Medial-to-intimal migration of SMCs is critical to atherosclerotic plaque formation and remodeling of injured arteries. Considerable amounts of the shed soluble form of the LDL receptor relative LR11 (sLR11) produced by intimal SMCs enhance SMC migration in vitro via upregulation of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) expression. Here, we show that circulating sLR11 is a novel marker of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and that targeted disruption of the LR11 gene greatly reduces intimal thickening of arteries through attenuation of Ang II–induced migration of SMCs. Serum concentrations of sLR11 were positively correlated with IMT in dyslipidemic subjects, and multivariable regression analysis suggested sLR11 levels as an index of IMT, independent of classical atherosclerosis risk factors. In Lr11–/– mice, femoral artery intimal thickness after cuff placement was decreased, and Ang II–stimulated migration and attachment of SMCs from these mice were largely abolished. In isolated murine SMCs, sLR11 caused membrane ruffle formation via activation of focal adhesion kinase/ERK/Rac1 accompanied by complex formation between uPAR and integrin αvβ3, a process accelerated by Ang II. Overproduction of sLR11 decreased the sensitivity of Ang II–induced activation pathways to inhibition by an Ang II type 1 receptor blocker in mice. Thus, we demonstrate a requirement for sLR11 in Ang II–induced SMC migration and propose what we believe is a novel role for sLR11 as a biomarker of carotid IMT.
Meizi Jiang, Hideaki Bujo, Kenji Ohwaki, Hiroyuki Unoki, Hiroyuki Yamazaki, Tatsuro Kanaki, Manabu Shibasaki, Kazuhiko Azuma, Kenichi Harigaya, Wolfgang J. Schneider, Yasushi Saito
Type 2 congenital long QT syndrome (LQT-2) is linked to mutations in the human ether a-go-go–related gene (HERG) and is characterized by rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, syncope, and sudden death. Recognized triggers of these cardiac events include emotional and acoustic stimuli. Here we investigated the repeated occurrence of fever-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation in 2 LQT-2 patients with A558P missense mutation in HERG. ECG analysis showed increased QTc with fever in both patients. WT, A558P, and WT+A558P HERG were expressed heterologously in HEK293 cells and were studied using biochemical and electrophysiological techniques. A558P proteins showed a trafficking-deficient phenotype. WT+A558P coexpression caused a dominant-negative effect, selectively accelerated the rate of channel inactivation, and reduced the temperature-dependent increase in the WT current. Thus, the WT+A558P current did not increase to the same extent as the WT current, leading to larger current density differences at higher temperatures. A similar temperature-dependent phenotype was seen for coexpression of the trafficking-deficient LQT-2 F640V mutation. We postulate that the weak increase in the HERG current density in WT-mutant coassembled channels contributes to the development of QTc prolongation and arrhythmias at febrile temperatures and suggest that fever is a potential trigger of life-threatening arrhythmias in LQT-2 patients.
Ahmad S. Amin, Lucas J. Herfst, Brian P. Delisle, Christine A. Klemens, Martin B. Rook, Connie R. Bezzina, Heather A.S. Underkofler, Katherine M. Holzem, Jan M. Ruijter, Hanno L. Tan, Craig T. January, Arthur A.M. Wilde
Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is a key participant in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Loss of NPC1 function leads to defective suppression of SREBP-dependent gene expression and failure to appropriately activate liver X receptor–mediated (LXR-mediated) pathways, ultimately resulting in intracellular cholesterol accumulation. To determine whether NPC1 contributes to regulation of macrophage sterol homeostasis in vivo, we examined the effect of NPC1 deletion in BM-derived cells on atherosclerotic lesion development in the Ldlr–/– mouse model of atherosclerosis. High-fat diet–fed chimeric Npc1–/– mice reconstituted with Ldlr–/–Npc1–/– macrophages exhibited accelerated atherosclerosis despite lower serum cholesterol compared with mice reconstituted with wild-type macrophages. The discordance between the low serum lipoprotein levels and the presence of aortic atherosclerosis suggested that intrinsic alterations in macrophage sterol metabolism in the chimeric Npc1–/– mice played a greater role in atherosclerotic lesion formation than did serum lipoprotein levels. Macrophages from chimeric Npc1–/– mice showed decreased synthesis of 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-HC), an endogenous LXR ligand; decreased expression of LXR-regulated cholesterol transporters; and impaired cholesterol efflux. Lower 27-HC levels were associated with elevated cholesterol oxidation products in macrophages and plasma of chimeric Npc1–/– mice and with increased oxidative stress. Our results demonstrate that NPC1 serves an atheroprotective role in mice through regulation of LXR-dependent cholesterol efflux and mitigation of cholesterol-induced oxidative stress in macrophages.
