCD1 in the heart remains to be determined. We examined the expression of SCD1 in obese rat hearts induced by a sucrose-rich diet for 3 months. We also examined the effect of SCD1 on myocardial energy metabolism and apoptotic cell death in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes in the presence of SFAs. Here we showed that the expression of SCD1 increases 3.6-fold without measurable change in the expression of lipogenic genes in the heart of rats fed a high-sucrose diet. Forced SCD1 expression augmented palmitic acid-induced lipid accumulation, but attenuated excess fatty acid oxidation and restored reduced glucose oxidation. Of importance, SCD1 substantially inhibited SFA-induced caspase 3 activation, ceramide synthesis, diacylglycerol synthesis, apoptotic cell death, and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Experiments using SCD1 siRNA confirmed these observations. Furthermore, we showed that exposure of cardiac myocytes to glucose and insulin induced SCD1 expression. Our results indicate that SCD1 is highly regulated by a metabolic syndrome component in the heart, and such induction of SCD1 serves to alleviate SFA-induced adverse fatty acid catabolism, and eventually to prevent SFAs-induced apoptosis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33283. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Notch is an ancient cell-signaling system that regulates the specification of cell fate. This study examined the role of Notch in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and myofibroblast differentiation of cultured RLE-6TN cells (i.e., rat alveolar epithelial cells). The activation of Notch, either by ectopic expression of the Notch intracellular domain or by the co-culture of RLE-6TN cells with L-Jagged1 cells, induces the expression of smooth muscle α-actin (SMA) and other mesenchymal marker genes (collagen I and vimentin), and reduces the expression of epithelial marker genes (E-cadherin, occludin, and zonula occludens-1). The pharmacologic inhibition of the endogenous Notch signal significantly inhibited the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced expression of SMA. Cell migratory capacity was increased by Notch. Luciferase assays revealed that the CC(A/T)(6)GG (CArG) box and the TGF-β control element (TCE) are required for Notch-induced SMA gene transcription. DNA microarray analysis revealed that members of the TGF-β family as well as Jagged1 were induced in RLE-6TN cells by Notch. Western blot analysis showed that Notch induced the phosphorylation of Smad3, and the TGF-β receptor type I/activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) kinase inhibitor SB431542 markedly reduced the Notch-induced expression of SMA. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays confirmed the production of TGF-β1 from RLE-6TN cells by Notch. Immunohistochemistry of a bleomycin-induced model of pulmonary fibrosis and lung specimens from patients with idiopathic interstitial pneumonias showed that Notch was strongly expressed in myofibroblasts, identified as SMA-positive cells. These data indicate that Notch induces myofibroblast differentiation through a TGF-β-Smad3 pathway that activates SMA gene transcription in a CArG-dependent and TCE-dependent manner in alveolar epithelial cells. Our data also imply that Notch induces the EMT phenotype, with increased migratory behavior in pulmonary fibrosis.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 07/2011; 45(1):136-44. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification is regulated in a process similar to bone formation. BMP2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2) is essential for osteoblastic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitor cells and thus has been implicated in the development of vascular calcification. Here we examined whether Notch signaling interacts with BMP2 signaling to regulate osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). BMP2 alone scarcely induced the expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an ectoenzyme crucially required for active biomineralization, in human aortic SMCs (HASMCs), despite its strong induction in osteoblast precursor MC3T3-E1 cells. Notably, overexpression of the Notch1 intracellular domain (N1-ICD) markedly enhanced BMP2-mediated induction of ALP activity and mineralization of HASMCs. In HASMCs, expression of Msx2 gene, a well documented BMP2 target gene in osteoblasts, was barely induced by BMP2 alone, and N1-ICD clearly enhanced the BMP2-driven Msx2 gene expression. Deletion and site-directed mutation analysis of Msx2 gene promoter revealed that the RBPJk-binding site was necessary for BMP2 responsiveness. Using the RBPJk-deficient cells and siRNA for RBPJk, we showed that RBPJk was required for BMP2 induction of Msx2 gene expression and ALP activity. Moreover, we showed that Smad1, a transcription factor downstream of BMP2 signaling, interacted with N1-ICD to form a complex within the Msx2 promoter. Immunohistochemistry of human calcifying atherosclerotic plaques revealed colocalized expression of Notch1, BMP2, and Msx2. These results indicate that the Notch intracellular domain·RBPJk complex enhances the BMP2-induced Msx2 gene expression by cooperating with Smad1 and suggest that Notch signaling makes vascular SMC responsive to BMP2 and promotes vascular calcification.