In utero exposure to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life, yet the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. We examined the effects of GDM on the proteome, redox status, and nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2)-mediated antioxidant gene expression in human fetal endothelial cells. Proteomic analysis revealed that proteins involved in redox homeostasis were significantly altered in GDM and associated with increased mitochondrial superoxide generation, protein oxidation, DNA damage, and diminished glutathione (GSH) synthesis. In GDM cells, the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) failed to induce nuclear Nrf2 accumulation and mRNA and/or protein expression of Nrf2 and its target genes NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), Bach1, cystine/glutamate transporter, and glutamate cysteine ligase. Although methylation of CpG islands in Nrf2 or NQO1 promoters was unaltered by GDM, decreased DJ-1 and increased phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3β levels may account for impaired Nrf2 signaling. HNE-induced increases in GSH and NQO1 levels were abrogated by Nrf2 small interfering RNA in normal cells, and overexpression of Nrf2 in GDM cells partially restored NQO1 induction. Dysregulation of Nrf2 in fetal endothelium may contribute to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in offspring.
Plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels show a strong inverse correlation with atherosclerotic vascular disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that antagonism of miR-33 in vivo increases circulating HDL and reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), thereby reducing the progression and enhancing the regression of atherosclerosis. While the efficacy of short-term anti-miR-33 treatment has been previously studied, the long-term effect of miR-33 antagonism in vivo remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that long-term therapeutic silencing of miR-33 increases circulating triglyceride (TG) levels and lipid accumulation in the liver. These adverse effects were only found when mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Mechanistically, we demonstrate that chronic inhibition of miR-33 increases the expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis such as acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of mice treated with miR-33 antisense oligonucleotides. We also report that anti-miR-33 therapy enhances the expression of nuclear transcription Y subunit gamma (NFYC), a transcriptional regulator required for DNA binding and full transcriptional activation of SREBP-responsive genes, including ACC and FAS. Taken together, these results suggest that persistent inhibition of miR-33 when mice are fed a high-fat diet (HFD) might cause deleterious effects such as moderate hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia. These unexpected findings highlight the importance of assessing the effect of chronic inhibition of miR-33 in non-human primates before we can translate this therapy to humans.
cholesterol; fatty acids; hepatic steatosis; microRNA
In an endotoxaemic mouse model of sepsis, a tissue-based proteomics approach for biomarker discovery identified long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) as the lead candidate for inflamed myocardium. When the redox-sensitive oligomerization state of PTX3 was further investigated, PTX3 accumulated as an octamer as a result of disulfide-bond formation in heart, kidney, and lung—common organ dysfunctions seen in patients with sepsis. Oligomeric moieties of PTX3 were also detectable in circulation. The oligomerization state of PTX3 was quantified over the first 11 days in critically ill adult patients with sepsis. On admission day, there was no difference in the oligomerization state of PTX3 between survivors and non-survivors. From day 2 onward, the conversion of octameric to monomeric PTX3 was consistently associated with a greater survival after 28 days of follow-up. For example, by day 2 post-admission, octameric PTX3 was barely detectable in survivors, but it still constituted more than half of the total PTX3 in non-survivors (p < 0.001). Monomeric PTX3 was inversely associated with cardiac damage markers NT-proBNP and high-sensitivity troponin I and T. Relative to the conventional measurements of total PTX3 or NT-proBNP, the oligomerization of PTX3 was a superior predictor of disease outcome.
In response to stress, the heart undergoes extensive cardiac remodeling that results in cardiac fibrosis and pathological growth of cardiomyocytes (hypertrophy), which contribute to heart failure. Alterations in microRNA (miRNA) levels are associated with dysfunctional gene expression profiles associated with many cardiovascular disease conditions; however, miRNAs have emerged recently as paracrine signaling mediators. Thus, we investigated a potential paracrine miRNA crosstalk between cardiac fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes and found that cardiac fibroblasts secrete miRNA-enriched exosomes. Surprisingly, evaluation of the miRNA content of cardiac fibroblast–derived exosomes revealed a relatively high abundance of many miRNA passenger strands (“star” miRNAs), which normally undergo intracellular degradation. Using confocal imaging and coculture assays, we identified fibroblast exosomal–derived miR-21_3p (miR-21*) as a potent paracrine-acting RNA molecule that induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Proteome profiling identified sorbin and SH3 domain-containing protein 2 (SORBS2) and PDZ and LIM domain 5 (PDLIM5) as miR-21* targets, and silencing SORBS2 or PDLIM5 in cardiomyocytes induced hypertrophy. Pharmacological inhibition of miR-21* in a mouse model of Ang II–induced cardiac hypertrophy attenuated pathology. These findings demonstrate that cardiac fibroblasts secrete star miRNA–enriched exosomes and identify fibroblast-derived miR-21* as a paracrine signaling mediator of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy that has potential as a therapeutic target.
