Availability of the draft nuclear genome sequences of small-seeded desi-type legume crop Cicer arietinum has provided an opportunity for investigating unique chickpea genomic features and evaluation of their biological significance. The increasing number of legume genome sequences also presents a challenge for developing reliable and information-driven bioinformatics applications suitable for comparative exploration of this important class of crop plants.
The Chickpea Genomic Web Resource (CGWR) is an implementation of a suite of web-based applications dedicated to chickpea genome visualization and comparative analysis, based on next generation sequencing and assembly of Cicer arietinum desi-type genotype ICC4958. CGWR has been designed and configured for mapping, scanning and browsing the significant chickpea genomic features in view of the important existing and potential roles played by the various legume genome projects in mutant mapping and cloning. It also enables comparative informatics of ICC4958 DNA sequence analysis with other wild and cultivated genotypes of chickpea, various other leguminous species as well as several non-leguminous model plants, to enable investigations into evolutionary processes that shape legume genomes.
CGWR is an online database offering a comprehensive visual and functional genomic analysis of the chickpea genome, along with customized maps and gene-clustering options. It is also the only plant based web resource supporting display and analysis of nucleosome positioning patterns in the genome. The usefulness of CGWR has been demonstrated with discoveries of biological significance made using this server. The CGWR is compatible with all available operating systems and browsers, and is available freely under the open source license at http://www.nipgr.res.in/CGWR/home.php.
Cicer arietinum ICC4958; Clustering; Comparative genomics; Genome browser; Mapping
Editorials; DNA methylation; epigenomics; muscle; smooth; TET2 protein; human
Deep sequencing led to the discovery of conserved and novel miRNAs and their targets, and highlighted the specificity and complexity of miRNA-mediated developmental regulation in chickpea.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential components of complex gene regulatory networks that orchestrate plant development. Although several genomic resources have been developed for the legume crop chickpea, miRNAs have not been discovered until now. For genome-wide discovery of miRNAs in chickpea (Cicer arietinum), we sequenced the small RNA content from seven major tissues/organs employing Illumina technology. About 154 million reads were generated, which represented more than 20 million distinct small RNA sequences. We identified a total of 440 conserved miRNAs in chickpea based on sequence similarity with known miRNAs in other plants. In addition, 178 novel miRNAs were identified using a miRDeep pipeline with plant-specific scoring. Some of the conserved and novel miRNAs with significant sequence similarity were grouped into families. The chickpea miRNAs targeted a wide range of mRNAs involved in diverse cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation (transcription factors), protein modification and turnover, signal transduction, and metabolism. Our analysis revealed several miRNAs with differential spatial expression. Many of the chickpea miRNAs were expressed in a tissue-specific manner. The conserved and differential expression of members of the same miRNA family in different tissues was also observed. Some of the same family members were predicted to target different chickpea mRNAs, which suggested the specificity and complexity of miRNA-mediated developmental regulation. This study, for the first time, reveals a comprehensive set of conserved and novel miRNAs along with their expression patterns and putative targets in chickpea, and provides a framework for understanding regulation of developmental processes in legumes.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum); deep sequencing; differential expression; microRNA; miRNA targets; tissue specificity.
The medicinal plant, Catharanthus roseus, accumulates wide range of terpenoid indole alkaloids, which are well documented therapeutic agents. In this study, deep transcriptome sequencing of C. roseus was carried out to identify the pathways and enzymes (genes) involved in biosynthesis of these compounds. About 343 million reads were generated from different tissues (leaf, flower and root) of C. roseus using Illumina platform. Optimization of de novo assembly involving a two-step process resulted in a total of 59,220 unique transcripts with an average length of 1284 bp. Comprehensive functional annotation and gene ontology (GO) analysis revealed the representation of many genes involved in different biological processes and molecular functions. In total, 65% of C. roseus transcripts showed homology with sequences available in various public repositories, while remaining 35% unigenes may be considered as C. roseus specific. In silico analysis revealed presence of 11,620 genic simple sequence repeats (excluding mono-nucleotide repeats) and 1820 transcription factor encoding genes in C. roseus transcriptome. Expression analysis showed roots and leaves to be actively participating in bisindole alkaloid production with clear indication that enzymes involved in pathway of vindoline and vinblastine biosynthesis are restricted to aerial tissues. Such large-scale transcriptome study provides a rich source for understanding plant-specialized metabolism, and is expected to promote research towards production of plant-derived pharmaceuticals.
