VAMP3 and SNAP23 mediate the disturbed flow-induced endothelial microRNA secretion and smooth muscle hyperplasia.
ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) at arterial branches and curvatures experience disturbed blood flow and induce a quiescent-to-activated phenotypic transition of the adjacent smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and a subsequent smooth muscle hyperplasia. However, the mechanism underlying the flow pattern-specific initiation of EC-to-SMC signaling remains elusive. Our previous study demonstrated that endothelial microRNA-126-3p (miR-126-3p) acts as a key intercellular molecule to increase turnover of the recipient SMCs, and that its release is reduced by atheroprotective laminar shear (12 dynes/cm2) to ECs. Here we provide evidence that atherogenic oscillatory shear (0.5 ± 4 dynes/cm2), but not atheroprotective pulsatile shear (12 ± 4 dynes/cm2), increases the endothelial secretion of nonmembrane-bound miR-126-3p and other microRNAs (miRNAs) via the activation of SNAREs, vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3) and synaptosomal-associated protein 23 (SNAP23). Knockdown of VAMP3 and SNAP23 reduces endothelial secretion of miR-126-3p and miR-200a-3p, as well as the proliferation, migration, and suppression of contractile markers in SMCs caused by EC-coculture. Pharmacological intervention of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 in ECs blocks endothelial secretion and EC-to-SMC transfer of miR-126-3p through transcriptional inhibition of VAMP3 and SNAP23. Systemic inhibition of VAMP3 and SNAP23 by rapamycin or periadventitial application of the endocytosis inhibitor dynasore ameliorates the disturbed flow-induced neointimal formation, whereas intraluminal overexpression of SNAP23 aggravates it. Our findings demonstrate the flow-pattern-specificity of SNARE activation and its contribution to the miRNA-mediated EC-SMC communication.
Project description:RATIONALE:Endothelial microRNA-126 (miR-126) modulates vascular development and angiogenesis. However, its role in the regulation of smooth muscle cell (SMC) function is unknown. OBJECTIVE:To elucidate the role of miR-126 secreted by endothelial cells (ECs) in regulating SMC turnover in vitro and in vivo, as well as the effects of shear stress on the regulation. METHODS AND RESULTS:Coculture of SMCs with ECs or treatment of SMCs with conditioned media from static EC monoculture (EC-CM) increased SMC miR-126 level and SMC turnover; these effects were abolished by inhibition of endothelial miR-126 and by the application of laminar shear stress to ECs. SMC miR-126 did not increase when treated with EC-CM from ECs subjected to inhibition of miR biogenesis, or with CM from sheared ECs. Depletion of extracellular/secreted vesicles in EC-CM did not affect the increase of SMC miR-126 by EC-CM. Biotinylated miR-126 or FLAG (DYKDDDDK epitope)-tagged Argonaute2 transfected into ECs was detected in the cocultured or EC-CM-treated SMCs, indicating a direct EC-to-SMC transmission of miR-126 and Argonaute2. Endothelial miR-126 represses forkhead box O3, B-cell lymphoma 2, and insulin receptor substrate 1 mRNAs in the cocultured SMCs, suggesting the functional roles of the transmitted miR-126. Systemic depletion of miR-126 in mice inhibited neointimal lesion formation of carotid arteries induced by cessation of blood flow. Administration of EC-CM or miR-126 mitigated the inhibitory effect. CONCLUSIONS:Endothelial miR-126 acts as a key intercellular mediator to increase SMC turnover, and its release is reduced by atheroprotective laminar shear stress.
