Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase by vascular endothelial growth factor mediates endothelial angiogenesis independently of nitric-oxide synthase.
ABSTRACT: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy state and a regulator of cellular homeostasis. In endothelial cells, AMPK is stimulated via the upstream kinases LKB1 and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase beta (CaMKKbeta). Previously, AMPK has been reported to activate endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS). Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we show that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates AMPK in human and mice endothelial cells via CaMKKbeta. VEGF-induced AMPK activation is potentiated under conditions of energy deprivation induced by 2-deoxyglucose. To investigate the role of AMPK in endothelial function, CaMKKbeta, AMPKalpha1, or AMPKalpha2 was down-regulated by RNA interference, and studies in AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice were performed. We demonstrate that AMPK does not mediate eNOS phosphorylation at serine residue 1177 or 633, NO- dependent cGMP generation, or Akt phosphorylation in response to VEGF. Using inhibitors of eNOS or soluble guanylyl cyclase and small interfering RNA against eNOS, we show that NO does not act upstream of AMPK. Taken together, these data indicate that VEGF-stimulated AMPK and eNOS pathways act independently of each other. However, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, a key enzyme in the regulation of fatty acid oxidation, was phosphorylated in response to VEGF in an AMPKalpha1- and AMPKalpha2-dependent manner. Our results show that AMPKalpha1 plays an essential role in VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vitro (tube formation and sprouting from spheroids) and in vivo (Matrigel plug assay). In contrast, AMPKalpha2 was not involved in VEGF-triggered sprouting. The data suggest that AMPKalpha1 promotes VEGF-induced angiogenesis independently of eNOS, possibly by providing energy via inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxylase.
Project description:ADP responses underlie therapeutic approaches to many cardiovascular diseases, and ADP receptor antagonists are in widespread clinical use. The role of ADP in platelet biology has been extensively studied, yet ADP signaling pathways in endothelial cells remain incompletely understood. We found that ADP promoted phosphorylation of the endothelial isoform of nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS) at Ser(1179) and Ser(635) and dephosphorylation at Ser(116) in cultured endothelial cells. Although eNOS activity was stimulated by both ADP and ATP, only ADP signaling was significantly inhibited by the P2Y(1) receptor antagonist MRS 2179 or by knockdown of P2Y(1) using small interfering RNA (siRNA). ADP activated the small GTPase Rac1 and promoted endothelial cell migration. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Rac1 blocked ADP-dependent eNOS Ser(1179) and Ser(635) phosphorylation, as well as eNOS activation. We analyzed pathways known to regulate eNOS, including phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt, ERK1/2, Src, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase-beta (CaMKKbeta) using the inhibitors wortmannin, PD98059, PP2, and STO-609, respectively. None of these inhibitors altered ADP-modulated eNOS phosphorylation. In contrast, siRNA-mediated knockdown of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) inhibited ADP-dependent eNOS Ser(635) phosphorylation and eNOS activity but did not affect eNOS Ser(1179) phosphorylation. Importantly, the AMPK enzyme inhibitor compound C had no effect on ADP-stimulated eNOS activity, despite completely blocking AMPK activity. CaMKKbeta knockdown suppressed ADP-stimulated eNOS activity, yet inhibition of CaMKKbeta kinase activity using STO-609 failed to affect eNOS activation by ADP. These data suggest that the expression, but not the kinase activity, of AMPK and CaMKKbeta is necessary for ADP signaling to eNOS.
