Tryptases are predominantly mast cell-specific serine proteases with pleiotropic biological activities and play a critical role in skin allergic reactions, which are manifested with rapid edema and increases of vascular permeability. The exact mechanisms of mast cell tryptase promoting vascular permeability, however, are unclear and, therefore, we investigated the effect and mechanism of tryptase or human mast cells (HMC-1) supernatant on the permeability of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs). Both tryptase and HMC-1 supernatant increased permeability of HDMECs significantly, which was resisted by tryptase inhibitor APC366 and partially reversed by anti-VEGF antibody and SU5614 (catalytic inhibitor of VEGFR). Furthermore, addition of tryptase to HDMECs caused a significant increase of mRNA and protein levels of VEGF and its receptors (Flt-1 and Flk-1) by Real-time RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. These results strongly suggest an important role of VEGF on the permeability enhancement induced by tryptase, which may lead to novel means of controlling allergic reaction in skin.
Endothelial cell apoptosis plays a critical role in the disruption of blood vessels mediated by natural inhibitors of angiogenesis and by anti-vascular drugs. However, the proportion of endothelial cells required to mediate a significant decrease in microvessel density is unknown. A system based on an inducible caspase (iCaspase-9) offers a unique opportunity to address this question. The dimerizer drug AP20187 induces apoptosis of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells stably transduced with iCaspase-9 (HDMEC-iCaspase-9), but not control cells (HDMEC-LXSN). Here, we generated blood vessels containing several HDMEC-iCaspase-9:HDMEC-LXSN ratios, and developed a mathematical modeling involving a system of differential equations to evaluate experimentally inaccessible ratios. A significant decrease in capillary sprouts was observed when at least 17% of the endothelial cells underwent apoptosis in vitro. Exposure to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) did not prevent apoptosis of HDMEC-iCaspase-9, but increased the apoptotic requirement for sprout disruption. In vivo experiments showed the requirement of at least 22% apoptotic endothelial cells for a significant decrease in microvascular density. The combined use of biological experimentation with mathematical modeling allowed us to conclude that apoptosis of a relatively small proportion of endothelial cells is sufficient to mediate a significant decrease in microvessel density.
To investigate the effect of a metronomic (low dose, high frequency) small molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2 (TW-37) in combination with radiotherapy on microvascular endothelial cells in vitro and in tumor angiogenesis in vivo.
Methods and materials
Primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) were exposed to ionizing radiation and/or TW-37, and colony formation as well as capillary sprouting in 3-D collagen matrices, was evaluated. Xenografts vascularized with human blood vessels were engineered by co-transplantation of human squamous cell carcinoma cells (OSCC3) and HDMEC seeded in highly porous biodegradable scaffolds into the subcutaneous space of immunodeficient mice. Mice were treated with metronomic TW-37 and/or radiation, and tumor growth was evaluated.
Low dose TW-37 sensitized primary endothelial cells to radiation-induced inhibition of colony formation. Low dose TW-37 or radiation partially inhibited endothelial cell sprout formation, while in combination these therapies abrogated new sprouting. Combination of metronomic TW-37 and low dose radiation inhibited tumor growth and resulted in significant increase in time to failure as compared to controls, whereas single agents did not. Notably, histopathological analysis revealed that tumors treated with TW-37 (with or without radiation) are more differentiated and showed more cohesive invasive fronts, which is consistent with less aggressive phenotype.
These results demonstrate that metronomic TW-37 potentiates the anti-tumor effects of radiotherapy, and suggest that patients with head and neck cancer might benefit from the combination of small molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2 and radiation therapy.