In the recent decade, embryonic stem cells (ESC) have emerged as an attractive cell source of smooth muscle cells (SMC) for vascular tissue engineering owing to their unlimited self-renewal and differentiation capacities. Despite their promise in therapy, their efficacy is still hampered by the lack of definitive SMC differentiation mechanisms and difficulties in successful trafficking of the ESC towards a site of injury or target tissue. Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47) is a 47-kDa molecular chaperone that is required for the maturation of various types of collagen and has been shown to be a critical modulator of different pathological and physiological processes. To date, the role of HSP47 on ESC to SMC differentiation or ESC chemotaxis is not known and may represent a potential molecular approach by which ESC can be manipulated to increase their efficacy in clinic. We provide evidence that HSP47 is highly expressed during ESC differentiation into the SMC lineage and that HSP47 reduction results in an attenuation of the differentiation. Our experiments using a HSP47 plasmid transfection system show that gene over-expression is sufficient to induce ESC-SMC differentiation, even in the absence of exogenous stimuli. Furthermore, HSP47 over-expression in ESC also increases their chemotaxis and migratory responses towards a panel of chemokines, likely via the upregulation of chemokine receptors. Our findings provide direct evidence of induced ESC migration and differentiation into SMC via the over-expression of HSP47, thus identifying a novel approach of molecular manipulation that can potentially be exploited to improve stem cell therapy for vascular repair and regeneration.
Altered plasma neutrophil microparticle levels have recently been implicated in a number of vascular and inflammatory diseases, yet our understanding of their actions is very limited. Herein, we investigate the proteome of neutrophil microparticles in order to shed light on their biological actions. Stimulation of human neutrophils, either in suspension or adherent to an endothelial monolayer, led to the production of microparticles containing >400 distinct proteins with only 223 being shared by the two subsets. For instance, postadherent microparticles were enriched in alpha-2 macroglobulin and ceruloplasmin, whereas microparticles produced by neutrophils in suspension were abundant in heat shock 70 kDa protein 1. Annexin A1 and lactotransferrin were expressed in both microparticle subsets. We next determined relative abundance of these proteins in three types of human microparticle samples: healthy volunteer plasma, plasma of septic patients and skin blister exudates finding that these proteins were differentially expressed on neutrophil microparticles from these samples reflecting in part the expression profiles we found in vitro. Functional assessment of the neutrophil microparticles subsets demonstrated that in response to direct stimulation neutrophil microparticles produced reactive oxygen species and leukotriene B4 as well as locomoted toward a chemotactic gradient. Finally, we investigated the actions of the two neutrophil microparticles subsets described herein on target cell responses. Microarray analysis with human primary endothelial cells incubated with either microparticle subset revealed a discrete modulation of endothelial cell gene expression profile. These findings demonstrate that neutrophil microparticles are heterogenous and can deliver packaged information propagating the activation status of the parent cell, potentially exerting novel and fundamental roles both under homeostatic and disease conditions.
Byonic is a new proteomics search engine that can identify peptides carrying N- and O-linked glycans. Byonic offers a number of ways to search for glycopeptides, including preset glycan tables and manually entered glycan masses, and the search strategy affects the quality and quantity of spectrum assignments. Here we show how a progression of searches, from wider to narrower in both proteins and glycans, can improve sensitivity and specificity for glycopeptide identification.
We obtained data from the following samples: Glycophorin-A, PSA, human blood serum enriched for glycoproteins, and secreted proteins from human endothelial cells. All data were acquired on various Thermo Orbitrap instruments and included both HCD and ETD fragmentation. We first searched the data with a full human protein database with contaminants and decoys, and later with smaller databases produced by Byonic's “focused database” option. We started with Byonic's preset glycan search, which allows only one glycan per peptide, and then, guided by prior search results, augmented or replaced these tables with user-defined glycan modifications with appropriate limits on each type of modification.
