Mary Y K Lee

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (10)50.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Experiments were designed to determine the cause of the selective dysfunction of G(i) proteins, characterized by a reduced endothelium-dependent relaxation to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), in coronary arteries lined with regenerated endothelial cells. Part of the endothelium of the left anterior descending coronary artery of female pigs was removed in vivo to induce regeneration. The animals were treated chronically with vehicle (control), apocynin (antioxidant), or BMS309403 (A-FABP inhibitor) for 28 days before functional examination and histological analysis of segments of coronary arteries with native or regenerated endothelium of the same hearts. Isometric tension was recorded in organ chambers and cumulative concentration-relaxation curves obtained in response to endothelium-dependent [serotonin (G(i) protein mediated activation of eNOS) and bradykinin (G(q) protein mediated activation of eNOS)] and independent [detaNONOate (cGMP-mediated), isoproterenol (cAMP-mediated)] vasodilators. The two inhibitors tested did not acutely affect relaxations of preparations with either native or regenerated endothelium. In the chronically treated groups, however, both apocynin and BMS309403 abolished the reduction in relaxation to serotonin in segments covered with regenerated endothelium and prevented the intima-medial thickening caused by endothelial regeneration, without affecting responses to bradykinin or endothelium-independent agonists (detaNONOate and isoproterenol). Thus, inhibition of either oxidative stress or A-FABP likely prevents both the selective dysfunction of G(i) protein mediated relaxation to serotonin and the neointimal thickening resulting from endothelial regeneration.
    ACS Chemical Neuroscience 01/2013; 4(1):122-129. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial senescence represents one of the major characteristics of vascular aging and promotes the development of atherosclerosis. Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is an NAD-dependent deacetylase possessing antiaging activities. During the occurrence of endothelial senescence, both the expression and activity of SIRT1 are downregulated. The present study was designed to investigate the molecular mechanisms contributing to the loss-of-SIRT1 function in senescent endothelial cells. After repetitive passages, primary cultures of porcine aortic endothelial cells exhibited a severe senescence phenotype. Western blotting revealed that phosphorylation of SIRT1 at serine 47 (S47) was significantly enhanced in senescent endothelial cells. S47 phosphorylation was stimulated by agents promoting senescence and attenuated by drugs with antisenescence properties. Mutation of S47 to nonphosphorable alanine (S47A) enhanced whereas replacing S47 with phospho-mimicking aspartic acid (S47D) abolished the antisenescent, growth-promoting, and LKB1-downregulating actions of SIRT1. Phosphorylation at S47 was critically involved in the nuclear retention of SIRT1 but abolished its association with the telomeric repeat-binding factor 2-interacting protein 1. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) was identified as an SIRT1 kinase modulating S47 phosphorylation. Knockdown or inhibition of CDK5 reduced the number of senescent endothelial cells, promoted nuclear exportation of SIRT1, and attenuated the expression of inflammatory genes in porcine aortic endothelial cells. The truncated regulatory subunit of CDK5, P25, accumulated in senescent porcine aortic endothelial cells and atherosclerotic aortas. Long-term treatment with roscovitine, a CDK5 inhibitor, blocked the development of cellular senescence and atherosclerosis in aortas of hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. CDK5-mediated hyperphosphorylation of SIRT1 facilitates the development of endothelial senescence and atherosclerosis.
    Circulation 06/2012; 126(6):729-40. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial regeneration and dyslipidemia impair endothelium-dependent relaxation, while supplementation with fish oil (FO) prevents it. The genomic impact of different diets was compared in primary cultures derived from native and regenerated endothelial cells. Pigs were fed with high-cholesterol (CHL) or FO-rich diet. Partial in vivo removal of endothelium was performed to induce endothelial regeneration. Native and regenerated cells were harvested, cultured, and prepared for genomic (microarray experiments, real-time PCR) and proteomic (Western blotting) analysis. The analysis identified genomic changes induced by chronic CHL diet in native cultures resembling those induced by in vivo regeneration, as well as those that could be prevented by FO diet. At the protein level, the reduced and increased presences of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and F2, respectively, observed after regeneration combined with CHL diet were alleviated by FO. The comparison of the differential changes induced by regeneration in vivo in endothelial cells from both diet groups revealed a limited number of genes as the most likely contributors to reduction in endothelium-dependent relaxations in porcine coronary arteries lined with regenerated endothelium.
