The induction of yes-associated protein expression after arterial injury is crucial for smooth muscle phenotypic modulation and neointima formation.
ABSTRACT: Abnormal proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are the key events in the progression of neointima formation in response to vascular injury. The goal of this study is to investigate the functional role of a potent oncogene yes-associated protein (YAP) in SM phenotypic modulation in vitro and in vivo.In vitro cell culture and in vivo in both mouse and rat arterial injury models YAP expression is significantly induced and correlated with the vascular SMC synthetic phenotype. Overexpression of YAP promotes SMC migration and proliferation while attenuating SM contractile gene expression. Conversely, knocking down endogenous YAP in SMCs upregulates SM gene expression but attenuates SMC proliferation and migration. Consistent with this, knocking down YAP expression in a rat carotid balloon injury model and genetic deletion of YAP, specifically, in vascular SMCs in mouse after carotid artery ligation injury attenuates injury-induced SM phenotypic switch and neointima formation.YAP plays a novel integrative role in SM phenotypic modulation by inhibiting SM-specific gene expression while promoting SM proliferation and migration in vitro and in vivo. Blocking the induction of YAP would be a potential therapeutic approach for ameliorating vascular occlusive diseases.
Project description:To investigate the functional role of the microRNA (miR)-15b/16 in vascular smooth muscle (SM) phenotypic modulation.We found that miR-15b/16 is one of the most abundant mRs expressed in contractile vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, when contractile VSMCs get converted to a synthetic phenotype, miR-15b/16 expression is significantly reduced. Knocking down endogenous miR-15b/16 in VSMCs attenuates SM-specific gene expression but promotes VSMC proliferation and migration. Conversely, overexpression of miR-15b/16 promotes SM contractile gene expression while attenuating VSMC migration and proliferation. Consistent with this, overexpression of miR-15b/16 in a rat carotid balloon injury model markedly attenuates injury-induced SM dedifferentiation and neointima formation. Mechanistically, we identified the potent oncoprotein yes-associated protein (YAP) as a downstream target of miR-15b/16 in VSMCs. Reporter assays validated that miR-15b/16 targets YAP's 3' untranslated region. Moreover, overexpression of miR-15b/16 significantly represses YAP expression, whereas conversely, depletion of endogenous miR-15b/16 results in upregulation of YAP expression.These results indicate that miR-15b/16 plays a critical role in SM phenotypic modulation at least partly through targeting YAP. Restoring expression of miR-15b/16 would be a potential therapeutic approach for treatment of proliferative vascular diseases.
Project description:Background Activation of the YAP (Yes-associated protein) pathway has been demonstrated to be related to smooth muscle cells (SMCs) phenotypic modulation and vessel restenosis. The aim of this study was to illustrate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the expression of YAP during the process of SMCs phenotypic switch. Whether the molecular basis identified in the study could be a potential therapeutic target for drug-eluting stents is further tested. Methods and Results In cell culture and in rat carotid arterial injury models, Sp-1 (specificity protein 1) expression was significantly induced, and correlated with SMCs proliferative phenotype. Overexpression of Sp-1 promoted SMCs proliferation and migration. Conversely, siSp-1 transfection or Sp-1 inhibitor Mithramycin A treatment attenuates SMC proliferation and migration. Through gain- and loss-function assays, we demonstrated that YAP was involved in Sp-1-mediated SMC phenotypic switch. Mechanistically, activated Sp-1 regulated YAP transcriptional expression through binding to its promoter. Moreover, we fabricated a Sp-1 inhibitor Mithramycin A-eluting stent and further tested it. In the rabbit carotid model, Mithramycin A-eluting stent inhibited YAP transcription and attenuated in-stent restenosis through regulating YAP-mediated SMC phenotypic switch. Conclusions Sp-1 controls phenotypic modulation of SMC by regulating transcription factor YAP. Drug-eluting stent targeting Sp-1 might represent a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent in-stent restenosis.
