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1.  Effects of abciximab on key pattern of human coronary restenosis in vitro: impact of the SI/MPL-ratio 
The significant reduction of angiographic restenosis rates in the ISAR-SWEET study (intracoronary stenting and antithrombotic regimen: is abciximab a superior way to eliminate elevated thrombotic risk in diabetes) raises the question of whether abciximab acts on clopidogrel-independent mechanisms in suppressing neointimal hyperplasia. The current study investigates the direct effect of abciximab on ICAM-1 expression, migration and proliferation.
ICAM-1: Part I of the study investigates in cytoflow studies the effect of abciximab (0.0002, 0.002, 0.02, 0.2, 2.0, and 20.0 μg/ml) on TNF-α induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). Migration: Part II of the study explored the effect of abciximab (0.0002, 0.002, 0.02, 0.2, 2.0, and 20.0 μg/ml) on migration of HCMSMC over a period of 24 h. Proliferation: Part III of the study investigated the effect of abciximab (0.0002, 0.002, 0.02, 0.2, 2.0, and 20.0 μg/ml) on proliferation of HUVEC, HCAEC, and HCMSMC after an incubation period of 5 days.
ICAM-1: In human venous endothelial cells (HUVEC), human coronary endothelial cells (HCAEC) and human coronary medial smooth muscle cells (HCMSMC) no inhibitory or stimulatory effect on expression of ICAM-1 was detected. Migration: After incubation of HCMSMC with abciximab in concentrations of 0.0002 – 2 μg/ml a stimulatory effect on cell migration was detected, statistical significance was achieved after incubation with 0.002 μg/ml (p < 0.05), 0.002 μg/ml (p < 0.001), and 0.2 μg/ml (p < 0.05). Proliferation: Small but statistically significant antiproliferative effects of abciximab were detected after incubation of HUVEC (0.02 and 2.0 μg/ml; p = 0.01 and p < 0.01), HCAEC (2.0 and 20.0 μg/ml; p < 0.05 and p < 0,01), and HCMSMC (2.0 and 20.0 μg/ml; p < 0.05 and p < 0.05). The significant inhibition (SI) of cell proliferation found in HCAEC and HCMSMC was achieved with drug concentrations more than 10 times beyond the maximal plasma level (MPL), resulting in a SI/MPL-ratio > 1.
Thus, the anti-restenotic effects of systemically administered abciximab reported in the ISAR-SWEET-study were not caused by a direct inhibitory effect on ICAM-1 expression, migration or proliferation.
PMCID: PMC1475639  PMID: 16595000
2.  Direct inhibitory effects of Ganciclovir on ICAM-1 expression and proliferation in human coronary vascular cells (SI/MPL-ratio: >1) 
Treatment of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection with ganciclovir has beneficial indirect effects on the complex interactions of HCMV with restenosis, atherosclerosis, and transplant vascular sclerosis. The current study reports on direct effects of ganciclovir on expression of ICAM-1 and cell proliferation, key events of coronary atherosclerosis/restenosis. A potential clinical relevance of the data will be evaluated with the help of SI/MPL-ratio’s.
Definition of the SI/MPL-ratio: relation between significant inhibitory effects in vitro/ex vivo and the maximal plasma level after systemic administration in vivo (ganciclovir: 9 μg/ml). Part I of the study investigated in cytoflow studies the effect of ganciclovir (0.05–5000 μg/mL) on TNF-a induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in endothelial cells derived from umbilical veins (HUVEC), human coronary endothelial cells (HCAEC), and human coronary smooth muscle cells (HCMSMC). Part II of the study analysed the effect of ganciclovir (0.05–5000 μg/mL) on cell proliferation (HUVEC, HCAEC, and HCMSMC). In part III cytotoxic effects of ganciclovir (0.05–5000 μg/mL) were studied (HUVEC, HCAEC, and HCMSMC).
Ganciclovir caused slight but significant inhibitory effects on expression of ICAM-1 in HUVEC, HCAEC, and HCMSMC. In all three cell types studied strong dose depending significant antiproliferative effects of ganciclovir were detected. Partially, the antiproliferative effects of ganciclovir were caused by cytotoxic effects.
SI/MPL-ratio’s >1 in HCAEC and HCMSMC indicate that the inhibitory effects of gancliclovir on ICAM-1-expression and cell proliferation may only be expected in vivo following local high dose administration e.g. in drug eluting stents (DES).
PMCID: PMC3524678  PMID: 21169918
Ganciclovir; adhesion molecule ICAM-1; cell proliferation; Coronary Restenosis; drug eluting stents
3.  Sirolimus inhibits key events of restenosis in vitro/ex vivo: evaluation of the clinical relevance of the data by SI/MPL- and SI/DES-ratio's 
Sirolimus (SRL, Rapamycin) has been used successfully to inhibit restenosis both in drug eluting stents (DES) and after systemic application. The current study reports on the effects of SRL in various human in vitro/ex vivo models and evaluates the theoretical clinical relevance of the data by SI/MPL- and SI/DES-ratio's.
Definition of the SI/MPL-ratio: relation between significant inhibitory effects in vitro/ex vivo and the maximal plasma level after systemic administration in vivo (6.4 ng/ml for SRL). Definition of the SI/DES-ratio: relation between significant inhibitory effects in vitro/ex vivo and the drug concentration in DES (7.5 mg/ml in the ISAR drug-eluting stent platform). Part I of the study investigated in cytoflow studies the effect of SRL (0.01–1000 ng/ml) on TNF-α induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in human coronary endothelial cells (HCAEC) and human coronary smooth muscle cells (HCMSMC). Part II of the study analysed the effect of SRL (0.01–1000 ng/ml) on cell migration of HCMSMC. In part III, IV, and V of the study ex vivo angioplasty (9 bar) was carried out in a human organ culture model (HOC-model). SRL (50 ng/ml) was added for a period of 21 days, after 21 and 56 days cell proliferation, apoptosis, and neointimal hyperplasia was studied.
