A Decoy Peptide Targeted to Protein Phosphatase 1 Attenuates Degradation of SERCA2a in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells.
ABSTRACT: Neointimal growth in the injured vasculature is largely facilitated by the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), which associates with reduced sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) activity. The gene transfer-mediated restoration of the SERCA2a level thus attenuates neointimal growth and VSMC proliferation. We previously reported that a peptide targeted to protein phosphatase 1, ?PLB-SE, normalizes SERCA2a activity in cardiomyocytes. In this study, we found that ?PLB-SE attenuated neointimal growth in balloon-injured rat carotid arteries, and the proliferation and migration of VSMC cultured in high-serum media (synthetic conditions). In parallel, ?PLB-SE inhibited the degradation of SERCA2a in the injured carotid arteries and VSMC under synthetic conditions. The calpain inhibitor MDL28170 also attenuated SERCA2a degradation and VSMC proliferation under synthetic conditions, indicating that calpain degrades SERCA2a. The Ca2+ ionophore A23187 induced SERCA2a degradation in VSMC, which was blocked by either ?PLB-SE or MDL28170. Additionally, ?PLB-SE normalized the cytosolic Ca2+ level in VSMC that was increased by either A23187 or synthetic stimulation. Collectively, these data indicate that ?PLB-SE corrects the abnormal Ca2+ handling by activating SERCA2a, which further protects SERCA2a from calpain-dependent degradation in VSMC. We conclude that ?PLB-SE may form the basis of a therapeutic strategy for vascular proliferative disorders.
Project description:Coronary restenosis, a major complication of percutaneous balloon angioplasty, results from neointimal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2a isoform (SERCA2a), specific to contractile VSMCs, has been reported previously to be involved in the control of the Ca(2+)-signaling pathways governing proliferation and migration. Moreover, SERCA2a gene transfer was reported to inhibit in vitro VSMC proliferation and to prevent neointimal thickening in a rat carotid injury model. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential therapeutic interest of SERCA2a gene transfer for prevention of in-stent restenosis using a ex vivo model of human left internal mammary artery (hIMA) intimal thickening. Left hIMAs, obtained at the time of aorto-coronary bypass surgeries, were subjected to balloon dilatation followed by infection for 30 min with adenoviruses encoding either human SERCA2 and green fluorescence protein (GFP) or control gene (?-galactosidase, ?-gal) and GFP. Proliferation of subendothelial VSMCs and neointimal thickening were observed in balloon-injured hIMA maintained 14 days in organ culture under constant pressure and perfusion. SERCA2a gene transfer prevented vascular remodeling and significantly (P<0.01, n=5) reduced neointimal thickening in injured arteries (intima/media ratio was 0.07±0.01 vs 0.40±0.03 in ?-gal-infected arteries). These findings could have potential implications for treatment of pathological in-stent restenosis.
Project description:We review the recent development of novel biochemical and spectroscopic methods to determine the site-specific phosphorylation, expression, mutation, and structural dynamics of phospholamban (PLB), in relation to its function (inhibition of the cardiac calcium pump, SERCA2a), with specific focus on cardiac physiology, pathology, and therapy. In the cardiomyocyte, SERCA2a actively transports Ca2+ into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) during relaxation (diastole) to create the concentration gradient that drives the passive efflux of Ca2+ required for cardiac contraction (systole). Unphosphorylated PLB (U-PLB) inhibits SERCA2a, but phosphorylation at S16 and/or T17 (producing P-PLB) changes the structure of PLB to relieve SERCA2a inhibition. Because insufficient SERCA2a activity is a hallmark of heart failure, SERCA2a activation, by gene therapy (Andino et al. 2008; Fish et al. 2013; Hoshijima et al. 2002; Jessup et al. 2011) or drug therapy (Ferrandi et al. 2013; Huang 2013; Khan et al. 2009; Rocchetti et al. 2008; Zhang et al. 2012), is a widely sought goal for treatment of heart failure. This review describes rational approaches to this goal. Novel biophysical assays, using site-directed labeling and high-resolution spectroscopy, have been developed to resolve the structural states of SERCA2a-PLB complexes in vitro and in living cells. Novel biochemical assays, using synthetic standards and multidimensional immunofluorescence, have been developed to quantitate PLB expression and phosphorylation states in cells and human tissues. The biochemical and biophysical properties of U-PLB, P-PLB, and mutant PLB will ultimately resolve the mechanisms of loss of inhibition and gain of inhibition to guide therapeutic development. These assays will be powerful tools for investigating human tissue samples from the Sydney Heart Bank, for the purpose of analyzing and diagnosing specific disorders.
