Characterization of TCF21 Downstream Target Regions Identifies a Transcriptional Network Linking Multiple Independent Coronary Artery Disease Loci
2015; 11 (5)
Coronary Artery Disease Associated Transcription Factor TCF21 Regulates Smooth Muscle Precursor Cells That Contribute to the Fibrous Cap
2015; 11 (5)
Dissecting the causal genetic mechanisms of coronary heart disease.
Current atherosclerosis reports
2014; 16 (5): 406-?
Recent genome wide association studies have identified a number of genes that contribute to the risk for coronary heart disease. One such gene, TCF21, encodes a basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor believed to serve a critical role in the development of epicardial progenitor cells that give rise to coronary artery smooth muscle cells (SMC) and cardiac fibroblasts. Using reporter gene and immunolocalization studies with mouse and human tissues we have found that vascular TCF21 expression in the adult is restricted primarily to adventitial cells associated with coronary arteries and also medial SMC in the proximal aorta of mouse. Genome wide RNA-Seq studies in human coronary artery SMC (HCASMC) with siRNA knockdown found a number of putative TCF21 downstream pathways identified by enrichment of terms related to CAD, including "vascular disease," "disorder of artery," and "occlusion of artery," as well as disease-related cellular functions including "cellular movement" and "cellular growth and proliferation." In vitro studies in HCASMC demonstrated that TCF21 expression promotes proliferation and migration and inhibits SMC lineage marker expression. Detailed in situ expression studies with reporter gene and lineage tracing revealed that vascular wall cells expressing Tcf21 before disease initiation migrate into vascular lesions of ApoE-/- and Ldlr-/- mice. While Tcf21 lineage traced cells are distributed throughout the early lesions, in mature lesions they contribute to the formation of a subcapsular layer of cells, and others become associated with the fibrous cap. The lineage traced fibrous cap cells activate expression of SMC markers and growth factor receptor genes. Taken together, these data suggest that TCF21 may have a role regulating the differentiation state of SMC precursor cells that migrate into vascular lesions and contribute to the fibrous cap and more broadly, in view of the association of this gene with human CAD, provide evidence that these processes may be a mechanism for CAD risk attributable to the vascular wall.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005155
View details for Web of Science ID 000355305200011
View details for PubMedID 26020946
Coronary heart disease-associated variation in TCF21 disrupts a miR-224 binding site and miRNA-mediated regulation.
2014; 10 (3)
Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 46 loci that are associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). Additionally, 104 independent candidate variants (false discovery rate of 5 %) have been identified (Schunkert H, Konig IR, Kathiresan S, Reilly MP, Assimes TL, Holm H et al. Nat Genet 43:333-8, 2011; Deloukas P, Kanoni S, Willenborg C, Farrall M, Assimes TL, Thompson JR et al. Nat Genet 45:25-33, 2012; C4D Genetics Consortium. Nat Genet 43:339-44, 2011). The majority of the causal genes in these loci function independently of conventional risk factors. It is postulated that a number of the CHD-associated genes regulate basic processes in the vascular cells involved in atherosclerosis, and that study of the signaling pathways that are modulated in this cell type by causal regulatory variation will provide critical new insights for targeting the initiation and progression of disease. In this review, we will discuss the types of experimental approaches and data that are critical to understanding the molecular processes that underlie the disease risk at 9p21.3, TCF21, SORT1, and other CHD-associated loci.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11883-014-0406-4
View details for PubMedID 24623178
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B regulates efferocytosis and atherosclerosis
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION
2014; 124 (3): 1083-1097
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified chromosomal loci that affect risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) independent of classical risk factors. One such association signal has been identified at 6q23.2 in both Caucasians and East Asians. The lead CHD-associated polymorphism in this region, rs12190287, resides in the 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR) of TCF21, a basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor, and is predicted to alter the seed binding sequence for miR-224. Allelic imbalance studies in circulating leukocytes and human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) showed significant imbalance of the TCF21 transcript that correlated with genotype at rs12190287, consistent with this variant contributing to allele-specific expression differences. 