Expression of ICAM-1 was significantly inhibited both in HCAEC (SRL ≥ 0.01 ng/ml) and HCMSMC (SRL ≥ 10 ng/ml). SRL in concentrations ≥ 0.1 ng/ml significantly inhibited migration of HCMSMC. Cell proliferation and neointimal hyperplasia was inhibited at day 21 and day 56, significance (p < 0.01) was achieved for the inhibitory effect on cell proliferation in the media at day 21. The number of apoptotic cells was always below 1%.
SI/MPL-ratio's ≤ 1 (ICAM-1 expression, cell migration) characterize inhibitory effects of SRL that can be theoretically expected both after systemic and local high dose administration, a SI/MPL-ratio of 7.81 (cell proliferation) represents an effect that was achieved with drug concentrations 7.81-times the MPL. SI/DES-ratio's between 10-6 and 10-8 indicate that the described inhibitory effects of SRL have been detected with micro to nano parts of the SRL concentration in the ISAR drug-eluting stent platform. Drug concentrations in DES will be a central issue in the future.
PMCID: PMC1878500  PMID: 17498286
4.  Effects of mycophenolate mofetil on key pattern of coronary restenosis: a cascade of in vitro and ex vivo models 
Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), the prodrug of mycophenolic acid (MPA), is a rationally designed immunosuppressive drug. The current study investigates the effect of MMF on key pattern of restenosis in a cascade of in vitro and ex vivo models.
Part I of the study investigated in northern blot and cytoflow studies the effect of MMF (50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 μg/mL) on TNF-α induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in human coronary endothelial cells (HCAEC) and human coronary medial smooth muscle cells (HCMSMC). Part II of the study applied a human coronary 3D model of leukocyte attack, the 3DLA-model. HCAEC and HCMSMC were cultured on both sides of a polycarbonate filters, mimicking the internal elastic membrane. Leukocyte attack (LA) was carried out by adding human monocytes (MC) on the endothelial side. The effect of MMF (50 μg/mL) on adhesion and chemotaxis (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 24 h after LA) and the effect on proliferation of co-cultured HCMSMC (24 h after LA) was studied. In part III of the study a porcine coronary organ culture model of restenosis (POC-model) was used. After ex vivo ballooning MMF (50 μg/mL) was added to the cultures for a period of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days. The effect on reactive cell proliferation and neointimal thickening was studied at day 7 and day 28 after ballooning.
Expression of ICAM-1 in northern blot and cytoflow studies was neither clearly inhibited nor stimulated after administration of MMF in the clinical relevant concentration of 50 μg/mL. In the 3DLA-model 50 μg/mL of MMF caused a significant antiproliferative effect (p < 0.001) in co-cultured HCMSMC but had no effect on MC-adhesion and MC-chemotaxis. In the ex vivo POC-model neighter reactive cell proliferation at day 7 nor neointimal hyperplasia at day 28 were significantly inhibited by MMF (50 μg/mL).
Thus, the data demonstrate a significant antiproliferative effect of clinical relevant levels of MMF (50 μg/mL) in the 3DLA-model. The antiproliferative effect was a direct antiproliferative effect that was not triggered via reduced expression of ICAM-1 or via an inhibition of MC-adhesion and chemotaxis. Probably due to technical limitations (as e.g. the missing of perfusion) the antiproliferative effect of MMF (50 μg/mL) could not be reproduced in the coronary organ culture model. A cascade of focused in vitro and ex vivo models may help to gather informations on drug effects before large experimental studies are initiated.
PMCID: PMC1156877  PMID: 15890069
5.  NF-κB RelA Phosphorylation Regulates RelA Acetylation†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(18):7966-7975.
The nuclear functions of NF-κB p50/RelA heterodimers are regulated in part by posttranslational modifications of its RelA subunit, including phosphorylation and acetylation. Acetylation at lysines 218, 221, and 310 differentially regulates RelA's DNA binding activity, assembly with IκBα, and transcriptional activity. However, it remains unclear whether the acetylation is regulated or simply due to stimulus-coupled nuclear translocation of NF-κB. Using anti-acetylated lysine 310 RelA antibodies, we detected p300-mediated acetylation of RelA in vitro and in vivo after stimulation of cells with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Coexpression of catalytically inactive mutants of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A/mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 or IKK1/IKK2, which phosphorylate RelA on serine 276 or serine 536, respectively, sharply inhibited RelA acetylation on lysine 310. Furthermore, phosphorylation of RelA on serine 276 or serine 536 increased assembly of phospho-RelA with p300, which enhanced acetylation on lysine 310. Reconstitution of RelA-deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts with RelA S276A or RelA S536A decreased TNF-α-induced acetylation of lysine 310 and expression of the endogenous NF-κB-responsive E-selectin gene. These findings indicate that the acetylation of RelA at lysine 310 is importantly regulated by prior phosphorylation of serines 276 and 536. Such phosphorylated and acetylated forms of RelA display enhanced transcriptional activity.
PMCID: PMC1234328  PMID: 16135789
6.  NF-kappa B subunit-specific regulation of the interleukin-8 promoter. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1993;13(10):6137-6146.
Interleukin-8 (IL-8), a chemotactic cytokine for T lymphocytes and neutrophils, is induced in several cell types by a variety of stimuli including the inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF-alpha. Several cis elements, including a binding site for the inducible transcription factor NF-kappa B, have been identified in the regulatory region of the IL-8 gene. We have examined the ability of various NF-kappa B subunits to bind to, and activate transcription from, the IL-8 promoter. A nuclear complex was induced in phorbol myristate acetate-treated Jurkat T cells which bound specifically to the kappa B site of the IL-8 promoter and was inhibited by addition of purified I kappa B alpha to the reaction mixture. Only antibody to RelA (p65), but not to NFKB1 (p50), NFKB2 (p50B), c-Rel, or RelB was able to abolish binding, suggesting that RelA is a major component in these kappa B binding complexes. Gel mobility shift analysis with in vitro-translated and purified proteins indicated that whereas the kappa B element in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat bound to all members of the kappa B/Rel family examined, the IL-8 kappa B site bound only to RelA and to c-Rel and NFKB2 homodimers, but not to NFKB1 homodimers or heterodimers of NFKB1-RelA. Transient transfection analysis demonstrated a kappa B-dependent expression of the IL-8 promoter in a human fibrosarcoma cell line (8387) and in Jurkat T lymphocytes. Cotransfection with various NF-kappa B subunits indicated that RelA and c-Rel, but neither NFKB1 nor heterodimeric NFKB1-RelA, was able to activate transcription from the IL-8 promoter. Furthermore, cotransfection of NFKB1 and RelA, although able to support activation from the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat, failed to activate expression from the IL-8 promoter. Antisense oligonucleotides to RelA, but not NFKB1, inhibited phorbol myristate acetate-induced IL-8 production in Jurkat T lymphocytes. These data demonstrate the differential ability of members of the kappa B/Rel family to bind to, and activate transcription from, the IL-8 promoter. Furthermore, while providing a novel example of a kappa B-regulated promoter in which the classical NF-kappa B complex is unable to activate transcription from the kappa B element, these data provide direct evidence for the role of RelA in regulation of IL-8 gene expression.