Developmental therapeutics; Radiotherapy; Head and Neck Cancer; Apoptosis; Neovascularization
Field cancerization involves the lateral spread of premalignant or malignant disease and contributes to the recurrence of head and neck tumors. The overall hypothesis underlying this work is that endothelial cells actively participate in tumor cell invasion by secreting chemokines and creating a chemotactic gradient for tumor cells. Here we demonstrate that conditioned medium from head and neck tumor cells enhance Bcl-2 expression in neovascular endothelial cells. Oral squamous cell carcinoma-3 (OSCC3) and Kaposi's sarcoma (SLK) show enhanced invasiveness when cocultured with pools of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells stably expressing Bcl-2 (HDMEC-Bcl-2), compared to cocultures with empty vector controls (HDMEC-LXSN). Xenografted OSCC3 tumors vascularized with HDMEC-Bcl-2 presented higher local invasion than OSCC3 tumors vascularized with control HDMEC-LXSN. CXCL1 and CXCL8 were upregulated in primary endothelial cells exposed to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), as well as in HDMEC-Bcl-2. Notably, blockade of CXCR2 signaling, but not CXCR1, inhibited OSCC3 and SLK invasion toward endothelial cells. These data demonstrate that CXC chemokines secreted by endothelial cells induce tumor cell invasion and suggest that the process of lateral spread of tumor cells observed in field cancerization is guided by chemotactic signals that originated from endothelial cells.
PURPOSE: Angiogenesis plays an important role in pancreas cancer pathobiology. Pancreatic tumor cells secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), activating endothelial cell protein kinase C beta (PKCβ) that phosphorylates GSK3β to suppress apoptosis and promote endothelial cell proliferation and microvessel formation. We used Enzastaurin (Enz) to test the hypothesis that inhibition of PKCβ results in radiosensitization of endothelial cells in culture and in vivo. MATERIALS/METHODS: We measured PKCβ phosphorylation, VEGF pathway signaling, colony formation, and capillary sprout formation in primary human dermal microvessel endothelial cells (HDMECs) after Enz or radiation (RT) treatment. Microvessel density and tumor volume of human pancreatic cancer xenografts in nude mice were measured after treatment with Enz, RT, or both. RESULTS: Enz inhibited PKCβ and radiosensitized HDMEC with an enhancement ratio of 1.31 ± 0.05. Enz combined with RT reduced HDMEC capillary sprouting to a greater extent than either agent alone. Enz prevented radiation-induced GSK3β phosphorylation of serine 9 while having no direct effect on VEGFR phosphorylation. Treatment of xenografts with Enz and radiation produced greater reductions in microvessel density than either treatment alone. The reduction in microvessel density corresponded with increased tumor growth delay. CONCLUSIONS: Enz-induced PKCβ inhibition radiosensitizes human endothelial cells and enhances the antiangiogenic effects of RT. The combination of Enz and RT reduced microvessel density and resulted in increased growth delay in pancreatic cancer xenografts, without increase in toxicity. These results provide the rationale for combining PKCβ inhibition with radiation and further investigating such regimens in pancreatic cancer.
This study examined the effects of endogenous overexpression of laminin-8 on angiogenesis and wound healing in primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs). HDMECs expressed laminin-8 and laminin-10, but no other laminins, as determined by radioimmunoprecipitation assay using a panel of antibodies to individual laminin chains. To study laminin-8 function, full-length human laminin α4 cDNA was retrovirally transferred to HDMEC, and specific overexpression of laminin-8 was verified by Western blot. Laminin-8 overexpression promoted endothelial cell spreading and migration in scratch assays and accelerated angiogenic tubule formation in collagen gel overlay assays. Strong inhibitory effect of β1 integrin and weak inhibition by αvβ3 integrin antibodies were observed in laminin-8-stimulated cell migration, but only β1 integrin antibodies affected tubule formation. These studies suggest that laminin-8 overexpression may prove to be a useful method to engineer HDMECs to promote angiogenesis and wound repair.
The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that mast cells that are present in fibrotic regions of cancer can suppress the growth of tumor cells through an indirect mechanism involving peri-tumoral fibroblasts.
We first immunostained a wide variety of human cancers for the presence of degranulated mast cells. In a subsequent series of controlled in vitro experiments, we then co-cultured UACC-812 human breast cancer cells with normal fibroblasts in the presence or absence of different combinations and doses of mast cell tryptase, mast cell heparin, a lysate of the human mast cell line HMC-1, and fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF-7), a powerful, heparin-binding growth factor for breast epithelial cells.
