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1.  Knockdown of Glyoxalase 1 Mimics Diabetic Nephropathy in Nondiabetic Mice 
Diabetes  2013;63(1):291-299.
Differences in susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy (DN) between mouse strains with identical levels of hyperglycemia correlate with renal levels of oxidative stress, shown previously to play a central role in the pathogenesis of DN. Susceptibility to DN appears to be genetically determined, but the critical genes have not yet been identified. Overexpression of the enzyme glyoxalase 1 (Glo1), which prevents posttranslational modification of proteins by the glycolysis-derived α-oxoaldehyde, methylglyoxal (MG), prevents hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress in cultured cells and model organisms. In this study, we show that in nondiabetic mice, knockdown of Glo1 increases to diabetic levels both MG modification of glomerular proteins and oxidative stress, causing alterations in kidney morphology indistinguishable from those caused by diabetes. We also show that in diabetic mice, Glo1 overexpression completely prevents diabetes-induced increases in MG modification of glomerular proteins, increased oxidative stress, and the development of diabetic kidney pathology, despite unchanged levels of diabetic hyperglycemia. Together, these data indicate that Glo1 activity regulates the sensitivity of the kidney to hyperglycemic-induced renal pathology and that alterations in the rate of MG detoxification are sufficient to determine the glycemic set point at which DN occurs.
PMCID: PMC3868051  PMID: 24062246
3.  Differential effects of glyoxalase 1 overexpression on diabetic atherosclerosis and renal dysfunction in streptozotocin‐treated, apolipoprotein E‐deficient mice 
Physiological Reports  2014;2(6):e12043.
The reactive dicarbonyls, glyoxal and methylglyoxal (MG), increase in diabetes and may participate in the development of diabetic complications. Glyoxal and MG are detoxified by the sequential activities of glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) and glyoxalase 2. To determine the contribution of these dicarbonyls to the etiology of complications, we have genetically manipulated GLO1 levels in apolipoprotein E‐null (Apoe−/−) mice. Male Apoe−/− mice, hemizygous for a human GLO1 transgene (GLO1TGApoe−/− mice) or male nontransgenic Apoe−/− litter mates were injected with streptozotocin or vehicle and 6 or 20 weeks later, aortic atherosclerosis was quantified. The GLO1 transgene lessened streptozotocin (STZ)‐induced increases in immunoreactive hydroimidazolone (MG‐H1). Compared to nondiabetic mice, STZ‐treated GLO1TGApoe−/− and Apoe−/− mice had increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides and increased atherosclerosis at both times after diabetes induction. While the increased GLO1 activity in the GLO1TGApoe−/− mice failed to protect against diabetic atherosclerosis, it lessened glomerular mesangial expansion, prevented albuminuria and lowered renal levels of dicarbonyls and protein glycation adducts. Aortic atherosclerosis was also quantified in 22‐week‐old, male normoglycemic Glo1 knockdown mice on an Apoe−/− background (Glo1KDApoe−/− mice), an age at which Glo1KD mice exhibit albuminuria and renal pathology similar to that of diabetic mice. In spite of ~75% decrease in GLO1 activity and increased aortic MG‐H1, the Glo1KDApoe−/− mice did not show increased atherosclerosis compared to age‐matched Apoe−/− mice. Thus, manipulation of GLO1 activity does not affect the development of early aortic atherosclerosis in Apoe−/− mice but can dictate the onset of kidney disease independently of blood glucose levels.