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2011; 286(21):19138-48. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a transcription factor that functions as a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis, has been implicated in fibrinogenesis. Here, we explore the role of HIF-1α in transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling by examining the effects of TGF-β(1) on the expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Immunohistochemistry of lung tissue from a mouse bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis model revealed that expression of HIF-1α and PAI-1 was predominantly induced in alveolar macrophages. Real-time RT-PCR and ELISA analysis showed that PAI-1 mRNA and activated PAI-1 protein level were strongly induced 7 days after BLM instillation. Stimulation of cultured mouse alveolar macrophages (MH-S cells) with TGF-β(1) induced PAI-1 production, which was associated with HIF-1α protein accumulation. This accumulation of HIF-1α protein was inhibited by SB431542 (type I TGF-β receptor/ALK receptor inhibitor) but not by PD98059 (MEK1 inhibitor) and SB203580 (p38 MAP kinase inhibitor). Expression of prolyl-hydroxylase domain (PHD)-2, which is essential for HIF-1α degradation, was inhibited by TGF-β(1), and this decrease was abolished by SB431542. TGF-β(1) induction of PAI-1 mRNA and its protein expression were significantly attenuated by HIF-1α silencing. Transcriptome analysis by cDNA microarray of MH-S cells after HIF-1α silencing uncovered several pro-fibrotic genes whose regulation by TGF-β(1) required HIF-1α, including platelet-derived growth factor-A. Taken together, these findings expand our concept of the role of HIF-1α in pulmonary fibrosis in mediating the effects of TGF-β(1) on the expression of the pro-fibrotic genes in activated alveolar macrophages.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 01/2011; 300(5):L740-52. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Notch is an ancient cell signaling system that regulates cell fate specification. This study examined the role of Notch in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and myofibroblast differentiation of cultured RLE-6TN cells, rat alveolar epithelial cells. Activation of Notch, either by ectopic expression of Notch intracellular domain or by coculture of RLE-6TN cells with L-Jagged1 cells, induced the expression of the smooth muscle α-actin (SMA) and other mesenchymal marker genes (collagen I and vimentin) and reduced the expression of the epithelial marker genes (E-cadherin, occludin and zonula occludens-1). Pharmacological inhibition of endogenous Notch signal significantly inhibited transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced SMA expression. Cell migratory capacity was increased by Notch. Luciferase assays revealed that CArG box and TGF-β-control element (TCE) are required for Notch-induced SMA gene transcription. DNA microarray analysis revealed that members of TGF-β family as well as Jagged1 were induced in RLE-6TN cells by Notch. Western blot analysis showed that Notch induced phosphorylation of Smad3 and TGF-β receptor typeI/ALK5 kinase inhibitor SB431542 markedly reduced Notch-induced SMA expression. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays confirmed the production of TGF-β1 from RLE-6TN cells by Notch. Immunohistochemistry of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model and lung specimens from idiopathic interstitial pneumonias patients showed that Notch was strongly expressed in myofibroblasts as identified as SMA-positive cells. These data indicate that Notch induces myofibroblast differentiation through TGF-ß/Smad3 pathway which activates SMA gene transcription in a CArG- and TCE-dependent manner in alveolar epithelial cells. Our data also imply that Notch induces EMT phenotype with an increased migratory behavior in pulmonary fibrosis.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 09/2010; · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of bone-associated proteins and osteoblastic transcription factor Runx2 in arterial cells has been implicated in the development of vascular calcification. However, the signaling upstream of the Runx2-mediated activation of osteoblastic program in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) is poorly understood. We examined the effects of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), an important regulator of bone formation, on osteoblastic differentiation of VSMC. Stimulation of cultured rat aortic SMC (RASMC) with FGF-2 induced the expression of the osteoblastic markers osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin. Luciferase assays showed that FGF-2 induced osteocyte-specific element (OSE)-dependent transcription. Downregulation of Runx2 by siRNA repressed the basal and FGF-2-stimulated expression of the OPN gene in RASMC. FGF-2 produced hydrogen peroxide in RASMC, as evaluated by fluorescent probe. Induction of OPN expression by FGF-2 was inhibited not only by PD98059 (MEK1 inhibitor) and PP1 (c-Src inhibitor), but also by an antioxidant, N-acetyl cysteine. Nuclear extracts from FGF-2-treated RASMC exhibited increased DNA-binding of Runx2 to its target sequence. Immunohistochemistry of human coronary atherectomy specimens and calcified aortic tissues showed that expression of FGF receptor-1 and Runx2 was colocalized. In conclusion, these results suggest that FGF-2 plays a role in inducing osteoblastic differentiation of VSMC by activating Runx2 through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent- and oxidative stress-sensitive-signaling pathways.