Neointimal growth in the injured vasculature is largely facilitated by the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), which associates with reduced sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ -ATPase (SERCA2a) activity. The gene transfer-mediated restoration of the SERCA2a level thus attenuates neointimal growth and VSMC proliferation. We previously reported that a peptide targeted to protein phosphatase 1, ΨPLB-SE, normalizes SERCA2a activity in cardiomyocytes. In this study, we found that ΨPLB-SE attenuated neointimal growth in balloon-injured rat carotid arteries, and the proliferation and migration of VSMC cultured in high-serum media (synthetic conditions). In parallel, ΨPLB-SE inhibited the degradation of SERCA2a in the injured carotid arteries and VSMC under synthetic conditions. The calpain inhibitor MDL28170 also attenuated SERCA2a degradation and VSMC proliferation under synthetic conditions, indicating that calpain degrades SERCA2a. The Ca2+ ionophore A23187 induced SERCA2a degradation in VSMC, which was blocked by either ΨPLB-SE or MDL28170. Additionally, ΨPLB-SE normalized the cytosolic Ca2+ level in VSMC that was increased by either A23187 or synthetic stimulation. Collectively, these data indicate that ΨPLB-SE corrects the abnormal Ca2+ handling by activating SERCA2a, which further protects SERCA2a from calpain-dependent degradation in VSMC. We conclude that ΨPLB-SE may form the basis of a therapeutic strategy for vascular proliferative disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Hajjar was funded by NIH grants (R01 HL117505, HL093183, and P50 HL112324) and a NHLBI Program of Excellence in Nano-Technology Award (HHSN268201000045C). Dr. Park was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (NRF-2015M3A9E6028951) and the Basic Research Laboratory Program (2016R1A4A1009895) of NRF funded by the Korean government and a Systems Biology Infrastructure Establishment Grant provided by GIST.
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