Degranulating mast cells were localized predominantly in the fibrous tissue of every case of breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease that we examined. Mast cell tryptase and HMC-1 lysate had no significant effect on the clonogenic growth of cancer cells co-cultured with fibroblasts. By contrast, mast cell heparin at multiple doses significantly reduced the size and number of colonies of tumor cells co-cultured with fibroblasts, especially in the presence of FGF-7. Neither heparin nor FGF-7, individually or in combination, produced any significant effect on the clonogenic growth of breast cancer cells cultured without fibroblasts.
Degranulating mast cells are restricted to peri-tumoral fibrous tissue, and mast cell heparin is a powerful inhibitor of clonogenic growth of tumor cells co-cultured with fibroblasts. These results may help to explain the well-known ability of heparin to inhibit the growth of primary and metastatic tumors.
The primary objective of this study was to examine the potential interaction between sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a pleiotropic lipid mediator, and CTGF/CCN2 a secreted multimodular protein, in the process of endothelial cell migration. The second objective was to determine whether C- and N-terminal domains of CTGF/CCN2 have specific function in cell migration.
Materials and Methods
Migration of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) was examined in monolayer wound healing “scratch” assay, while capillary-like tube formation was examined in 3 dimensional collagen co-culture assays.
We observed that S1P stimulates HDMECs migration concomitant with upregulation of CTGF/CCN2 expression. Furthermore, the blockade of endogenous CTGF/CCN2 via siRNA abrogated S1P induced HDMECs migration and capillary-like tube formation. Full length CTGF induced cell migration and capillary-like tube formation with potency similar to that of S1P, while C-terminal domain of CTGF was slightly less effective. However; N-terminal domain had only a residual activity in inducing capillary-like tube formation.
This study revealed that CTGF/CCN2 is required for the S1P induced endothelial cell migration, which suggests that CTGF/CCN2 may be an important mediator of S1P induced physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Moreover, this study shows that the pro-migratory activity of CTGF/CCN2 is located in the C-terminal domain.
HDMECs; S1P; CTGF/CCN2; N-terminus of CTGF; C-terminus of CTGF
Mast cells play a central role in the initiation and development of allergic diseases through release of various mediators. Tryptase has been known to be a key mediator in mast cell-mediated inflammatory reactions. In the present study, we investigated whether the transcription of tryptase gene in human mast cells was induced by microphthalmia (mi)-associated transcription factor (MITF). We observed that the human CD34+ progenitor-derived cultured mast cells and human mast cell line HMC-1 expressed strongly the transcripts of tryptase-beta1 and MITF-A, which is a MITF alterative splicing isoform. The transcriptional activity of tryptase gene was specifically higher in HMC-1 cells compared to the tryptase-negative cells. Using mutant constructs of tryptase promoter, we observed that two E-box (CANNTG) motifs including between -817 to -715 and -421 to -202 are able to involve in the transactivation of tryptase gene by MITF-A. In addition, the binding of these motifs-containing oligonucleotides to MITF proteins was detectable by EMGA using the nuclear extracts of HMC-1 cells and anti-MITF mAb. The overexpression of MITF-A elevated tryptase production by HMC-1 cells, while the introduction of specific siRNA against MITF attenuated the expression and enzymatic activity of tryptase. These data suggest that MITF might play a role in regulating the transcription of tryptase gene in human mast cells.