Project description:Disturbed blood flow has been recognized to promote platelet aggregation and thrombosis via increasing accumulation of von Willebrand factor (VWF) at the arterial post-stenotic sites. The mechanism underlying the disturbed-flow regulated endothelial VWF production remains elusive. Here we described a mouse model, in which the left external carotid artery (LECA) is ligated to generate disturbed flow in the common carotid artery. Ligation of LECA increased VWF accumulation in the plasma. Carotid arterial thrombosis was induced by ferric chloride (FeCl3) application and the time to occlusion in the ligated vessels was reduced in comparison with the unligated vessels. In vitro, endothelial cells were subjected to oscillatory shear (OS, 0.5 ± 4 dynes/cm2) or pulsatile shear (PS, 12 ± 4 dynes/cm2). OS promoted VWF secretion as well as the cell conditioned media-induced platelet aggregation by regulating the intracellular localization of vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3) and synaptosomal-associated protein 23 (SNAP23). Disruption of vimentin intermediate filaments abolished the OS-induced translocation of SNAP23 to the cell membrane. Knockdown of VAMP3 and SNAP23 reduced the endothelial secretion of VWF. Systemic inhibition of VAMP3 and SNAP23 by treatment of mice with rapamycin significantly ameliorated the FeCl3-induced thrombogenesis, whereas intraluminal overexpression of VAMP3 and SNAP23 aggravated it. Our findings demonstrate VAMP3 and SNAP23 as potential targets for preventing the disturbed flow-accelerated thrombus formation.
Project description:E-selectin is a major adhesion molecule expressed by endothelial cells (ECs), which are exposed to shear stress and neighboring smooth muscle cells (SMCs). We investigated the mechanisms underlying the modulation of EC E-selectin expression by SMCs and shear stress. SMC coculture induced rapid and sustained increases in expression of E-selectin and phosphorylation of interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor-associated kinase glycoprotein-130, as well as the downstream mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and Akt. By using specific inhibitors, dominant-negative mutants, and small interfering RNA, we demonstrated that activations of c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 of the MAPK pathways are critical for the coculture-induced E-selectin expression. Gel shifting and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that SMC coculture increased the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)-promoter binding activity in ECs; inhibition of NF-kappaB activation by p65-antisense, lactacystin, and N-acetyl-cysteine blocked the coculture-induced E-selectin promoter activity. Protein arrays and blocking assays using neutralizing antibodies demonstrated that IL-1beta and IL-6 produced by EC/SMC cocultures are major contributors to the coculture induction of EC signaling and E-selectin expression. Preshearing of ECs at 12 dynes/cm(2) inhibited the coculture-induced EC signaling and E-selectin expression. Our findings have elucidated the molecular mechanisms underlying the SMC induction of EC E-selectin expression and the shear stress protection against this SMC induction.
Project description:Atherosclerosis, a hyperlipidemia-induced chronic inflammatory process of the arterial wall, develops preferentially at sites where disturbed laminar flow compromises endothelial cell (EC) function. Here we show that endothelial miR-126-5p maintains a proliferative reserve in ECs through suppression of the Notch1 inhibitor delta-like 1 homolog (Dlk1) and thereby prevents atherosclerotic lesion formation. Endothelial recovery after denudation was impaired in Mir126(-/-) mice because lack of miR-126-5p, but not miR-126-3p, reduced EC proliferation by derepressing Dlk1. At nonpredilection sites, high miR-126-5p levels in endothelial cells confer a proliferative reserve that compensates for the antiproliferative effects of hyperlipidemia, such that atherosclerosis was exacerbated in Mir126(-/-) mice. In contrast, downregulation of miR-126-5p by disturbed flow abrogated EC proliferation at predilection sites in response to hyperlipidemic stress through upregulation of Dlk1 expression. Administration of miR-126-5p rescued EC proliferation at predilection sites and limited atherosclerosis, introducing a potential therapeutic approach.
Project description:Recently, our group has contrasted an endothelial cell-smooth muscle cell (EC-SMC) co-culture model with 3D-cultured SMCs and found that SMCs could respond to high shear stress (SS), which has not been explored before. SMCs were not directly exposed to the flow but were under an EC monolayer; therefore, it is necessary to explore the influence of EC on SMC behaviors under high SS for understanding the mechanism of SMC response to various magnitudes of SS. In the present study, TGF-?1 expression in ECs in an EC-SMC co-culture model was suppressed by an siRNA transfection method. Next, phenotypic changes were observed and MMP-2 and -9 productions were measured in SMCs in the co-culture model after 72-h flow exposure to different SS levels. We confirmed that TGF-?1 expression in ECs could influence SMC phenotypic change under SS conditions and that TGF-?1 expression in ECs could also change MMP-2 production but not MMP-9 production in SMCs under SS conditions in the co-culture model. These results could be useful for understanding the mechanisms of SMC response to SS, particularly for understanding signal transduction emanating from ECs.
