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Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is closely linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. TNFα activates NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), including superoxide (O), production extracellularly is required for subsequent signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase that is activated by oxidation of associated thioredoxin. The role of ASK1 in Nox1-mediated signaling by TNFα is poorly defined. We hypothesized that ASK1 is required for TNFα receptor endocytosis and subsequent inflammatory TNFα signaling. We employed a knockdown strategy to explore the role of ASK1 in TNFα signaling in VSMCs. siRNA targeting ASK1 had no effect on TNFα-induced extracellular O production. However, siASK1 inhibited receptor endocytosis as well as phosphorylation of two endocytosis-related proteins, dynamin1 and caveolin1. Intracellular O production was subsequently reduced, as were other inflammatory signaling steps including NF-κB activation, IL-6 production, inducible nitric oxide synthase and VCAM expression, and VSMC proliferation. Prolonged exposure to TNFα (24 h) increased tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) subtype 1 and 2 expression, and these effects were also attenuated by siASK1. ASK1 coimmunoprecipitated with both Nox1 and the leucine rich repeat containing 8A anion channel, two essential components of the TNFR1 signaling complex. Activation of ASK1 by autophosphorylation at Thr845 occurs following thioredoxin dissociation, and this requires the presence of Nox1. Thus, Nox1 is part of the multiprotein ASK1 signaling complex. In response to TNFα, ASK1 is activated by Nox1-derived oxidants, and this plays a critical role in translating these ROS into a physiologic response in VSMCs. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) drives dynamin1 and caveolin1 phosphorylation and TNFα receptor endocytosis. ASK1 modulates TNFα-induced NF-κB activation, survival, and proliferation. ASK1 and NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1) physically associate in a multiprotein signaling complex. Nox1 is required for TNFα-induced ASK1 activation.
IMPACT STATEMENT - Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is associated with vasospasm that is refractory to traditional vasodilators, and inhibition of vasospasm after SAH remains a large unmet clinical need. SAH causes changes in the phosphorylation state of the small heat shock proteins (HSPs), HSP20 and HSP27, in the vasospastic vessels. In this study, the levels of HSP27 and HSP20 were manipulated using nanotechnology to mimic the intracellular phenotype of SAH-induced vasospasm, and the effect of this manipulation was tested on vasomotor responses in intact tissues. This work provides insight into potential therapeutic targets for the development of more effective treatments for SAH induced vasospasm.
OBJECTIVE - Deletion of mPGES-1 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1)-an anti-inflammatory target alternative to COX (cyclooxygenase)-2-attenuates injury-induced neointima formation in mice. This is attributable to the augmented levels of PGI (prostacyclin)-a known restraint of the vascular response to injury, acting via IP (I prostanoid receptor). To examine the role of mPGES-1-derived PGE (prostaglandin E) in vascular remodeling without the IP.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - Mice deficient in both IP and mPGES-1 (DKO [double knockout] and littermate controls [IP KO (knockout)]) were subjected to angioplasty wire injury. Compared with the deletion of IP alone, coincident deletion of IP and mPGES-1 increased neointima formation, without affecting media area. Early pathological changes include impaired reendothelialization and increased leukocyte invasion in neointima. Endothelial cells (ECs), but not vascular smooth muscle cells, isolated from DKOs exhibited impaired cell proliferation. Activation of EP (E prostanoid receptor) 4 (and EP2, to a lesser extent), but not of EP1 or EP3, promoted EC proliferation. EP4 antagonism inhibited proliferation of mPGES-1-competent ECs, but not of mPGES-1-deficient ECs, which showed suppressed PGE production. EP4 activation inhibited leukocyte adhesion to ECs in vitro, promoted reendothelialization, and limited neointima formation post-injury in the mouse. Endothelium-restricted deletion of EP4 in mice suppressed reendothelialization, increased neointimal leukocytes, and exacerbated neointimal formation.
CONCLUSIONS - Removal of the IP receptors unmasks a protective role of mPGES-1-derived PGE in limiting injury-induced vascular hyperplasia. EP4, in the endothelial compartment, is essential to promote reendothelialization and restrain neointimal formation after injury. Activating EP4 bears therapeutic potential to prevent restenosis after percutaneous coronary intervention.
© 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.
