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Functional screening of mammalian mechanosensitive genes using Drosophila RNAi library- Smarcd3/Bap60 is a mechanosensitive pro-inflammatory gene.

Disturbed blood flow (d-flow) induces atherosclerosis by altering the expression of mechanosensitive genes in the arterial endothelium. Previously, we identified >580 mechanosensitive genes in the mouse arterial endothelium, but their role in endothelial inflammation is incompletely understood. From this set, we obtained 84 Drosophila RNAi lines that silences the target gene under the control of upstream activation sequence (UAS) promoter. These lines were crossed with C564-GAL4 flies expressing GFP under the control of drosomycin promoter, an NF-κB target gene and a marker of pathogen-induced inflammation. Silencing of psmd12 or ERN1 decreased infection-induced drosomycin expression, while Bap60 silencing significantly increased the drosomycin expression. Interestingly, knockdown of Bap60 in adult flies using temperature-inducible Bap60 RNAi (C564-GAL4-Bap60-RNAi) enhanced drosomycin expression upon Gram-positive bacterial challenge but the basal drosomycin expression remained unchanged compared to the control. In the mammalian system, smarcd3 (mammalian ortholog of Bap60) expression was reduced in the human- and mouse aortic endothelial cells exposed to oscillatory shear in vitro as well as in the d-flow regions of mouse arterial endothelium in vivo. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of smarcd3 induced endothelial inflammation. In summary, we developed an in vivo Drosophila RNAi screening method to identify flow-sensitive genes that regulate endothelial inflammation.

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Sphingomyelin synthase 2 over-expression induces expression of aortic inflammatory biomarkers and decreases circulating EPCs in ApoE KO mice.

This study sought to assess the effect of sphingomyelin synthase 2 (SMS2) over-expression on plaque component and endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis.

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Regeneration of three layers vascular wall by using BMP2-treated MSC involving HIF-1α and Id1 expressions through JAK/STAT pathways.

Engineering living, multilayered blood vessels to form in vivo arteries is a promising alternative to peripheral artery bypass using acellular grafts restricted by thrombosis and occlusion at long term. Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP2) is a growth factor determining in the early vascular embryonic development. The aim of the present study was evaluate the collaborative effect of recombinant human--BMP2 and Bone marrow--Mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) seeded on vascular patch to regenerate a vascular arterial wall in a rat model. BM-MSCs expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) seeded on vascular patch were cultured in presence of recombinant human-BMP2 [100 ng/mL] during 1 week before their implantation on the abdominal aorta of Wistar rats. We observed after 2 weeks under physiological arterial flow a regeneration of a three layers adult-like arterial wall with a middle layer expressing smooth muscle proteins and a border layer expressing endothelial marker. In vitro study, using Matrigel assay and co-culture of BM-MSCs with endothelial cells demonstrated that rh-BMP2 promoted tube-like formation even at long term (90 days) allowing the organization of thick rails. We demonstrated using inhibitors and siRNAs that rh-BMP2 enhanced the expression of HIF-1α and Id1 through, at least in part, the stimulation of JAK2/STAT3/STAT5 signaling pathways. Rh-BMP2 by mimicking embryological conditions allowed vascular BM-MSCs differentiation.

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Sphingosine 1-phosphate-induced mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ mediates rac activation and adherens junction assembly in endothelial cells.

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) ligation of endothelial differentiation gene-1 receptor coupled to the heterotrimeric G protein, Gi, promotes endothelial barrier strengthening via Rac-dependent assembly of adherens junctions (AJs). However, the mechanism of Rac activation induced by S1P stimulation remains unclear. In live endothelial cells expressing GFP-Rac, we observed that S1P induced the translocation of Rac to intercellular junctions, resulting in junctional sealing. We investigated the role of intracellular Ca2+ in signaling Rac activation and the enhancement of endothelial barrier function. We observed that S1P activated the release of Ca2+ from endoplasmic reticulum stores, and subsequent Ca2+ entry via lanthanum-sensitive store-operated Ca2+ channels (SOC) after store depletion. Inhibition of Gi, phospholipase C, or inositol trisphosphate receptor prevented the S1P-activated increase in intracellular Ca2+ as well as Rac activation, AJ assembly, and enhancement of endothelial barrier. Chelation of intracellular Ca2+ with BAPTA blocked S1P-induced Rac activation, indicating the requirement for Ca2+ in the response. Inhibition of SOC by lanthanum or transient receptor potential channel 1 (TRPC1), a SOC constituent, by TRPC1 antibody, failed to prevent S1P-induced Rac translocation to junctions and AJ assembly. Thus, our results demonstrate that S1P promotes endothelial junctional integrity by activating the release of endoplasmic reticulum-Ca2+, which induces Rac activation and promotes AJ annealing.

