Molecular beacons can assess changes in expression and 3'-polyadenylation of human eNOS mRNA.
ABSTRACT: The endothelium plays an essential role in maintaining vascular homeostasis, and it fulfills this role by modulating intracellular signaling and gene expression in response to chemical and mechanical stimuli. Assessing changes in endothelial gene expression is essential to understanding how physiological and pathophysiological processes modulate vascular homeostasis. Here we describe the use of molecular beacons to rapidly and quantitatively assess expression and 3'-polyadenylation of a gene that is important for vascular homeostasis, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Single- and dual-fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) molecular beacon hybridization assays were developed to measure changes in mRNA levels and 3'-polyadenylation, respectively, in primary human endothelial cell cultures subjected to laminar shear stress or statin treatment. Optimized beacon hybridization assays took approximately 15 min to perform, and eNOS mRNA levels were validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Competitive inhibition assays and posttranscriptional silencing of eNOS expression were used to verify the specificity of molecular beacon fluorescence. Finally, the dual-FRET method was used to assess eNOS polyadenylation in tissues isolated from mice subjected to exercise training. These data demonstrate that molecular beacons can be used to rapidly and efficiently measure endothelial gene expression and 3'-polyadenylation. This approach could easily be adapted for studies of other endothelial genes and has promise for applications in live endothelial cells.
Project description:Pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) provide an unprecedented opportunity for the study of human tissue development, and the development of cell-based therapies for human disease. To realize these potential advances, however, methods for monitoring expression of intracellular proteins in live hESCs without altering cellular properties are needed. Molecular beacons are single-stranded oligonucleotides that have been employed to assay gene expression. To test their potential for high-throughput isolation of hESCs, we developed a dual fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) molecular beacon system using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) with Oct4 as a target. We demonstrate that Oct4 can be detected by FRET using confocal microscopy, that this can be applied in a high-throughput manner to the identification and isolation of Oct4-expressing hESCs by FACS, that FRET-positive hESCs demonstrate pluripotency in culture and in vivo, and that hESCs transfected with molecular beacons demonstrate normal growth rates and oligonucleotide extinction over time. These studies demonstrate that FRET-based FACS using molecular beacons provides a useful tool for isolating Oct4-expressing pluripotent hESCs, and may also be adapted to selecting differentiating hESCs at specific developmental time points determined by transcription factor expression without functional or genomic alteration. As such, it provides an important new method for high-throughput isolation of hESC-derived tissue-specific precursors for analytic and therapeutic purposes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Vascular dysfunction is commonly seen during severe viral infections. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), has been postulated to play an important role in regulating vascular homeostasis as well as propagation of the inflammatory reaction. We hypothesized that the loss of eNOS would negatively impact toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling and worsen vascular function to viral challenge. METHODS:Human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) were exposed to either control or eNOS siRNA and then treated with Poly I:C, a TLR3 agonist and mimicker of dsRNA viruses. Cells were assessed for protein-protein associations, cytokine and chemokine analysis as well as transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) as a surrogate of permeability. RESULTS:HMVECs that had reduced eNOS expression had a significantly elevated increase in IL-6, IL-8 and IP-10 production after Poly I:C. In addition, the knockdown of eNOS enhanced the change in TEER after Poly I:C stimulation. Western blot analysis showed enhanced phosphorylation of p38 in sieNOS treated cells with Poly I:C compared to siControl cells. Proximity ligation assays further demonstrated direct eNOS-p38 protein-protein interactions. The addition of the p38 inhibitor, SB203580, in eNOS knockdown cells reduced both cytokine production after Poly I:C, and as well as mitigated the reduction in TEER, suggesting a direct link between eNOS and p38 in TLR3 signaling. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that reduction of eNOS increases TLR3-mediated inflammation in human endothelial cells in a p38-dependent manner. This finding has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of severe viral infections and the associated vascular dysfunction.
Project description:Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-mediated NO production plays a critical role in the regulation of vascular function and pathophysiology. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) binding to eNOS holds eNOS in an inactive conformation; however, the mechanism of Cav-1-mediated inhibition of activated eNOS is unclear. Here the role of Src-dependent Cav-1 phosphorylation in eNOS negative feedback regulation is investigated. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and coimmunoprecipitation analyses, we observed increased interaction between eNOS and Cav-1 following stimulation of endothelial cells with thrombin, vascular endothelial growth factor, and Ca(2+) ionophore A23187, which is corroborated in isolated perfused mouse lung. The eNOS/Cav-1 interaction is blocked by eNOS inhibitor L-N(G)-nitroarginine methyl ester (hydrochloride) and Src kinase inhibitor 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl) pyrazolo [3, 4-d] pyrimidine. We also observe increased binding of phosphomimicking Y14D-Cav-1 mutant transduced in human embryonic kidney cells overexpressing eNOS and reduced Ca(2+)-induced NO production compared to cells expressing the phosphodefective Y14F-Cav-1 mutant. Finally, Src FRET biosensor, eNOS small interfering RNA, and NO donor studies demonstrate NO-induced Src activation and Cav-1 phosphorylation at Tyr-14, resulting in increased eNOS/Cav-1 interaction and inhibition of eNOS activity. Taken together, these data suggest that activation of eNOS promotes Src-dependent Cav-1-Tyr-14 phosphorylation and eNOS/Cav-1 binding, that is, eNOS feedback inhibition.