Project description:Hydrogen peroxide and other reactive oxygen species are intimately involved in endothelial cell signaling. In many cell types, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been implicated in the control of metabolic responses, but the role of endothelial cell redox signaling in the modulation of AMPK remains to be completely defined. We used RNA interference and pharmacological methods to establish that H(2)O(2) is a critical activator of AMPK in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs). H(2)O(2) treatment of BAECs rapidly and significantly increases the phosphorylation of AMPK. The EC(50) for H(2)O(2)-promoted phosphorylation of AMPK is 65 + or - 15 microM, within the physiological range of cellular H(2)O(2) concentrations. The Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase-beta (CaMKKbeta) inhibitor STO-609 abolishes H(2)O(2)-dependent AMPK activation, whereas eNOS inhibitors enhance AMPK activation. Similarly, siRNA-mediated knockdown of CaMKKbeta abrogates AMPK activation, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown of eNOS leads to a striking increase in AMPK phosphorylation. Cellular imaging studies using the H(2)O(2) biosensor HyPer show that siRNA-mediated eNOS knockdown leads to a marked increase in intracellular H(2)O(2) generation, which is blocked by PEG-catalase. eNOS(-/-) mice show a marked increase in AMPK phosphorylation in liver and lung compared to wild-type mice. Lung endothelial cells from eNOS(-/-) mice also show a significant increase in AMPK phosphorylation. Taken together, these results establish that CaMKKbeta is critically involved in mediating the phosphorylation of AMPK promoted by H(2)O(2) in endothelial cells, and document that eNOS is an important negative regulator of AMPK phosphorylation and intracellular H(2)O(2) generation in endothelial cells.
Project description:Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) plays a central role in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis by controlling NO bioavailability. The activity of eNOS in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) largely depends on posttranslational modifications, including phosphorylation. Because the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in ECs can be increased by multiple cardiovascular events, we studied the phosphorylation of eNOS Ser633 by AMPK and examined its functional relevance in the mouse models. Shear stress, atorvastatin, and adiponectin all increased AMPK Thr172 and eNOS Ser633 phosphorylations, which were abolished if AMPK was pharmacologically inhibited or genetically ablated. The constitutively active form of AMPK or an AMPK agonist caused a sustained Ser633 phosphorylation. Expression of gain-/loss-of-function eNOS mutants revealed that Ser633 phosphorylation is important for NO production. The aorta of AMPKalpha2(-/-) mice showed attenuated atorvastatin-induced eNOS phosphorylation. Nano-liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) confirmed that eNOS Ser633 was able to compete with Ser1177 or acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase Ser79 for AMPKalpha phosphorylation. Nano-LC/MS/MS confirmed that eNOS purified from AICAR-treated ECs was phosphorylated at both Ser633 and Ser1177. Our results indicate that AMPK phosphorylation of eNOS Ser633 is a functional signaling event for NO bioavailability in ECs.
Project description:Shear stress imposed by blood flow is crucial for maintaining vascular homeostasis. We examined the role of shear stress in regulating SIRT1, an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase, and its functional relevance in vitro and in vivo. The application of laminar flow increased SIRT1 level and activity, mitochondrial biogenesis, and expression of SIRT1-regulated genes in cultured endothelial cells (ECs). When the effects of different flow patterns were compared in vitro, SIRT1 level was significantly higher in ECs exposed to physiologically relevant pulsatile flow than pathophysiologically relevant oscillatory flow. These results are in concert with the finding that SIRT1 level was higher in the mouse thoracic aorta exposed to atheroprotective flow than in the aortic arch under atheroprone flow. Because laminar shear stress activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), with subsequent phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) at Ser-633 and Ser-1177, we studied the interplay of AMPK and SIRT1 on eNOS. Laminar flow increased SIRT1-eNOS association and eNOS deacetylation. By using the AMPK inhibitor and eNOS Ser-633 and -1177 mutants, we demonstrated that AMPK phosphorylation of eNOS is needed to prime SIRT1-induced deacetylation of eNOS to enhance NO production. To verify this finding in vivo, we compared the acetylation status of eNOS in thoracic aortas from AMPKalpha2(-/-) mice and their AMPKalpha2(+/+) littermates. Our finding that AMPKalpha2(-/-) mice had a higher eNOS acetylation indicates that AMPK phosphorylation of eNOS is required for the SIRT1 deacetylation of eNOS. These results suggest that atheroprotective flow, via AMPK and SIRT1, increases NO bioavailability in endothelium.