Ex vivo culture has been proposed as a means to augment and repair autologous cells in patients with chronic diseases, but the mechanisms governing improvement in cell function are not well understood. Although microRNAs (miRs) are increasingly appreciated as key regulators of cellular function, a role for these factors in CD34+ cell-mediated angiogenesis has not been elucidated. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was previously shown to induce expression of certain miRs associated with angiogenesis in endothelial cells and promote survival and number of vascular colony forming units of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We sought to evaluate the role of VEGF in expansion and angiogenic function of CD34+ cells and to identify specific miRs associated with angiogenic properties of expanded cells. Umbilical cord blood CD34 + cells were effectively expanded (18- to 22-fold) in culture medium containing stem cell factor (SCF), Flt-3 ligand (Flt-3), thrombopoietin (TPO) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) with (postEX/+VEGF) and without VEGF (postEX/noVEGF). Tube formation in matrigel assay and tissue perfusion/capillary density in mice ischaemic hindlimb were significantly improved by postEX/+VEGF cells compared with fresh CD34+ and postEX/noVEGF cells. MiR-210 expression was significantly up-regulated in postEX/+VEGF cells. MiR-210 inhibitor abrogated and 210 mimic recapitulated the pro-angiogenic effects by treatment of postEX/+VEGF and postEX/noVEGF cells respectively. Collectively, these observations highlight a critical role for VEGF in enhancing the angiogenic property of expanded cells, and identify miR-210 as a potential therapeutic target to enhance CD34+ stem cell function for the treatment of ischaemic vascular disease.
CD34+ cells; VEGF; miR-210; angiogenesis
Editorials; atherosclerosis; atherothrombosis; endothelium; proteases
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are multifunctional proteins encoded by large gene family in plants, which play important role in cellular detoxification of several endobiotic and xenobiotic compounds. Previously, we suggested the diverse roles of rice GST gene family members in plant development and various stress responses based on their differential expression. In this study, we report the functional characterization of a rice tau class GST gene, OsGSTU4. OsGSTU4 fusion protein was found to be localized in nucleus and cytoplasm. The over-expression of OsGSTU4 in E. coli resulted in better growth and higher GST activity under various stress conditions. Further, we raised over-expression transgenic Arabidopsis plants to reveal its in planta function. These transgenic lines showed reduced sensitivity towards plant hormones, auxin and abscisic acid. Various analyses revealed improved tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants towards salinity and oxidative stresses, which may be attributed to the lower accumulation of reactive oxygen species and enhanced GST activity. In addition, microarray analysis revealed up-regulation of several genes involved in stress responses and cellular detoxification processes in the transgenic plants as compared to wild-type. These results suggest that OsGSTU4 can be used as a good candidate for the generation of stress-tolerant crop plants.
Editorials; endothelium; Krüppel‐like transcription factor; vascular injury
abiotic stress; molecular genetics; genomics; functional genomics; regulatory networks; genetic diversity
Growth hormone auxin regulates various cellular processes by altering the expression of diverse genes in plants. Among various auxin-responsive genes, GH3 genes maintain endogenous auxin homeostasis by conjugating excess of auxin with amino acids. GH3 genes have been characterized in many plant species, but not in legumes. In the present work, we identified members of GH3 gene family and analyzed their chromosomal distribution, gene structure, gene duplication and phylogenetic analysis in different legumes, including chickpea, soybean, Medicago, and Lotus. A comprehensive expression analysis in different vegetative and reproductive tissues/stages revealed that many of GH3 genes were expressed in a tissue-specific manner. Notably, chickpea CaGH3-3, soybean GmGH3-8 and -25, and Lotus LjGH3-4, -5, -9 and -18 genes were up-regulated in root, indicating their putative role in root development. In addition, chickpea CaGH3-1 and -7, and Medicago MtGH3-7, -8, and -9 were found to be highly induced under drought and/or salt stresses, suggesting their role in abiotic stress responses. We also observed the examples of differential expression pattern of duplicated GH3 genes in soybean, indicating their functional diversification. Furthermore, analyses of three-dimensional structures, active site residues and ligand preferences provided molecular insights into function of GH3 genes in legumes. The analysis presented here would help in investigation of precise function of GH3 genes in legumes during development and stress conditions.