PMCID: PMC364673  PMID: 8413215
7.  RelA Ser276 Phosphorylation-Coupled Lys310 Acetylation Controls Transcriptional Elongation of Inflammatory Cytokines in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(22):11752-11769.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus responsible for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in humans. In experimental models of RSV LRTI, the actions of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) transcription factor mediate inflammation and pathology. We have shown that RSV replication induces a mitogen-and-stress-related kinase 1 (MSK-1) pathway that activates NF-κB RelA transcriptional activity by a process involving serine phosphorylation at serine (Ser) residue 276. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which phospho-Ser276 RelA mediates expression of the NF-κB-dependent gene network. RelA-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) complemented with the RelA Ser276Ala mutant are deficient in CXCL2/Groβ, KC, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression, but NFKBIA/IκBα is preserved. We show that RSV-induced RelA Ser276 phosphorylation is required for acetylation at Lys310, an event required for transcriptional activity and stable association of RelA with the activated positive transcriptional elongation factor (PTEF-b) complex proteins, bromodomain 4 (Brd4), and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9). In contrast to gene loading pattern of PTEF-b proteins produced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulation, RSV induces their initial clearance followed by partial reaccumulation coincident with RelA recruitment. The RSV-induced binding patterns of the CDK9 substrate, phospho-Ser2 RNA polymerase (Pol) II, follows a similar pattern of clearance and downstream gene reaccumulation. The functional role of CDK9 was examined using CDK9 small interfering RNA (siRNA) and CDK inhibitors, where RSV-induced NF-κB-dependent gene expression was significantly inhibited. Finally, although RSV induces a transition from short transcripts to fully spliced mRNA in wild-type RelA (RelA WT)-expressing cells, this transition is not seen in cells expressing RelA Ser276Ala. We conclude that RelA Ser276 phosphorylation mediates RelA acetylation, Brd4/CDK9 association, and activation of downstream inflammatory genes by transcriptional elongation in RSV infection.
PMCID: PMC3209292  PMID: 21900162
8.  HIV gp120 induces endothelial dysfunction in tumour necrosis factor-α-activated porcine and human endothelial cells 
Cardiovascular Research  2010;87(2):366-374.
The aim of this study was to determine direct effects and potential molecular mechanisms of HIV gp120, a viral envelope glycoprotein, on endothelial function.
Methods and results
Fresh porcine coronary artery rings and human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) were treated with recombinant HIV gp120 for 16 h with or without pretreatment with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) (8 h). With a myograph tension analysis, HIV gp120 with TNF-α pretreatment significantly decreased endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in response to bradykinin in porcine coronary artery rings compared with untreated control vessels. In addition, HIV gp120 with TNF-α pretreatment significantly reduced endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression—both mRNA and protein levels—in porcine coronary artery rings and HCAECs compared with untreated controls. Furthermore, TNF-α pretreatment substantially increased intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in artery rings and HCAECs. Anti-gp120 or anti-ICAM-1 antibody significantly blocked these effects of HIV gp120. Silencing of ICAM-1 by siRNA oligonucleotides significantly blocked the effect of gp120 on eNOS downregulation in TNF-α-pretreated HCAECs.
HIV gp120 and TNF-α synergistically reduce eNOS expression and cause endothelial dysfunction in both porcine coronary arteries and HCAECs. ICAM-1 induced by TNF-α pretreatment may mediate HIV gp120-induced endothelial dysfunction, which suggests a novel molecular mechanism of HIV gp120–ICAM-1 interaction inducing endothelial dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2895538  PMID: 20083573
HIV gp120; Endothelial dysfunction; eNOS; ICAM-1; TNF-α
9.  Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Induces a Reactive Oxygen Species-MSK1-Phospho-Ser-276 RelA Pathway Required for Cytokine Expression▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(20):10605-10615.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a human pathogen that induces airway inflammation, at least in part, by modulating gene expression programs in airway epithelial cells. The presence of RSV replication is detected by the intracellular retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) RNA helicase that forms a productive signaling complex with the mitochondrion-anchored MAVS protein, resulting in nuclear translocation of the NF-κB transcription factor. Although nuclear translocation is a prerequisite for activation of the innate inflammatory response, recent studies show that separate pathways governing RelA activation are also required for target gene expression. In this study, we examine the mechanism of RelA phosphorylation and its requirement for RSV-induced gene expression. RSV infection produced a time-dependent RelA phosphorylation on serine (Ser) residues Ser-276 and Ser-536 in parallel with enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress. Inhibition of RSV-induced ROS inhibited formation of phospho-Ser-276 RelA without affecting phospho-Ser-536 RelA formation. RSV potently induced activation of cytoplasmic mitogen- and stress-related kinase 1 (MSK1) in an ROS-dependent manner. Inhibition of MSK1 using H89 and small interfering RNA knockdown both reduced RSV-induced phospho-Ser-276 RelA formation and expression of a subset of NF-κB-dependent genes. Direct examination of the role of phospho-Ser-276 in target gene expression by expression of a RelA Ser-276-to-Ala site mutation in RelA−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts showed that the mutation was unable to mediate RSV-induced NF-κB-dependent gene expression. We conclude that RSV induces RelA activation in the innate inflammatory response via a pathway separate from that controlling RelA cytoplasmic release, mediated by ROS signaling to cytoplasmic MSK1 activation and RelA Ser-276 phosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC2753134  PMID: 19706715
10.  Klotho Depletion Contributes to Increased Inflammation in Kidney of the db/db Mouse Model of Diabetes via RelA (Serine)536 Phosphorylation 
Diabetes  2011;60(7):1907-1916.