Increased levels of methylglyoxal and methylglyoxal‐derived advanced glycation end products may contribute to the development of diabetic complications. We show that overexpression of an enzyme that participates in the pathway of methylglyoxal detoxification, glyoxalase 1, protects streptozotocin‐treated, apolipoprotein E‐deficient mice from diabetic kidney disease but not from diabetes‐induced accelerated aortic atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4208644  PMID: 24920125
ApoE‐deficient mice; atherosclerosis; diabetes; glyoxalase; nephropathy
4.  Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Cleavage Product GLP-1 (9-36) Amide Rescues Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Deficits in Alzheimer’s Disease Model Mice 
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an endogenous intestinal peptide that enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Its natural cleavage product GLP-1 (9-36)amide possesses distinct properties and does not affect insulin secretion. Here we report that pretreatment of hippocampal slices with GLP-1(9-36)amide prevented impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) induced by exogenous amyloid β peptide (Aβ1-42). Similarly, hippocampal LTP impairments in APP/PS1 mutant mice that model Alzheimer’s disease (AD) were prevented by GLP-1(9-36)amide. In addition, treatment of APP/PS1 mice with GLP-1 (9-36)amide at an age where they display impaired spatial and contextual fear memory resulted in a reversal of their memory defects. At the molecular level, GLP-1 (9-36)amide reduced elevated levels of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) and restored dysregulated Akt-GSK3β signaling in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice. Our findings suggest that GLP-1(9-36)amide treatment may have therapeutic potential for AD and other diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3475870  PMID: 23035082
5.  Glycation-altered proteolysis as a pathobiologic mechanism that links dietary glycemic index, aging, and age-related disease (in non diabetics) 
Aging Cell  2011;11(1):1-13.
Epidemiologic studies indicate that the risks for major age-related debilities including CHD, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are diminished in people who consume lower glycemic index (GI) diets but lack of a unifying physiobiochemical mechanism that explains the salutary effect is a barrier to implementing dietary practices that capture the benefits of consuming lower GI diets. We established a simple murine model of age-related retinal lesions that precede AMD (hereafter called AMD-like lesions). We found that consuming a higher GI diet promotes these AMD-like lesions. However, mice that consumed the lower vs. higher GI diet had significantly reduced frequency (p<0.02) and severity (p<0.05) of hallmark age-related retinal lesions such as basal deposits. Consuming higher GI diets was associated with >3 fold higher accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in retina, lens, liver and brain in the age-matched mice, suggesting diet-induced systemic glycative stress that is etiologic for lesions. Data from live cell and cell free systems show that the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and lysosome/autophagy pathway (LPS) are involved in the degradation of AGEs. Glycatively-modified substrates were degraded significantly slower than unmodified substrates by the UPS. Compounding the detriments of glycative stress, AGE-modification of ubiquitin and ubiquitin conjugating enzymes impaired UPS activities. Furthermore, ubiquitin conjugates and AGEs accumulate and are found in lysosomes when cells are glycatively stressed or the UPS or LPS/autophagy are inhibited indicating that the UPS and LPS interact with one another to degrade AGEs. Together these data explain why AGEs accumulate as glycative stress increases.
PMCID: PMC3257376  PMID: 21967227
glycemic index; age-related macular degeneration; ubiquitin; proteolysis; aging
6.  Diabetic Retinopathy: Targeting Vasoregression 
Diabetes  2011;60(1):9-16.
PMCID: PMC3012202  PMID: 21193734
7.  Oxidative stress and diabetic complications 
Circulation research  2010;107(9):1058-1070.
Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the development of diabetes complications, both microvascular and cardiovascular. The metabolic abnormalities of diabetes cause mitochondrial superoxide overproduction in endothelial cells of both large and small vessels, and also in the myocardium. This increased superoxide production causes the activation of five major pathways involved in the pathogenesis of complications: polyol pathway flux, increased formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), increased expression of the receptor for AGEs and its activating ligands, activation of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms, and overactivity of the hexosamine pathway. It also directly inactivates two critical antiatherosclerotic enzymes, eNOS and prostacyclin synthase. Through these pathways, increased intracellular ROS cause defective angiogenesis in response to ischemia, activate a number of pro-inflammatory pathways, and cause long-lasting epigenetic changes which drive persistent expression of proinflammatory genes after glycemia is normalized (‘hyperglycemic memory’). Atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy in type 2 diabetes are caused in part by pathway-selective insulin resistance, which increases mitochondrial ROS production from free fatty acids and by inactivation of anti-atherosclerosis enzymes by ROS. Overexpression of superoxide dismutase in transgenic diabetic mice prevents diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiomyopathy. The aim of this review is to highlight advances in understanding the role of metabolite-generated ROS in the development of diabetic complications.