gene family; GH3 genes; legumes; RNA-seq; homology modeling; substrate specificities
To investigate the role of Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), an essential transcriptional regulator of macrophage polarization (M1/M2), in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
Despite the acknowledged importance of macrophages in atherosclerosis, the role of M1 (classically activated or pro-inflammatory) versus M2 (alternatively activated or anti-inflammatory) macrophages in this process remains incompletely understood. We recently identified KLF4 as a regulator of macrophage subset specification i.e. KLF4 promotes the M2 and inhibits the M1 phenotype. Here, we provide evidence that KLF4 deficient macrophages exhibit enhanced pro-inflammatory activation and foam cell formation in response to oxidized lipids. In vivo, myeloid KLF4 deficient mice (ApoE-/- background) develop significantly more vascular inflammation and atherosclerotic lesion formation.
Our findings identify myeloid KLF4 as an essential regulator of vascular inflammation and experimental atherogenesis.
atherosclerosis; inflammation; KLF4; macrophage
The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) regulates adaptive transcriptional programs that alter metabolism in response to stress. Network properties that allow GR to tune gene expression to match specific physiologic demands are poorly understood. We analyzed the transcriptional consequences of GR activation in murine lungs deficient for KLF15, a transcriptional regulator of amino acid metabolism that is induced by glucocorticoids and fasting. Approximately 7% of glucocorticoid-regulated genes had altered expression in Klf15-knockdown (Klf15−/−) mice. KLF15 formed coherent and incoherent feed-forward circuits with GR that correlated with the expression dynamics of the glucocorticoid response. Coherent feed-forward gene regulation by GR and KLF15 was characterized by combinatorial activation of linked GR-KLF15 regulatory elements by both factors and increased GR occupancy, while expression of KLF15 reduced GR occupancy at the incoherent target, MT2A. Serum deprivation, which increased KLF15 expression in a GR-independent manner in vitro, enhanced glucocorticoid-mediated induction of feed-forward targets of GR and KLF15, such as the loci for the amino acid-metabolizing enzymes proline dehydrogenase and alpha-aminoadipic semialdehyde synthase. Our results establish feed-forward architecture as an organizational principle for the GR network and provide a novel mechanism through which GR integrates signals and regulates expression dynamics.
The endothelial response elicited by the G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) pathway involving apelin and APJ predict an overall vasoprotective effect. As the downstream endothelial targets of apelin/APJ signaling are also known to be targeted by statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) as potential mediators of their known pleiotropic effects, we evaluated for the involvement of apelin/APJ signaling in statin endothelial effects.
Methods and Results
We found that disruption of apelin/APJ signaling in endothelial cells leads to significantly decreased expression of Krűppel-Like-Factor 2 (KLF2), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and thrombomodulin (THBD). We found that statin-mediated induction of KLF2, eNOS and THBD expression, as well as inhibition of monocyte-endothelial adhesion, was abrogated by concurrent apelin knockdown. Moreover, we found that statins can transcriptionally regulate APJ in a KLF2-dependent manner, demonstrating the presence of a positive feedback loop.
Our findings provide a novel mechanism by which the apelin/APJ pathway serves as a critical intermediary that links statin to its pleiotropic effects in regulating endothelial gene targets and function.