We found that focused protein databases containing 10 – 200 proteins greatly improve the sensitivity of glycopeptide search relative to full-database searches. We found a database of likely glycoproteins, determined by PNG-ase release of N-glycans in O18 water, helpful for identifying glycopeptides carrying single N-linked glycans in the endothelial secretome. Focused glycan lists also improve sensitivity, and make possible still more complex searches. We have identified glycopeptides carrying up to two N-glycans, one N-glycan and one O-glycan, and up to four O-glycans, with only minor ambiguities in modification placement and mass distribution. More complex searches, for example, five or more O-glycans, will require improvements in completeness of fragmentation and computational methods.
Perhexiline is a potent anti-anginal drug used for treatment of refractory angina and other forms of heart disease. It provides an oxygen sparing effect in the myocardium by creating a switch from fatty acid to glucose metabolism through partial inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and 2. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects elicited by perhexiline are not fully understood. The present study employed a combined proteomics, metabolomics and computational approach to characterise changes in murine hearts upon treatment with perhexiline. According to results based on difference in-gel electrophoresis, the most profound change in the cardiac proteome related to the activation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Metabolomic analysis by high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed lower levels of total creatine and taurine in hearts of perhexiline-treated mice. Creatine and taurine levels were also significantly correlated in a cross-correlation analysis of all metabolites. Computational modelling suggested that far from inducing a simple shift from fatty acid to glucose oxidation, perhexiline may cause complex rebalancing of carbon and nucleotide phosphate fluxes, fuelled by increased lactate and amino acid uptake, to increase metabolic flexibility and to maintain cardiac output. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism".
► Mice were fed perhexiline to achieve steady state concentrations. ► Hearts were analysed using a combined proteomic and metabolomic approach. ► Computer modelling was used to cross-validate the findings. ► Perhexiline has more wide-ranging and complex metabolic effects than previously thought.
CPT, carnitine palmitoyltransferase; DIGE, difference in-gel electrophoresis; FCS, foetal calf serum; FDR, false discovery rate; GO, Gene ontology; 1H NMR, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; LC-MS/MS, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; TCA, tricarboxylic acid; Metabolomics; Proteomics; Cardioprotection; Metabolism; Heart failure
Previous proteomics studies have partially unraveled the complexity of endothelial protein secretion but have not investigated glycosylation, a key modification of secreted and membrane proteins for cell communication. In this study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were kept in serum-free medium before activation by phorbol-12-myristate-13 acetate, a commonly used secretagogue that induces exocytosis of endothelial vesicles. In addition to 123 secreted proteins, the secretome was particularly rich in membrane proteins. Glycopeptides were enriched by zwitterionic hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography resins and were either treated with PNGase F and H218O or directly analyzed using a recently developed workflow combining higher-energy C-trap dissociation (HCD) with electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) for a hybrid linear ion trap–orbitrap mass spectrometer. After deglycosylation with PNGase F in the presence of H218O, 123 unique peptides displayed 18O-deamidation of asparagine, corresponding to 86 proteins with a total of 121 glycosylation sites. Direct glycopeptide analysis via HCD-ETD identified 131 glycopeptides from 59 proteins and 118 glycosylation sites, of which 41 were known, 51 were predicted, and 26 were novel. Two methods were compared: alternating HCD-ETD and HCD-product-dependent ETD. The former detected predominantly high-intensity, multiply charged glycopeptides, whereas the latter preferentially selected precursors with complex/hybrid glycans for fragmentation. Validation was performed by means of glycoprotein enrichment and analysis of the input, the flow-through, and the bound fraction. This study represents the most comprehensive characterization of endothelial protein secretion to date and demonstrates the potential of new HCD-ETD workflows for determining the glycosylation status of complex biological samples.
The conventional reductionist approach to cardiovascular research investigates individual candidate factors or linear signalling pathways but ignores more complex interactions in biological systems. The advent of molecular profiling technologies that focus on a global characterization of whole complements allows an exploration of the interconnectivity of pathways during pathophysiologically relevant processes, but has brought about the issue of statistical analysis and data integration. Proteins identified by differential expression as well as those in protein–protein interaction networks identified through experiments and through computational modelling techniques can be used as an initial starting point for functional analyses. In combination with other ‘-omics’ technologies, such as transcriptomics and metabolomics, proteomics explores different aspects of disease, and the different pillars of observations facilitate the data integration in disease-specific networks. Ultimately, a systems biology approach may advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease processes at a ‘biological pathway’ instead of a ‘single molecule’ level and accelerate progress towards disease-modifying interventions.