alternative splicing; gene expression regulation; mast cells; microphthalmia-associated transcription factor; tryptases
Signals generated by the dynamic mechanical strain critically regulate endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis; however, the molecular basis remains unclear. We investigated the mechanisms by which human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) perceive mechanical signals and relay them intracellularly to regulate gene expression and endothelial cell proliferation. HDMECs were exposed to low/physiologic levels of dynamic strain and probed for the differential activation/inhibition of kinases in the mechanosignaling cascade associated with endothelial cell gene activation. Because angiogenesis is important at inflammatory sites, we also assessed the mechanisms of mechanosignaling in the presence of an proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. In this article, we demonstrate that the mechanosignaling cascade is initiated by vascular endothelial growth receptor-2 (VEGFR2) activation. Mechanoactivation of VEGFR2 results in its nuclear translocation and elevation of PI3K-dependent Ser473-Akt phosphorylation. Subsequently, activated Akt inactivates the kinase activity of the serine/threonine kinase, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β), via its Ser9 phosphorylation. Thus, inactive GSK3β fails to phosphorylate cyclin D1 and prevents its proteosomal degradation and, consequently, promotes endothelial cell survival and proliferation. In the presence of IL-1β, cyclin D1 is phosphorylated and degraded, leading to inhibition of cell proliferation. However, mechanical signals repress cyclin D1 phosphorylation and upregulate cell proliferation, despite the presence of IL-1β. The data indicate that the VEGFR2/Akt/GSK3β signaling cascade plays a critical role in sensing and phosphorelaying mechanical stimuli in endothelial cells. Furthermore, mechanical forces control highly interconnected networks of proinflammatory and Akt signaling cascades to upregulate endothelial cell proliferation.
Cultured skin substitutes (CSS) consisting of autologous fibroblasts and keratinocytes combined with biopolymers are an adjunctive treatment for large excised burns. CSS containing two cell types are limited by anatomical deficiencies, including lack of a vascular plexus, leading to slower vascularization after grafting than split-thickness autograft. To address this limitation, CSS were prepared containing human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) isolated from a single skin sample. After 16 days in culture, control CSS and CSS containing HDMEC (CSS+EC) were grafted to full-thickness wounds in athymic mice. In CSS+EC in vitro, HDMEC persisted in the dermal substitutes and formed multicellular aggregates. One wk after grafting, HDMEC in CSS+EC organized into multicellular structures, some containing lumens. By 4 wk after grafting, HDMEC were found in linear and circular organizations resembling vascular analogs associated with basement membrane deposition. In some cases, colocalization of HDMEC with mouse perivascular cells was observed. The results demonstrate HDMEC transplantation in a clinically relevant cultured skin model, persistence of HDMEC after grafting, and HDMEC organization into vascular analogs in vitro and in vivo. All cells were derived from the same donor tissue, indicating the feasibility of preparing CSS containing autologous HDMEC for grafting to patients.—Supp, D. M., Wilson-Landy, K., Boyce, S. T. Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells form vascular analogs in cultured skin substitutes after grafting to athymic mice.
cultured skin substitute; endothelial cell; angiogenesis; tissue engineering
Human β-tryptase is stored in secretory granules of human mast cells as a heparin-stabilized tetramer. β-Protryptase in solution can be directly processed to the mature enzyme by cathepsin (CTS) L and CTSB, and sequentially processed by autocatalysis at R−3 followed by CTSC proteolysis. However, it is uncertain which cathepsin is involved in protryptase processing inside human mast cells, because murine BMMC from CTSC-deficient mice convert protryptase (proMMCP-6) is to mature MMCP-6. This suggests that other proteases are important for processing human β-protryptase. In the current study, reduction of either CTSB or CTSL activity inside HMC-1 cells by shRNA silencing or cathepsin-specific pharmacologic inhibitors substantially reduced mature β-tryptase formation. Similar reductions of tryptase levels in primary skin-derived mast cells were observed with these pharmacologic inhibitors. In contrast, protryptase processing was minimally reduced by shRNA silencing of CTSC. A putative pharmacologic inhibitor of CTSC markedly reduced tryptase levels, suggesting an off-target effect. Skin mast cells contain substantially greater amounts of CTSL and CTSB than HMC-1 cells, the opposite being found for CTSC. Both CTSL and CTSB co-localize to the secretory granule compartment of skin mast cells. Thus, CTSL and CTSB are central to the processing of protryptase(s) in human mast cells, and are potential targets for attenuating production of mature tryptase in vivo.