Project description:Platelet hyperactivity is the hallmark of diabetes, and platelet activation plays a crucial role in diabetic vascular complications. Recent studies have shown that upon activation, platelet-derived miRNAs are incorporated into vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), regulating the phenotypic switch of VSMC. Under diabetes, miRNA deficiency in platelets fails to regulate the VSMC phenotypic switch. Therefore, manipulation of platelet-derived miRNAs expression may provide therapeutic option for diabetic vascular complications. We seek to investigate the effect of calpeptin (calpain inhibitor) on the expression of miRNAs in diabetic platelets, and elucidate the downstream signaling pathway involved in protecting from neointimal formation in diabetic mice with femoral wire injury model. Using human cell and platelet coculture, we demonstrate that diabetic platelet deficient of miR-223 fails to suppress VSMC proliferation, while overexpression of miR-223 in diabetic platelets suppressed the proliferation of VSMC to protect intimal hyperplasia. Mechanistically, miR-223 directly targets the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), which inhibits the phosphorylation of GSK3? and activates the phosphorylation of AMPK, resulting in reduced VSMC dedifferentiation and proliferation. Using a murine model of vascular injury, we show that calpeptin restores the platelet expression of miR-223 in diabetes, and the horizontal transfer of platelet miR-223 into VSMCs inhibits VSMC proliferation in the injured artery by targeting the expression of IGF-1R. Our data present that the platelet-derived miR-223 suppressed VSMC proliferation via the regulation miR-223/IGF-1R/AMPK signaling pathways, and inhibition of calpain alleviates neointimal formation by restoring the expression of miR-223 in diabetic platelet.
Project description:Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ cycling is governed by the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and SR Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a). Abnormal SR Ca2+ cycling is thought to be the primary cause of Ca2+ alternans that can elicit ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest. Although alterations in either RyR2 or SERCA2a function are expected to affect SR Ca2+ cycling, whether and to what extent altered RyR2 or SERCA2a function affects Ca2+ alternans is unclear. Here, we employed a gain-of-function RyR2 variant (R4496C) and the phospholamban-knockout (PLB-KO) mouse model to assess the effect of genetically enhanced RyR2 or SERCA2a function on Ca2+ alternans. Confocal Ca2+ imaging revealed that RyR2-R4496C shortened SR Ca2+ release refractoriness and markedly suppressed rapid pacing-induced Ca2+ alternans. Interestingly, despite enhancing RyR2 function, intact RyR2-R4496C hearts exhibited no detectable spontaneous SR Ca2+ release events during pacing. Unlike for RyR2, enhancing SERCA2a function by ablating PLB exerted a relatively minor effect on Ca2+ alternans in intact hearts expressing RyR2 WT or a loss-of-function RyR2 variant, E4872Q, that promotes Ca2+ alternans. Furthermore, partial SERCA2a inhibition with 3 μm 2,5-di-tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) also had little impact on Ca2+ alternans, whereas strong SERCA2a inhibition with 10 μm tBHQ markedly reduced the amplitude of Ca2+ transients and suppressed Ca2+ alternans in intact hearts. Our results demonstrate that enhanced RyR2 function suppresses Ca2+ alternans in the absence of spontaneous Ca2+ release and that RyR2, but not SERCA2a, is a key determinant of Ca2+ alternans in intact working hearts, making RyR2 an important therapeutic target for cardiac alternans.