PMCID: PMC2996922  PMID: 21030723
Hyperglycemia; Mitochondria; Metabolic Memory; Epigenetic modifications; insulin resistance
8.  Hyperglycemia Impairs Proteasome Function by Methylglyoxal 
Diabetes  2009;59(3):670-678.
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is the main degradation machinery for intracellularly altered proteins. Hyperglycemia has been shown to increase intracellular levels of the reactive dicarbonyl methylglyoxal (MGO) in cells damaged by diabetes, resulting in modification of proteins and alterations of their function. In this study, the influence of MGO-derived advanced glycation end product (AGE) formation on the activity of the proteasome was investigated in vitro and in vivo.
MGO-derived AGE modification of proteasome subunits was analyzed by mass spectrometry, immunoprecipitation, and Western blots. Proteasome activity was analyzed using proteasome-specific fluorogenic substrates. Experimental models included bovine retinal endothelial cells, diabetic Ins2Akita mice, glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) knockdown mice, and streptozotocin (STZ)-injected diabetic mice.
In vitro incubation with MGO caused adduct formation on several 20S proteasomal subunit proteins. In cultured endothelial cells, the expression level of the catalytic 20S proteasome subunit was not altered but proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity was significantly reduced. In contrast, levels of regulatory 19S proteasomal proteins were decreased. In diabetic Ins2Akita, STZ diabetic, and nondiabetic and diabetic G101 knockdown mice, chymotrypsin-like activity was also reduced and MGO modification of the 20S-β2 subunit was increased.
Hyperglycemia-induced formation of MGO covalently modifies the 20S proteasome, decreasing its activity in the diabetic kidney and reducing the polyubiquitin receptor 19S-S5a. The results indicate a new link between hyperglycemia and impairment of cell functions.
PMCID: PMC2828656  PMID: 20009088
9.  Hyperglycemia-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species Increase Expression of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) and RAGE Ligands 
Diabetes  2009;59(1):249-255.
RAGE interacts with the endogenous ligands S100 calgranulins and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) to induce inflammation. Since hyperglycemia-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) activate many pathways of diabetic tissue damage, the effect of these ROS on RAGE and RAGE ligand expression was evaluated.
Expression of RAGE, S100A8, S100A12, and HMGB1 was evaluated in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) incubated in normal glucose, high glucose, and high glucose after overexpression of either uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), or glyoxalase 1 (GLO1). Expression was also evaluated in normal glucose after knockdown of GLO1. Expression was next evaluated in high glucose after knockdown of nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 (RAGE) and after knockdown of activated protein-1 (AP-1) (S100A8, S100A12, and HMGB1), and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) was performed ± GLO1 overexpression for NFκB p65 (RAGE promoter) and AP-1 (S100A8, S100A12, and HMGB1 promoters). Finally, endothelial cells from nondiabetic mice, STZ diabetic mice, and STZ diabetic mice treated with the superoxide dismutase mimetic Mn(III)tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin chloride (MnTBAP) were evaluated.
High glucose increased RAGE, S100A8, S100A12, and HMGB1 expression, which was normalized by overexpression of UCP1, SOD2, or GLO1. GLO1 knockdown mimicked the effect of high glucose, and in high glucose, overexpression of GLO1 normalized increased binding of NFκB p65 and AP-1. Diabetes increased RAGE, S100A8, and HMGB1 expression, and MnTBAP treatment normalized this.
These results show that hyperglycemia-induced ROS production increases expression of RAGE and RAGE ligands. This effect is mediated by ROS-induced methylglyoxal, the major substrate of glyoxalase 1.
PMCID: PMC2797929  PMID: 19833897
10.  C. elegans as Model for the Study of High Glucose– Mediated Life Span Reduction 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2450-2456.
Establishing Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for glucose toxicity–mediated life span reduction.
