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Sterol-resistant SCAP Overexpression in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Accelerates Atherosclerosis by Increasing Local Vascular Inflammation through Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome in Mice

Li, D; Liu, M; Li, Z; Zheng, G; Chen, A; Zhao, L; Yang, P; ... Ruan, XZ; + view all (2021) Sterol-resistant SCAP Overexpression in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Accelerates Atherosclerosis by Increasing Local Vascular Inflammation through Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome in Mice. Aging and Disease , 12 (3) pp. 747-763. 10.14336/AD.2020.1120. Green open access

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Abstract

Atherosclerosis is a serious age-related pathology, and one of its hallmarks is the presence of chronic inflammation. Sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) is a cholesterol sensor that plays an essential role in regulating intracellular cholesterol homeostasis. Accordingly, dysregulation of the SCAP-SREBP pathway has been reported to be closely associated with an increased risk of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disease. In this study, we explored whether sterol-resistant SCAP (D443N mutation) in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of mice promotes vascular inflammation and accelerates the occurrence and progression of atherosclerosis. We established a transgenic knock-in mouse model of atherosclerosis with an activating D443N mutation at the sterol-sensing domain of SCAP (SCAPD443N) by microinjection. Next, SCAPD443N/ApoE-/- mice were generated by crossing SCAPD443N mice with apolipoprotein E-/- (ApoE-/-) background mice. We found that sterol-resistant SCAP markedly amplified and accelerated the progression of atherosclerotic plaques in SCAPD443N/ApoE-/- mice compared with that in control ApoE-/- mice. Similarly, in SCAPD443N mice, aortic atherosclerotic plaques both appeared earlier and were greater in number than that in control SCAP+/+ mice, both of which were fed a Western diet for 12 or 24 weeks. Moreover, we observed that sterol-resistant SCAP significantly increased local inflammation and induced endothelial dysfunction in the aortas of SCAPD443N mice and SCAPD443N/ApoE-/- mice. In vitro, we also found that sterol-resistant SCAP overexpression in VSMCs increased the release of inflammatory cytokines and induced endothelial cell injury when both cell types were cocultured. Furthermore, we demonstrated that sterol-resistant SCAP overexpression in VSMCs promoted SCAP and NLRP3 inflammasome cotranslocation to the Golgi and increased the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway. These findings suggested that sterol-resistant SCAP in VSMCs of mice induced vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, consequently accelerating atherosclerosis by activating the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway.

Type: Article
Title: Sterol-resistant SCAP Overexpression in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Accelerates Atherosclerosis by Increasing Local Vascular Inflammation through Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome in Mice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14336/AD.2020.1120
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14336/AD.2020.1120
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 Li D et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: SCAP, Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, VSMC, NLRP3
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Renal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132432
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