3' UTR reporter gene transfection studies in HCASMC showed that the disease-associated C allele has reduced expression compared to the protective G allele. Kinetic analyses in vitro revealed faster RNA-RNA complex formation and greater binding of miR-224 with the TCF21 C allelic transcript. In addition, in vitro probing with Pb2+ and RNase T1 revealed structural differences between the TCF21 variants in proximity of the rs12190287 variant, which are predicted to provide greater access to the C allele for miR-224 binding. miR-224 and TCF21 expression levels were anti-correlated in HCASMC, and miR-224 modulates the transcriptional response of TCF21 to transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling in an allele-specific manner. Lastly, miR-224 and TCF21 were localized in human coronary artery lesions and anti-correlated during atherosclerosis. Together, these data suggest that miR-224 interaction with the TCF21 transcript contributes to allelic imbalance of this gene, thus partly explaining the genetic risk for coronary heart disease associated at 6q23.2. These studies implicating rs12190287 in the miRNA-dependent regulation of TCF21, in conjunction with previous studies showing that this variant modulates transcriptional regulation through activator protein 1 (AP-1), suggests a unique bimodal level of complexity previously unreported for disease-associated variants.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004263
View details for PubMedID 24676100
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 3A1 protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury
JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR CARDIOLOGY
2013; 64: 11-19
Genetic variation at the chromosome 9p21 risk locus promotes cardiovascular disease; however, it is unclear how or which proteins encoded at this locus contribute to disease. We have previously demonstrated that loss of one candidate gene at this locus, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B (Cdkn2b), in mice promotes vascular SMC apoptosis and aneurysm progression. Here, we investigated the role of Cdnk2b in atherogenesis and found that in a mouse model of atherosclerosis, deletion of Cdnk2b promoted advanced development of atherosclerotic plaques composed of large necrotic cores. Furthermore, human carriers of the 9p21 risk allele had reduced expression of CDKN2B in atherosclerotic plaques, which was associated with impaired expression of calreticulin, a ligand required for activation of engulfment receptors on phagocytic cells. As a result of decreased calreticulin, CDKN2B-deficient apoptotic bodies were resistant to efferocytosis and not efficiently cleared by neighboring macrophages. These uncleared SMCs elicited a series of proatherogenic juxtacrine responses associated with increased foam cell formation and inflammatory cytokine elaboration. The addition of exogenous calreticulin reversed defects associated with loss of Cdkn2b and normalized engulfment of Cdkn2b-deficient cells. Together, these data suggest that loss of CDKN2B promotes atherosclerosis by increasing the size and complexity of the lipid-laden necrotic core through impaired efferocytosis.
View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI70391
View details for Web of Science ID 000332347700028
View details for PubMedID 24531546
Disease-Related Growth Factor and Embryonic Signaling Pathways Modulate an Enhancer of TCF21 Expression at the 6q23.2 Coronary Heart Disease Locus
2013; 9 (7)
Loss of CDKN2B promotes p53-dependent smooth muscle cell apoptosis and aneurysm formation.
Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
2013; 33 (1): e1-e10
Phosphodiesterase 3A (PDE3A) is a major regulator of cAMP in cardiomyocytes. PDE3 inhibitors are used for acute treatment of congestive heart failure, but are associated with increased incidence of arrhythmias and sudden death with long-term use. We previously reported that chronic PDE3A downregulation or inhibition induced myocyte apoptosis in vitro. However, the cardiac protective effect of PDE3A has not been demonstrated in vivo in disease models. In this study, we examined the role of PDE3A in regulating myocardial function and survival in vivo using genetically engineered transgenic mice with myocardial overexpression of the PDE3A1 isozyme (TG). TG mice have reduced cardiac function characterized by reduced heart rate and ejection fraction (52.5±7.8% vs. 83.9±4.7%) as well as compensatory expansion of left ventricular diameter (4.19±0.19mm vs. 3.10±0.18mm). However, there was no maladaptive increase of fibrosis and apoptosis in TG hearts compared to wild type (WT) hearts, and the survival rates also remained the same. The diminution of cardiac contractile function is very likely attributed to a decrease in beta-adrenergic receptor (?-AR) response in TG mice. Importantly, the myocardial infarct size (4.0±1.8% vs. 24.6±3.8%) and apoptotic cell number (1.3±1.0% vs. 5.6±1.5%) induced by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury were significantly attenuated in TG mice. This was associated with decreased expression of inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) and increased expression of anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2. To further verify the anti-apoptotic effects of PDE3A1, we performed in vitro apoptosis study in isolated adult TG and WT cardiomyocytes. We found that the apoptotic rates stimulated by hypoxia/reoxygenation or H2O2 were indeed significantly reduced in TG myocytes, and the differences between TG and WT myocytes were completely reversed in the presence of the PDE3 inhibitor milrinone. These together indicate that PDE3A1 negatively regulates ?-AR signaling and protects against I/R injury by inhibiting cardiomyocyte apoptosis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2013.08.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000326064400002
View details for PubMedID 23988739
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 1A: a key regulator of cardiac fibroblast activation and extracellular matrix remodeling in the heart
BASIC RESEARCH IN CARDIOLOGY