Obesity places major demands on the protein folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), resulting in ER stress, a condition that promotes hepatic insulin resistance and steatosis. Here we identify the transcription factor, Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), as an essential mediator of ER stress-induced insulin resistance in the liver. Mice with a targeted deletion of KLF15 exhibit increased hepatic ER stress, inflammation, and JNK activation compared to WT mice; however, KLF15-/- mice are protected against hepatic insulin resistance and fatty liver under high-fat feeding conditions and in response to pharmacological induction of ER stress. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a key regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, has been shown to cooperate with ER stress signaling pathways to promote hepatic insulin resistance and lipid accumulation. We find that the uncoupling of ER stress and insulin resistance in KLF15-/- liver is associated with the maintenance of a low energy state characterized by decreased mTORC1 activity, increased AMPK phosphorylation and PGC-1α expression and activation of autophagy, an intracellular degradation process that enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, in primary hepatocytes, KLF15 deficiency markedly inhibits activation of mTORC1 by amino acids and insulin, suggesting a mechanism by which KLF15 controls mTORC1-mediated insulin resistance. This study establishes KLF15 as an important molecular link between ER stress and insulin action.
Porteresia coarctata is a wild relative of rice with capability of high salinity and submergence tolerance. The transcriptome analyses of Porteresia can lead to the identification of candidate genes involved in salinity and submergence tolerance. We sequenced the transcriptome of Porteresia under different conditions using Illumina platform and generated about 375 million high-quality reads. After optimized assembly, a total of 152 367 unique transcript sequences with average length of 794 bp were obtained. Many of these sequences might represent fragmented transcripts. Functional annotation revealed the presence of genes involved in diverse cellular processes and 2749 transcription factor (TF)-encoding genes in Porteresia. The differential gene expression analyses identified a total of 15 158 genes involved in salinity and/or submergence response(s). The stress-responsive members of different TF families, including MYB, bHLH, AP2-EREBP, WRKY, bZIP and NAC, were identified. We also revealed key metabolic pathways, including amino acid biosynthesis, hormone biosynthesis, secondary metabolite biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and cell wall structures, involved in stress tolerance in Porteresia. The transcriptome analyses of Porteresia are expected to highlight genes/pathways involved in salinity and submergence tolerance of this halophyte species. The data can serve as a resource for unravelling the underlying mechanism and devising strategies to engineer salinity and submergence tolerance in rice.
metabolic pathways; Porteresia; salinity tolerance; submergence; transcriptome analysis
Activation of cells intrinsic to the vessel wall is central to the initiation and
progression of vascular inflammation. As the dominant cellular constituent of the
vessel wall, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and their functions are critical
determinants of vascular disease. While factors that regulate VSMC proliferation and
migration have been identified, the endogenous regulators of VSMC proinflammatory
activation remain incompletely defined. The Kruppel-like family of transcription
factors (KLFs) are important regulators of inflammation. In this study, we identified
Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) as an essential regulator of VSMC proinflammatory
activation. KLF15 levels were markedly reduced in human atherosclerotic tissues. Mice
with systemic and smooth muscle–specific deficiency of KLF15 exhibited an
aggressive inflammatory vasculopathy in two distinct models of vascular disease:
orthotopic carotid artery transplantation and diet-induced atherosclerosis. We
demonstrated that KLF15 alters the acetylation status and activity of the
proinflammatory factor NF-κB through direct interaction with the histone
acetyltransferase p300. These studies identify a previously unrecognized
KLF15-dependent pathway that regulates VSMC proinflammatory activation.
Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) is a master heterodimeric transcriptional regulator of oxygen (O2) homeostasis critical to proper angiogenic responses. Due to the distinctive coexpression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α subunits in endothelial cells, our goal was to examine the genetic elimination of HIF transcriptional activity in response to physiological hypoxic conditions by using a genetic model in which the required HIF-β subunit (ARNT, Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator) to HIF transcriptional responses was depleted. Endothelial cells (ECs) and aortic explants were isolated from ArntloxP/loxP mice and infected with Adenovirus -Cre/GFP or control -GFP. We observed that moderate levels of 2.5% O2 promoted vessel sprouting, growth, and branching in control aortic ring assays while growth from Adenovirus -Cre infected explants was compromised. Primary Adenovirus -Cre infected EC cultures featured adverse migration and tube formation phenotypes. Primary pulmonary or cardiac ARNT-deleted ECs also failed to proliferate and survive in response to 8 or 2.5% O2 and hydrogen peroxide treatment. Our data demonstrates that ARNT promotes EC migration and vessel outgrowth and indispensible for the proliferation and preservation of ECs in response to the physiological environmental cue of hypoxia. Thus, these results demonstrate that ARNT plays a critical intrinsic role in ECs and support a critical role for the collaboration of HIF-1 and HIF-2 transcriptional activity in these cells.