Project description:The objective of this study is to investigate the role and underlying mechanism of Olfactomedin 2 (Olfm2) in smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotypic modulation and vascular remodeling.Platelet-derived growth factor-BB induces Olfm2 expression in primary SMCs while modulating SMC phenotype as shown by the downregulation of SMC marker proteins. Knockdown of Olfm2 blocks platelet-derived growth factor-BB-induced SMC phenotypic modulation, proliferation, and migration. Conversely, Olfm2 overexpression inhibits SMC marker expression. Mechanistically, Olfm2 promotes the interaction of serum response factor with the runt-related transcription factor 2 that is induced by platelet-derived growth factor-BB, leading to a decreased interaction between serum response factor and myocardin, causing a repression of SMC marker gene transcription and consequently SMC phenotypic modulation. Animal studies show that Olfm2 is upregulated in balloon-injured rat carotid arteries. Knockdown of Olfm2 effectively inhibits balloon injury-induced neointima formation. Importantly, knockout of Olfm2 in mice profoundly suppresses wire injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia while restoring SMC contractile protein expression, suggesting that Olfm2 plays a critical role in SMC phenotypic modulation in vivo.Olfm2 is a novel factor mediating SMC phenotypic modulation. Thus, Olfm2 may be a potential target for treating injury-induced proliferative vascular diseases.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) contribute to neointima formation after vascular injury. Although ?-catenin expression is induced after injury, whether its function is essential in SMCs for neointimal growth is unknown. Moreover, although inhibitors of ?-catenin have been developed, their effects on SMC growth have not been tested. We assessed the requirement for SMC ?-catenin in short-term vascular homeostasis and in response to arterial injury and investigated the effects of ?-catenin inhibitors on vascular SMC growth. APPROACH AND RESULTS:We used an inducible, conditional genetic deletion of ?-catenin in SMCs of adult mice. Uninjured arteries from adult mice lacking SMC ?-catenin were indistinguishable from controls in terms of structure and SMC marker gene expression. After carotid artery ligation, however, vessels from mice lacking SMC ?-catenin developed smaller neointimas, with lower neointimal cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. SMCs lacking ?-catenin showed decreased mRNA expression of Mmp2, Mmp9, Sphk1, and S1pr1 (genes that promote neointima formation), higher levels of Jag1 and Gja1 (genes that inhibit neointima formation), decreased Mmp2 protein expression and secretion, and reduced cell invasion in vitro. Moreover, ?-catenin inhibitors PKF118-310 and ICG-001 limited growth of mouse and human vascular SMCs in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS:SMC ?-catenin is dispensable for maintenance of the structure and state of differentiation of uninjured adult arteries, but is required for neointima formation after vascular injury. Pharmacological ?-catenin inhibitors hinder growth of human vascular SMCs. Thus, inhibiting ?-catenin has potential as a therapy to limit SMC accumulation and vascular obstruction.
Project description:Our previous study has shown that yes-associated protein (YAP) plays a crucial role in the phenotypic modulation of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in response to arterial injury. However, the role of YAP in vascular SMC development is unknown.The goal of this study was to investigate the functional role of YAP in cardiovascular development in mice and determine the mechanisms underlying YAP's actions.YAP was deleted in cardiomyocytes and vascular SMCs by crossing YAP flox mice with SM22?-Cre transgenic mice. Cardiac/SMC-specific deletion of YAP directed by SM22?-Cre resulted in perinatal lethality in mice because of profound cardiac defects including hypoplastic myocardium, membranous ventricular septal defect, and double outlet right ventricle. The cardiac/SMC-specific YAP knockout mice also displayed severe vascular abnormalities including hypoplastic arterial wall, short/absent brachiocephalic artery, and retroesophageal right subclavian artery. Deletion of YAP in mouse vascular SMCs induced expression of a subset of cell cycle arrest genes including G-protein-coupled receptor 132 (Gpr132). Silencing Gpr132 promoted SMC proliferation, whereas overexpression of Gpr132 attenuated SMC growth by arresting cell cycle in G0/G1 phase, suggesting that ablation of YAP-induced impairment of SMC proliferation was mediated, at least in part, by induction of Gpr132 expression. Mechanistically, YAP recruited the epigenetic repressor histone deacetylase-4 to suppress Gpr132 gene expression via a muscle CAT element in the Gpr132 gene.YAP plays a critical role in cardiac/SMC proliferation during cardiovascular development by epigenetically regulating expression of a set of cell cycle suppressors.
Project description:Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) are in close contact with blood vessels. SMC phenotypes can be altered during pathological vascular remodeling. However, how SMC phenotypes affect EC properties remains largely unknown. In this study, we found that PDGF-BB-induced synthetic SMCs suppressed EC proliferation and migration while exhibiting increased expression of anti-angiogenic factors, such as endostatin, and decreased pro-angiogenic factors, including CXC motif ligand 1 (CXCL1). Cyclopentenyl cytosine (CPEC), a CTP synthase inhibitor that has been reported previously to inhibit SMC proliferation and injury-induced neointima formation, induced SMC redifferentiation. Interestingly, CPEC-conditioned SMC culture medium promoted EC proliferation and migration because of an increase in CXCL1 along with decreased endostatin production in SMCs. Addition of recombinant endostatin protein or blockade of CXCL1 with a neutralizing antibody suppressed the EC proliferation and migration induced by CPEC-conditioned SMC medium. Mechanistically, CPEC functions as a cytosine derivate to stimulate adenosine receptors A1 and A2a, which further activate downstream cAMP and Akt signaling, leading to the phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein and, consequently, SMC redifferentiation. These data provided proof of a novel concept that synthetic SMC exhibits an anti-angiogenic SMC phenotype, whereas contractile SMC shows a pro-angiogenic phenotype. CPEC appears to be a potent stimulator for switching the anti-angiogenic SMC phenotype to the pro-angiogenic phenotype, which may be essential for CPEC to accelerate re-endothelialization for vascular repair during injury-induced vascular wall remodeling.