Klotho is an antiaging hormone present in the kidney that extends the lifespan, regulates kidney function, and modulates cellular responses to oxidative stress. We investigated whether Klotho levels and signaling modulate inflammation in diabetic kidneys.
Renal Klotho expression was determined by quantitative real-time PCR and immunoblot analysis. Primary mouse tubular epithelial cells were treated with methylglyoxalated albumin, and Klotho expression and inflammatory cytokines were measured. Nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation was assessed by treating human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 and HK-2 cells with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the presence or absence of Klotho, followed by immunoblot analysis to evaluate inhibitor of κB (IκB)α degradation, IκB kinase (IKK) and p38 activation, RelA nuclear translocation, and phosphorylation. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed to analyze the effects of Klotho signaling on interleukin-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 promoter recruitment of RelA and RelA serine (Ser)536.
Renal Klotho mRNA and protein were significantly decreased in db/db mice, and a similar decline was observed in the primary cultures of mouse tubule epithelial cells treated with methylglyoxal-modified albumin. The exogenous addition of soluble Klotho or overexpression of membranous Klotho in tissue culture suppressed NF-κB activation and subsequent production of inflammatory cytokines in response to TNF-α stimulation. Klotho specifically inhibited RelA Ser536 phosphorylation as well as promoter DNA binding of this phosphorylated form of RelA without affecting IKK-mediated IκBα degradation, total RelA nuclear translocation, and total RelA DNA binding.
These findings suggest that Klotho serves as an anti-inflammatory modulator, negatively regulating the production of NF-κB–linked inflammatory proteins via a mechanism that involves phosphorylation of Ser536 in the transactivation domain of RelA.
PMCID: PMC3121423  PMID: 21593200
11.  RelA Ser276 Phosphorylation Is Required for Activation of a Subset of NF-κB-Dependent Genes by Recruiting Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9/Cyclin T1 Complexes▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(11):3623-3638.
NF-κB plays a central role in cytokine-inducible inflammatory gene expression. Previously we empirically determined the identity of 92 members of the genetic network under direct NF-κB/RelA control that show marked heterogeneity in magnitude of transcriptional induction and kinetics of peak activation. To investigate this network further, we have applied a recently developed two-step chromatin immunoprecipitation assay that accurately reflects association and disassociation of RelA binding to its chromatin targets. Although inducible RelA binding occurs with similar kinetics on all NF-κB-dependent genes, serine 276 (Ser276)-phosphorylated RelA binding is seen primarily on a subset of genes that are rapidly induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), including Gro-β, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and IκBα. Previous work has shown that TNF-inducible RelA Ser276 phosphorylation is controlled by a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-protein kinase A signaling pathway. To further understand the role of phospho-Ser276 RelA in target gene expression, we inhibited its formation by ROS scavengers and antioxidants, treatments that disrupt phospho-Ser276 formation but not the translocation and DNA binding of nonphosphorylated RelA. Here we find that phospho-Ser276 RelA is required only for activation of IL-8 and Gro-β, with IκBα being unaffected. These data were confirmed in experiments using RelA−/− murine embryonic fibroblasts reconstituted with a RelA Ser276Ala mutation. In addition, we observe that phospho-Ser276 RelA binds the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb), a complex containing the cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK-9) and cyclin T1 subunits. Inhibition of P-TEFb activity by short interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown shows that the phospho-Ser276 RelA-P-TEFb complex is required for IL-8 and Gro-β gene activation but not for IκBα gene activation. These studies indicate that TNF induces target gene expression by heterogeneous mechanisms. One is mediated by phospho-Ser276 RelA formation and chromatin targeting of P-TEFb controlling polymerase II (Pol II) recruitment and carboxy-terminal domain phosphorylation on the IL-8 and Gro-β genes. The second involves a phospho-Ser276 RelA-independent activation of genes preloaded with Pol II, exemplified by the IκBα gene. Together, these data suggest that the binding kinetics, selection of genomic targets, and mechanisms of promoter induction by RelA are controlled by a phosphorylation code influencing its interactions with coactivators and transcriptional elongation factors.
PMCID: PMC2423290  PMID: 18362169
12.  PPM1A is a RelA phosphatase with tumor suppressor-like activity 
Lu, X | An, H | Jin, R | Zou, M | Guo, Y | Su, P-F | Liu, D | Shyr, Y | Yarbrough, WG
Oncogene  2013;33(22):2918-2927.
Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling contributes to human disease processes, notably inflammatory diseases and cancer. NF-κB has a role in tumorigenesis and tumor growth, as well as promotion of metastases. Mechanisms responsible for abnormal NF-κB activation are not fully elucidated; however, RelA phosphorylation, particularly at serine residues S536 and S276, is critical for RelA function. Kinases that phosphorylate RelA promote oncogenic behaviors, suggesting that phosphatases targeting RelA could have tumor-inhibiting activities; however, few RelA phosphatases have been identified. Here, we identified tumor inhibitory and RelA phosphatase activities of the protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) phosphatase family member, PPM1A. We show that PPM1A directly dephosphorylated RelA at residues S536 and S276 and selectively inhibited NF-κB transcriptional activity, resulting in decreased expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1/chemokine (C–C motif) ligand 2 and interleukin-6, cytokines implicated in cancer metastasis. PPM1A depletion enhanced NF-κB-dependent cell invasion, whereas PPM1A expression inhibited invasion. Analyses of human expression data revealed that metastatic prostate cancer deposits had lower PPM1A expression compared with primary tumors without distant metastases. A hematogenous metastasis mouse model revealed that PPM1A expression inhibited bony metastases of prostate cancer cells after vascular injection. In summary, our findings suggest that PPM1A is a RelA phosphatase that regulates NF-κB activity and that PPM1A has tumor suppressor-like activity. Our analyses also suggest that PPM1A inhibits prostate cancer metastases and as neither gene deletions nor inactivating mutations of PPM1A have been described, increasing PPM1A activity in tumors represents a potential therapeutic strategy to inhibit NF-κB signaling or bony metastases in human cancer.