Tumors of the oral cavity are highly vascularized malignancies. Disruption of neovascular networks was shown to limit the access of nutrients and oxygen to tumor cells and inhibit tumor progression. Here, we evaluated the effect of the activation of an artificial death switch (iCaspase-9) expressed in neovascular endothelial cells on the progression of oral tumors. We used biodegradable scaffolds to co-implant human dermal microvascular endothelial cells stably expressing iCaspase-9 (HDMEC-iCasp9) with oral cancer cells expressing luciferase (OSCC3-luc or UM-SCC-17B-luc) in immunodeficient mice. Alternatively, untransduced HDMEC were co-implanted with oral cancer cells, and a transcriptionaly targeted adenovirus (Ad-VEGFR2-iCasp-9) was injected locally to deliver iCaspase-9 to neovascular endothelial cells. In vivo bioluminescence demonstrated that tumor progression was inhibited, and immunohisto-chemistry showed that microvessel density was decreased, when iCaspase-9 was activated in tumor-associated microvessels. We conclude that activation of iCaspase-9 in neovascular endothelial cells is sufficient to inhibit the progression of xenografted oral tumors.
angiogenesis; neovascularization; apoptosis; suicide gene; bioluminescence
This study examined whether the sensory neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibits release of chemokines by dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Dermal blood vessels are associated with nerves containing CGRP, suggesting that CGRP-containing nerves may regulate cutaneous inflammation through effects on vessels. We examined CGRP effects on stimulated chemokine production by a human dermal microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC-1) and primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (pHDMECs). HMEC-1 cells and pHDMECs expressed mRNA for components of the CGRP and adrenomedullin receptors and CGRP inhibited LPS-induced production of the chemokines CXCL8, CCL2, and CXCL1 by both HMEC-1 cells and pHDMECs. The receptor activity-modifying protein (RAMP)1/calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CL)-specific antagonists CGRP8-37 and BIBN4096BS, blocked this effect of CGRP in a dose-dependent manner. CGRP prevented LPS-induced IκBα degradation and NF-κB binding to the promoters of CXCL1, CXCL8 and CCL2 in HMEC-1 cells and Bay 11-7085, an inhibitor of NF-κB activation, suppressed LPS-induced production of CXCL1, CXCL8 and CCL2. Thus, the NF-κB pathway appears to be involved in CGRP-mediated suppression of chemokine production. Accordingly, CGRP treatment of LPS-stimulated HMEC-1 cells inhibited their ability to chemoattract human neutrophils and mononuclear cells. Elucidation of this pathway may suggest new avenues for therapeutic manipulation of cutaneous inflammation.
CGRP; endothelial cell; chemotaxis; NF-κB; neutrophil; mononuclear cell
We examined the effect of intact human mast cells (HMC-1 5C6) and their selected mediators on interleukin-6 (IL-6) production and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) expression in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) in the presence and absence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Scanning electron microscopy showed that HMC-1 5C6 cells adhere to HCAEC in cocultures. Addition of HMC-1 5C6 cells markedly enhanced the IL-6 production by quiescent and LPS-activated HCAEC even at the maximal concentration of LPS. Furthermore, mast cell-derived histamine and proteases accounted for the direct and synergistic effect of mast cells on IL-6 production that was completely blocked by the combination of histamine receptor-1 antagonist and protease inhibitors. Another novel finding is that histamine was able to induce BMP-2 expression in HCAEC. Collectively, our results suggest that endotoxin and mast cell products synergistically amplify vascular inflammation and that histamine participates in the early events of vascular calcification.
TCR engagement on adherent human effector memory (EM) CD4+ T cells by TNF-treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) under flow induces formation of a transendothelial protrusion (TEP) by the T cell but fails to induce transendothelial migration (TEM). In contrast, TCR engagement of the same T cell populations by TNF-treated human dermal microvascular cells (HDMEC) not only induces TEP formation, but triggers TEM at or near the interendothelial cell junctions via a process in which TEP formation appears to be the first step. Transduction of adhesion molecules in unactivated HDMEC and use of blocking antibodies as conducted with TNF-activated HDMEC indicate that ICAM-1 plays a nonredundant role in TCR-driven TEP formation and TEM, and that TCR-driven TEM is also dependent upon fractalkine. TEP formation, dependence on ICAM-1 and dependence on fractalkine distinguish TCR-induced TEM from IP-10 induced TEM. These in vitro observations suggest that presentation of antigen by human microvascular EC to circulating CD4+ EM T cells may function to initiate recall responses in peripheral tissues.