Project description:Coronary artery disease represents the leading cause of mortality in the developed world. Percutaneous coronary intervention involving stent placement remains disadvantaged by restenosis or thrombosis. Vascular gene therapy-based methods may be approached, but lack a vascular gene delivery vector. We report a safe and efficient long-term transduction of rat carotid vessels after balloon injury intervention with a translational optimized AAV2.5 vector. Compared with other known adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes, AAV2.5 demonstrated the highest transduction efficiency of human coronary artery vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in vitro. Local delivery of AAV2.5-driven transgenes in injured carotid arteries resulted in transduction as soon as day 2 after surgery and persisted for at least 30 days. In contrast to adenovirus 5 vector, inflammation was not detected in AAV2.5-transduced vessels. The functional effects of AAV2.5-mediated gene transfer on neointimal thickening were assessed using the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase isoform 2a (SERCA2a) human gene, known to inhibit VSMC proliferation. At 30 days, human SERCA2a messenger RNA was detected in transduced arteries. Morphometric analysis revealed a significant decrease in neointimal hyperplasia in AAV2.5-SERCA2a-transduced arteries: 28.36±11.30 (n=8) vs 77.96±24.60 (n=10) ?m(2), in AAV2.5-green fluorescent protein-infected, P<0.05. In conclusion, AAV2.5 vector can be considered as a promising safe and effective vector for vascular gene therapy.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration is critically important for neointimal formation after vascular injury and atherosclerosis lesion formation. Copper (Cu) chelator inhibits neointimal formation, and we previously demonstrated that Cu transport protein antioxidant-1 (Atox1) is involved in Cu-induced cell growth. However, role of Atox1 in VSMC migration and neointimal formation after vascular injury is unknown. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Here, we show that Atox1 expression is upregulated in injured vessel, and it is colocalized with the Cu transporter ATP7A, one of the downstream targets of Atox1, mainly in neointimal VSMCs at day 14 after wire injury. Atox1(-/-) mice show inhibition of neointimal formation and extracellular matrix expansion, which is associated with a decreased VSMCs accumulation within neointima and lysyl oxidase activity. Mechanistically, in cultured VSMC, Atox1 depletion with siRNA inhibits platelet-derived growth factor-induced Cu-dependent VSMC migration by preventing translocation of ATP7A and small G protein Rac1 to the leading edge, as well as Cu- and Rac1-dependent lamellipodia formation. Furthermore, Atox1(-/-) mice show decreased perivascular macrophage infiltration in wire-injured vessels, as well as thioglycollate-induced peritoneal macrophage recruitment. CONCLUSIONS:Atox1 is involved in neointimal formation after vascular injury through promoting VSMC migration and inflammatory cell recruitment in injured vessels. Thus, Atox1 is a potential therapeutic target for VSMC migration and inflammation-related vascular diseases.
Project description:Capsaicin is an ingredient in spicy peppers that produces burning pain by activating transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a Ca2+-permeable ion channel in nociceptors. Capsaicin has also been used as an analgesic, and its topical administration is approved for the treatment of certain pain conditions. The mechanisms underlying capsaicin-induced analgesia likely involve reversible ablation of nociceptor terminals. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. To visualize TRPV1-lineage axons, a genetically engineered mouse model was used in which a fluorophore is expressed under the TRPV1 promoter. Using a combination of these TRPV1-lineage reporter mice and primary afferent cultures, we monitored capsaicin-induced effects on afferent terminals in real time. We found that Ca2+ influx through TRPV1 is necessary for capsaicin-induced ablation of nociceptive terminals. Although capsaicin-induced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake was TRPV1-dependent, dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibition of the mitochondrial transition permeability pore, and scavengers of reactive oxygen species did not attenuate capsaicin-induced ablation. In contrast, MDL28170, an inhibitor of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain, diminished ablation. Furthermore, overexpression of calpastatin, an endogenous inhibitor of calpain, or knockdown of calpain 2 also decreased ablation. Quantitative assessment of TRPV1-lineage afferents in the epidermis of the hind paws of the reporter mice showed that EGTA and MDL28170 diminished capsaicin-induced ablation. Moreover, MDL28170 prevented capsaicin-induced thermal hypoalgesia. These results suggest that TRPV1/Ca2+/calpain-dependent signaling plays a dominant role in capsaicin-induced ablation of nociceptive terminals and further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of capsaicin on nociceptors.