We report a comprehensive analysis of 412 muscle-invasive bladder cancers characterized by multiple TCGA analytical platforms. Fifty-eight genes were significantly mutated, and the overall mutational load was associated with APOBEC-signature mutagenesis. Clustering by mutation signature identified a high-mutation subset with 75% 5-year survival. mRNA expression clustering refined prior clustering analyses and identified a poor-survival "neuronal" subtype in which the majority of tumors lacked small cell or neuroendocrine histology. Clustering by mRNA, long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), and miRNA expression converged to identify subsets with differential epithelial-mesenchymal transition status, carcinoma in situ scores, histologic features, and survival. Our analyses identified 5 expression subtypes that may stratify response to different treatments.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) represent important modulators of plaque stability in advanced lesions. We previously reported that loss of small proline-rich repeat protein 3 (Sprr3), leads to VSMC apoptosis in a PI3K/Akt-dependent manner and accelerates lesion progression. Here, we investigated the role of Sprr3 in modulating plaque stability in hyperlipidemic ApoE-/- mice. We show that loss of Sprr3 increased necrotic core size and reduced cap collagen content of atheromas in brachiocephalic arteries with evidence of plaque rupture and development of intraluminal thrombi. Moreover, Sprr3-/-ApoE-/- mice developed advanced coronary artery lesions accompanied by intraplaque hemorrhage and left ventricle microinfarcts. SPRR3 is known to reduce VSMC survival in lesions by promoting their apoptosis. In addition, we demonstrated that Sprr3-/- VSMCs displayed reduced expression of procollagen in a PI3K/Akt dependent manner. SPRR3 loss also increased MMP gelatinase activity in lesions, and increased MMP2 expression, migration and contraction of VSMCs independently of PI3K/Akt. Consequently, Sprr3 represents the first described VSMC modulator of each of the critical features of cap stability, including VSMC numbers, collagen type I synthesis, and protease activity through Akt dependent and independent pathways.
OBJECTIVE - Endoglin, a transforming growth factor-β superfamily coreceptor, is predominantly expressed in endothelial cells and has essential roles in vascular development. However, whether endoglin is also expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), especially in vivo, remains controversial. Furthermore, the roles of endoglin in VSMC biology remain largely unknown. Our objective was to examine the expression and determine the function of endoglin in VSMCs during angiogenesis.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - Here, we determine that endoglin is robustly expressed in VSMCs. Using CRISPR/CAS9 knockout and short hairpin RNA knockdown in the VSMC/endothelial coculture model system, we determine that endoglin in VSMCs, but not in endothelial cells, promotes VSMCs recruitment by the endothelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Using an unbiased bioinformatics analysis of RNA sequencing data and further study, we determine that, mechanistically, endoglin mediates VSMC recruitment by promoting VSMC migration and spreading on endothelial cells via increasing integrin/FAK pathway signaling, whereas endoglin has minimal effects on VSMC adhesion to endothelial cells. In addition, we further determine that loss of endoglin in VSMCs inhibits VSMC recruitment in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS - These studies demonstrate that endoglin has an important role in VSMC recruitment and blood vessel maturation during angiogenesis and also provide novel insights into how discordant endoglin function in endothelial and VSMCs may regulate vascular maturation and angiogenesis.
© 2017 The Authors.
BACKGROUND - Intimal hyperplasia remains the primary cause of vein graft failure for the 1 million yearly bypass procedures performed using human saphenous vein (HSV) grafts. This response to injury is caused in part by the harvest and preparation of the conduit. The use of Brilliant Blue FCF (FCF) restores injury-induced loss of function in vascular tissues possibly via inhibition of purinergic receptor signaling. This study investigated whether pretreatment of the vein graft with FCF prevents intimal hyperplasia.
METHODS - Cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (A7r5) were used to determine the effect of FCF on platelet-derived growth factor-mediated migration and proliferation, cellular processes that contribute to intimal hyperplasia. The effectiveness of FCF treatment during the time of explantation on preventing intimal hyperplasia was evaluated in a rabbit jugular-carotid interposition model and in an organ culture model using HSV.
RESULTS - FCF inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-induced migration and proliferation of A7r5 cells. Treatment with FCF at the time of vein graft explantation inhibited the subsequent development of intimal thickening in the rabbit model. Pretreatment with FCF also prevented intimal thickening of HSV in organ culture.