Proteins; Metabolites; Mass spectrometry; Systems biology; Bioinformatics
A transgenic mouse model for conditional induction of long-term hibernation via myocardium-specific expression of a VEGF-sequestering soluble receptor allowed the dissection of the hibernation process into an initiation and a maintenance phase. The hypoxic initiation phase was characterized by peak levels of K(ATP) channel and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression. Glibenclamide, an inhibitor of K(ATP) channels, blocked GLUT1 induction. In the maintenance phase, tissue hypoxia and GLUT1 expression were reduced. Thus, we employed a combined “-omics” approach to resolve this cardioprotective adaptation process. Unguided bioinformatics analysis on the transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic datasets confirmed that anaerobic glycolysis was affected and that the observed enzymatic changes in cardiac metabolism were directly linked to hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 activation. Although metabolite concentrations were kept relatively constant, the combination of the proteomic and transcriptomic dataset improved the statistical confidence of the pathway analysis by 2 orders of magnitude. Importantly, proteomics revealed a reduced phosphorylation state of myosin light chain 2 and cardiac troponin I within the contractile apparatus of hibernating hearts in the absence of changes in protein abundance. Our study demonstrates how combining different “-omics” datasets aids in the identification of key biological pathways: chronic hypoxia resulted in a pronounced adaptive response at the transcript and the protein level to keep metabolite levels steady. This preservation of metabolic homeostasis is likely to contribute to the long-term survival of the hibernating myocardium.
► The hibernation process was dissected into an initiation and a maintenance phase. ► Glibenclamide, an inhibitor of K(ATP) channels, blocked GLUT1 induction. ► The maintenance phase was characterized by attenuated tissue hypoxia. ► Phosphorylation of myosin light chain 2 and cardiac troponin I was reduced. ► Combining of proteomics and transcriptomics improved the bioinformatic pathway analysis.
DIGE, difference in-gel electrophoresis; 2-DE, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis; 1H-NMR, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; LC-MS/MS, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; Hibernation; Hypoxia; Metabolomics; Myocardium; Proteomics
HIF-1 deficiency has marked effects on tumour glycolysis and growth. We therefore investigated the consequences of HIF-1 deficiency in mice, using the well established Hepa-1 wild-type (WT) and HIF-1β-deficient (c4) model. These mechanisms could be clinically relevant, since HIF-1 is now a therapeutic target.
Hepa-1 WT and c4 tumours grown in vivo were analysed by 18FDG-PET and 19FDG Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy for glucose uptake; by HPLC for adenine nucleotides; by immunohistochemistry for GLUTs; by immunoblotting and by DIGE followed by tandem mass spectrometry for protein expression; and by classical enzymatic methods for enzyme activity.
HIF-1β deficient Hepa-1 c4 tumours grew significantly more slowly than WT tumours, and (as expected) showed significantly lower expression of many glycolytic enzymes. However, HIF-1β deficiency caused no significant change in the rate of glucose uptake in c4 tumours compared to WT when assessed in vivo by measuring fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) uptake. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated less GLUT-1 in c4 tumours, whereas GLUT-2 (liver type) was similar to WT. Factors that might upregulate glucose uptake independently of HIF-1 (phospho-Akt, c-Myc) were shown to have either lower or similar expression in c4 compared to WT tumours. However the AMP/ATP ratio was 4.5 fold higher (p < 0.01) in c4 tumours, and phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1) activity, measured at prevailing cellular ATP and AMP concentrations, was up to two-fold higher in homogenates of the deficient c4 cells and tumours compared to WT (p < 0.001), suggesting that allosteric PFK activation could explain their normal level of glycolysis. Phospho AMP-Kinase was also higher in the c4 tumours.
Despite their defective HIF-1 and consequent down-regulation of glycolytic enzyme expression, Hepa-1 c4 tumours maintain glucose uptake and glycolysis because the resulting low [ATP] high [AMP] allosterically activate PFK-1. This mechanism of resistance would keep glycolysis functioning and also result in activation of AMP-Kinase and growth inhibition; it may have major implications for the therapeutic activity of HIF inhibitors in vivo. Interestingly, this control mechanism does not involve transcriptional control or proteomics, but rather the classical activation and inhibition mechanisms of glycolytic enzymes.