C. elegans were maintained to achieve glucose concentrations resembling the hyperglycemic conditions in diabetic patients. The effects of high glucose on life span, glyoxalase-1 activity, advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and on mitochondrial function were studied.
High glucose conditions reduced mean life span from 18.5 ± 0.4 to 16.5 ± 0.6 days and maximum life span from 25.9 ± 0.4 to 23.2 ± 0.4 days, independent of glucose effects on cuticle or bacterial metabolization of glucose. The formation of methylglyoxal-modified mitochondrial proteins and ROS was significantly increased by high glucose conditions and reduced by mitochondrial uncoupling and complex IIIQo inhibition. Overexpression of the methylglyoxal–detoxifying enzyme glyoxalase-1 attenuated the life-shortening effect of glucose by reducing AGE accumulation (by 65%) and ROS formation (by 50%) and restored mean (16.5 ± 0.6 to 20.6 ± 0.4 days) and maximum life span (23.2 ± 0.4 to 27.7 ± 2.3 days). In contrast, inhibition of glyoxalase-1 by RNAi further reduced mean (16.5 ± 0.6 to 13.9 ± 0.7 days) and maximum life span (23.2 ± 0.4 to 20.3 ± 1.1 days). The life span reduction by glyoxalase-1 inhibition was independent from the insulin signaling pathway because high glucose conditions also affected daf-2 knockdown animals in a similar manner.
C. elegans is a suitable model organism to study glucose toxicity, in which high glucose conditions limit the life span by increasing ROS formation and AGE modification of mitochondrial proteins in a daf-2 independent manner. Most importantly, glucose toxicity can be prevented by improving glyoxalase-1–dependent methylglyoxal detoxification or preventing mitochondrial dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2768179  PMID: 19675139
11.  Advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) accumulation and AGE receptor (RAGE) upregulation contribute to the onset of diabetic cardiomyopathy 
Diabetic cardiomyopathy is manifested by compromised systolic and diastolic function. This study was designed to examine the role of advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) and AGE receptor (RAGE) in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Heart function was assessed in isolated control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic hearts following in vivo RAGE gene knockdown using RNA interference. Cardiomyocyte mechanical properties were evaluated including peak shortening (PS), time-to-PS (TPS) and time-to-90% relengthening (TR90). RAGE was assayed by RT-PCR and immunoblot. Diabetes significantly enhanced cardiac MG, AGE and RAGE levels accompanied with colocalization of AGE and RAGE in cardiomyocytes. Diabetes-elicited increase in RAGE was inhibited by in vivo siRNA interference. The AGE formation inhibitor benfotiamine significantly attenuated diabetes-induced elevation in MG, AGE, RAGE and collagen crosslinking without affecting hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia in diabetes. Diabetes markedly decreased LV contractility, as evidenced by reduced ±dP/dt and LV developed pressure (LVDP), which were protected by RAGE gene knockdown. In addition, MG-derived AGE (MG-AGE) upregulated cardiac RAGE mRNA and triggered cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction reminiscent of diabetic cardiomyopathy. The MG-AGE-elicited prolongation of TPS and TR90 was ablated by an anti-RAGE antibody in cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, MG-AGE-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction was associated with mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and reduced GSK-3β inactivation in control cardiomyocytes, similar to those from in vivo diabetes. Treatment with siRNA-RAGE ablated diabetes-induced mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and GSK-3β inactivation. Collectively, our result implicated a role of AGE-RAGE in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
PMCID: PMC2829341  PMID: 19602045
Diabetes; advanced glycation endproduct (AGE); RAGE; cardiac; siRNA
12.  Hyperglycemia Induces a Dynamic Cooperativity of Histone Methylase and Demethylase Enzymes Associated With Gene-Activating Epigenetic Marks That Coexist on the Lysine Tail 
Diabetes  2009;58(5):1229-1236.