Jessie R. Zhang, Trey Coleman, S. Joshua Langmade, David E. Scherrer, Lindsay Lane, M. Hunter Lanier, Chu Feng, Mark S. Sands, Jean E. Schaffer, Clay F. Semenkovich, Daniel S. Ory
The Ca2+ release channel ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) is required for excitation-contraction coupling in the heart and is also present in the brain. Mutations in RyR2 have been linked to exercise-induced sudden cardiac death (catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia [CPVT]). CPVT-associated RyR2 mutations result in “leaky” RyR2 channels due to the decreased binding of the calstabin2 (FKBP12.6) subunit, which stabilizes the closed state of the channel. We found that mice heterozygous for the R2474S mutation in Ryr2 (Ryr2-R2474S mice) exhibited spontaneous generalized tonic-clonic seizures (which occurred in the absence of cardiac arrhythmias), exercise-induced ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Treatment with a novel RyR2-specific compound (S107) that enhances the binding of calstabin2 to the mutant Ryr2-R2474S channel inhibited the channel leak and prevented cardiac arrhythmias and raised the seizure threshold. Thus, CPVT-associated mutant leaky Ryr2-R2474S channels in the brain can cause seizures in mice, independent of cardiac arrhythmias. Based on these data, we propose that CPVT is a combined neurocardiac disorder in which leaky RyR2 channels in the brain cause epilepsy, and the same leaky channels in the heart cause exercise-induced sudden cardiac death.
Stephan E. Lehnart, Marco Mongillo, Andrew Bellinger, Nicolas Lindegger, Bi-Xing Chen, William Hsueh, Steven Reiken, Anetta Wronska, Liam J. Drew, Chris W. Ward, W.J. Lederer, Robert S. Kass, Gregory Morley, Andrew R. Marks
Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heritable disease associated with ECG QT interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, and sudden cardiac death in young patients. Among genotyped individuals, mutations in genes encoding repolarizing K+ channels (LQT1:KCNQ1; LQT2:KCNH2) are present in approximately 90% of affected individuals. Expression of pore mutants of the human genes KCNQ1 (KvLQT1-Y315S) and KCNH2 (HERG-G628S) in the rabbit heart produced transgenic rabbits with a long QT phenotype. Prolongations of QT intervals and action potential durations were due to the elimination of IKs and IKr currents in cardiomyocytes. LQT2 rabbits showed a high incidence of spontaneous sudden cardiac death (>50% at 1 year) due to polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. Optical mapping revealed increased spatial dispersion of repolarization underlying the arrhythmias. Both transgenes caused downregulation of the remaining complementary IKr and IKs without affecting the steady state levels of the native polypeptides. Thus, the elimination of 1 repolarizing current was associated with downregulation of the reciprocal repolarizing current rather than with the compensatory upregulation observed previously in LQTS mouse models. This suggests that mutant KvLQT1 and HERG interacted with the reciprocal wild-type α subunits of rabbit ERG and KvLQT1, respectively. These results have implications for understanding the nature and heterogeneity of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
Michael Brunner, Xuwen Peng, Gong Xin Liu, Xiao-Qin Ren, Ohad Ziv, Bum-Rak Choi, Rajesh Mathur, Mohammed Hajjiri, Katja E. Odening, Eric Steinberg, Eduardo J. Folco, Ekatherini Pringa, Jason Centracchio, Roland R. Macharzina, Tammy Donahay, Lorraine Schofield, Naveed Rana, Malcolm Kirk, Gary F. Mitchell, Athena Poppas, Manfred Zehender, Gideon Koren
Hypertension is a multigenic disorder in which abnormal counterregulation between dopamine and Ang II plays a role. Recent studies suggest that this counterregulation results, at least in part, from regulation of the expression of both the antihypertensive dopamine 5 receptor (D5R) and the prohypertensive Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R). In this report, we investigated the in vivo and in vitro interaction between these GPCRs. Disruption of the gene encoding D5R in mice increased both blood pressure and AT1R protein expression, and the increase in blood pressure was reversed by AT1R blockade. Activation of D5R increased the degradation of glycosylated AT1R in proteasomes in HEK cells and human renal proximal tubule cells heterologously and endogenously expressing human AT1R and D5R. Confocal microscopy, Förster/fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy, and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy revealed that activation of D5R initiated ubiquitination of the glycosylated AT1R at the plasma membrane. The regulated degradation of AT1R via a ubiquitin/proteasome pathway by activation of D5R provides what we believe to be a novel mechanism whereby blood pressure can be regulated by the interaction of 2 counterregulatory GPCRs. Our results therefore suggest that treatments for hypertension might be optimized by designing compounds that can target the AT1R and the D5R.