PMCID: PMC3897569  PMID: 23812431
NF-κB; PPM1A; phosphatase; prostate cancer; tumor suppressor
13.  Regulation of Endotoxin-Induced Proinflammatory Activation in Human Coronary Artery Cells: Expression of Functional Membrane-Bound CD14 by Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells1 
Low-level endotoxemia has been identified as a powerful risk factor for atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate endotoxin responsiveness in vascular cells. We conducted experiments to compare the relative responses of human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) and smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) to very low levels of endotoxin, and to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate endotoxin responsiveness in vascular cells. Endotoxin (≤1 ng/ml) caused production of chemotactic cytokines in HCAEC. Endotoxin-induced cytokine production was maximal at LPS-binding protein:soluble CD14 ratios <1, typically observed in individuals with subclinical infection; higher LPS-binding protein:soluble CD14 ratios were inhibitory. Endotoxin potently activated HCASMC, with cytokine release >10-fold higher in magnitude at >10-fold lower threshold concentrations (10–30 pg/ml) compared with HCAEC. This remarkable sensitivity of HCASMC to very low endotoxin concentrations, comparable to that found in circulating monocytes, was not due to differential expression of TLR4, which was detected in HCAEC, HCASMC, and intact coronary arteries. Surprisingly, membrane-bound CD14 was detected in seven different lines of HCASMC, conferring responsiveness to endotoxin and to lipoteichoic acid, a product of Gram-positive bacteria, in these cells. These results suggest that the low levels of endotoxin associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis are sufficient to produce inflammatory responses in coronary artery cells. Because CD14 recognizes a diverse array of inflammatory mediators and functions as a pattern recognition molecule in inflammatory cells, expression of membrane-bound CD14 in HCASMC implies a potentially broader role for these cells in transducing innate immune responses in the vasculature.
PMCID: PMC3976648  PMID: 15240728
14.  Purification, reconstitution, and I kappa B association of the c-Rel-p65 (RelA) complex, a strong activator of transcription. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1994;14(4):2593-2603.
HeLa cells contain a DNA-binding activity which associates with a kappa B-like DNA element, termed Rel-related protein-binding element (RRBE), localized upstream of the human urokinase promoter. We have purified this activity from the HeLa cell cytosol and have shown that it represents a performed heteromeric complex between p65 (RelA) and c-Rel. Coexpression of c-Rel and p65 (RelA) by in vitro translation formed a DNA-binding complex indistinguishable from purified cellular c-Rel-p65 (RelA) in mobility shift assays. The c-Rel-p65 (RelA) complex was also formed in COS7 cells upon coexpression of c-Rel and p65 (RelA) cDNAs. Cotransfection experiments with COS7 cells, using expression plasmids encoding p50, p65 (RelA), or c-Rel and reporter constructs containing a trimerized RRBE, revealed that c-Rel-p65 (RelA) is a potent activator of the RRBE, giving rise to transcriptional activity higher than that observed with NF-kappa B (p50-p65). In the cytosol, the c-Rel-p65 (RelA) complex existed in a latent, non-DNA-binding form but could be activated by detergent treatment, suggesting that it was associated with an I kappa B protein. Recombinant I kappa B-alpha inhibited the DNA-binding activity of c-Rel-p65 (RelA) via association with either c-Rel or p65 (RelA). Finally, NF-kappa B and c-Rel-p65 (RelA) complexes were found to be differentially expressed and regulated in different cells. The two complexes were present in equimolar amounts in HeLa cells and K562 cells. Stimulation with tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) resulted in the nuclear translocation of both NF-kappa B and c-Rel-p65 (RelA) in HeLa cells and of NF-kappa B in HepG2 cells but had no effect on either complex in K562 cells. In addition, TPA stimulation of HepG2 cells induced the expression of a cytosolic latent c-Rel-p65 (RelA) complex which, however, was not translocated to the nucleus. In conclusion, our findings show that c-Rel-p65 (RelA) is an inducible and very potent transcriptional activator which is differentially activated in a cell-type-specific manner.
PMCID: PMC358627  PMID: 8139561
15.  Regulation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotype in Three-Dimensional Coculture System by Jagged1-Selective Notch3 Signaling 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2014;20(7-8):1175-1187.
The modulation of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotype is an essential element to fabricate engineered conduits of clinical relevance. In vivo, owing to their close proximity, endothelial cells (ECs) play a role in VSMC phenotype switching. Although considerable progress has been made in vascular tissue engineering, significant knowledge gaps exist on how the contractile VSMC phenotype is induced at the conclusion of the tissue fabrication process. The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to establish ligand presentation modes on transcriptional activation of VSMC-specific genes, (2) to develop a three-dimensional (3D) coculture model using human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs) and human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) on porous synthetic scaffolds and, (3) to investigate EC-mediated Notch signaling in 3D cultures and the induction of the HCASMC contractile phenotype. Whereas transcriptional activation of VSMC-specific genes was not induced by presenting soluble Jagged1 and Jagged1 bound to protein G beads, a direct link between HCAEC-bound Jagged1 and HCASMC differentiation genes was observed. Our 3D culture results showed that HCASMCs seeded to scaffolds and cultured for up to 16 days readily attached, infiltrated the scaffold, proliferated, and formed dense confluent layers. HCAECs, seeded on top of an HCASMC layer, formed a distinct, separate monolayer with cell-type partitioning, suggesting that HCAEC growth was contact inhibited. While we observed EC monolayer formation with 200,000 HCAECs/scaffold, seeding 400,000 HCAECs/scaffold revealed the formation of cord-like structures akin to angiogenesis. Western blot analyses showed that 3D coculture induced an upregulation of Notch3 receptor in HCASMCs and its ligand Jagged1 in HCAECs. This was accompanied by a corresponding induction of the contractile HCASMC phenotype as demonstrated by increased expression of smooth muscle-α-actin (SM-α-actin) and calponin. Knockdown of Jagged1 with siRNA showed a reduction in SM-α-actin and calponin in cocultures, identifying a link between Jagged1 and the expression of contractile proteins in 3D cocultures. We therefore conclude that the Notch3 signaling pathway is an important regulator of VSMC phenotype and could be targeted when fabricating engineered vascular tissues.
