Reciprocal regulation of endothelial-mesenchymal transition by MAPK7 and EZH2 in intimal hyperplasia and coronary artery disease

Byambasuren Vanchin, Marloes Sol, Rutger A. F. Gjaltema, Marja Brinker, Bianca Kiers, Alexandre C. Pereira, Martin C. Harmsen, Jan-Renier A. J. Moonen, Guido Krenning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is a form of endothelial dysfunction wherein endothelial cells acquire a mesenchymal phenotype and lose endothelial functions, which contributes to the pathogenesis of intimal hyperplasia and atherosclerosis. The mitogen activated protein kinase 7 (MAPK7) inhibits EndMT and decreases the expression of the histone methyltransferase Enhancer-of-Zeste homologue 2 (EZH2), thereby maintaining endothelial quiescence. EZH2 is the catalytic subunit of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 that methylates lysine 27 on histone 3 (H3K27me3). It is elusive how the crosstalk between MAPK7 and EZH2 is regulated in the endothelium and if the balance between MAPK7 and EZH2 is disturbed in vascular disease. In human coronary artery disease, we assessed the expression levels of MAPK7 and EZH2 and found that with increasing intima/media thickness ratio, MAPK7 expression decreased, whereas EZH2 expression increased. In vitro, MAPK7 activation decreased EZH2 expression, whereas endothelial cells deficient of EZH2 had increased MAPK7 activity. MAPK7 activation results in increased expression of microRNA (miR)-101, a repressor of EZH2. This loss of EZH2 in turn results in the increased expression of the miR-200 family, culminating in decreased expression of the dual-specificity phosphatases 1 and 6 who may repress MAPK7 activity. Transfection of endothelial cells with miR-200 family members decreased the endothelial sensitivity to TGF beta 1-induced EndMT. In endothelial cells there is reciprocity between MAPK7 signaling and EZH2 expression and disturbances in this reciprocal signaling associate with the induction of EndMT and severity of human coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17764
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7-Sept-2021

Keywords

  • PROTEIN-KINASE PHOSPHATASE-1
  • ERK5 TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVITY
  • ATHEROSCLEROTIC LESIONS
  • GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY
  • DOWN-REGULATION
  • SHEAR-STRESS
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • EXPRESSION
  • HISTONE
  • CONTRIBUTES

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