Endothelial cells; T cells; T cell receptors; chemokines; superantigens
Mast cells have been implicated in various diseases that are accompanied by neovascularization. The exact mechanisms by which mast cells might mediate an angiogenic response, however, are unclear and therefore, we have investigated the possible expression of vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular permeability factor (VEGF/VPF) in the human mast cell line HMC-1 and in human skin mast cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that mast cells constitutively express VEGF121, VEGF165, and VEGF189. After a prolonged stimulation of cells for 24 h with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and the ionophore A23187, an additional transcript representing VEGF206 was detectable, as could be verified by sequence analysis. These results were confirmed at the protein level by Western blot analysis. When the amounts of VEGF released under unstimulated and stimulated conditions were compared, a significant increase was detectable after stimulation of cells. Human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) responded to the supernatant of unstimulated HMC-1 cells with a dose-dependent mitogenic effect, neutralizable up to 90% in the presence of a VEGF-specific monoclonal antibody. Flow cytometry and postembedding immunoelectron microscopy were used to detect VEGF in its cell-associated form. VEGF was exclusively detectable in the secretory granules of isolated human skin mast cells. These results show that both normal and leukemic human mast cells constitutively express bioactive VEGF. Furthermore, this study contributes to the understanding of the physiological role of the strongly heparin-binding VEGF isoforms, since these were found for the first time to be expressed in an activation-dependent manner in HMC-1 cells.
Hypertension in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may involve lack of endothelial nitric oxide (NO), as suggested by reduced total NO synthase (NOS) in dialysis patients. One reason might be due to substrate deficiency. To test the hypothesis that uremia is a state of intracellular l-arginine deficiency, uremic plasma was obtained from dialysis patients, and its effect was tested on arginine transport in cultured vascular endothelial cells. l-arginine transport (P < 0.01) was reduced in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) incubated for 6 h with 20% uremic plasma from peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis patients obtained immediately predialysis. Similar transport inhibition was seen with ESRD plasma in human glomerular capillary and bovine aortic endothelial cells. Hemodialysis partially reversed inhibition of l-arginine transport. HDMECs incubated for 6 h with synthetic media containing high (uremic) urea concentrations showed inhibition of l-arginine transport, but this was not competitive because acute exposure to urea had no impact on l-arginine transport. Over a 6-h period, urea-induced inhibition of l-arginine transport was not sufficient to inhibit NOS activity, but after 7 days NOS activity was reduced. These cellular findings suggest that substrate delivery may be lowered, thus reducing endothelial NOS activity and contributing to hypertension in ESRD patients.
nitric oxide; uremia; urea; endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitors; dialysis
Endothelin 1 (ET-1) is a key regulator of vascular homeostasis. We have recently reported that the presence of Human antigen class I, HLA-B35, contributes to human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (HDMEC) dysfunction by upregulating ET-1 and proinflammatory genes. Likewise, a Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) ligand, Poly(I:C), was shown to induce ET-1 expression in HDMECs. The goal of this study was to determine the molecular mechanism of ET-1 induction by these two agonists. Because HLA-B35 expression correlated with induction of Binding Immunoglobulin Protein (BiP/GRP78) and several heat shock proteins, we first focused on ER stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) as possible mediators of this response. ER stress inducer, Thapsigargin (TG), HLA-B35, and Poly(I:C) induced ET-1 expression with similar potency in HDMECs. TG and HLA-B35 activated the PERK/eIF2α/ATF4 branch of the UPR and modestly increased the spliced variant of XBP1, but did not affect the ATF6 pathway. Poly(I:C) also activated eIF2α/ATF4 in a protein kinase R (PKR)-dependent manner. Depletion of ATF4 decreased basal expression levels of ET-1 mRNA and protein, and completely prevented upregulation of ET-1 by all three agonists. Additional experiments have demonstrated that the JNK and NF-κB pathways are also required for ET-1 upregulation by these agonists. Formation of the ATF4/c-JUN complex, but not the ATF4/NF-κB complex was increased in the agonist treated cells. The functional role of c-JUN in responses to HLA-B35 and Poly(I:C) was further confirmed in ET-1 promoter assays. This study identified ATF4 as a novel activator of the ET-1 gene. The ER stress/UPR and TLR3 pathways converge on eIF2α/ATF4 during activation of endothelial cells.