PMCID: PMC3993058  PMID: 24138322
16.  Comparative study on saponin fractions from Panax notoginseng inhibiting inflammation-induced endothelial adhesion molecule expression and monocyte adhesion 
Chinese Medicine  2011;6:37.
Panax notoginseng is commonly used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. The present study investigates the effects of three different saponin fractions (ie total saponins, PNS; protopanaxadiol-type saponin, PDS; and protopanaxatriol-type saponin, PTS) and two major individual ingredients (ie ginsenoside Rg1 and Rb1) from P. notoginseng on the endothelial inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo.
Recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was added to the culture medium of human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) to induce an inflammatory response. A cell adhesion assay was used to determine the effect of the P. notoginseng saponin fractions on endothelial-monocyte interaction. The cell adhesion molecule (CAMs) expression, including ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, in the protein level on the surface of endothelial cells were measured by cellular ELISA. CAMs expression in mRNA level was also assayed by qRT-PCR in the HCAECs and the aorta of rat fed with high cholesterol diet (HCD). Western blotting was used to detect effect of the saponin fractions on CAMs protein expression in HCAECs. In addition, nuclear translocation of p65, a surrogate marker for NF-κB activation, was measured by immunostaining.
Three saponin fractions and two individual ginsenosides exhibited the inhibitory effects on monocyte adhesion on TNF-α-activated HCAECs and expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 at both mRNA and protein levels in vitro. The saponin fractions exhibited a similar trend of the inhibitory effects on the mRNA expression of CAMs in the aorta of HCD-fed rat in vivo. These inhibitory effect of saponin fractions maybe attribute partially to the suppression of the TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation.
Our data demonstrate that saponin fractions (ie PNS, PDS and PTS) and major individual ginsenosides (ie Rg1 and Rb1) have potential anti-atherogenic effects. Among the tested saponin fractions, PDS is the most potent saponin fraction against TNF-α-induced monocyte adhesion as well as the expression of adhesion molecules in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3213006  PMID: 21995855
17.  The Major Component of IκBα Proteolysis Occurs Independently of the Proteasome Pathway in Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Infected Pulmonary Epithelial Cells 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(6):4849-4857.
Previously we showed that infection of human type II airway epithelial (A549) cells with purified respiratory syncytial virus (pRSV) induced interleukin-8 transcription by a mechanism involving cytokine-inducible cytoplasmic-nuclear translocation of the RelA transcription factor. In unstimulated cells, RelA is tethered in the cytoplasm by association with the IκB inhibitor and can be released only following IκB degradation. In this study, we examined the spectrum of IκB isoform expression and kinetics of proteolysis of the isoforms in A549 cells following pRSV infection. In contrast to the rapid and robust activation of RelA DNA binding that peaked within 15 min of treatment produced by the prototypic activator tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), pRSV produced a weaker increase in RelA binding that began at 3 h and did not peak until 24 h after infection. A549 cells expressed the IκB inhibitory subunits IκBα, IκBβ, and p105; however, following either stimulus, only the IκBα and IκBβ steady-state levels declined in parallel with the increase in RelA DNA-binding activity. The >120-min half-life of IκBα in control cells was shortened to 5 min in TNF-α-stimulated cells and to 90 min in pRSV-infected cells. Although IκBα was resynthesized within 30 min following recombinant human TNFα treatment due to a robust 25-fold increase of IκBα mRNA expression (the RelA:IκBα positive feedback loop), following pRSV infection, there was no reaccumulation of IκBα protein, as infected cells produced only a 3-fold increase in IκBα mRNA at 24 h, indicating the RelA:IκBα positive feedback loop was insufficient to restore control IκBα levels. IκBα proteolysis induced by TNF-α occurred through the 26S proteasome, as both 26S proteasome activity and IκBα proteolysis were blocked by specific inhibitors lactacystin, MG-132, and ZLLF-CHO. Although total proteasome activity in 24-h pRSV-infected lysates increased twofold, its activity was >90% inhibited by the proteasome inhibitors; surprisingly, however, IκBα proteolysis was not. We conclude that RSV infection produces IκBα proteolysis through a mechanism primarily independent of the proteasome pathway.
PMCID: PMC110033  PMID: 9573251
18.  Edge restenosis: impact of low dose irradiation on cell proliferation and ICAM-1 expression 
Low dose irradiation (LDI) of uninjured segments is the consequence of the suggestion of many authors to extend the irradiation area in vascular brachytherapy to minimize the edge effect. Atherosclerosis is a general disease and the uninjured segment close to the intervention area is often atherosclerotic as well, consisting of neointimal smooth muscle cells (SMC) and quiescent monocytes (MC). The current study imitates this complex situation in vitro and investigates the effect of LDI on proliferation of SMC and expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in MC.
Plaque tissue from advanced primary stenosing lesions of human coronary arteries (9 patients, age: 61 ± 7 years) was extracted by local or extensive thrombendarterectomy. SMC were isolated and identified by positive reaction with smooth muscle α-actin. MC were isolated from buffy coat leukocytes using the MACS cell isolation kit. For identification of MC flow-cytometry analysis of FITC-conjugated CD68 and CD14 (FACScan) was applied. SMC and MC were irradiated using megavoltage photon irradiation (CLINAC2300 C/D, VARIAN, USA) of 6 mV at a focus-surface distance of 100 cm and a dose rate of 6 Gy min-1 with single doses of 1 Gy, 4 Gy, and 10 Gy. The effect on proliferation of SMC was analysed at day 10, 15, and 20. Secondly, total RNA of MC was isolated 1 h, 2 h, 3 h, and 4 h after irradiation and 5 μg of RNA was used in standard Northern blot analysis with ICAM-1 cDNA-probes.
