Kruppel-like factor 15 is critical for vascular inflammation.
ABSTRACT: Activation of cells intrinsic to the vessel wall is central to the initiation and progression of vascular inflammation. As the dominant cellular constituent of the vessel wall, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and their functions are critical determinants of vascular disease. While factors that regulate VSMC proliferation and migration have been identified, the endogenous regulators of VSMC proinflammatory activation remain incompletely defined. The Kruppel-like family of transcription factors (KLFs) are important regulators of inflammation. In this study, we identified Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) as an essential regulator of VSMC proinflammatory activation. KLF15 levels were markedly reduced in human atherosclerotic tissues. Mice with systemic and smooth muscle-specific deficiency of KLF15 exhibited an aggressive inflammatory vasculopathy in two distinct models of vascular disease: orthotopic carotid artery transplantation and diet-induced atherosclerosis. We demonstrated that KLF15 alters the acetylation status and activity of the proinflammatory factor NF-?B through direct interaction with the histone acetyltransferase p300. These studies identify a previously unrecognized KLF15-dependent pathway that regulates VSMC proinflammatory activation.
Project description:To determine the role of Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 15, a zinc finger transcriptional factor that is expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in vascular biology. VSMCs respond to mechanical injury via a tightly orchestrated series of gene regulatory events. KLF15 is broadly expressed in both arterial and venous vascular beds in a VSMC restricted fashion. KLF15 expression is markedly reduced by both pharmacological and mechanical stimuli. To examine the specific role of KLF15 in the vascular response to injury, we performed femoral artery wire injury in KLF15(-/-) and wild-type mice. KLF15(-/-) mice develop exaggerated neointimal growth, with evidence of increased SMC proliferation and migration within the neointima. In concordance, gain and loss of function studies in isolated VSMCs demonstrate that KLF15 can directly inhibit SMC proliferation and migration. To our knowledge, these data are the first to identify KLF15 as a novel inhibitor of VSMC proliferation and migration and to implicate this factor as a critical regulator of the vascular response to injury.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:KLF15 (Kruppel-like factor 15) has recently been shown to suppress activation of proinflammatory processes that contribute to atherogenesis in vascular smooth muscle, however, the role of KLF15 in vascular endothelial function is unknown. Arginase mediates inflammatory vasculopathy and vascular injury in pulmonary hypertension. Here, we tested the hypothesis that KLF15 is a critical regulator of hypoxia-induced Arg2 (arginase 2) transcription in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC). APPROACH AND RESULTS:Quiescent HPMEC express ample amounts of full-length KLF15. HPMECs exposed to 24 hours of hypoxia exhibited a marked decrease in KLF15 protein levels and a reciprocal increase in Arg2 protein and mRNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated direct binding of KLF15 to the Arg2 promoter, which was relieved with HPMEC exposure to hypoxia. Furthermore, overexpression of KLF15 in HPMEC reversed hypoxia-induced augmentation of Arg2 abundance and arginase activity and rescued nitric oxide (NO) production. Ectopic KLF15 also reversed hypoxia-induced endothelium-mediated vasodilatation in isolated rat pulmonary artery rings. Mechanisms by which hypoxia regulates KLF15 abundance, stability, and compartmentalization to the nucleus in HPMEC were then investigated. Hypoxia triggered deSUMOylation of KLF15 by SENP1 (sentrin-specific protease 1), and translocation of KLF15 from nucleus to cytoplasm. CONCLUSIONS:KLF15 is a critical regulator of pulmonary endothelial homeostasis via repression of endothelial Arg2 expression. KLF15 abundance and nuclear compartmentalization are regulated by SUMOylation/deSUMOylation-a hypoxia-sensitive process that is controlled by SENP1. Strategies including overexpression of KLF15 or inhibition of SENP1 may represent novel therapeutic targets for pulmonary hypertension.
Project description:Recent evidence suggests that specialized lipid mediators derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids control resolution of inflammation, but little is known about resolution pathways in vascular injury. We sought to determine the actions of D-series resolvin (RvD) on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotype and vascular injury. Human VSMCs were treated with RvD1 and RvD2, and phenotype was assessed by proliferation, migration, monocyte adhesion, superoxide production, and gene expression assays. A rabbit model of arterial angioplasty with local delivery of RvD2 (10 nM vs. vehicle control) was employed to examine effects on vascular injury in vivo. Local generation of proresolving lipid mediators (LC-MS/MS) and expression of RvD receptors in the vessel wall were assessed. RvD1 and RvD2 produced dose-dependent inhibition of VSMC proliferation, migration, monocyte adhesion, superoxide production, and proinflammatory gene expression (IC50?0.1-1 nM). In balloon-injured rabbit arteries, cell proliferation (51%) and leukocyte recruitment (41%) were reduced at 3 d, and neointimal hyperplasia was attenuated (29%) at 28 d by RvD2. We demonstrate endogenous biosynthesis of proresolving lipid mediators and expression of receptors for RvD1 in the artery wall. RvDs broadly reduce VSMC responses and modulate vascular injury, suggesting that local activation of resolution mechanisms expedites vascular homeostasis.