The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein serves as a negative regulator of hypoxia inducible factor-alpha subunit (HIF-α). Since HIF regulates critical angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and lesions in VHL gene are present in a majority of the highly vascularized renal cell carcinoma (RCC), it is believed that deregulation of the VHL-HIF pathway is crucial for the pro-angiogenic activity of RCC. Although VEGF has been confirmed as a critical angiogenic factor up-regulated in VHL mutant cells, the efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapy specifically targeting VEGF signaling remains modest. In this study we developed a three-dimensional in vitro assay to evaluate the ability of RCC cells to promote cord formation by the primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs). Compared to VHL wild-type cells, VHL mutant RCC cells demonstrated a significantly increased pro-angiogenic activity, which correlated with increased secretion of Cyr61/CCN1, CTGF/CCN2 and VEGF in conditioned culture medium. Both CCN proteins are required for HDMEC cord formation as shown by RNAi knock-down experiments. Importantly, the pro-angiogenic activities conferred by the CCN proteins and VEGF are additive, suggesting non-overlapping functions. Expression of the CCN proteins is at least partly dependent on the HIF-2α function, the dominant HIF-α isoform expressed in RCC. Finally, immunohistochemical staining of Cyr61/CCN1 and CTGF/CCN2 in renal cell carcinoma tissue samples showed that increased expression of these proteins correlates with loss of VHL protein expression. These findings strengthened the notion that the hypervascularized phenotype of RCC is afforded by multiple pro-angiogenic factors that function in parallel pathways.
VHL; HIF; Cyr61; angiogenesis; CTGF
The purpose of the present investigation was to study the effects of ionizing radiation on endothelial cells derived from diverse normal tissues. We first compared the effects of radiation on clonogenic survival and tube formation of endothelial cells, and then investigated the molecular signaling pathways involved in endothelial cell survival and angiogenesis. Among the different endothelial cells studied, human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HHSECs) were the most radio-resistant and human dermal microvascular endothelial cells were the most radio-sensitive. The radio-resistance of HHSECs was related to adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated expression of MMP-2 and VEGFR-2, whereas the increased radio-sensitivity of HDMECs was related to extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mediated generation of angiostatin. These observations demonstrate that there are distinct differences in the radiation responses of normal endothelial cells obtained from diverse organs, which may provide important clues for protection of normal tissue from radiation exposure.
ionizing radiation; normal endothelial cells; angiogenesis
Inhalation of allergens can result in mast cell degranulation and release of granule contents, including tryptase, in the lung. Injury to human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC-L) can also result in activation of the coagulation cascade and thrombin generation. We hypothesize that these proteases activate calcium-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2), in HMVEC-L, leading to the production of membrane phospholipids-derived inflammatory mediators. Both thrombin and tryptase stimulation of HMVEC-L increased iPLA2 activity that was inhibited by pretreatment with the iPLA2 selective inhibitor bromoenol lactone (BEL). Arachidonic acid and prostaglandin I2 (PGI2) release were also increased in tryptase and thrombin stimulated cells and inhibited by BEL pretreatment. Pretreating the endothelial cells with AACOCF3 a cytosolic PLA2 inhibitor did not inhibit tryptase or thrombin induced arachidonic acid and PGI2 release. In addition thrombin and tryptase also increased HMVEC-L platelet activating factor (PAF) production that significantly contributes to the recruitment and initial adherence of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) to the endothelium. Tryptase or thrombin stimulated increase in PMN adherence to the endothelium was inhibited by pretreatment of HMVEC-L with BEL or pretreatment of PMN with CV3988, a PAF receptor specific antagonist. Collectively, these data support our hypothesis that iPLA2 activity is responsible for membrane phospholipid hydrolysis in response to tryptase or thrombin stimulation in HMVEC-L. Therefore selective inhibition of iPLA2 may be a pharmacological target to inhibit the early inflammation in pulmonary vasculature that occurs as a consequence of mast cell degranulation or acute lung injury.