Project description:Local modulation of vascular mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling reduces smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation after endovascular interventions but may be associated with endothelial cell (EC) toxicity. The trilaminate vascular architecture juxtaposes ECs and SMCs to enable complex paracrine coregulation but shields SMCs from flow. We hypothesized that flow differentially affects mTOR signaling in ECs and SMCs and that SMCs regulate mTOR in ECs.SMCs and/or ECs were exposed to coronary artery flow in a perfusion bioreactor. We demonstrated by flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting that EC expression of phospho-S6 ribosomal protein (p-S6RP), a downstream target of mTOR, was doubled by flow. Conversely, S6RP in SMCs was growth factor but not flow responsive, and SMCs eliminated the flow sensitivity of ECs. Temsirolimus, a sirolimus analog, eliminated the effect of growth factor on SMCs and of flow on ECs, reducing p-S6RP below basal levels and inhibiting endothelial recovery. EC p-S6RP expression in stented porcine arteries confirmed our in vitro findings: Phosphorylation was greatest in ECs farthest from intact SMCs in metal stented arteries and altogether absent after sirolimus stent elution.The mTOR pathway is activated in ECs in response to luminal flow. SMCs inhibit this flow-induced stimulation of endothelial mTOR pathway. Thus, we now define a novel external stimulus regulating phosphorylation of S6RP and another level of EC-SMC crosstalk. These interactions may explain the impact of local antiproliferative delivery that targets SMC proliferation and suggest that future stents integrate design influences on flow and drug effects on their molecular targets.
Project description:Active interactions between endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are critical to maintaining the SMC phenotype. Exosomes play an important role in intercellular communication. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate endothelial cells and SMCs crosstalk. We aimed to determine the mechanisms underlying the regulation of the SMC phenotype by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) through exosomes. We found that HUVECs overexpressing miR-206 upregulated contractile marker (?-SMA, Smoothelin and Calponin) mRNA expression in SMCs. We also found that the expression of miR-206 by HUVECs reduced exosome production by regulating ADP-Ribosylation Factor 6 (ARF6) and sodium/calcium exchanger 1 (NCX1). Using real-time PCR and western blot analysis, we showed that HUVEC-derived exosomes decreased the expression of contractile phenotype marker genes (?-SMA, Smoothelin and Calponin) in SMCs. Furthermore, a reduction of the miR-26a-containing exosomes secreted from HUVECs affects the SMC phenotype. We propose a novel mechanism in which miR-206 expression in HUVECs maintains the contractile phenotype of SMCs by suppressing exosome secretion from HUVECs, particularly miR-26a in exosomes, through targeting ARF6 and NCX1.
Project description:Endothelial dysfunction is widely implicated in cardiovascular pathological changes and development of vascular disease. In view of the fact that the spontaneous endothelial cell (EC) regeneration is a slow and insufficient process, it is of great interest to explore alternative cell sources capable of generating functional ECs. Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) composes the majority of the vascular wall and retains phenotypic plasticity in response to various stimuli. The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of the conversion of SMC into functional EC through the use of reprogramming factors. Human SMCs are first dedifferentiated for 4 days to achieve a vascular progenitor state expressing CD34, by introducing transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC. These SMC-derived progenitors are then differentiated along the endothelial lineage. The SMC-converted ECs exhibit typical endothelial markers expression and endothelial functions in vitro, in vivo and in disease model. Further comprehensive analysis indicates that mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition is requisite to initiate SMCs reprogramming into vascular progenitors and that members of the Notch signalling pathway regulate further differentiation of the progenitors into endothelial lineage. Together, we provide the first evidence of the feasibility of the conversion of human SMCs towards endothelial lineage through an intermediate vascular progenitor state induced by reprogramming.