Results from the Diabetes Control Complications Trial (DCCT) and the subsequent Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) Study and more recently from the U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) have revealed that the deleterious end-organ effects that occurred in both conventional and more aggressively treated subjects continued to operate >5 years after the patients had returned to usual glycemic control and is interpreted as a legacy of past glycemia known as “hyperglycemic memory.” We have hypothesized that transient hyperglycemia mediates persistent gene-activating events attributed to changes in epigenetic information.
Models of transient hyperglycemia were used to link NFκB-p65 gene expression with H3K4 and H3K9 modifications mediated by the histone methyltransferases (Set7 and SuV39h1) and the lysine-specific demethylase (LSD1) by the immunopurification of soluble NFκB-p65 chromatin.
The sustained upregulation of the NFκB-p65 gene as a result of ambient or prior hyperglycemia was associated with increased H3K4m1 but not H3K4m2 or H3K4m3. Furthermore, glucose was shown to have other epigenetic effects, including the suppression of H3K9m2 and H3K9m3 methylation on the p65 promoter. Finally, there was increased recruitment of the recently identified histone demethylase LSD1 to the p65 promoter as a result of prior hyperglycemia.
These studies indicate that the active transcriptional state of the NFκB-p65 gene is linked with persisting epigenetic marks such as enhanced H3K4 and reduced H3K9 methylation, which appear to occur as a result of effects of the methyl-writing and methyl-erasing histone enzymes.
PMCID: PMC2671038  PMID: 19208907
13.  Proteomics Reveals Novel Oxidative and Glycolytic Mechanisms in Type 1 Diabetic Patients' Skin Which Are Normalized by Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9923.
In type 1 diabetes (T1D) vascular complications such as accelerated atherosclerosis and diffused macro-/microangiopathy are linked to chronic hyperglycemia with a mechanism that is not yet well understood. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) worsens most diabetic complications, particularly, the risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease is increased several fold.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated protein regulation and expression in skin biopsies obtained from T1D patients with and without ESRD, to identify pathways of persistent cellular changes linked to diabetic vascular disease. We therefore examined pathways that may be normalized by restoration of normoglycemia with kidney-pancreas (KP) transplantation. Using proteomic and ultrastructural approaches, multiple alterations in the expression of proteins involved in oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase 1, Hsp27, Hsp60, ATP synthase δ chain, and flavin reductase), aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (ACBP, pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme, and phosphoglycerate kinase 1), and intracellular signaling (stratifin-14-3-3, S100-calcyclin, cathepsin, and PPI rotamase) as well as endothelial vascular abnormalities were identified in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients. These abnormalities were reversed after KP transplant. Increased plasma levels of malondialdehyde were observed in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, confirming increased oxidative stress which was normalized after KP transplant.
Our data suggests persistent cellular changes of anti-oxidative machinery and of aerobic/anaerobic glycolysis are present in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, and these abnormalities may play a key role in the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia-related vascular complications. Restoration of normoglycemia and removal of uremia with KP transplant can correct these abnormalities. Some of these identified pathways may become potential therapeutic targets for a new generation of drugs.
PMCID: PMC2848014  PMID: 20360867
15.  Urea-induced ROS generation causes insulin resistance in mice with chronic renal failure 
Although supraphysiological concentrations of urea are known to increase oxidative stress in cultured cells, it is generally thought that the elevated levels of urea in chronic renal failure patients have negligible toxicity. We previously demonstrated that ROS increase intracellular protein modification by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), and others showed that increased modification of insulin signaling molecules by O-GlcNAc reduces insulin signal transduction. Because both oxidative stress and insulin resistance have been observed in patients with end-stage renal disease, we sought to determine the role of urea in these phenotypes. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with urea at disease-relevant concentrations induced ROS production, caused insulin resistance, increased expression of adipokines retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) and resistin, and increased O-GlcNAc–modified insulin signaling molecules. Investigation of a mouse model of surgically induced renal failure (uremic mice) revealed increased ROS production, modification of insulin signaling molecules by O-GlcNAc, and increased expression of RBP4 and resistin in visceral adipose tissue. Uremic mice also displayed insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, and treatment with an antioxidant SOD/catalase mimetic normalized these defects. The SOD/catalase mimetic treatment also prevented the development of insulin resistance in normal mice after urea infusion. These data suggest that therapeutic targeting of urea-induced ROS may help reduce the high morbidity and mortality caused by end-stage renal disease.