Tryptase; Thrombin; Calcium independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2); Platelet activating factor (PAF); Bromoenol lactone (BEL)
Endothelial cells maintain the homeostasis of blood, which consists of plasma and cellular components, and regulate the interaction between blood and the surrounding tissues. They also have essential roles in vascular permeability, the circulation, coagulation, inflammation, wound healing, and tissue growth. The senescence of endothelial cells is closely related to the aging of the adjacent tissues and to age-related vascular disease. Recently, the expression of moesin was found to be decreased in elderly human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs), and an association between moesin and senescence has been suggested. This study examined the functional role of moesin in cellular senescence.
Materials and Methods
To study the effects of decreased moesin expression on cellular senescence and metabolism, HDMECs were transfected with short hairpin-RNA (shRNA) lentivirus to silence moesin gene expression. In addition, specimens from young and old human skin were stained with anti-moesin and anti-p16 antibodies as an in vivo study.
Using shRNAl-entivirus, moesin knock-down HDMECs developed characteristics associated with aging and expressed senescence associated-beta-galactosidase during early passages. They also showed increased p16 expression, decreased metabolic activity, and cell growth retardation. Human skin tissue from elderly persons showed decreased moesin expression and increased p16 expression.
These findings suggest that there is a functional association between moesin expression and cellular senescence. Further study of the functional mechanism of moesin in the cytoskeleton and cellular senescence is needed. In addition, this study provides a useful model for developing anti-aging treatments.
Aging; endothelial cell; shRNA lentivirus; moesin; p16
Tryptase is the major protein constituent of human mast cells, where it is stored within the secretory granules as a fully active tetramer. Two tryptase genes (alpha and beta) are expressed by human mast cells at the level of mRNA and protein, each with a 30 amino acid leader sequence. Recombinant precursor forms of human alpha- and beta-tryptase were produced in a baculovirus system, purified, and used to study their processing. Monomeric beta-protryptase first is shown to be intermolecularly autoprocessed to monomeric beta-pro'tryptase at acid pH in the presence of heparin by cleavage between Arg-3 and Val-2 in the leader peptide. The precursor of alpha-tryptase has an Arg-3 to Gln-3 mutation that precludes autoprocessing. this may explain why alpha-tryptase is not stored in secretory granules, but instead is constitutively secreted by mast cells and is the predominant form of tryptase found in blood in both healthy subjects and those with systemic mastocytosis under nonacute conditions. Second, the NH2-terminal activation dipeptide on beta-pro'tryptase is removed by dipeptidyl peptidase I at acid pH in the absence of heparin to yield an inactive monomeric form of tryptase. Conversion of the catalytic portion of beta-tryptase to the active homotetramer at acid pH requires heparin. Thus, beta-tryptase homotetramers probably account for active enzyme detected in vivo. Also, processing of tryptase to an active form should occur optimally only in cells that coexpress heparin proteoglycan, restricting this pathway to a mast cell lineage.
We have compared the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and have assessed the relative roles of the receptors CD36 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). HUVEC (a cell line that expresses high levels of ICAM-1 but no CD36) mediate low levels of adhesion, whereas HDMEC (which constitutively express CD36) mediate high levels of adhesion even before ICAM-1 induction ICAM-1 expression leads to yet greater levels of adhesion, which are inhibited both by anti-ICAM-1 and CD36 mAbs, despite no increase in the expression of CD36. The results indicate the presence of a substantial population of infected cells that require the presence of both receptors to establish adhesion. Synergy between these receptors could be demonstrated using a number of parasite lines, but it could not be predicted from the binding of these same parasite lines to purified ICAM-1 and CD36. This phenomenon could not be reproduced using either purified receptors presented on plastic, or formalin-fixed HDMEC, suggesting that receptor mobility is important. This is the first study to demonstrate receptor synergy in malaria cytoadherence to human endothelial cells, a phenomenon necessary for parasite survival and associated with disease severity.