Project description:In failing rat hearts, post-transcriptonal inhibition of phospholamban (PLB) expression by AAV9 vector-mediated cardiac delivery of short hairpin RNAs directed against PLB (shPLBr) improves both impaired SERCA2a controlled Ca2+ cycling and contractile dysfunction. Cardiac delivery of shPLB, however, was reported to cause cardiac toxicity in canines. Thus we developed a new AAV vector, scAAV6-amiR155-PLBr, expressing a novel engineered artificial microRNA (amiR155-PLBr) directed against PLB under control of a heart-specific hybrid promoter. Its PLB silencing efficiency and safety were compared with those of an AAV vector expressing shPLBr (scAAV6-shPLBr) from an ubiquitously active U6 promoter. Investigations were carried out in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (CM) over a period of 14 days. Compared to shPLBr, amiR155-PLBr was expressed at a significantly lower level, resulting in delayed and less pronounced PLB silencing. Despite decreased knockdown efficiency of scAAV6-amiR155-PLBr, a similar increase of the SERCA2a-catalyzed Ca2+ uptake into sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) vesicles was observed for both the shPLBr and amiR155-PLBr vectors. Proteomic analysis confirmed PLB silencing of both therapeutic vectors and revealed that shPLBr, but not the amiR155-PLBr vector, increased the proinflammatory proteins STAT3, STAT1 and activated STAT1 phosphorylation at the key amino acid residue Tyr701. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis detected alterations in the expression of several cardiac microRNAs after treatment of CM with scAAV6-shPLBr and scAAV6-amiR155-PLBr, as well as after treatment with its related amiR155- and shRNAs-expressing control AAV vectors. The results demonstrate that scAAV6-amiR155-PLBr is capable of enhancing the Ca2+ transport function of the cardiac SR PLB/SERCA2a system as efficiently as scAAV6-shPLBr while offering a superior safety profile.
Project description:The molecular components of store-operated Ca2+ influx channels (SOCs) in proliferative and migratory vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are quite intricate with many channels contributing to SOCs. They include the Ca2+-selective Orai1 and members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels, which are activated by the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ sensor STIM1. The scaffolding protein Homer assembles SOC complexes, but its role in VSMCs is not well understood. Here, we asked whether these SOC components and Homer1 are present in the same complex in VSMCs and how Homer1 contributes to VSMC SOCs, proliferation, and migration leading to neointima formation. Homer1 expression levels are upregulated in balloon-injured vs. uninjured VSMCs. Coimmunoprecipitation assays revealed the presence and interaction of all SOC components in the injured VSMCs, where Homer1 interacts with Orai1 and various TRPC channels. Accordingly, knockdown of Homer1 in cultured VSMCs partially inhibited SOCs, VSMC migration, and VSMC proliferation. Neointimal area was reduced after treatment with an adeno-associated viral vector expressing a short hairpin RNA against Homer1 mRNA (AAV-shHomer1). These findings stress the role of multiple Ca2+ influx channels in VSMCs and are the first to show the role of Homer proteins in VSMCs and its importance in neointima formation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation plays an important role in the development of postangioplasty or in-stent restenosis, venous graft failure, and atherosclerosis. Our previous work has demonstrated S-phase kinase-associated protein-2 (Skp2), an F-box subunit of SCF(Skp2) ubiquitin ligase, as an important mediator and common final pathway for growth factors, extracellular matrices, and cyclic-nucleotides to regulate VSMC proliferation in vitro. However, whether alteration of Skp2 function also regulates VSMC proliferation in vivo and neointimal thickening postvascular injury remains unclear. We investigated the effect of Skp2 on VSMC proliferation and neointimal formation in vivo. METHODS AND RESULTS: Firstly, we demonstrated that Skp2-null mice developed significantly smaller neointimal areas than wild-type mice after carotid ligation. Secondly, to further identify a local rather than a systemic effect of Skp2 alteration, we demonstrated that adenovirus-mediated expression of dominant-negative Skp2 in the balloon-injured rat carotid artery significantly increased medial p27(Kip1) levels, inhibited VSMC proliferation, and the subsequent neointimal thickening. Lastly, to determine if Skp2 alone is sufficient to drive VSMC proliferation and lesion development in vivo, we demonstrated that adenovirus-delivery of wild-type Skp2 to the minimally-injured rat carotids is sufficient to downregulate p27(Kip1) protein levels, enhanced medial VSMC proliferation, and the neointimal thickening. CONCLUSION: This data provides, we believe for the first time, a more comprehensive understanding of Skp2 in the regulation of VSMC proliferation and neointimal formation and suggests that Skp2 is a promising target in the treatment of vasculoproliferative diseases.