Both inhibitory and stimulatory effects were detected after irradiation of SMC with a dose of 1 Gy. At day 10 and 15 a significant antiproliferative effect was found; at day 20 after irradiation cell proliferation was significantly stimulated. Irradiation with 4 Gy and 10 Gy caused dose dependent inhibitory effects at day 10, 15, and 20. Expression of ICAM-1 in human MC was neihter inhibited nor stimulated by LDI.
Thus, the stimulatory effect of LDI on SMC proliferation at day 20 days after irradiation may be the in vitro equivalent of a beginning edge effect. Extending the irradiation area in vascular brachytherapy in vivo may therefore merely postpone and not inhibit the edge effect. The data do not indicate that expression of ICAM-1 in quiescent MC is involved in the process.
PMCID: PMC1526455  PMID: 16827927
19.  Calcitriol Decreases Expression of Importin α3 and Attenuates RelA Translocation in Human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cells 
Journal of clinical immunology  2012;32(5):1093-1103.
A potent immunomodulatory role of Vitamin D in both innate and adaptive immunity has recently been appreciated. In allergic asthma, activation of NF-κB induces transcription of various cytokines and chemokines involved in allergic airway inflammation. The nuclear import of activated NF-κB p50/RelA subunit is dependent on importin α3 (KPNA4) and importin α4 (KPNA3). In this study, we examined the role of importin α3 in immunomodulatory effect of calcitriol in human bronchial smooth muscle cells (HBSMCs).
Cultured HBSMCs were stimulated with calcitriol in the presence and absence of cytokines, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10. The mRNA transcripts of importin α3 and α4 were analyzed using qPCR while protein expression of importin α3, α4 and nuclear RelA was analyzed by immunoblotting.
Calcitriol significantly decreased mRNA and protein expression of importin α3 as well as nuclear protein expression of NF-κB p65 (RelA). The decreased activation of RelA by calcitriol was confirmed by decreased release of RelA-inducible molecules, including IL-5, IL-6 and IL-8, by HBSMCs upon calcitriol treatment. Calcitriol attenuated the effect of TNF-α and IL-1β to upregulate mRNA and protein expression of importin α3. IL-10 significantly decreased the TNF-α induced expression of importin α3 and this effect was further potentiated by calcitriol.
These data suggest that under inflammatory conditions, calcitriol decreases the expression of importin α3 resulting in decreased nuclear import of activated RelA. This could be a novel mechanism by which calcitriol could exert its immunomodulatory effects to reduce allergic airway inflammation and thus may alleviate the symptoms in allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC3444658  PMID: 22526597
Active vitamin D; Allergic airway inflammation; Asthma; Bronchial smooth muscle cells; Calcitriol; Importinα3 (KPNA4); Importinα4 (KPNA3); NF-κB; Vitamin D receptor (VDR)
20.  Regulation of adhesion and growth of fibrosarcoma cells by NF-kappa B RelA involves transforming growth factor beta. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1994;14(8):5326-5332.
The NF-kappa B transcription factor is a pleiotropic activator that participates in the induction of a wide variety of cellular genes. Antisense oligomer inhibition of the RelA subunit of NF-kappa B results in a block of cellular adhesion and inhibition of tumor cell growth. Investigation of the molecular basis for these effects showed that in vitro inhibition of the growth of transformed fibroblasts by relA antisense oligonucleotides can be reversed by the parental-cell-conditioned medium. Cytokine profile analysis of these cells treated with relA antisense oligonucleotides revealed inhibition of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1 to the transformed fibroblasts reversed the inhibitory effects of relA antisense oligomers on soft agar colony formation and cell adhesion to the substratum. Direct inhibition of TGF-beta 1 expression by antisense phosphorothioates to TGF-beta 1 mimicked the in vitro effects of blocking cell adhesion that are elicited by antisense relA oligomers. These results may explain the in vitro effects of relA antisense oligomers on fibrosarcoma cell growth and adhesion.
PMCID: PMC359052  PMID: 8035811
21.  Regulation of RelA (p65) Function by the Large Subunit of Replication Factor C 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(2):721-732.
The RelA (p65) subunit of NF-κB is an important regulator of inflammation, proliferation, and apoptosis. We have discovered that the large subunit, p140, of replication factor C (RFC) can function as a regulator of RelA. RFC is a clamp loader, facilitating the addition and removal of proliferating-cell nuclear antigen from DNA during replication and repair but can also interact directly with the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein and the transcription factor C/EBPα. We find that RFC (p140) interacts with RelA both in vitro and in vivo and stimulates RelA transactivation. In contrast, coexpression of fragments of RFC (p140) that mediate the interaction with RelA results in transcriptional inhibition. The significance of this regulation was confirmed by using short interfering RNA oligonucleotides targeted to RFC (p140). Down regulation of endogenous RFC (p140) inhibits expression from a chromosomally integrated reporter plasmid induced by endogenous, TNF-α-activated NF-κB. Dominant negative fragments of RFC (p140) also cooperate with overexpressed RelA to induce cell death. Interestingly, RFC (p140) also interacts with the tumor suppressor p53. Taken together, these observations suggest that, in addition to its previously described function in DNA replication and repair, RFC (p140) has an important role as a regulator of transcription and NF-κB activity.
PMCID: PMC151544  PMID: 12509469
22.  Atorvastatin antagonizes the visfatin-induced expression of inflammatory mediators via the upregulation of NF-κB activation in HCAECs 
Oncology Letters  2016;12(2):1438-1444.