Project description:Loss of protein and organelle quality control secondary to reduced autophagy is a hallmark of aging. However, the physiologic and molecular regulation of autophagy in long-lived organisms remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the Kruppel-like family of transcription factors are important regulators of autophagy and healthspan in C. elegans, and also modulate mammalian vascular age-associated phenotypes. Kruppel-like family of transcription factor deficiency attenuates autophagy and lifespan extension across mechanistically distinct longevity nematode models. Conversely, Kruppel-like family of transcription factor overexpression extends nematode lifespan in an autophagy-dependent manner. Furthermore, we show the mammalian vascular factor Kruppel-like family of transcription factor 4 has a conserved role in augmenting autophagy and improving vessel function in aged mice. Kruppel-like family of transcription factor 4 expression also decreases with age in human vascular endothelium. Thus, Kruppel-like family of transcription factors constitute a transcriptional regulatory point for the modulation of autophagy and longevity in C. elegans with conserved effects in the murine vasculature and potential implications for mammalian vascular aging.KLF family transcription factors (KLFs) regulate many cellular processes, including proliferation, survival and stress responses. Here, the authors position KLFs as important regulators of autophagy and lifespan in C. elegans, a role that may extend to the modulation of age-associated vascular phenotypes in mammals.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Atherosclerosis, the cause of 50% of deaths in westernized societies, is widely regarded as a chronic vascular inflammatory disease. Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) inflammatory activation in response to local proinflammatory stimuli contributes to disease progression and is a pervasive feature in developing atherosclerotic plaques. Therefore, it is of considerable therapeutic importance to identify mechanisms that regulate the VSMC inflammatory response. APPROACH AND RESULTS:We report that myocardin, a powerful myogenic transcriptional coactivator, negatively regulates VSMC inflammatory activation and vascular disease. Myocardin levels are reduced during atherosclerosis, in association with phenotypic switching of smooth muscle cells. Myocardin deficiency accelerates atherogenesis in hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E(-/-) mice. Conversely, increased myocardin expression potently abrogates the induction of an array of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules in VSMCs. Expression of myocardin in VSMCs reduces lipid uptake, macrophage interaction, chemotaxis, and macrophage-endothelial tethering in vitro, and attenuates monocyte accumulation within developing lesions in vivo. These results demonstrate that endogenous levels of myocardin are a critical regulator of vessel inflammation. CONCLUSIONS:We propose myocardin as a guardian of the contractile, noninflammatory VSMC phenotype, with loss of myocardin representing a critical permissive step in the process of phenotypic transition and inflammatory activation, at the onset of vascular disease.
Project description:The coincidence of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) infiltration and collagen deposition within a diffusely thickened intima is a salient feature of central arterial wall inflammation that accompanies advancing age. However, the molecular mechanisms involved remain undefined.Immunostaining and immunoblotting of rat aortae demonstrate that a triad of proinflammatory molecules, MCP-1, TGF-?1, and MMP-2 increases within the aortic wall with aging. Exposure of VSMC isolated from 8-mo-old rats (young) to MCP-1 effects, via CCR-2 signaling, both an increase in TGF-?1 activity, up to levels of untreated VSMC from 30-mo-old (old) rats, and a concurrent increase in MMP-2 activation. Furthermore, exposure of young VSMC to TGF-?1 increases levels of MCP-1, and MMP-2 activation, to levels of untreated VSMC from old rats. This autocatalytic signaling loop that enhances collagen production and invasiveness of VSMC is effectively suppressed by si-MCP-1, a CCR2 antagonist, or MMP-2 inhibition.Threshold levels of MCP-1, MMP-2, or TGF-?1 activity trigger a feed-forward signaling mechanism that is implicated in the initiation and progression of adverse age-associated arterial wall remodeling. Intervention that suppressed this signaling loop may potentially retard age-associated adverse arterial remodeling.
