[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypothermia can occur during fasting when thermoregulatory mechanisms, involving fatty acid (FA) utilization, are disturbed. CD36/FA translocase is a membrane protein which facilitates membrane transport of long-chain FA in the FA consuming heart, skeletal muscle (SkM) and adipose tissues. It also accelerates uptake of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein by brown adipose tissue (BAT) in a cold environment. In mice deficient for CD36 (CD36−/− mice), FA uptake is markedly reduced with a compensatory increase in glucose uptake in the heart and SkM, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose especially during fasting. However, the role of CD36 in thermogenic activity during fasting remains to be determined. In fasted CD36−/− mice, body temperature drastically decreased shortly after cold exposure. The hypothermia was accompanied by a marked reduction in blood glucose and in stores of triacylglycerols in BAT and of glycogen in glycolytic SkM. Biodistribution analysis using the FA analogue 125I-BMIPP and the glucose analogue 18F-FDG revealed that uptake of FA and glucose was severely impaired in BAT and glycolytic SkM in cold-exposed CD36−/− mice. Further, induction of the genes of thermogenesis in BAT was blunted in fasted CD36−/− mice after cold exposure. These findings strongly suggest that CD36−/− mice exhibit pronounced hypothermia after fasting due to depletion of energy storage in BAT and glycolytic SkM and to reduced supply of energy substrates to these tissues. Our study underscores the importance of CD36 for nutrient homeostasis to survive potentially life-threatening challenges, such as cold and starvation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of the American Heart Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
Preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: Bone-derived phosphaturic hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) has been postulated to be involved in vascular calcification. However, both clinical and basic researches have demonstrated conflicting evidence as to whether FGF-23 imparts protective or a harmful role on vasculature. The aim of this study was to determine the role of FGF23 in the development of the vascular calcification.
Methods and results: We examined the association between serum FGF23 levels and coronary artery calcification (CAC) in 60 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT). Results showed that serum FGF23 levels were significantly elevated in patients with CAC score ≥100 U compared with those with low CAC score <100 U (p<0.01). Of Interest, FGF23 levels were positively correlated with osteoprotegerin (OPG), a decoy receptor for RANKL (r=0.65, p<0.01). Next, we examined the effects of FGF23 on the osteogenic differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). RT-PCR showed the abundant expression of the klotho gene, a co-receptor for FGF23, and the FGF receptors 1-4 genes in cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC), while no expression of the klotho gene was detected in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). Western blot analyses revealed that FGF23 stimulated ERK phosphorylation and Egr-1 expression in HASMC, indicating that MAP kinase/Egr-1 pathway is activated by FGF23 in HASMC. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of mRNA prepared from HASMC transduced with adenovirus expressing human FGF23 showed that FGF23 blocked phosphate-induced expression of the osteoblast-marker genes including BMP2, Msx2, Runx2 and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). In contrast, mRNA expression of OPG and matrix gla protein (MGP), both of which serve as physiological inhibitors for osteogenesis, was significantly up-regulated by FGF23 in HASMC, but not HAEC. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that OPG secretion was markedly increased in FGF23-expressing HASMC but not FGF23-expressing HAEC. Moreover, ALP activity, induced by beta glycerophosphate (βGP), was markedly decreased in HASMC expressing hFGF23 compared with HASMC expressing LacZ.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that FGF23 induces OPG expression and negatively regulates osteogenic differentiation of HASMC. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that FGF23/Klotho signaling prevents vascular SMC from phosphorus, a direct vascular toxin.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · European Heart Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: Integrity of vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) function plays an important role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Increasing evidence has given credit to elevated plasma free fatty acids as crucial risk factor for atherosclerotic disease in obese or diabetic patients. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which disturbance of fatty acid metabolism in VSMC results in atherosclerosis. In this study, we focused on two fatty acid catalytic enzymes, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), that catalyzes the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) from saturated fatty acids (SFA), and elongase of long chain fatty acids 6 (Elovl6), that catalyzes the elongation of long-chain SFA and MUFA.
Methods and results: We first examined SCD1 and Elovl6 expressions in neointimal hyperplasia by immunohistochemistry. Both SCD1 and Elovl6 were co-localized with smooth muscle alpha-actin-positive cells in medial layer of normal vessels while they were dramatically increased in 14-day balloon-injured rat aortas or intimal thickening area of human coronary artery. Furthermore, SCD1 and Elovl6 mRNA expressions in cultured human aortic SMC (HASMC) were significantly increased by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b; 15.2-fold) or platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB; 2.4-fold) which is negative regulator of SMC differentiation. We next examined whether SCD1 or Elovl6 expressions affect cell proliferation in VSMC. Knockdown of SCD1 or Elovl6 expressions in HASMC significantly suppressed DNA synthesis measured by [3H]-thymidine incorporation (63% and 16%, respectively, relative to control, p<0.01). These effects were blunted by adenovirus-mediated overexpression. Furthermore, SCD1 or Elovl6 knockdown markedly induced p21 and p53 expressions, phospholyration of AMP-activated protein kinase (p-AMPK) and suppressed mTOR expression levels, which lead to inhibit cell proliferation. Of importance, analysis of FFA composition in VSMC showed that both SCD1 and Elovl6 knockdown markedly increased the proportion of palmitic acid, while decreased that of MUFAs such as palmitoleic acid or oleic acid. In accordance with these results, palmitic acid substantially suppressed DNA synthesis and induced p21 or p-AMPK expressions.
Conclusions: Collectively, our results suggest that perturbation of fatty acid desaturation or elongation in VSMC causes the shift of fatty acid composition and the inhibition of cell proliferation. Therefore, fatty acid metabolism and composition is crucial for SMC proliferation and progression of atherosclerosis.
Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · European Heart Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
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.
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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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 LJagged1 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)6GG (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 fibrosisandlung specimensfrompatients 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-dependentandTCE-dependent mannerin alveolar epithelial cells. Our data also imply that Notch induces the EMT phenotype, with increased migratory behavior in pulmonary fibrosis.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
No preview · Article · May 2011 · AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
Preview · Article · Sep 2010 · American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
No preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications