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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Hanjoong Jo, Ph.D., John and Jan Portman Professor, Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech and Emory University, 1760 Haygood Drive, Health Sciences Research Bldg E170, Atlanta, GA 30322.

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Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by funding from National Institutes of Health grants HL119798, HL113451, HL095070 and HL124879 to HJ.

HJ is John and Jan Portman Professor.

JD is a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Epigenetic DNA methylation
  • DNMT
  • Gene expression
  • Flow
  • Shear stress
  • Endothelial function
  • Atherosclerosis
  • ACUTE MYELOID-LEUKEMIA
  • ADHESION MOLECULE-1 EXPRESSION
  • FLOW-DEPENDENT REGULATION
  • KRUPPEL-LIKE FACTOR-2
  • DISTURBED FLOW
  • VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM

The role of epigenetics in the endothelial cell shear stress response and atherosclerosis

Tools:

Journal Title:

International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Volume:

Volume 67

Publisher:

, Pages 167-176

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

Currently in the field of vascular biology, the role of epigenetics in endothelial cell biology and vascular disease has attracted more in-depth study. Using both in vitro and in vivo models of blood flow, investigators have recently begun to reveal the underlying epigenetic regulation of endothelial gene expression. Recently, our group, along with two other independent groups, have demonstrated that blood flow controls endothelial gene expression by DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1 and 3A). Disturbed flow (d-flow), characterized by low and oscillating shear stress (OS), is pro-atherogenic and induces expression of DNMT1 both in vivo and in vitro. D-flow regulates genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in a DNMT-dependent manner. The DNMT inhibitor 5-Aza-2’deoxycytidine (5Aza) or DNMT1 siRNA reduces OS-induced endothelial inflammation. Moreover, 5Aza inhibits the development of atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice. Through a systems biological analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation patterns and gene expression data, we found 11 mechanosensitive genes which were suppressed by d-flow in vivo, experienced hypermethylation in their promoter region in response to d-flow, and were rescued by 5Aza treatment. Interestingly, among these mechanosensitive genes, the two transcription factors HoxA5 and Klf3 contain cAMP-response-elements (CRE), which may indicate that methylation of CRE sites could serve as a mechanosensitive master switch in gene expression. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism by which flow controls epigenetic DNA methylation patterns, which in turn alters endothelial gene expression, regulates vascular biology, and induces atherosclerosis. These novel findings have broad implications for understanding the biochemical mechanisms of atherogenesis and provide a basis for identifying potential therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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