Project description:The optimal expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the hallmark of endothelial homeostasis, is vital to vascular function. Dynamically regulated by various stimuli, eNOS expression is modulated at transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational levels. However, epigenetic modulations of eNOS, particularly through long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and chromatin remodeling, remain to be explored. Here we identify an enhancer-associated lncRNA that enhances eNOS expression (LEENE). Combining RNA-sequencing and chromatin conformation capture methods, we demonstrate that LEENE is co-regulated with eNOS and that its enhancer resides in proximity to eNOS promoter in endothelial cells (ECs). Gain- and Loss-of-function of LEENE differentially regulate eNOS expression and EC function. Mechanistically, LEENE facilitates the recruitment of RNA Pol II to the eNOS promoter to enhance eNOS nascent RNA transcription. Our findings unravel a new layer in eNOS regulation and provide novel insights into cardiovascular regulation involving endothelial function.
Project description:Bone marrow (BM)-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in the circulation replace damaged vascular endothelium. We assessed the hypothesis that a BM transplant from healthy animals would restore normal arterial endothelium and prevent hypertension in young endothelial nitric oxide synthase-deficient (eNOS(-/-)) mice.Radiation or busulfan-induced BM ablation in eNOS(-/-) mice on day 6, day 14, or day 28 was followed by a BM transplant consisting of enhanced green fluorescent protein positive (EGFP(+)) cells from C57BL/6J mice. Peripheral blood cell chimerism was always greater than 85% at 4 months after BM transplant. Molecular assays of heart, kidney, and liver revealed low-level chimerism in all treatment groups, consistent with residual circulating EGFP(+) blood cells. When aorta, coronary, renal, hepatic, and splenic arteries in BM-transplanted eNOS(-/-) mice were examined by confocal microscopy, there were no EGFP- or eNOS-positive endothelial cells detected in these vessels in any of the treatment groups. Likewise, telemetry did not detect any reduction in blood pressure. Thus, no differences were observed in our measurements using several different treatment protocols.We found no evidence for BM-derived EPC renewal of endothelium in this eNOS-deficient mouse model of a chronic vascular disease or in wild-type mice during postnatal growth. Hence, renewal of chronic dysfunctional endothelium and endothelial homeostasis may be dependent on resident vascular progenitor cells.
Project description:Chen2006 - Nitric Oxide Release from
This model is described in the article:
Theoretical analysis of
biochemical pathways of nitric oxide release from vascular
Chen K, Popel AS.
Free Radic. Biol. Med. 2006 Aug; 41(4):
Vascular endothelium expressing endothelial nitric oxide
synthase (eNOS) produces nitric oxide (NO), which has a number
of important physiological functions in the microvasculature.
The rate of NO production by the endothelium is a critical
determinant of NO distribution in the vascular wall. We have
analyzed the biochemical pathways of NO synthesis and
formulated a model to estimate NO production by the
microvascular endothelium under physiological conditions. The
model quantifies the NO produced by eNOS based on the kinetics
of NO synthesis and the availability of eNOS and its
intracellular substrates. The predicted NO production from
microvessels was in the range of 0.005-0.1 microM/s. This range
of predicted values is in agreement with some experimental
values but is much lower than other rates previously measured
or estimated from experimental data with the help of
mathematical modeling. Paradoxical discrepancies between the
model predictions and previously reported results based on
experimental measurements of NO concentration in the vicinity
of the arteriolar wall suggest that NO can also be released
through eNOS-independent mechanisms, such as catalysis by
neuronal NOS (nNOS). We also used our model to test the
sensitivity of NO production to substrate availability, eNOS
concentration, and potential rate-limiting factors. The results
indicated that the predicted low level of NO production can be
attributed primarily to a low expression of eNOS in the
microvascular endothelial cells.