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Functional expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase fused to green fluorescent protein in transgenic mice.

The activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is subject to complex transcriptional and post-translational regulation including the association with several proteins and variations in subcellular distribution. In the present study we describe a transgenic mouse model expressing eNOS fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP), which allows the study of localization and regulation of eNOS expression. We tested the functionality of eNOS in the eNOS-GFP mice. Expression of eNOS was restricted to the endothelial lining of blood vessels in various tissues tested, without appreciable expression in non-endothelial cells. Activity of the enzyme was confirmed by assaying the conversion of L-arginine to L-citrulline. NO production in isolated vessels was increased in transgenic mice when compared to non-transgenic control animals (4.88 +/- 0.59 and 2.48 +/- 0.47 micro mol/L NO, respectively, P < 0.005). Both the mean aortic pressure and the pulmonary artery pressure were reduced in eNOS-GFP mice (both approximately 30%, P < 0.05). Plasma cholesterol levels were also slightly reduced ( approximately 20%, P < 0.05). In conclusion, eNOS-GFP mice express functional eNOS and provide a unique model to study regulation of eNOS activity or eNOS-mediated vascular events, including response to ischemia, response to differences in shear stress, angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, and to study the subcellular distribution in relation with functional responses to these events.

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Developmental origins of hematopoietic stem cells.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are at the foundation of the hematopoietic hierarchy and give rise to all blood lineages in the adult organism. A thorough understanding of the molecular, cellular, and developmental biology of HSCs is of fundamental importance, but is also clinically relevant for the advancement of cell replacement therapies and transplantation protocols in blood-related genetic disease and leukemias. While the major anatomical sites of hematopoiesis change during ontogeny, it was long believed that the developmental origin of the adult mammalian hematopoietic system was the yolk sac. However, current studies have shown that the first adult-type HSCs are autonomously generated in the intrabody portion of the mouse embryo, the aorta-gonads-mesonephros (AGM) region, and sublocalize to the dorsal aorta. HSCs are also found in the other large embryonic vessels, the vitelline and umbilical arteries. The intraluminal hematopoietic clusters along these vessels, together with the role of the Runx1 transcription factor in cluster and HSC formation and the HSC/endothelial/mesenchymal Runxl expression pattern, strongly suggest a vascular endothelial/mesenchymal origin for the first HSCs. Moreover, a transgenic mouse line expressing the GFP marker under the control of the Sca-1 transcriptional regulatory elements (GFP expression marks all HSCs) shows a clear localization of GFP-expressing cells to the endothelial cell layer of the dorsal aorta. Thus, highly enriched GFP-positive AGM HSCs will serve as a basis for the future examination of the cellular and molecular factors involved in the induction and expansion of adult HSCs.

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Shear stress causes nuclear localization of endothelial glucocorticoid receptor and expression from the GRE promoter.

We tested the hypothesis that steady laminar shear stress activates the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and its transcriptional signaling pathway in an effort to investigate the potential involvement of GR in shear stress-induced antiatherosclerosis actions in the vasculature. In both bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) and NIH3T3 cells expressing GFP-GR chimeric protein, wall shear stress of 10 or 25 dynes/cm2 caused a marked nuclear localization of GFP-GR within 1 hour to an extent comparable to induction with 25 micromol/L dexamethasone. The shear mediated nuclear localization of GFP-GR was significantly reduced by 25 micromol/L of the MEK1 inhibitor (PD098059) or the PI 3-kinase inhibitor (LY294002). Also, Western blots demonstrated translocation of endogenous GR into nucleus of sheared BAECs. Promoter construct studies using glucocorticoid response element (GRE)-driven expression of secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) indicated that BAECs exposed to shear stress of 10 and 25 dynes/cm2 for 8 hours produced >9-fold more SEAP (n=6; P<0.005) than control cells, a level comparable to that observed with dexamethasone. Shear stress enhanced SEAP expression at 6 hours was reduced 50% (n=5; P<0.005) by MEK1/2 or PI 3-kinase inhibitors, but not by the NO inhibitor, L-NAME. Finally, in human internal mammary artery, endothelial GR is found to be highly nuclear localized. We report a new shear responsive transcriptional element, GRE. The finding that hemodynamic forces can be as potent as high dose glucocorticoid steroid in activating GR and GRE-regulated expression correlates with the atheroprotective responses of endothelial cells to unidirectional arterial shear stress.

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