2011; 106 (6): 1023-1039
Genomewide association studies have implicated allelic variation at 9p21.3 in multiple forms of vascular disease, including atherosclerotic coronary heart disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. As for other genes at 9p21.3, human expression quantitative trait locus studies have associated expression of the tumor suppressor gene CDKN2B with the risk haplotype, but its potential role in vascular pathobiology remains unclear.Here we used vascular injury models and found that Cdkn2b knockout mice displayed the expected increase in proliferation after injury, but developed reduced neointimal lesions and larger aortic aneurysms. In situ and in vitro studies suggested that these effects were attributable to increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis. Adoptive bone marrow transplant studies confirmed that the observed effects of Cdkn2b were mediated through intrinsic vascular cells and were not dependent on bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells. Mechanistic studies suggested that the observed increase in apoptosis was attributable to a reduction in MDM2 and an increase in p53 signaling, possibly due in part to compensation by other genes at the 9p21.3 locus. Dual inhibition of both Cdkn2b and p53 led to a reversal of the vascular phenotype in each model.These results suggest that reduced CDKN2B expression and increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis may be one mechanism underlying the 9p21.3 association with aneurysmal disease.
View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.300399
View details for PubMedID 23162013
Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase 1 Regulates Lysosome-Dependent Type I Collagen Protein Degradation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY
2011; 31 (3): 616-U299
Cardiac fibroblasts become activated and differentiate to smooth muscle-like myofibroblasts in response to hypertension and myocardial infarction (MI), resulting in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, scar formation and impaired cardiac function. cAMP and cGMP-dependent signaling have been implicated in cardiac fibroblast activation and ECM synthesis. Dysregulation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity/expression is also associated with various diseases and several PDE inhibitors are currently available or in development for treating these pathological conditions. The objective of this study is to define and characterize the specific PDE isoform that is altered during cardiac fibroblast activation and functionally important for regulating myofibroblast activation and ECM synthesis. We have found that Ca(2+)/calmodulin-stimulated PDE1A isoform is specifically induced in activated cardiac myofibroblasts stimulated by Ang II and TGF-? in vitro as well as in vivo within fibrotic regions of mouse, rat, and human diseased hearts. Inhibition of PDE1A function via PDE1-selective inhibitor or PDE1A shRNA significantly reduced Ang II or TGF-?-induced myofibroblast activation, ECM synthesis, and pro-fibrotic gene expression in rat cardiac fibroblasts. Moreover, the PDE1 inhibitor attenuated isoproterenol-induced interstitial fibrosis in mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that PDE1A modulates unique pools of cAMP and cGMP, predominantly in perinuclear and nuclear regions of cardiac fibroblasts. Further, both cAMP-Epac-Rap1 and cGMP-PKG signaling was involved in PDE1A-mediated regulation of collagen synthesis. These results suggest that induction of PDE1A plays a critical role in cardiac fibroblast activation and cardiac fibrosis, and targeting PDE1A may lead to regression of the adverse cardiac remodeling associated with various cardiac diseases.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00395-011-0228-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000297708200009
View details for PubMedID 22012077
Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulated PDE1 regulates the beta-catenin/TCF signaling through PP2A B56 gamma subunit in proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells
2010; 277 (24): 5026-5039
The phenotypic modulation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to a synthetic phenotype is vital during pathological vascular remodeling and the development of various vascular diseases. An increase in type I collagen (collagen I) has been implicated in synthetic VSMCs, and cyclic nucleotide signaling is critical in collagen I regulation. Herein, we investigate the role and underlying mechanism of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 1 (PDE1) in regulating collagen I in synthetic VSMCs.The PDE1 inhibitor IC86340 significantly reduced collagen I in human saphenous vein explants undergoing spontaneous remodeling via ex vivo culture. In synthetic VSMCs, high basal levels of intracellular and extracellular collagen I protein were markedly decreased by IC86340. This attenuation was due to diminished protein but not mRNA. Inhibition of lysosome function abolished the effect of IC86340 on collagen I protein expression. PDE1C but not PDE1A is the major isoform responsible for mediating the effects of IC86340. Bicarbonate-sensitive soluble adenylyl cyclase/cAMP signaling was modulated by PDE1C, which is critical in collagen I degradation in VSMCs.These data demonstrate that PDE1C regulates soluble adenylyl cyclase/cAMP signaling and lysosome-mediated collagen I protein degradation, and they suggest that PDE1C plays a critical role in regulating collagen homeostasis during pathological vascular remodeling.