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Project description:OBJECTIVE:Mice genetically deficient in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS(-/-)) are hypertensive with lower circulating nitrite levels, indicating the importance of constitutively produced nitric oxide (NO•) to blood pressure regulation and vascular homeostasis. Although the current paradigm holds that this bioactivity derives specifically from the expression of eNOS in endothelium, circulating blood cells also express eNOS protein. A functional red cell eNOS that modulates vascular NO• signaling has been proposed. APPROACH AND RESULTS:To test the hypothesis that blood cells contribute to mammalian blood pressure regulation via eNOS-dependent NO• generation, we cross-transplanted wild-type and eNOS(-/-) mice, producing chimeras competent or deficient for eNOS expression in circulating blood cells. Surprisingly, we observed a significant contribution of both endothelial and circulating blood cell eNOS to blood pressure and systemic nitrite levels, the latter being a major component of the circulating NO• reservoir. These effects were abolished by the NOS inhibitor L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester and repristinated by the NOS substrate L-arginine and were independent of platelet or leukocyte depletion. Mouse erythrocytes were also found to carry an eNOS protein and convert (14)C-arginine into (14)C-citrulline in NOS-dependent fashion. CONCLUSIONS:These are the first studies to definitively establish a role for a blood-borne eNOS, using cross-transplant chimera models, that contributes to the regulation of blood pressure and nitrite homeostasis. This work provides evidence suggesting that erythrocyte eNOS may mediate this effect.
Project description:Despite the associations between diabetic complications and vascular endothelial dysfunction, a direct therapeutic method targeting endothelial dysfunction remains poorly characterized. We have previously shown that chemical inhibition of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) slightly enhances insulin sensitivity and reduces endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetic mice. In this study, we identified GRK2 as a novel therapeutic target of diabetic endothelial dysfunction and investigated the effect on diabetic endothelial dysfunction through the systemic administration of GRK2 siRNA using a hydrodynamic-based procedure, resulting in suppression of increased GRK2 protein levels in the liver. Suppressed GRK2 levels in the liver markedly improved glucose homeostasis, as well as improved the impaired endothelial Akt/eNOS-dependent signal activation (insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS) and vascular responses (clonidine-induced and insulin-induced endothelial-dependent relaxation response and phenylephrine-induced contractile response) in type 2 diabetic aortas. Interestingly, insulin-stimulated Akt/eNOS signaling was increased only by normalizing the glucose concentration in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with GRK2 overexpression, suggesting of an important role of hepatic GRK2. Our results clarified the relationship among hepatic GRK2, glucose homeostasis, and vascular endothelial function. Liver-targeting GRK2 siRNA delivery represents a novel therapeutic tool to restore glucose homeostasis and reduce endothelial dysfunction.
Project description:The optimal expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the hallmark of endothelial homeostasis, is vital to vascular function. Dynamically regulated by various stimuli, eNOS expression is modulated at transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational levels. However, epigenetic modulations of eNOS, particularly through long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and chromatin remodeling, remain to be explored. Here we identified an enhancer-associated lncRNA that enhances eNOS expression” (LEENE). Combining RNA-sequencing and chromatin conformation capture methods, we demonstrated that LEENE is co-regulated with eNOS and that its enhancer resides in proximity to eNOS promoter in endothelial cells (ECs). Deletion of LEENE enhancer locus decreases the LEEN-eNOS proximal association and eNOS mRNA level. Inhibition of LEENE using locked nucleic acids (LNA) decreases eNOS expression and monocyte adhesion to ECs, whereas overexpression of LEENE increases eNOS expression and eNOS-derived NO in ECs. Mechanistically, LEENE facilitates the recruitment of RNA Pol II to the eNOS promoter to enhance eNOS nascent RNA transcription. Our findings unravel a new layer in eNOS regulation and provide novel insights into cardiovascular regulation involving endothelial function. Overall design: 4C-seq for the Endothelial Nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) in endothelial cells under mechanical wall shear stress.
Project description:The aim of our study was to examine in detail the impact of NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2) activation on endothelial cell function with focus on redox homeostasis and the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) system. We administered 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic imidazolide (CDDO-IM), a known activator of Nrf2, to primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Activation of Nrf2 by CDDO-IM increased the amount of bioavailable nitric oxide (NO), a major contributor to vascular homeostasis, in naive and stressed cells. Concomitantly, intracellular reactive oxygen species were dose-and time-dependently reduced. In apparent contrast to elevated NO levels, eNOS protein expression was transiently decreased in an Nrf2-dependent manner. Employing pharmacological inhibitors as well as a small interfering RNA approach, we identified de novo protein synthesis of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and its enzymatic activity as cause for the observed reduction of eNOS. We hypothesize that under redox stress, when the availability of tetrahydrobiopterin, a pivotal stoichiometric cofactor for eNOS, is limited, activation of Nrf2 leads (a) to transient reduction of eNOS protein levels and (b) to an antioxidant defense in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Both activities ensure that a stoichiometric ratio of eNOS and tetrahydrobiopterin is sustained and that the risk of eNOS uncoupling is reduced. Our study is the first to provide a causal link between Nrf2 activation and eNOS expression and NO levels, respectively.