Abstract 16440: Cu Transporter ATP7A Protects Against Fibrosis Through Limiting Endothelial to Mesenchymal Transition
Background: Endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is induced by inflammation and contributes to fibrosis; however, underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Cu plays an important role in physiological processes and pathophysiologies associated with inflammatory diseases. Since excess Cu is toxic, bioavailability of Cu is tightly controlled by Cu exporter ATP7A, which obtains Cu via Cu chaperone, Atox1, and exclude Cu. We reported that Atox1 also functions as a Cu dependent transcription factor. However, role of Cu transport proteins in EndMT is entirely unknown.[[Unable to Display Character:
Results: Here we show that TNFα stimulation for 24hr in HUVEC significantly decreased ATP7A protein (80%) and increased intracellular Cu and Atox1 in nucleus, which was associated with shape change forming EndMT. ATP7A depletion with shRNA in EC significantly reduced EC markers (VE-cadherin and VEGFR2) and increased mesenchymal markers (αSMA, Calponin, SM22α, Collagen I/II). ATP7A siRNA also increased intracellular Cu and nuclear Atox1. These ATP7A knockdown-induced phenotype changes were inhibited by Cu chelators BCS and TTM. Mechanistically, microarray and qPCR based screening revealed that ATP7A knockdown in EC significantly increased miR21 (2.5 fold) and miR125b (1.5 fold) which induce EndMT in a Cu-dependent manner. Of note, promoters of both miR21 and miR125b have Cu dependent transcription factor Atox1 binding sites. Consistent with this, overexpression of Atox1 increased miR21 and miR125b expression as well as promoted EndMT. In vivo, ATP7A mutant (ATP7Amut) mice with reduced Cu export function showed impaired blood flow recovery and reduced arteriogenesis while increased αSMA+ cells and fibrosis in capillary network after ischemic injury. Moreover, ATP7Amut mice crossed with ApoE-/- mice with high fat diet (HFD) induced robust fibrosis and enhanced atherosclerotic lesion vs ApoE-/-/HFD mice.[[Unable to Display Character:
Conclusions: ATP7A protects against fibrosis by preventing EndMT via nuclear Atox1-mediated upregulation of miR21 and miR125b which induce EndMT, in Cu dependent manner. These findings provide the foundation for novel protective role of Cu transport proteins against EndMT- and fibrosis-mediated cardiovascular diseases.
Author Disclosures: S. Youn: None. S. Varadarajan: None. A. Das: None. R. McKinney: None. T. Fukai: None. M. Ushio-Fukai: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.