View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.212621
View details for Web of Science ID 000287409900022
View details for PubMedID 21148428
Targeting Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase in the Heart: Therapeutic Implications
JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH
2010; 3 (5): 507-515
The phenotypic change of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), from a 'contractile' phenotype to a 'synthetic' phenotype, is crucial for pathogenic vascular remodeling in vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-stimulated phosphodiesterase 1 (PDE1) isozymes, including PDE1A and PDE1C, play integral roles in regulating the proliferation of synthetic VSMCs. However, the underlying molecular mechanism(s) remain unknown. In this study, we explore the role and mechanism of PDE1 isoforms in regulating ?-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF) signaling in VSMCs, a pathway important for vascular remodeling through promoting VSMC growth and survival. We found that inhibition of PDE1 activity markedly attenuated ?-catenin/TCF signaling by downregulating ?-catenin protein. The effect of PDE1 inhibition on ?-catenin protein reduction is exerted via promoting glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)? activation, ?-catenin phosphorylation and subsequent ?-catenin protein degradation. Moreover, PDE1 inhibition specifically upregulated phosphatase protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) B56? subunit gene expression, which is responsible for the effects of PDE1 inhibition on GSK3? and ?-catenin/TCF signaling. Furthermore, the effect of PDE1 inhibition on ?-catenin was specifically mediated by PDE1A but not PDE1C isozyme. Interestingly, in synthetic VSMCs, PP2A B56?, phospho-GSK3? and phospho-?-catenin were all found in the nucleus, suggesting that PDE1A regulates nuclear ?-catenin protein stability through the nuclear PP2A-GSK3?-?-catenin signaling axis. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence for the first time that PP2A B56? is a critical mediator for PDE1A in the regulation of ?-catenin signaling in proliferating VSMCs.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07908.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000284892300006
View details for PubMedID 21078118
Role of Ca2+/Calmodulin-Stimulated Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase 1 in Mediating Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy
2009; 105 (10): 956-U59
The second messengers, cAMP and cGMP, regulate a number of physiological processes in the myocardium, from acute contraction/relaxation to chronic gene expression and cardiac structural remodeling. Emerging evidence suggests that multiple spatiotemporally distinct pools of cyclic nucleotides can discriminate specific cellular functions from a given cyclic nucleotide-mediated signal. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), by hydrolyzing intracellular cyclic AMP and/or cyclic GMP, control the amplitude, duration, and compartmentation of cyclic nucleotide signaling. To date, more than 60 different isoforms have been described and grouped into 11 broad families (PDE1-PDE11) based on differences in their structure, kinetic and regulatory properties, as well as sensitivity to chemical inhibitors. In the heart, PDE isozymes from at least six families have been investigated. Studies using selective PDE inhibitors and/or genetically manipulated animals have demonstrated that individual PDE isozymes play distinct roles in the heart by regulating unique cyclic nucleotide signaling microdomains. Alterations of PDE activity and/or expression have also been observed in various cardiac disease models, which may contribute to disease progression. Several family-selective PDE inhibitors have been used clinically or pre-clinically for the treatment of cardiac or vascular-related diseases. In this review, we will highlight both recent advances and discrepancies relevant to cardiovascular PDE expression, pathophysiological function, and regulation. In particular, we will emphasize how these properties influence current and future development of PDE inhibitors for the treatment of pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s12265-010-9203-9
View details for Web of Science ID 000284694700011
View details for PubMedID 20632220
Regulation of phosphodiesterase 3 and inducible cAMP early repressor in the heart
2007; 100 (4): 489-501