CONCLUSIONS - Incorporation of FCF as a component of vein graft preparation at the time of explantation represents a potential therapeutic approach to mitigate intimal hyperplasia, reduce vein graft failure, and improve outcome of the autologous transplantation of HSV.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
OBJECTIVE - Papaverine is used to prevent vasospasm in human saphenous veins (HSV) during vein graft preparation prior to implantation as a bypass conduit. Papaverine is a nonspecific inhibitor of phosphodiesterases, leading to increases in both intracellular cGMP and cAMP. We hypothesized that papaverine reduces force by decreasing intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i) and myosin light chain phosphorylation, and increasing actin depolymerization via regulation of actin regulatory protein phosphorylation.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - HSV was equilibrated in a muscle bath, pre-treated with 1 mM papaverine followed by 5 μM norepinephrine, and force along with [Ca2+]i levels were concurrently measured. Filamentous actin (F-actin) level was measured by an in vitro actin assay. Tissue was snap frozen to measure myosin light chain and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation. Pre-treatment with papaverine completely inhibited norepinephrine-induced force generation, blocked increases in [Ca2+]i and led to a decrease in the phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Papaverine pre-treatment also led to increased phosphorylation of the heat shock-related protein 20 (HSPB6) and the vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), as well as decreased filamentous actin (F-actin) levels suggesting depolymerization of actin.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that papaverine-induced force inhibition of HSV involves [Ca2+]i-mediated inhibition of myosin light chain phosphorylation and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation-mediated actin depolymerization. Thus, papaverine induces sustained inhibition of contraction of HSV by the modulation of both myosin cross-bridge formation and actin cytoskeletal dynamics and is a pharmacological alternative to high pressure distention to prevent vasospasm.
Severe bronchospasm refractory to β-agonists is a challenging aspect of asthma therapy, and novel therapeutics are needed. β-agonist-induced airway smooth muscle (ASM) relaxation is associated with increases in the phosphorylation of the small heat shock-related protein (HSP) 20. We hypothesized that a transducible phosphopeptide mimetic of HSP20 (P20 peptide) causes relaxation of human ASM (HASM) by interacting with target(s) downstream of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) pathway. The effect of the P20 peptide on ASM contractility was determined in human and porcine ASM using a muscle bath. The effect of the P20 peptide on filamentous actin dynamics and migration was examined in intact porcine ASM and cultured primary HASM cells. The efficacy of the P20 peptide in vivo on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was determined in an ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge murine model of allergic airway inflammation. P20 peptide caused dose-dependent relaxation of carbachol-precontracted ASM and blocked carbachol-induced contraction. The β2AR inhibitor, (±)-1-[2,3-(dihydro-7-methyl-1H-inden-4-yl)oxy]-3-[(1-methylethyl)amino]-2-butanol hydrochloride (ICI 118,551), abrogated isoproterenol but not P20 peptide-mediated relaxation. The P20 peptide decreased filamentous actin levels in intact ASM, disrupted stress fibers, and inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-induced migration of HASM cells. The P20 peptide treatment reduced methacholine-induced AHR in OVA mice without affecting the inflammatory response. These results suggest that the P20 peptide decreased airway constriction and disrupted stress fibers through regulation of the actin cytoskeleton downstream of β2AR. Thus, the P20 peptide may be a potential therapeutic for asthma refractory to β-agonists.
Gastrointestinal motility is facilitated by specialized pacemaker cells called Interstitial Cells of Cajal (ICC). ICC play a critical role in coordinating normal motility and its degradation in the gastrointestinal tract is associated with many functional motility disorders. Nonetheless, the degree of degradation and associated clinical impact remains unclear. Continuum modeling frameworks offers a virtual mean to simulate the electrical activity, and analyze the ICC activity in both normal and diseased states. Confocal images of the ICC networks were obtained from the intestine of normal mice. In this study, a new approach is presented where meshes of ICC networks were generated using a Delaunay triangulation and used to solve finite-element based reaction-diffusion equations describing gastrointestinal electrophysiology. The electrical activity was simulated on the ICC network and solutions were compared to those of a regular mesh based on individual pixel locations. The simulation results showed the proposed approach to be approximately 80% more efficient than a pixel-based mesh. The difference in activation time for the entire network between the different methods was observed to be around 4% (about 20 ms). The proposed approach will enable efficient examination of the ICC slow wave activity in larger networks and for longer temporal duration that has been previously impossible. This will provide valuable insights relating ICC degradation to gastrointestinal motility disorders.