HIF-1β; deficiency; Hepa-1 tumours; glycolytic enzymes; glucose uptake; PFK activation; AMP/ATP ratio
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are characterized by pathological remodeling of the aortic extracellular matrix (ECM). However, besides the well-characterized elastolysis and collagenolysis little is known about changes in other ECM proteins. Previous proteomics studies on AAA focused on cellular changes without emphasis on the ECM. In the present study, ECM proteins and their degradation products were selectively extracted from aneurysmal and control aortas using a solubility-based subfractionation methodology and analyzed by gel-liquid chromatography-tandem MS and label-free quantitation. The proteomics analysis revealed novel changes in the ECM of AAA, including increased expression as well as degradation of collagen XII, thrombospondin 2, aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein, periostin, fibronectin and tenascin. Proteomics also confirmed the accumulation of macrophage metalloelastase (MMP-12). Incubation of control aortic tissue with recombinant MMP-12 resulted in the extensive fragmentation of these glycoproteins, most of which are novel substrates of MMP-12. In conclusion, our proteomics methodology allowed the first detailed analysis of the ECM in AAA and identified markers of pathological ECM remodeling related to MMP-12 activity.
The vascular extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential for the structural integrity of the vessel wall and also serves as a substrate for the binding and retention of secreted products of vascular cells as well as molecules coming from the circulation. Although proteomics has been previously applied to vascular tissues, few studies have specifically targeted the vascular ECM and its associated proteins. Thus, its detailed composition remains to be characterized. In this study, we describe a methodology for the extraction of extracellular proteins from human aortas and their identification by proteomics. The approach is based on (a) effective decellularization to enrich for scarce extracellular proteins, (b) successful solubilization and deglycosylation of ECM proteins, and (c) relative estimation of protein abundance using spectral counting. Our three-step extraction approach resulted in the identification of 103 extracellular proteins of which one-third have never been reported in the proteomics literature of vascular tissues. In particular, three glycoproteins (podocan, sclerostin, and agrin) were identified for the first time in human aortas at the protein level. We also identified extracellular adipocyte enhancer-binding protein 1, the cartilage glycoprotein asporin, and a previously hypothetical protein, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) spondin. Moreover, our methodology allowed us to screen for proteolysis in the aortic samples based on the identification of proteolytic enzymes and their corresponding degradation products. For instance, we were able to detect matrix metalloproteinase-9 by mass spectrometry and relate its presence to degradation of fibronectin in a clinical specimen. We expect this proteomics methodology to further our understanding of the composition of the vascular extracellular environment, shed light on ECM remodeling and degradation, and provide insights into important pathological processes, such as plaque rupture, aneurysm formation, and restenosis.
Myofilament proteins are responsible for cardiac contraction. The myofilament subproteome, however, has not been comprehensively analyzed thus far. In the present study, cardiomyocytes were isolated from rodent hearts and stimulated with endothelin-1 and isoproterenol, potent inducers of myofilament protein phosphorylation. Subsequently, cardiomyocytes were “skinned,” and the myofilament subproteome was analyzed using a high mass accuracy ion trap tandem mass spectrometer (LTQ Orbitrap XL) equipped with electron transfer dissociation. As expected, a small number of myofilament proteins constituted the majority of the total protein mass with several known phosphorylation sites confirmed by electron transfer dissociation. More than 600 additional proteins were identified in the cardiac myofilament subproteome, including kinases and phosphatase subunits. The proteomic comparison of myofilaments from control and treated cardiomyocytes suggested that isoproterenol treatment altered the subcellular localization of protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit B56α. Immunoblot analysis of myocyte fractions confirmed that β-adrenergic stimulation by isoproterenol decreased the B56α content of the myofilament fraction in the absence of significant changes for the myosin phosphatase target subunit isoforms 1 and 2 (MYPT1 and MYPT2). Furthermore, immunolabeling and confocal microscopy revealed the spatial redistribution of these proteins with a loss of B56α from Z-disc and M-band regions but increased association of MYPT1/2 with A-band regions of the sarcomere following β-adrenergic stimulation. In summary, we present the first comprehensive proteomics data set of skinned cardiomyocytes and demonstrate the potential of proteomics to unravel dynamic changes in protein composition that may contribute to the neurohormonal regulation of myofilament contraction.