Project description:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role in controlling energy homeostasis and is envisioned as a promising target to treat metabolic disorders. In the heart, AMPK is involved in short-term regulation and in transcriptional control of proteins involved in energy metabolism. Here, we investigated whether deletion of AMPKalpha2, the main cardiac catalytic isoform, alters mitochondrial function and biogenesis. Body weight, heart weight, and AMPKalpha1 expression were similar in control littermate and AMPKalpha2(-/-) mice. Despite normal oxygen consumption in perfused hearts, maximal oxidative capacity, measured using saponin permeabilized cardiac fibers, was approximately 30% lower in AMPKalpha2(-/-) mice with octanoate, pyruvate, or glutamate plus malate but not with succinate as substrates, showing an impairment at complex I of the respiratory chain. This effect was associated with a 25% decrease in mitochondrial cardiolipin content, the main mitochondrial membrane phospholipid that is crucial for complex I activity, and with a 13% decrease in mitochondrial content of linoleic acid, the main fatty acid of cardiolipins. The decrease in cardiolipin content could be explained by mRNA downregulation of rate-limiting enzymes of both cardiolipin synthesis (CTP:PA cytidylyltransferase) and remodeling (acyl-CoA:lysocardiolipin acyltransferase 1). These data reveal a new role for AMPKalpha2 subunit in the regulation of cardiac muscle oxidative capacity via cardiolipin homeostasis.
Project description:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor essential for maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. Here, we report that AMPKalpha1 is the predominant isoform of AMPK in murine erythrocytes and mice globally deficient in AMPKalpha1 (AMPKalpha1(-/-)), but not in those lacking AMPKalpha2, and the mice had markedly enlarged spleens with dramatically increased proportions of Ter119-positive erythroid cells. Blood tests revealed significantly decreased erythrocyte and hemoglobin levels with increased reticulocyte counts and elevated plasma erythropoietin concentrations in AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice. The life span of erythrocytes from AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice was less than that in wild-type littermates, and the levels of reactive oxygen species and oxidized proteins were significantly increased in AMPKalpha1(-/-) erythrocytes. In keeping with the elevated oxidative stress, treatment of AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice with the antioxidant, tempol, resulted in decreased reticulocyte counts and improved erythrocyte survival. Furthermore, the expression of Foxo3 and reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes was significantly decreased in erythroblasts from AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice. Collectively, these results establish an essential role for AMPKalpha1 in regulating oxidative stress and life span in erythrocytes.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can differentiate into endothelial cells (ECs) and participate in postnatal vasculogenesis, but the mechanism of EPC differentiation remains largely unknown. We investigated the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in EPC differentiation and functions. METHODS AND RESULTS:Vascular endothelial growth factor caused the phosphorylation of AMPK, acetyl-coenzymeA (CoA) carboxylase (ACC), and eNOS in human cord blood-derived EPCs. The expression of EC markers, including VE-cadherin and intercellular adhesion molecule1 (ICAM-1), was also increased but blocked by Compound C, an AMPK inhibitor. AICAR, an AMPK agonist, increased the phosphorylation of ACC and eNOS and the expression of EC markers in a time- and dose-dependent manner, which reinforces the positive effect of AMPK on EPC differentiation. The effects of AICAR could be blocked by treatment with L-NAME, an eNOS inhibitor. Functionally, AICAR increased but Compound C decreased the angiogenesis of EPCs in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, lovastatin promoted the activation of AMPK and eNOS, the expression of EC markers, tube formation, adhesion, and in vivo vasculogenesis of EPCs, which could be blocked by treatment with Compound C. CONCLUSIONS:The activation of eNOS by AMPK during EPC differentiation provides a novel mechanism for the pleiotropic effects of statins in benefiting the cardiovascular system.