    Physiological Genomics 03/2012; 44(10):551-61. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial senescence causes endothelial dysfunction, promotes atherogenesis and contributes to age-related vascular disorders. SIRT1 is a conserved NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase possessing beneficial effects against aging-related diseases, despite that the detailed functional mechanisms are largely uncharacterized. The present study is designed to evaluate the protective effects of SIRT1 on endothelial senescence and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. An in vitro senescence model was established by prolonged culture of primary endothelial cells isolated from porcine aorta. The freshly isolated "young" cells gradually underwent senescence during 1 month of repetitive passages. Both mRNA and protein expressions of SIRT1 were progressively decreased. In contrast, the protein levels of LKB1, a serine/threonine kinase and tumor suppressor, and the phosphorylation of its downstream target AMPK(Thr172) were dramatically increased in senescent cells. Overexpression of LKB1 promoted cellular senescence and retarded endothelial proliferation, which could be blocked by increasing SIRT1 levels. Knocking down of SIRT1 induced senescence and elevated the protein levels of LKB1 and phosphorylated AMPK(Thr172). Regardless of the nutritional status, hyperactivation of AMPK was able to induce endothelial senescence. SIRT1 antagonized LKB1-dependent AMPK activation through promoting the deacetylation, ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of LKB1. The survival signaling of Akt was also found to be modulated by SIRT1 and LKB1, and could cross-regulate AMPK activity. SIRT1 and LKB1/AMPK are the 2 key sensor systems for regulating endothelial cell survival, proliferation and senescence. The protective activities of SIRT1 may be achieved at least in part by fine tuning the acetylation/deacetylation status and stabilities of LKB1 protein.
    Circulation Research 03/2010; 106(8):1384-93. · 11.86 Impact Factor
  • Mary Y K Lee, Yu Wang, Paul M Vanhoutte
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial dysfunction occurs following multiple passaging in vitro,but the molecular mechanisms involved remain unidentified. The present study defined the genomic changes related to dysfunction in cultured senescent endothelial cells. Senescent cells were produced by multiple passaging of porcine coronary arterial endothelial cells for up to 4 weeks. Genomic and proteomic studies on cultured cells at the first passage (P1) and the fourth passage (P4) were performed. Senescence and decreased NO production were observed in cells and several signaling pathways - such as IFN/STAT, IGF, TGF-beta, cytoskeleton rearrangement and lipid metabolism - were altered at P4, as judged from the microarray analysis. The basal and stimulated (by TNF-alpha) levels of NFkappaB were augmented in senescent cells in electrophoretic mobility shift assays in association with increased oxidative stress, increased p53 protein stability, and activated apoptotic pathways. The increased oxidative stress was alleviated by treatment with the superoxide dismutase mimetic MnTMPyP. After multiple passaging in vitro, porcine coronary endothelial cells exhibited dysfunction and senescence associated with reduced proliferative capacity, increased oxidative stress, and activation of the NFkappaB and p53 signaling pathways.
    Journal of Vascular Research 12/2009; 47(4):287-98. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surfactant protein D (SP-D) mediates clearance of microorganisms and modulates inflammation in response to cytotoxic stimulation. It is present in various epithelia, but also in vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Experiments were designed to determine whether or not SP-D is present in porcine coronary arterial endothelial cells and if so, to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this presence. The expression of SP-D, NO synthase, Akt 1/2 and Erk 1/2 proteins was determined in cultures at passages 1 (#1) and 4 (#4). SP-D in primary cells existed in three isoforms (37-38 kDa and 50 kDa). The 37-38 kDa SP-D forms were the dominant isoforms in the porcine endothelium and were prominent at #1 but partially lost at #4. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) significantly augmented the level of SP-D expression at #1 but not at #4. The basal level of 37-38 kDa SP-D isoforms at #1 was reduced by L-NAME, wortmannin and PD 98059. The low basal expression at #4 could be increased by DETA NONOate (donor of NO) or insulin (activator of PI(3)K/Akt). The presence of nitric oxide synthase was reduced while that of Akt 1/2 and Erk 1/2 was increased at #4. In cells both at passages 1 and 4, TNF-alpha downregulated NO synthase and up-regulated p-Erk 1/2 protein. The present findings demonstrate the presence of SP-D in endothelial cells which is NO-, PI(3)K/Akt- and Erk-dependent. They suggest a protective role of SP-D in these cells.