The present study investigated whether atorvastatin antagonizes the visfatin-induced expression of inflammatory mediators in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). Several analysis methods, such as reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blot analysis and H2DCFDA incubation, were used in the present study. The data showed that atorvastatin decreased the visfatin-induced expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in HCAECs. In addition, atorvastatin inhibited the visfatin-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in HCAECs. In addition, the present study found that atorvastatin inhibited the visfatin-activated nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signal pathway by preventing extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in HCAECs. Atorvastatin significantly inhibited visfatin-induced NF-κB activity via the upregulation of reactive oxygen species production. Atorvastatin, a visfatin antagonist (FK866) and an NF-κB inhibitor (BAY11-7082) decreased the visfatin-induced expression of inflammatory mediators via the upregulation of NF-κB activation in HCAECs. These results suggest that atorvastatin may inhibit the visfatin-induced upregulation of inflammatory mediators through blocking the NF-κB signal pathway. The findings of the present study provide a potential use for atorvastatin and visfatin in the pathogenesis of HCAEC dysfunction. This knowledge may contribute to the development of novel therapies for atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4950623  PMID: 27446449
human coronary artery endothelial cells; atorvastatin; visfatin; nuclear factor-κB
23.  Influence of Carbon Monoxide on Growth and Apoptosis of Human Umbilical Artery Smooth Muscle Cells and Vein Endothelial Cells 
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a vasoactive molecule that is generated by vascular cells as a byproduct of heme catabolism and it plays an important physiological role in circulation system. In order to investigate whether exogenous CO can mediate the growth and proliferation of vascular cells, in this study, we used 250 parts per million (ppm) of CO to treat human umbilical artery smooth muscle cell (hUASMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HuVEC) and further evaluated the growth and apoptosis status of SMC and HuVEC. After SMC and HuVEC were exposed to CO for 7-day, the growth of SMC and HuVEC was significantly inhibited by CO in vitro on day 5 of CO exposure. And CO blocked cell cycle progress of SMC and HuVEC, more SMC and HuVEC stagnated at G0/G1 phase by flow cytometric analysis. Moreover, CO treatment inhibited SMC and HuVEC apoptosis caused by hydrogen peroxide through decreasing caspase 3 and 9 activities. To confirm the molecular mechanism of CO effect on SMC and HuVEC growth, we compared the gene expression profile in SMC and CO-treated SMC, HuVEC and CO-treated HuVEC. By microarray analysis, we found the expression level of some genes which are related to cell cycle regulation, cell growth and proliferation, and apoptosis were changed during CO exposure. We further identified that the down-regulated CDK2 contributed to arresting cell growth and the down-regulated Caspase 3 (CASP3) and Caspase 9 (CASP9) were associated with the inhibition of cell apoptosis. Therefore, CO exerts a certain growth arrest on SMC and HuVEC by inhibiting cell cycle transition from G0/G1 phase to S phase and has regulatory effect on cell apoptosis by regulating the expression of apoptosis-associated genes.
PMCID: PMC3509336  PMID: 23197940
CO; smooth muscle cell; human umbilical vein endothelial cell; cell proliferation; apoptosis.
24.  Decreased age-related cardiac dysfunction, myocardial nitrative stress, inflammatory gene expression, and apoptosis in mice lacking fatty acid amide hydrolase 
Recent studies have uncovered important cross talk between inflammation, generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and lipid metabolism in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular aging. Inhibition of the endocannabinoid anandamide metabolizing enzyme, the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), is emerging as a promising novel approach for the treatment of various inflammatory disorders. In this study, we have investigated the age-associated decline of cardiac function and changes in inflammatory gene expression, nitrative stress, and apoptosis in FAAH knockout (FAAH−/−) mice and their wild-type (FAAH+/+) littermates. Additionally, we have explored the effects of anandamide on TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression and monocyte-endothelial adhesion in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). There was no difference in the cardiac function (measured by the pressure-volume conductance catheter system) between 2- to 3-mo-old (young) FAAH−/− and FAAH+/+ mice. In contrast, the aging-associated decline in cardiac function and increased myocardial gene expression of TNF-α, gp91phox, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, caspase-3 and caspase-9, myocardial inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression, nitrotyrosine formation, poly (ADP-ribose)polymerase cleavage and caspase-3/9 activity, observed in 28- to 31-mo-old (aging) FAAH+/+ mice, were largely attenuated in knockouts. There was no difference in the myocardial cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor gene expression between young and aging FAAH−/− and FAAH+/+ mice. Anandamide dose dependently attenuated the TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression, NF-κB activation in HCAECs, and the adhesion of monocytes to HCAECs in a CB1-and CB2-dependent manner. These findings suggest that pharmacological inhibition of FAAH may represent a novel protective strategy against chronic inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress, and apoptosis associated with cardiovascular aging and atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2225473  PMID: 17434980
cardiac function; anandamide; pressure-volume relationship; endocannabinoids
25.  Protein Kinase C-δ Regulates Thrombin-Induced ICAM-1 Gene Expression in Endothelial Cells via Activation of p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(16):5554-5565.
The procoagulant thrombin promotes the adhesion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes to endothelial cells by a mechanism involving expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) via an NF-κB-dependent pathway. We now provide evidence that protein kinase C-δ (PKC-δ) and the p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway play a critical role in the mechanism of thrombin-induced ICAM-1 gene expression in endothelial cells. We observed the phosphorylation of PKC-δ and p38 MAP kinase within 1 min after thrombin challenge of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Pretreatment of these cells with the PKC-δ inhibitor rottlerin prevented the thrombin-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase, suggesting that p38 MAP kinase signals downstream of PKC-δ. Inhibition of PKC-δ or p38 MAP kinase by pharmacological and genetic approaches markedly decreased the thrombin-induced NF-κB activity and resultant ICAM-1 expression. The effects of PKC-δ inhibition were secondary to inhibition of IKKβ activation and of subsequent NF-κB binding to the ICAM-1 promoter. The effects of p38 MAP kinase inhibition occurred downstream of IκBα degradation without affecting the DNA binding function of nuclear NF-κB. Thus, PKC-δ signals thrombin-induced ICAM-1 gene transcription by a dual mechanism involving activation of IKKβ, which mediates NF-κB binding to the ICAM-1 promoter, and p38 MAP kinase, which enhances transactivation potential of the bound NF-κB p65 (RelA).
PMCID: PMC87277  PMID: 11463837

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