Regulation of endothelial gene transcription by shear stress in a manner dependent on p47phox-based NADPH oxidases
Sykes, Michelle Christine
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Atherosclerosis occurs preferentially at branches and curves in arteries exposed to disturbed flow while sparing straight portions of arteries exposed to undisturbed flow. In vivo and in vitro studies have implicated NADPH oxidases in atherosclerosis and hypertension. Shear stress can induce reactive oxygen species production in endothelial cells from a variety of sources, including NADPH oxidases. Here, we examined the hypothesis that unidirectional laminar shear (LS) and oscillatory shear (OS) would differentially regulate gene expression profiles in NADPH oxidase-dependent and -independent manners, and that these genes would provide novel molecular targets in understanding endothelial cell biology and vascular disease. The p47phox subunit of the NADPH oxidase can be an important regulator of certain Nox isoforms, including Nox1 and Nox2 which may be responsible for shear-induced superoxide production. In order to isolate p47phox-dependent shear responses, we took advantage of the p47phox-/- transgenic mouse model which lacks a functional p47phox subunit. We developed a method to isolate murine aortic endothelial cells using an enzymatic digestion technique. These cells expressed characteristic endothelial markers, including VE-cadherin, PECAM1, and eNOS, and aligned in the direction of flow. We successfully isolated primary murine aortic endothelial cells from both wild-type C57BL/6 mice (MAE-WT) and p47phox-/- mice (MAE-p47). Furthermore, we established an immortalized cell line from each of these cell types, iMAE-WT and iMAE-p47. We carried out microarray studies using Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Arrays (39,000+ transcripts) on MAE-WT and MAE-p47 that were exposed to atheroprotective LS or atherogenic OS for 24 hours. In comparison to LS, OS significantly changed the expression of 187 and 298 genes in MAE-WT and MAE-p47, respectively. Of those, 23 genes showed similar gene expression patterns in both cell types while 462 genes showed different gene expression patterns in the two cell types, demonstrating a considerable role for p47phox-based NADPH oxidases in shear-dependent gene expression. Changes in expression of several genes, including Kruppel-like factor 2 (Klf2), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), junctional adhesion molecule 2 (Jam2), bone morphogenic receptor type II (Bmpr2), and bone morphogenic protein 4 (Bmp4) were confirmed by quantitative PCR and/or immunoblotting using both primary cells and immortalized cells. Of these genes, our data suggest that Jam2, Bmpr2, and Bmp4 may be shear-sensitive in a p47phox-dependent manner. Taken together, our studies have identified a set of shear- and p47phox-sensitive genes, including unexpected and novel targets, which may play critical roles in vascular cell biology and pathobiology.