Hewang Li, Ines Armando, Peiying Yu, Crisanto Escano, Susette C. Mueller, Laureano Asico, Annabelle Pascua, Quansheng Lu, Xiaoyan Wang, Van Anthony M. Villar, John E. Jones, Zheng Wang, Ammasi Periasamy, Yuen-Sum Lau, Patricio Soares-da-Silva, Karen Creswell, Gaétan Guillemette, David R. Sibley, Gilbert Eisner, Robin A. Felder, Pedro A. Jose
Brugada syndrome is a genetic disease associated with sudden cardiac death that is characterized by ventricular fibrillation and right precordial ST segment elevation on ECG. Loss-of-function mutations in SCN5A, which encodes the predominant cardiac sodium channel α subunit NaV1.5, can cause Brugada syndrome and cardiac conduction disease. However, SCN5A mutations are not detected in the majority of patients with these syndromes, suggesting that other genes can cause or modify presentation of these disorders. Here, we investigated SCN1B, which encodes the function-modifying sodium channel β1 subunit, in 282 probands with Brugada syndrome and in 44 patients with conduction disease, none of whom had SCN5A mutations. We identified 3 mutations segregating with arrhythmia in 3 kindreds. Two of these mutations were located in a newly described alternately processed transcript, β1B. Both the canonical and alternately processed transcripts were expressed in the human heart and were expressed to a greater degree in Purkinje fibers than in heart muscle, consistent with the clinical presentation of conduction disease. Sodium current was lower when NaV1.5 was coexpressed with mutant β1 or β1B subunits than when it was coexpressed with WT subunits. These findings implicate SCN1B as a disease gene for human arrhythmia susceptibility.
Hiroshi Watanabe, Tamara T. Koopmann, Solena Le Scouarnec, Tao Yang, Christiana R. Ingram, Jean-Jacques Schott, Sophie Demolombe, Vincent Probst, Frédéric Anselme, Denis Escande, Ans C.P. Wiesfeld, Arne Pfeufer, Stefan Kääb, H.-Erich Wichmann, Can Hasdemir, Yoshifusa Aizawa, Arthur A.M. Wilde, Dan M. Roden, Connie R. Bezzina
Phenotypic overlap of type 3 long QT syndrome (LQT3) with Brugada syndrome (BrS) is observed in some carriers of mutations in the Na channel SCN5A. While this overlap is important for patient management, the clinical features, prevalence, and mechanisms underlying such overlap have not been fully elucidated. To investigate the basis for this overlap, we genotyped a cohort of 44 LQT3 families of multiple ethnicities from 7 referral centers and found a high prevalence of the E1784K mutation in SCN5A. Of 41 E1784K carriers, 93% had LQT3, 22% had BrS, and 39% had sinus node dysfunction. Heterologously expressed E1784K channels showed a 15.0-mV negative shift in the voltage dependence of Na channel inactivation and a 7.5-fold increase in flecainide affinity for resting-state channels, properties also seen with other LQT3 mutations associated with a mixed clinical phenotype. Furthermore, these properties were absent in Na channels harboring the T1304M mutation, which is associated with LQT3 without a mixed clinical phenotype. These results suggest that a negative shift of steady-state Na channel inactivation and enhanced tonic block by class IC drugs represent common biophysical mechanisms underlying the phenotypic overlap of LQT3 and BrS and further indicate that class IC drugs should be avoided in patients with Na channels displaying these behaviors.