Project description:Angiotensin II (Ang II) signaling, including matrix metalloproteinase type II (MMP2) activation, has been linked to an age-associated increase in migration capacity of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and to other proinflammatory features of arterial aging. Calpain-1 activation is required for MMP2 expression in fibroblasts and is induced in cardiomyocytes by Ang II. The consequences of engagement of calpain-1 with its substrates, however, in governing the age-associated proinflammatory status within the arterial wall, remains unknown.The present findings demonstrate that transcription, translation, and activity of calpain-1 are significantly up-regulated in rat aortae or early-passage aortic VSMC from old (30-mo) rats compared to young (8-mo). Dual immunolabeling of the arterial wall indicates that colocalization of calpain-1 and Ang II increases within the aged arterial wall. To further explore the relationship of calpain-1 to Ang II, we chronically infused Ang II into young rats, and treated cultured aortic rings or VSMC with Ang II. We also constructed adenoviruses harboring calpain-1 (CANP1) or its endogenous inhibitor calpastatin (CAST) and infected these into VSMC. Ang II induces calpain-1 expression in the aortic walls in vivo and ex vivo and VSMC in vitro. The Ang II mediated, age-associated increased MMP2 activity and migration in VSMC are both blocked by calpain inhibitor 1 or CAST. Over-expression of calpain-1 in young VSMC results in cleavage of intact vimentin, and an increased migratory capacity mimicking that of old VSMC, which is blocked by the MMP inhibitor, GM6001.Calpain-1 activation is a pivotal molecular event in the age-associated arterial Ang II/MMP2 signaling cascade that is linked to cytoskeleton protein restructuring, and VSMC migration. Therefore, targeting calpain-1 has the potential to delay or reverse the arterial remodeling that underlies age-associated diseases i.e. atherosclerosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Among older adults, arterial aging is the major factor contributing to increased risk for cardiovascular disease-related morbidity and mortality. The chronic vascular inflammation that accompanies aging causes diffuse intimal-medial thickening of the arterial wall, thus increasing the vulnerability of aged vessels to vascular insults. Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a biomarker for aging arteries. This integrin-binding glycoprotein, induced by angiotensin II, facilitates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and invasion in aging vasculatures. This study investigated whether MFG-E8 directly mediates the initial inflammatory responses in aged arteries or VSMCs. METHODS:A model of neointimal hyperplasia was induced in the common carotid artery (CCA) of aged mice to exacerbate age-associated vascular remodeling. Recombinant MFG-E8 (rMFG-E8) was administered to the injured artery using Pluronic gel to accentuate the effect on age-related vascular pathophysiology. The MFG-E8 level, leukocyte infiltration, and proinflammatory cell adhesion molecule (CAM) expression in the arterial wall were evaluated through immunohistochemistry. By using immunofluorescence and immunoblotting, the activation of the critical proinflammatory transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-κB in the injured CCAs was analyzed. Immunofluorescence, immunoblotting, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were conducted using VSMCs isolated from the aortas of young and aged mice to assess NF-κB nuclear translocation, NF-κB-dependent gene expression, and cell proliferation. The extent of intimal-medial thickening in the injured vessels was analyzed morphometrically. Finally, Transwell migration assay was used to examine VSMC migration. RESULTS:Endogenous MFG-E8 expression in aged CCAs was significantly induced by ligation injury. Aged CCAs treated with rMFG-E8 exhibited increased leukocyte extravasation, CAM expression, and considerably increased NF-κB activation induced by rMFG-E8 in the ligated vessels. Exposure of early passage VSMCs from aged aortas to rMFG-E8 substantially increased NF-κB activation, proinflammatory gene expression, and cell proliferation. However, rMFG-E8 attenuated VSMC migration. CONCLUSIONS:MFG-E8 promoted the proinflammatory phenotypic shift of aged VSMCs and arteries, rendering the vasculature prone to vascular diseases. MFG-E8 may constitute a novel therapeutic target for retarding the aging processes in such vessels.
Project description:Acquisition and maintenance of vascular smooth muscle fate is essential for the morphogenesis and function of the circulatory system. Loss of contractile properties or changes in the identity of vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMC) can result in structural alterations associated with aneurysms and vascular wall calcifications. Here we report that maturation of sclerotome-derived vSMC is dependent on a transcriptional switch between mouse embryonic days 13 and 14.5. At this time point, Jag1-mediated repression of sclerotome transcription factors Pax1, scleraxis and Sox9 is necessary to fully enable vSMC maturation. Specifically, Notch signaling in vSMC antagonizes sclerotome and cartilage transcription factors, and promotes upregulation of contractile genes. In the absence of Jag1, vSMC acquire a chondrocytic transcriptional repertoire that can lead to ossification of the vascular wall. Importantly, our findings suggest that sustained Notch signaling is essential throughout vSMC life to maintain contractile function, prevent vSMC reprogramming and promote vascular wall integrity. Overall design: mRNA profile of vascular Smooth Muscle Cells, isolated from the descending aorta of Immorto mouse, treated or not with gamma-secretase inhibitor was generated by deep sequencing, in triplicate.
Project description:Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are abundant molecules in the extracellular matrix and at the cell surface. Heparan sulfate chains are composed of groups of disaccharides whose side chains are modified through a series of enzymatic reactions. Deletion of these enzymes alters heparan sulfate fine structure and leads to changes in cell proliferation and tissue development. The role of heparan sulfate modification has not been explored in the vessel wall. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that altering heparan sulfate fine structure would impact vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, vessel structure, and remodeling in response to injury. A heparan sulfate modifying enzyme, N-deacetylase N-sulfotransferase1 (Ndst1) was deleted in smooth muscle resulting in decreased N- and 2-O sulfation of the heparan sulfate chains. Smooth muscle specific deletion of Ndst1 led to a decrease in proliferating VSMCs and the circumference of the femoral artery in neonatal and adult mice. In response to vascular injury, mice lacking Ndst1 exhibited a significant reduction in lesion formation. Taken together, these data provide new evidence that modification of heparan sulfate fine structure through deletion of Ndst1 is sufficient to decrease VSMC proliferation and alter vascular remodeling.