Angiogenesis; ARNT; HIF; physiological hypoxia; endothelium
Seabuckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.) is known for its medicinal, nutritional and environmental importance since ancient times. However, very limited efforts have been made to characterize the genome and transcriptome of this wonder plant. Here, we report the use of next generation massive parallel sequencing technology (Illumina platform) and de novo assembly to gain a comprehensive view of the seabuckthorn transcriptome. We assembled 86,253,874 high quality short reads using six assembly tools. At our hand, assembly of non-redundant short reads following a two-step procedure was found to be the best considering various assembly quality parameters. Initially, ABySS tool was used following an additive k-mer approach. The assembled transcripts were subsequently subjected to TGICL suite. Finally, de novo short read assembly yielded 88,297 transcripts (> 100 bp), representing about 53 Mb of seabuckthorn transcriptome. The average length of transcripts was 610 bp, N50 length 1198 BP and 91% of the short reads uniquely mapped back to seabuckthorn transcriptome. A total of 41,340 (46.8%) transcripts showed significant similarity with sequences present in nr protein databases of NCBI (E-value < 1E-06). We also screened the assembled transcripts for the presence of transcription factors and simple sequence repeats. Our strategy involving the use of short read assembler (ABySS) followed by TGICL will be useful for the researchers working with a non-model organism’s transcriptome in terms of saving time and reducing complexity in data management. The seabuckthorn transcriptome data generated here provide a valuable resource for gene discovery and development of functional molecular markers.
Rice is one of the most important crop plants, representing the staple food for more than half the world’s population. However, its productivity is challenged by various stresses, including drought and salinity. Transcription factors (TFs) represent a regulatory component of the genome and are the most important targets for engineering stress tolerance. Here, we constructed a database, RiceSRTFDB, which provides comprehensive expression information for rice TFs during drought and salinity stress conditions and various stages of development. This information will be useful to identify the target TF(s) involved in stress response at a particular stage of development. The curated information for cis-regulatory elements present in their promoters has also been provided, which will be important to study the binding proteins. In addition, we have provided the available mutants and their phenotype information for rice TFs. All these information have been integrated in the database to facilitate the selection of target TFs of interest for functional analysis. This database aims to accelerate functional genomics research of rice TFs and understand the regulatory mechanisms underlying abiotic stress responses.
We developed 1108 transcription factor gene-derived microsatellite (TFGMS) and 161 transcription factor functional domain-associated microsatellite (TFFDMS) markers from 707 TFs of chickpea. The robust amplification efficiency (96.5%) and high intra-specific polymorphic potential (34%) detected by markers suggest their immense utilities in efficient large-scale genotyping applications, including construction of both physical and functional transcript maps and understanding population structure. Candidate gene-based association analysis revealed strong genetic association of TFFDMS markers with three major seed and pod traits. Further, TFGMS markers in the 5′ untranslated regions of TF genes showing differential expression during seed development had higher trait association potential. The significance of TFFDMS markers was demonstrated by correlating their allelic variation with amino acid sequence expansion/contraction in the functional domain and alteration of secondary protein structure encoded by genes. The seed weight-associated markers were validated through traditional bi-parental genetic mapping. The determination of gene-specific linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns in desi and kabuli based on single nucleotide polymorphism-microsatellite marker haplotypes revealed extended LD decay, enhanced LD resolution and trait association potential of genes. The evolutionary history of a strong seed-size/weight-associated TF based on natural variation and haplotype sharing among desi, kabuli and wild unravelled useful information having implication for seed-size trait evolution during chickpea domestication.