PMCID: PMC2798674  PMID: 19955654
16.  PANIC-ATTAC: A Mouse Model for Inducible and Reversible β-Cell Ablation 
Diabetes  2008;57(8):2137-2148.
OBJECTIVE—Islet transplantations have been performed clinically, but their practical applications are limited. An extensive effort has been made toward the identification of pancreatic β-cell stem cells that has yielded many insights to date, yet targeted reconstitution of β-cell mass remains elusive. Here, we present a mouse model for inducible and reversible ablation of pancreatic β-cells named the PANIC-ATTAC (pancreatic islet β-cell apoptosis through targeted activation of caspase 8) mouse.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We efficiently induce β-cell death through apoptosis and concomitant hyperglycemia by administration of a chemical dimerizer to the transgenic mice. In contrast to animals administered streptozotocin, the diabetes phenotype and β-cell loss are fully reversible in the PANIC-ATTAC mice, and we find significant β-cell recovery with normalization of glucose levels after 2 months.
RESULTS—The rate of recovery can be enhanced by various pharmacological interventions with agents acting on the glucagon-like peptide 1 axis and agonists of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ. During recovery, we find an increased population of GLUT2+/insulin− cells in the islets of PANIC-ATTAC mice, which may represent a novel pool of potential β-cell precursors.
CONCLUSIONS—The PANIC-ATTAC mouse may be used as an animal model of inducible and reversible β-cell ablation and therefore has applications in many areas of diabetes research that include identification of β-cell precursors, evaluation of glucotoxicity effects in diabetes, and examination of pharmacological interventions.
PMCID: PMC2494693  PMID: 18469203
18.  Transient high glucose causes persistent epigenetic changes and altered gene expression during subsequent normoglycemia 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(10):2409-2417.
The current goal of diabetes therapy is to reduce time-averaged mean levels of glycemia, measured as HbA1c, to prevent diabetic complications. However, HbA1c only explains <25% of the variation in risk of developing complications. Because HbA1c does not correlate with glycemic variability when adjusted for mean blood glucose, we hypothesized that transient spikes of hyperglycemia may be an HbA1c–independent risk factor for diabetic complications. We show that transient hyperglycemia induces long-lasting activating epigenetic changes in the promoter of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) subunit p65 in aortic endothelial cells both in vitro and in nondiabetic mice, which cause increased p65 gene expression. Both the epigenetic changes and the gene expression changes persist for at least 6 d of subsequent normal glycemia, as do NF-κB–induced increases in monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression. Hyperglycemia-induced epigenetic changes and increased p65 expression are prevented by reducing mitochondrial superoxide production or superoxide-induced α-oxoaldehydes. These results highlight the dramatic and long-lasting effects that short-term hyperglycemic spikes can have on vascular cells and suggest that transient spikes of hyperglycemia may be an HbA1c–independent risk factor for diabetic complications.
PMCID: PMC2556800  PMID: 18809715
19.  Insulin resistance reduces arterial prostacyclin synthase and eNOS activities by increasing endothelial fatty acid oxidation 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2006;116(4):1071-1080.
Insulin resistance markedly increases cardiovascular disease risk in people with normal glucose tolerance, even after adjustment for known risk factors such as LDL, triglycerides, HDL, and systolic blood pressure. In this report, we show that increased oxidation of FFAs in aortic endothelial cells without added insulin causes increased production of superoxide by the mitochondrial electron transport chain. FFA-induced overproduction of superoxide activated a variety of proinflammatory signals previously implicated in hyperglycemia-induced vascular damage and inactivated 2 important antiatherogenic enzymes, prostacyclin synthase and eNOS. In 2 nondiabetic rodent models — insulin-resistant, obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats and high-fat diet–induced insulin-resistant mice — inactivation of prostacyclin synthase and eNOS was prevented by inhibition of FFA release from adipose tissue; by inhibition of the rate-limiting enzyme for fatty acid oxidation in mitochondria, carnitine palmitoyltransferase I; and by reduction of superoxide levels. These studies identify what we believe to be a novel mechanism contributing to the accelerated atherogenesis and increased cardiovascular disease risk occurring in people with insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC1395482  PMID: 16528409
20.  Susceptibility to Apoptosis in Insulin-like Growth Factor-I Receptor-deficient Brown Adipocytes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(11):5101-5117.