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) through the degradation of cGMP play critical roles in maintaining cardiomyocyte homeostasis. Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-activated cGMP-hydrolyzing PDE1 family may play a pivotal role in balancing intracellular Ca(2+)/CaM and cGMP signaling; however, its function in cardiomyocytes is unknown.Herein, we investigate the role of Ca(2+)/CaM-stimulated PDE1 in regulating pathological cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in neonatal and adult rat ventricular myocytes and in the heart in vivo.Inhibition of PDE1 activity using a PDE1-selective inhibitor, IC86340, or downregulation of PDE1A using siRNA prevented phenylephrine induced pathological myocyte hypertrophy and hypertrophic marker expression in neonatal and adult rat ventricular myocytes. Importantly, administration of the PDE1 inhibitor IC86340 attenuated cardiac hypertrophy induced by chronic isoproterenol infusion in vivo. Both PDE1A and PDE1C mRNA and protein were detected in human hearts; however, PDE1A expression was conserved in rodent hearts. Moreover, PDE1A expression was significantly upregulated in vivo in the heart and myocytes from various pathological hypertrophy animal models and in vitro in isolated neonatal and adult rat ventricular myocytes treated with neurohumoral stimuli such as angiotensin II (Ang II) and isoproterenol. Furthermore, PDE1A plays a critical role in phenylephrine-induced reduction of intracellular cGMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) activity and thereby cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in vitro.These results elucidate a novel role for Ca(2+)/CaM-stimulated PDE1, particularly PDE1A, in regulating pathological cardiomyocyte hypertrophy via a cGMP/PKG-dependent mechanism, thereby demonstrating Ca(2+) and cGMP signaling cross-talk during cardiac hypertrophy.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.198515
View details for Web of Science ID 000271505400004
View details for PubMedID 19797176
Collateral sprouting of human epidermal nerve fibers following intracutaneous axotomy
JOURNAL OF THE PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
2006; 11 (2): 142-147
Growing evidence suggests that multiple spatially, temporally, and functionally distinct pools of cyclic nucleotides exist and regulate cardiac performance, from acute myocardial contractility to chronic gene expression and cardiac structural remodeling. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), by hydrolyzing cAMP and cyclic GMP, regulate the amplitude, duration, and compartmentation of cyclic nucleotide-mediated signaling. In particular, PDE3 enzymes play a major role in regulating cAMP metabolism in the cardiovascular system. PDE3 inhibitors, by raising cAMP content, have acute inotropic and vasodilatory effects in treating congestive heart failure but have increased mortality in long-term therapy. PDE3A expression is downregulated in human and animal failing hearts. In vitro, inhibition of PDE3A function is associated with myocyte apoptosis through sustained induction of a transcriptional repressor ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor) and thereby inhibition of antiapoptotic molecule Bcl-2 expression. Sustained induction of ICER may also cause the change of other protein expression implicated in human and animal failing hearts. These data suggest that the downregulation of PDE3A observed in failing hearts may play a causative role in the progression of heart failure, in part, by inducing ICER and promoting cardiac myocyte dysfunction. Hence, strategies that maintain PDE3A function may represent an attractive approach to circumvent myocyte apoptosis and cardiac dysfunction.
View details for DOI 10.1161/01.RES.0000258451.44949.d7
View details for Web of Science ID 000244571600008
View details for PubMedID 17332439
Despite the clinical need, there are no therapeutic compounds available to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. In part, this may be due to a lack of sensitive measures of nerve growth. Here, we describe a novel approach of measuring collateral sprouting of epidermal nerve fibers (ENF) in human subjects and describe the effect of the neuroimmunophilin ligand timcodar dimesylate on collateral nerve sprouting. The objective of this study was to describe a model of intracutaneous axotomy and evaluate the ability of timcodar dimesylate to accelerate human cutaneous nerve regeneration through collateral sprouting. Subjects were randomized to receive placebo, 12.5 or 50 mg/day timcodar dimesylate in a prospective, two-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. A 3-mm distal thigh punch skin biopsy was performed at baseline, and a 4-mm overlapping concentric biopsy was taken after 56 days of treatment. Biopsies were processed to visualize ENF, and the collateral sprouting distance (CSD) was measured. Sixty-two subjects completed the trial, and the CSD was measurable in 52. The CSD (mean +/- SEM) was 474.5 microm +/- 38.3, 473.4 microm +/- 28.4, and 450.8 microm +/- 26.5 for the placebo, low and high dose groups, respectively (p = 0.84). The baseline ENF density was associated with the CSD (p = 0.02). Collateral sprouting was efficiently measured using an intracutaneous axotomy model and suggests a collateral sprouting rate of 8.5 microm/day in healthy subjects. The model was consistent across treatment groups and had a low coefficient of variation. Timcodar dimesylate treatment was safe over an 8-week period but did not improve collateral sprouting among healthy subjects.
View details for Web of Science ID 000238289900006
View details for PubMedID 16787512