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2009; 394(2):243-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that oxidative stress is induced by metabolic syndrome (MetS), leading to cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is frequently complicated with MetS, and OSAS is also considered to induce oxidative stress. Thus, we examined the plasma and urine markers of oxidative stress and antioxidant status in patients with OSAS with or without MetS. Sixty-nine Japanese men suspected of having OSAS were recruited. We divided all patients into 3 groups: nonobese patients, obese patients without MetS, and patients with MetS. Oxidative stress markers, plasma and urine 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and plasma N epsilon-(hexanoyl) lysine (HEL), and an antioxidant status marker, plasma total antioxidant status, were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The plasma HEL level was significantly increased in patients with MetS, whereas neither plasma and urine 8-OHdG levels nor plasma total antioxidant status level was different in patients with MetS. Furthermore, the plasma HEL level was significantly and positively correlated with fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin, and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index in all subjects. The oxidative stress is strongly associated with the presence of MetS but not related to the presence or severity of OSAS. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the plasma concentration of HEL is a more sensitive biomarker of oxidative stress in patients with MetS than the plasma and urine levels of 8-OHdG.
    The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 08/2009; 338(2):127-33. · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TGFbeta and proliferation/phenotypic switching of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) play a pivotal role in pathogenesis of atherosclerotic and restenotic lesions after angioplasty. We have previously shown that the protein inhibitor of activated STAT (PIAS)1 activates expression of SMC differentiation marker genes including smooth muscle (SM) alpha-actin by interacting with serum response factor (SRF) and class I bHLH proteins. Here, we tested the hypothesis that TGFbeta activates SM alpha-actin through PIAS1. An siRNA specific for PIAS1 and ubc9, an E2-ligase for sumoylation, inhibited TGFbeta-induced expression of SM alpha-actin in cultured SMCs as determined by real-time RT-PCR. Overexpression of PIAS1 increased SM alpha-actin promoter activity in a TGFbeta control element (TCE)-dependent manner. Because the TCE within the SM alpha-actin promoter could mediate repression through interaction with KLF4, we tested whether PIAS1 regulates the function of KLF4 for SMC gene expression. PIAS1 interacted with KLF4 in mammalian two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation assays, and overexpression of PIAS1 inhibited KLF4-repression of SM alpha-actin promoter activity. Moreover, PIAS1 promoted degradation of KLF4 through sumoylation. These results provide evidence that PIAS1 promotes TGFbeta-induced activation of SM alpha-actin gene expression at least in part by promoting sumoylation and degradation of the TCE repressor protein, KLF4.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 01/2009; 29(1):99-106. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phenotypic plasticity and the switching of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) play a critical role in atherosclerosis. Although Runx2, a key osteogenic transcription factor, is expressed in atherosclerotic plaques, the molecular mechanisms by which Runx2 regulates SMC differentiation remain unclear. Here we demonstrated that Runx2 repressed SMC differentiation induced by myocardin, which acts as a coactivator for serum response factor (SRF). Myocardin-mediated induction of SMC gene expression was enhanced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from Runx2 null mice compared to wild-type mice. Forced expression of Runx2 decreased the expression of SMC genes and promoted osteogenic gene expression, whereas the reduction of Runx2 expression by small interfering RNA enhanced SMC differentiation in human aortic SMCs. Runx2 interacted with SRF and interfered with the formation of the SRF/myocardin ternary complex. Thus, this study provides the first evidence that Runx2 inhibits SRF-dependent transcription, as a corepressor independent of its DNA binding. We propose that Runx2 plays a pivotal role in osteogenic conversion tightly coupled with repression of the SMC phenotype in atherosclerotic lesions.