Fetal brown adipocytes are insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) target cells. To assess the importance of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) in brown adipocytes during fetal life, we have generated immortalized brown adipocyte cell lines from the IGF-IR-/- mice. Using this experimental model, we demonstrate that the lack of IGF-IR in fetal brown adipocytes increased the susceptibility to apoptosis induced by serum withdrawal. Culture of cells in the absence of serum and growth factors produced rapid DNA fragmentation (4 h) in IGF-IR-/- brown adipocytes, compared with the wild type (16 h). Consequently, cell viability was decreased more rapidly in fetal brown adipocytes in the absence of IGF-IR. Furthermore, caspase-3 activity was induced much earlier in cells lacking IGF-IR. At the molecular level, IGF-IR deficiency in fetal brown adipocytes altered the balance of the expression of several proapoptotic (Bcl-xS and Bim) and antiapoptotic (Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL) members of the Bcl-2 family. This imbalance was irreversible even though in IGF-IR-reconstituted cells. Likewise, cytosolic cytochrome c levels increased rapidly in IGF-IR-deficient cells compared with the wild type. A rapid entry of Foxo1 into the nucleus accompanied by a rapid exit from the cytosol and an earlier activation of caspase-8 were observed in brown adipocytes lacking IGF-IR upon serum deprivation. Activation of caspase-8 was inhibited by 50% in both cell types by neutralizing anti-Fas-ligand antibody. Adenoviral infection of wild-type brown adipocytes with constitutively active Foxol (ADA) increased the expression of antiapoptotic genes, decreased Bcl-xL and induced caspase-8 and -3 activities, with the final outcome of DNA fragmentation. Up-regulation of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) expression in IGF-IR-deficient cells by transduction with PGC-1α or UCP-1 ameliorated caspase-3 activation, thereby retarding apoptosis. Finally, insulin treatment prevented apoptosis in both cell types. However, the survival effect of insulin on IGF-IR-/- brown adipocytes was elicited even in the absence of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling. Thus, our results demonstrate for the first time the unique role of IGF-IR in maintaining the balance of death and survival in fetal brown adipocytes.
PMCID: PMC524782  PMID: 15356271
21.  A radical explanation for glucose-induced β cell dysfunction 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;112(12):1788-1790.
The development of type 2 diabetes requires impaired β cell function. Hyperglycemia itself causes further decreases in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. A new study demonstrates that hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial superoxide production activates uncoupling protein 2, which decreases the ATP/ADP ratio and thus reduces the insulin-secretory response. These data suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of mitochondrial superoxide overproduction in β cells exposed to hyperglycemia could prevent a positive feed-forward loop of glucotoxicity that drives impaired glucose tolerance toward frank type 2 diabete
PMCID: PMC297003  PMID: 14679173
22.  Inhibition of GAPDH activity by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activates three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage in endothelial cells 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;112(7):1049-1057.