Project description:Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are involved in vascular repair and modulate properties of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) relevant for their contribution to neointima formation following injury. Considering the relevant role of the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis in vascular homeostasis and the potential of EPCs and SMCs to release CXCL12 and express CXCR4, we analyzed the engagement of the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis in various modes of EPC-SMC interaction relevant for injury- and lipid-induced atherosclerosis. We now demonstrate that the expression and release of CXCL12 is synergistically increased in a CXCR4-dependent mechanism following EPC-SMC interaction during co-cultivation or in response to recombinant CXCL12, thus establishing an amplifying feedback loop Additionally, mechanical injury of SMCs induces increased release of CXCL12, resulting in enhanced CXCR4-dependent recruitment of EPCs to SMCs. The CXCL12-CXCR4 axis is crucially engaged in the EPC-triggered augmentation of SMC migration and the attenuation of SMC apoptosis but not in the EPC-mediated increase in SMC proliferation. Compared to EPCs alone, the alliance of EPC-SMC is superior in promoting the CXCR4-dependent proliferation and migration of endothelial cells. When direct cell-cell contact is established, EPCs protect the contractile phenotype of SMCs via CXCL12-CXCR4 and reverse cholesterol-induced transdifferentiation toward a synthetic, macrophage-like phenotype. In conclusion we show that the interaction of EPCs and SMCs unleashes a CXCL12-CXCR4-based autoregulatory feedback loop promoting regenerative processes and mediating SMC phenotype control to potentially guard vascular homeostasis.
Project description:Vascular remodeling as a result of smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and neointima formation is a major medical challenge in cardiovascular intervention. However, antineointima drugs often indistinguishably block re-endothelialization, an essential step toward successful vascular repair, because of their nonspecific effect on endothelial cells (ECs). The objective of this study is to identify a therapeutic target that differentially regulates SMC and EC proliferation.Using both rat balloon injury and mouse wire injury models, we identified CTP synthase 1 (CTPS1) as one of the potential targets that may be used for developing therapeutics for treating neointima-related disorders. CTPS1 was induced in proliferative SMCs in vitro and neointima SMCs in vivo. Blockade of CTPS1 expression by small hairpin RNA or activity by cyclopentenyl cytosine suppressed SMC proliferation and neointima formation. Surprisingly, cyclopentenyl cytosine had much less effect on EC proliferation. Of importance, blockade of CTPS1 in vivo sustained the re-endothelialization as a result of induction of CTP synthesis salvage pathway enzymes nucleoside-diphosphate kinase A and B in ECs. Diphosphate kinase B seemed to preserve EC proliferation via use of extracellular cytidine to synthesize CTP. Indeed, blockade of both CTPS1 and diphosphate kinase B suppressed EC proliferation in vitro and the re-endothelialization in vivo.Our study uncovered a fundamental difference in CTP biosynthesis between SMCs and ECs during vascular remodeling, which provided a novel strategy by using cyclopentenyl cytosine or other CTPS1 inhibitors to selectively block SMC proliferation without disturbing or even promoting re-endothelialization for effective vascular repair after injury.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Vascular injury causes neointimal hypertrophy, which is characterized by redox-mediated matrix degradation and smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration and proliferation. We hypothesized that, as compared to the adjacent medial SMCs, neointimal SMCs produce increased superoxide via NADPH oxidase, which induces redox-sensitive intracellular signaling to activate matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9).<h4>Methods and results</h4>Two weeks after balloon injury, rat aorta developed a prominent neointima, containing increased expression of NADPH oxidase and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as compared to the medial layer. Next, SMCs were isolated from either the neointima or the media and studied in culture. Neointimal-derived SMCs exhibited increased Nox1 expression and ROS levels as compared to medial SMCs. Neointimal SMCs had higher cell growth rates than medial SMCs. ROS-dependent ERK1/2 phosphorylation was greater in neointimal SMCs. MMP-9 activity, as detected by gel zymography, was greater in neointimal SMCs under resting and stimulated conditions and was prevented by expression of an antisense to Nox1 or treatment with an ERK1/2 inhibitor.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Following vascular injury, the increased expression of Nox1 in SMCs within the neointima initiates redox-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and subsequent MMP-9 activation.
Project description:Neurofibromin 2 (NF2), a potent tumor suppressor, is reported to inhibit proliferation in several cell types. The role of NF2 in neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury is unknown. We explored the role of NF2 in proliferation, migration of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) and neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury. NF2 phosphorylation was elevated in VSMC subjected to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and in artery subjected to vascular injury. Mice deficient for <i>Nf2</i> in VSMC showed enhanced neointima hyperplasia after injury, increased proliferation and migration of VSMC after PDGF-BB treatment. Mechanistically, we observed increased nuclear p-NF2, declined p-Yes-Associated Protein (YAP), nuclear translocation of YAP after PDGF-BB treatment or injury. NF2 knockdown or YAP overexpression showed similar phenotype in VSMC proliferation, migration and neointima hyperplasia. YAP inhibition abolished the above effects mediated by NF2 knockdown. Finally, NF2 knockdown further promoted YAP-TEA Domain Transcription Factor 1 (TEAD1) interaction after PDGF-BB treatment. Inhibition of TEAD1 blocked PDGF-BB-induced VSMC proliferation and migration, which were not reversed by either NF2 knockdown or YAP overexpression. In conclusion, NF2 knockdown promotes VSMC proliferation, migration and neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury via inducing YAP-TEAD1 interaction.