    Molecular Immunology 12/2008; 46(6):1050-7. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic changes were defined in cultures of regenerated porcine coronary endothelial cells to explain the alterations that underlie their dysfunction. Regeneration of the endothelium was triggered in vivo by endothelial balloon denudation. After 28 days, both left circumflex (native cells) and left anterior descending (regenerated cells) coronary arteries were dissected, their endothelial cells harvested, and primary cultures established. The basal cyclic GMP production was reduced in regenerated cells without significant reduction in the response to bradykinin and A23187. The mRNA expression levels in both native and regenerated cells were measured by microarray and RT-PCR. The comparison revealed genomic changes related to vasomotor control (cyclooxygenase-1, angiotensin II receptor), coagulation (F2 and TFPI), oxidative stress (Mn SOD, GPX3, and GSR), lipid metabolism (PLA2 and HPGD), and extracellular matrix (MMPs). A-FABP and MMP7 were induced by regeneration. RT-PCR revealed upregulation of A-FABP and downregulation of eNOS and TR. The differential gene expression profiles were confirmed at the protein level by Western blotting for eNOS, F2, Mn SOD, MMP7, and TR. Cultures from regenerated coronary endothelial cells exhibit genomic changes explaining endothelial dysfunction and suggesting facilitation of coagulation, lipid peroxidation, and extracellular matrix remodeling.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 12/2007; 27(11):2443-9. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low concentrations of genistein enhance the vasodilatation induced by endothelium-independent vasodilators. The present study examined whether or not low concentrations of genistein modulate contractions in isolated porcine coronary arteries. The role of second messengers in the response to genistein was also assessed. Arterial rings were studied in organ baths and contracted with KCl, U-46619 (9,11-dideoxy-9alpha, 11alpha-methanoepoxy prostaglandin F2alpha), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) or endothelin-1 in the absence or presence of genistein (< or =3 microM). Genistein significantly reduced agonist-induced but not KCl-induced contraction. Inhibition of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and disruption of endothelial function by Triton-X100 did not affect the modulation of contraction by genistein. The genistein-induced attenuation of contraction could be mimicked by both cAMP and cGMP analogs. However, only the cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor, Rp-8-Br-cAMPS, abolished the effect of genistein. These results suggest that genistein reduces agonist-induced contraction by an endothelium-independent manner. This action is mediated via the cAMP-dependent signal transduction pathway.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 11/2004; 503(1-3):165-72. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Mary Y K Lee, Ricky Y K Man
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    ABSTRACT: Genistein, a phytoestrogen, possesses cardioprotective effects. Responses to genistein (0.1-100 microM) were assessed in 9,11-dideoxy-9 alpha, 11 alpha-methanoepoxy prostaglandin F(2 alpha) (U46619)-contracted porcine coronary arterial rings, with significant relaxations at high concentrations. At concentrations with little relaxation, genistein (0.3-3 microM) did not affect relaxation produced by bradykinin and the calcium ionophore, A23187. In contrast, sodium nitroprusside- and cromakalim-induced relaxations were enhanced by genistein (3 microM). N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (300 microM) or Triton X-100 (0.5%) did not affect the enhancement of relaxation by genistein. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor, tyrphostin 23 (30 microM), had no effect on sodium nitroprusside-elicited relaxation. In summary, genistein relaxed porcine coronary artery at relatively high concentrations. At a physiologically relevant concentration (3 microM), it is devoid of significant vascular effect, but enhanced endothelium-independent relaxations. This effect of genistein does not involve the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) pathway and the endothelium, and is mediated through a mechanism different from tyrosine kinase inhibition.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 12/2003; 481(2-3):227-32. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary intake of phytoestrogens has been associated with a reduction in risk of cardiovascular disorders including coronary heart disease, hypertension and atherosclerosis. Phytoestrogens have long been found to be structurally similar to the female sex hormone, 17ß-estradiol, and have a wide range of estrogenic effects. Like 17ß-estradiol, phytoestrogens such as genistein have been suggested to exert its cardioprotective actions through favourable alteration of serum lipoprotein levels. There is also evidence indicating the role of isoflavones as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, calcium channel antagonists as well as antioxidants. Since genistein has a higher affinity for estrogen receptor ß than for estrogen receptor α, it is predicted to have a preferential protective effect on the cardiovascular system without significant actions on the reproductive system. Therefore, genistein and related compounds may have superiority over 17ß-estradiol as potential therapeutic agent. Key wordsEstrogen receptors–Genistein–Lipoproteins–Tyrosine kinase–Vasodilatation
    12/2002: pages 513-524;