In this report, we show that hyperglycemia-induced overproduction of superoxide by the mitochondrial electron transport chain activates the three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage found in aortic endothelial cells by inhibiting GAPDH activity. In bovine aortic endothelial cells, GAPDH antisense oligonucleotides activated each of the pathways of hyperglycemic vascular damage in cells cultured in 5 mM glucose to the same extent as that induced by culturing cells in 30 mM glucose. Hyperglycemia-induced GAPDH inhibition was found to be a consequence of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of GAPDH by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which was activated by DNA strand breaks produced by mitochondrial superoxide overproduction. Both the hyperglycemia-induced decrease in activity of GAPDH and its poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation were prevented by overexpression of either uncoupling protein–1 (UCP-1) or manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), which decrease hyperglycemia-induced superoxide. Overexpression of UCP-1 or MnSOD also prevented hyperglycemia-induced DNA strand breaks and activation of PARP. Hyperglycemia-induced activation of each of the pathways of vascular damage was abolished by blocking PARP activity with the competitive PARP inhibitors PJ34 or INO-1001. Elevated glucose increased poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of GAPDH in WT aortae, but not in the aortae from PARP-1–deficient mice. Thus, inhibition of PARP blocks hyperglycemia-induced activation of multiple pathways of vascular damage.
PMCID: PMC198524  PMID: 14523042
23.  Cyclin D1 Repression of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Expression and Transactivation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(17):6159-6173.
The cyclin D1 gene is overexpressed in human breast cancers and is required for oncogene-induced tumorigenesis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a nuclear receptor selectively activated by ligands of the thiazolidinedione class. PPARγ induces hepatic steatosis, and liganded PPARγ promotes adipocyte differentiation. Herein, cyclin D1 inhibited ligand-induced PPARγ function, transactivation, expression, and promoter activity. PPARγ transactivation induced by the ligand BRL49653 was inhibited by cyclin D1 through a pRB- and cdk-independent mechanism, requiring a region predicted to form an helix-loop-helix (HLH) structure. The cyclin D1 HLH region was also required for repression of the PPARγ ligand-binding domain linked to a heterologous DNA binding domain. Adipocyte differentiation by PPARγ-specific ligands (BRL49653, troglitazone) was enhanced in cyclin D1−/− fibroblasts and reversed by retroviral expression of cyclin D1. Homozygous deletion of the cyclin D1 gene, enhanced expression by PPARγ ligands of PPARγ and PPARγ-responsive genes, and cyclin D1−/− mice exhibit hepatic steatosis. Finally, reduction of cyclin D1 abundance in vivo using ponasterone-inducible cyclin D1 antisense transgenic mice, increased expression of PPARγ in vivo. The inhibition of PPARγ function by cyclin D1 is a new mechanism of signal transduction cross talk between PPARγ ligands and mitogenic signals that induce cyclin D1.
PMCID: PMC180960  PMID: 12917338
24.  Foreword 
Experimental Diabesity Research  2003;4(4):203-204.
PMCID: PMC2478607
25.  Hyperglycemia inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity by posttranslational modification at the Akt site 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;108(9):1341-1348.
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is activated by phosphorylation of serine 1177 by the protein kinase Akt/PKB. Since hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial superoxide overproduction increases O-linked N-acetylglucosamine modification and decreases O-linked phosphorylation of the transcription factor Sp1, the effect of hyperglycemia and the hexosamine pathway on eNOS was evaluated. In bovine aortic endothelial cells, hyperglycemia inhibited eNOS activity 67%, and treatment with glucosamine had a similar effect. Hyperglycemia-associated inhibition of eNOS was accompanied by a twofold increase in O-linked N-acetylglucosamine modification of eNOS and a reciprocal decrease in O-linked serine phosphorylation at residue 1177. Both the inhibition of eNOS and the changes in its post-translational modifications were reversed by antisense inhibition of glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase, the rate-limiting enzyme of the hexosamine pathway, or by blocking mitochondrial superoxide overproduction with uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) or manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). Immunoblot analysis of cells expressing myc-tagged wild-type human eNOS confirmed the reciprocal increase in O-linked N-acetylglucosamine and decrease in O-linked serine 1177 phosphorylation in response to hyperglycemia. In contrast, when myc-tagged human eNOS carried a mutation at the Akt phosphorylation site (Ser1177), O-linked N-acetylglucosamine modification was unchanged by hyperglycemia and phospho-eNOS was undetectable. Similar changes in eNOS activity and covalent modification were found in aortae from diabetic animals. Chronic impairment of eNOS activity by this mechanism may partly explain the accelerated atherosclerosis of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC209429  PMID: 11696579

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