Project description:Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) constitute vasculature media and endothelium, respectively. Current treatments for cardiovascular disease inhibit SMC hyperplasia but also damage the protective endothelial lining, predisposing patients to thrombosis. Therapeutics targeting SMCs without collateral damage to ECs are highly desirable. However, differential (SMCs versus ECs) disease-associated regulations remain poorly defined. We conducted RNA-seq experiments to investigate SMC-versus-EC differential transcriptomic dynamics, following treatment of human primary SMCs and ECs with TNFα or IL-1β, both established inducers of SMC hyperplasia and EC dysfunction. To analyze combined SMC/EC transcriptomes we developed customized algorithms. Induced by TNFα or IL-1β, 212 and 263 genes respectively showed greater up-regulation in SMCs than in ECs (SMC-enriched), while 140 and 204 genes showed greater up-regulation in ECs over SMCs (EC-enriched). Analysis of gene interaction networks identified 5 common hubs and 4 common bottlenecks in the two SMC-enriched gene sets, and 8 hubs and 3 bottlenecks shared in the EC-enriched gene sets. Significantly, four gene modules were formed with these hubs and bottlenecks. While the JUN module (including JUN, KLF5, HIF1A, CXCL8, FOSL1) and FYN module (FYN, JAK2, MAP2, PIK3R3, DAB2, ASAP2) were SMC-enriched, the SMAD3 (SMAD3, CDKN1A, TRAF1, BCL6, CEBPD, TRIB3, ANK3) and XPO1 (XPO1, ETS2, SSH2, NDRG1, GFPT2?) modules were EC-enriched. As these core subnetworks respond to pathogenic stimulation in a SMC-versus-EC differential manner, they may inform potential intervention targets for selective mitigation of SMC hyperplasia without endothelial damage. Overall design: In this study, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and global analyses of differential SMC-versus-EC transcriptomic responses, to the same pathogenic cytokine stimulant under stringently controlled conditions. The objective was to identify the gene modules (or subnetworks) that are highly up-regulated in SMCs yet little affected or regulated toward the opposite direction in ECs
Project description:Vascular diseases are characterized by the over-proliferation and migration of aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) within the vessel wall, leading to compromise in cell-cell and cell-matrix signaling pathways. Tissue engineering approaches to regulate SMC over-proliferation and enhance healthy ECM synthesis showed promise, but resulted in low crosslinking efficiency. Here, we report the benefits of exogenous nitric oxide (NO) cues, delivered from S-Nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), to cell proliferation and matrix deposition by adult human aortic SMCs (HA-SMCs) within three-dimensional (3D) biomimetic cocultures. A coculture platform with two adjacent, permeable 3D culture chambers was developed to enable paracrine signaling between vascular cells. HA-SMCs were cultured in these chambers within collagen hydrogels, either alone or in the presence of human aortic endothelial cells (HA-ECs) cocultures, and exogenously supplemented with varying GSNO dosages (0-100?nM) for 21 days. Results showed that EC cocultures stimulated SMC proliferation within GSNO-free cultures. With increasing GSNO concentration, HA-SMC proliferation decreased in the presence or absence of EC cocultures, while HA-EC proliferation increased. GSNO (100?nM) significantly enhanced the protein amounts synthesized by HA-SMCs, in the presence or absence of EC cocultures, while lower dosages (1-10?nM) offered marginal benefits. Multi-fold increases in the synthesis and deposition of elastin, glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, and lysyl oxidase crosslinking enzyme (LOX) were noted at higher GSNO dosages, and coculturing with ECs significantly furthered these trends. Similar increases in TIMP-1 and MMP-9 levels were noted within cocultures with increasing GSNO dosages. Such increases in matrix synthesis correlated with NO-stimulated increases in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression within EC and SMC cultures, respectively. Results attest to the benefits of delivering NO cues to suppress SMC proliferation and promote robust ECM synthesis and deposition by adult human SMCs, with significant applications in tissue engineering, biomaterial scaffold development, and drug delivery.