association mapping; chickpea; microsatellite; SNP; transcription factor
Diurnal variation in nitrogen homeostasis is observed across phylogeny. But whether these are endogenous rhythms, and if so, molecular mechanisms that link nitrogen homeostasis to the circadian clock remain unknown. Here, we provide evidence that a clock-dependent peripheral oscillator, Krüppel-like factor15 transcriptionally coordinates rhythmic expression of multiple enzymes involved in mammalian nitrogen homeostasis. In particular, Krüppel-like factor15-deficient mice exhibit no discernable amino acid rhythm, and the rhythmicity of ammonia to urea detoxification is impaired. Of the external cues, feeding plays a dominant role in modulating Krüppel-like factor15 rhythm and nitrogen homeostasis. Further, when all behavioral, environmental and dietary cues were controlled in humans, nitrogen homeostasis still expressed endogenous circadian rhythmicity. Thus, in mammals, nitrogen homeostasis exhibits circadian rhythmicity, and is orchestrated by Krüppel-like factor15.
Hormones exert pleiotropic effects on plant growth and development throughout the life cycle. Many of these effects are mediated at molecular level via altering gene expression. In this study, we investigated the exogenous effect of plant hormones, including auxin, cytokinin, abscisic acid, ethylene, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid, on the transcription of rice genes at whole genome level using microarray. Our analysis identified a total of 4171 genes involved in several biological processes, whose expression was altered significantly in the presence of different hormones. Further, 28% of these genes exhibited overlapping transcriptional responses in the presence of any two hormones, indicating crosstalk among plant hormones. In addition, we identified genes showing only a particular hormone-specific response, which can be used as hormone-specific markers. The results of this study will facilitate further studies in hormone biology in rice.
gene expression; hormones; microarray; rice (Oryza sativa); transcriptional response
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important crop legume plant with high nutritional value. The transcriptomes of desi and wild chickpea have already been sequenced. In this study, we sequenced the transcriptome of kabuli chickpea, C. arietinum (genotype ICCV2), having higher commercial value, using GS-FLX Roche 454 and Illumina technologies. The assemblies of both Roche 454 and Illumina datasets were optimized using various assembly programs and parameters. The final optimized hybrid assembly generated 43,389 transcripts with an average length of 1065 bp and N50 length of 1653 bp representing 46.2 Mb of kabuli chickpea transcriptome. We identified a total of 5409 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in these transcript sequences. Among these, at least 130 and 493 SSRs were polymorphic with desi (ICC4958) and wild (PI489777) chickpea, respectively. In addition, a total of 1986 and 37,954 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were predicted in kabuli/desi and kabuli/wild genotypes, respectively. The SNP frequency was 0.043 SNP per kb for kabuli/desi and 0.821 SNP per kb for kabuli/wild, reflecting very low genetic diversity in chickpea. Further, SSRs and SNPs present in tissue-specific and transcription factor encoding transcripts have been identified. The experimental validation of a selected set of polymorphic SSRs and SNPs exhibited high intra-specific polymorphism potential between desi and kabuli chickpea, suggesting their utility in large-scale genotyping applications. The kabuli chickpea gene index assembled, and SSRs and SNPs identified in this study will serve as useful genomic resource for genetic improvement of chickpea.
The endothelium regulates vascular homeostasis, and endothelial dysfunction is a proximate event in the pathogenesis of atherothrombosis. Stimulation of the endothelium with proinflammatory cytokines or exposure to hemodynamic-induced disturbed flow leads to a proadhesive and prothrombotic phenotype that promotes atherothrombosis. In contrast, exposure to arterial laminar flow induces a gene program that confers a largely antiadhesive, antithrombotic effect. The molecular basis for this differential effect on endothelial function remains poorly understood. While recent insights implicate Kruppel-like factors (KLFs) as important regulators of vascular homeostasis, the in vivo role of these factors in endothelial biology remains unproven. Here, we show that endothelial KLF4 is an essential determinant of atherogenesis and thrombosis. Using in vivo EC-specific KLF4 overexpression and knockdown murine models, we found that KLF4 induced an antiadhesive, antithrombotic state. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that KLF4 differentially regulated pertinent endothelial targets via competition for the coactivator p300. These observations provide cogent evidence implicating endothelial KLFs as essential in vivo regulators of vascular function in the adult animal.