Project description:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensing metabolic switch in mammalian cells. Here, we report our novel finding that AMPK is lost in all immune cells of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an inflammatory disease of Central Nervous System (CNS). AMPKalpha1 is predominantly expressed in T cells and antigen presenting cells (APCs), which are primarily involved in EAE disease progression. AMPK is lost at protein level in spleen macrophages, total T cells and their subsets (CD4, CD8 and regulatory T cells) isolated from EAE afflicted animals compared to control, without affecting its mRNA levels suggesting that the loss of AMPK protein is the result of posttranscriptional modification. To examine its pathological relevance in inflammatory disease, EAE was induced in wild type (+/+) and AMPKalpha1 null mice (-/-) using MOG(35-55) peptide. AMPKalpha1(-/-) mice exhibited severe EAE disease with profound infiltration of mononuclear cells compared to wild type mice however, AMPKalpha2 is not involved in enhancing the severity of the disease. Spleen cells isolated from AMPKalpha1(-/-) immunized mice exhibited a significant induction in the production of IFNgamma. Our study identifies AMPK as a down regulated target during disease in all immune cells and possibly restoring AMPK may serve as a novel therapeutic target in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).
Project description:Exercise increases AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) activity in human and rat adipocytes, but the underlying molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of this activation are not known. Since adrenaline (epinephrine) concentrations increase with exercise, in the present study we hypothesized that adrenaline activates AMPK in adipocytes. We show that a single bout of exercise increases AMPKalpha1 and alpha2 activities and ACC (acetyl-CoA carboxylase) Ser79 phosphorylation in rat adipocytes. Similarly to exercise, adrenaline treatment in vivo increased AMPK activities and ACC phosphorylation. Pre-treatment of rats with the beta-blocker propranolol fully blocked exercise-induced AMPK activation. Increased AMPK activity with exercise and adrenaline treatment in vivo was accompanied by an increased AMP/ATP ratio. Adrenaline incubation of isolated adipocytes also increased the AMP/ATP ratio and AMPK activities, an effect blocked by propranolol. Adrenaline incubation increased lipolysis in isolated adipocytes, and Compound C, an AMPK inhibitor, attenuated this effect. Finally, a potential role for AMPK in the decreased adiposity associated with chronic exercise was suggested by marked increases in AMPKalpha1 and alpha2 activities in adipocytes from rats trained for 6 weeks. In conclusion, both acute and chronic exercise are significant regulators of AMPK activity in rat adipocytes. Our findings suggest that adrenaline plays a critical role in exercise-stimulated AMPKalpha1 and alpha2 activities in adipocytes, and that AMPK can function in the regulation of lipolysis.
Project description:Metformin, one of most commonly used antidiabetes drugs, is reported to exert its therapeutic effects by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); however, the mechanism by which metformin activates AMPK is poorly defined. The objective of the present study was to determine how metformin activates AMPK in endothelial cells.Exposure of human umbilical vein endothelial cells or bovine aortic endothelial cells to metformin significantly increased AMPK activity and the phosphorylation of both AMPK at Thr172 and LKB1 at Ser428, an AMPK kinase, which was paralleled by increased activation of protein kinase C (PKC)-zeta, as evidenced by increased activity, phosphorylation (Thr410/403), and nuclear translocation of PKC-zeta. Consistently, either pharmacological or genetic inhibition of PKC-zeta ablated metformin-enhanced phosphorylation of both AMPK-Thr172 and LKB1-Ser428, suggesting that PKC-zeta might act as an upstream kinase for LKB1. Furthermore, adenoviral overexpression of LKB1 kinase-dead mutants abolished but LKB1 wild-type overexpression enhanced the effects of metformin on AMPK in bovine aortic endothelial cells. In addition, metformin increased the phosphorylation and nuclear export of LKB1 into the cytosols as well as the association of AMPK with LKB1 in bovine aortic endothelial cells. Similarly, overexpression of LKB1 wild-type but not LKB1 S428A mutants (serine replaced by alanine) restored the effects of metformin on AMPK in LKB1-deficient HeLa-S3 cells, suggesting that Ser428 phosphorylation of LKB1 is required for metformin-enhanced AMPK activation. Moreover, LKB1 S428A, like kinase-dead LKB1 D194A, abolished metformin-enhanced LKB1 translocation as well as the association of LKB1 with AMPK in HeLa-S3 cells. Finally, inhibition of PKC-zeta abolished metformin-enhanced coimmunoprecipitation of LKB1 with both AMPKalpha1 and AMPKalpha2.We conclude that PKC-zeta phosphorylates LKB1 at Ser428, resulting in LKB1 nuclear export and hence AMPK activation.