    Molecular and cellular biology 03/2008; 28(3):1147-60. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is frequently complicated by metabolic syndrome, including diabetes and hypertension. Both OSAS and metabolic syndrome are strongly associated with obesity. Recently, adiponectin and leptin, which are secreted by adipose tissue, have been considered to play important roles in the progression of these diseases. Thus, to examine the association between leptin, adiponectin and OSAS, we measured the serum level of these adipocytokines in the same OSAS patients. Sixty-eight consecutive Japanese men, who recorded all-night polysomnography, were enrolled in this study, and were divided into three groups, control (n=15), moderate OSAS (n=21) and severe OSAS (n=32). We measured serum levels of adiponectin and leptin by ELISA. Serum leptin levels were positively correlated with apnea hypopnea index (AHI) (r=0.552, p<0.001), the percentage of time with less than 90% hemoglobin saturation level in total sleep time (%T<90) (r=0.399, p<0.001) and body mass index (BMI) (r=0.807, p<0.0001). These parameters were suggested as the determinant factor for the serum leptin level by stepwise multiple regression analysis. On the other hand, serum adiponectin levels showed a positive correlation with age (r=0.361, p=0.005) and HDL-cholesterol level (r=0.274, p=0.039). Although there was no significant correlation between serum adiponectin levels and AHI or %T<90, serum adiponectin levels were chosen at a determinant factor of %T<90. These results suggested that the increasing severity of OSAS induces an increase in setum leptin concentration, but the serum adiponectin levels may be regulated independently of the degree of OSAS, obesity and serum leptin levels in patients with OSAS.
    Internal Medicine 01/2008; 47(21):1843-9. · 0.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Concentrations of leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, are elevated in obesity. Recently, leptin has been shown to participate in multiple biological actions including inflammation, reproduction, and angiogenesis. Leptin has also been documented as a critical component in the process of wound healing; however, leptin involvement in cardiovascular disease is poorly understood. We examined the expression of leptin (ob) and leptin receptor (ob-R) genes in the rat heart following ischemia/reperfusion, which was induced by coronary artery ligation, and mRNA was obtained from hearts 0.5 to 36 h after initiating reperfusion. Expressions of ob and ob-R mRNA were examined by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The ob and ob-Ra mRNA and protein expressions were significantly increased (p<0.01) and ob-Rb mRNA was significantly decreased (p<0.01) in hearts after 8 h of reperfusion. Furthermore, ob and ob-R proteins were expressed in injured myocytes where inflammatory cells infiltrated. In contrast, those expressions were not influenced in hearts after 8 h of ischemia stress only. To determine the functional effects of leptin on the ischemic/reperfused heart, rats were treated with anti-leptin antibodies prior to ischemia/reperfusion; however, this treatment did not affect the elevation of mRNA expression levels of inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in ischemic hearts. Our results demonstrated for the first time that ischemia/reperfusion induced leptin and leptin receptor gene expression in the rat heart. This study helps to elucidate the mechanisms behind the onset and development of ischemic heart disease concomitant with obesity.
    Life Sciences 01/2007; 80(7):672-80. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Notch signaling pathway plays a crucial role in specifying cellular fates by interaction between cellular neighbors; however, the molecular mechanism underlying smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation by Notch signaling has not been well characterized. Here we demonstrate that Jagged1-Notch signaling promotes SMC differentiation from mesenchymal cells. Overexpression of the Notch intracellular domain, an activated form of Notch, up-regulates the expression of multiple SMC marker genes including SMC-myosin heavy chain (Sm-mhc) in mesenchymal 10T1/2 cells, but not in non-mesenchymal cells. Physiological Notch stimulation by its ligand Jagged1, but not Dll4, directly induces Sm-mhc expression in 10T1/2 cells without de novo protein synthesis, indicative of a ligand-selective effect. Jagged1-induced expression of SM-MHC was blocked bygamma-secretase inhibitor, N-(N-(3,5-difluorophenyl)-l-alanyl)-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester, which impedes Notch signaling. Using Rbp-jkappa-deficient cells and site-specific mutagenesis of the SM-MHC gene, we show that such an induction is independent of the myocardin-serum response factor-CArG complex, but absolutely dependent on RBP-Jkappa, a major mediator of Notch signaling, and its cognate binding sequence. Of importance, Notch signaling and myocardin synergistically activate SM-MHC gene expression. Taken together, these data suggest that the Jagged1-Notch pathway constitutes an instructive signal for SMC differentiation through an RBP-Jkappa-dependent mechanism and augments gene expression mediated by the myocardin-SRF-CArG complex. Given that Notch pathway components are expressed in vascular SMC during normal development and disease, Notch signaling is likely to play a pivotal role in such situations to modulate the vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2006; 281(39):28555-64. · 4.65 Impact Factor