Naomasa Makita, Elijah Behr, Wataru Shimizu, Minoru Horie, Akihiko Sunami, Lia Crotti, Eric Schulze-Bahr, Shigetomo Fukuhara, Naoki Mochizuki, Takeru Makiyama, Hideki Itoh, Michael Christiansen, Pascal McKeown, Koji Miyamoto, Shiro Kamakura, Hiroyuki Tsutsui, Peter J. Schwartz, Alfred L. George Jr., Dan M. Roden
Although Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) activity has been implicated in cardiovascular diseases, the tissue- and isoform-specific roles of ROCKs in the vascular response to injury are not known. To address the role of ROCKs in this process, we generated haploinsufficient Rock1 (Rock1+/–) and Rock2 (Rock2+/–) mice and performed carotid artery ligations. Following this intervention, we found reduced neointima formation in Rock1+/– mice compared with that of WT or Rock2+/– mice. This correlated with decreased vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and survival, decreased levels proinflammatory adhesion molecule expression, and reduced leukocyte infiltration. In addition, thioglycollate-induced peritoneal leukocyte recruitment and accumulation were substantially reduced in Rock1+/– mice compared with those of WT and Rock2+/– mice. To determine the role of leukocyte-derived ROCK1 in neointima formation, we performed reciprocal bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in WT and Rock1+/– mice. Rock1+/– to WT BMT led to reduced neointima formation and leukocyte infiltration following carotid ligation compared with those of WT to WT BMT. In contrast, WT to Rock1+/– BMT resulted in increased neointima formation. These findings indicate that ROCK1 in BM-derived cells mediates neointima formation following vascular injury and suggest that ROCK1 may represent a promising therapeutic target in vascular inflammatory diseases.
Kensuke Noma, Yoshiyuki Rikitake, Naotsugu Oyama, Guijun Yan, Pilar Alcaide, Ping-Yen Liu, Hongwei Wang, Daniela Ahl, Naoki Sawada, Ryuji Okamoto, Yukio Hiroi, Koichi Shimizu, Francis W. Luscinskas, Jianxin Sun, James K. Liao
Loss-of-function mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor II (BMP-RII) are linked to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); the ligand for BMP-RII, BMP-2, is a negative regulator of SMC growth. Here, we report an interplay between PPARγ and its transcriptional target apoE downstream of BMP-2 signaling. BMP-2/BMP-RII signaling prevented PDGF-BB–induced proliferation of human and murine pulmonary artery SMCs (PASMCs) by decreasing nuclear phospho-ERK and inducing DNA binding of PPARγ that is independent of Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation. Both BMP-2 and a PPARγ agonist stimulated production and secretion of apoE by SMCs. Using a variety of methods, including short hairpin RNAi in human PASMCs, PAH patient–derived BMP-RII mutant PASMCs, a PPARγ antagonist, and PASMCs isolated from PPARγ- and apoE-deficient mice, we demonstrated that the antiproliferative effect of BMP-2 was BMP-RII, PPARγ, and apoE dependent. Furthermore, we created mice with targeted deletion of PPARγ in SMCs and showed that they spontaneously developed PAH, as indicated by elevated RV systolic pressure, RV hypertrophy, and increased muscularization of the distal pulmonary arteries. Thus, PPARγ-mediated events could protect against PAH, and PPARγ agonists may reverse PAH in patients with or without BMP-RII dysfunction.
Georg Hansmann, Vinicio A. de Jesus Perez, Tero-Pekka Alastalo, Cristina M. Alvira, Christophe Guignabert, Janine M. Bekker, Stefan Schellong, Takashi Urashima, Lingli Wang, Nicholas W. Morrell, Marlene Rabinovitch