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Hiromi Nagata, Jingya Lyu, Hitomi Imachi, Kensaku Fukunaga, Seisuke Sato, Toshihiro Kobayashi, Takanobu Saheki, Kayoko Seo, Japar B Salimah, Hisakazu Iwama, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yoshihiro Ogawa, and Koji Murao

Vascular complications are the main cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients, and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) play a critical role in promoting diabetic vascular dysfunction. The human homolog of scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), CD36, and LIMPII analog-1 (hSR-BI/CLA-1) facilitates the cellular uptake of cholesterol from HDL. In endothelial cells, HDL activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) via hSR-BI/CLA-1. In this study, we elucidated the effects of AGEs on hSR-BI/CLA-1 expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HSR-BI/CLA-1 expression was examined by real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and reporter gene assay in HUVECs incubated with AGEs. eNOS activity was assessed by detecting the phosphorylation (Ser 1179) of eNOS. Our results showed that AGEs decreased the endogenous expression of hSR-BI/CLA-1. AGEs also inhibited the activity of the hSR-BI/CLA-1 promoter and its mRNA expression via receptor RAGE. We identified the binding site for Smad1 on the hSR-BI/CLA-1 promoter: Smad1 bound to its promoter. AGE treatment stimulated the transcriptional activity of Smad1, and mutation of the Smad1 binding site inhibited the effect of AGEs on the hSR-BI/CLA-1 promoter. HDL-treatment enhanced the phosphorylation of eNOS at Ser 1179, but pretreatment with AGEs inhibited the phosphorylation of eNOS Ser 1179. These results suggested that AGEs downregulate the expression of the endothelial hSR-BI/CLA-1 via the Smad1 pathway, which may be a therapeutic target for diabetic endothelial dysfunction.

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Seisuke Sato, Hitomi Imachi, Jingya Lyu, Yumi Miyai, Kensaku Fukunaga, Tao Dong, Tomohiro Ibata, Toshihiro Kobayashi, Takuo Yoshimoto, Fumi Kikuchi, Kazuko Yonezaki, Nao Yamaji, Hisakazu Iwama, and Koji Murao

ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), a 254-kD membrane protein, is a key regulator of lipid efflux from cells to apolipoproteins. ABCA1 in pancreatic β-cells influences insulin secretion and cholesterol homeostasis. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is a pleiotropic cytokine that elicits a wide spectrum of physiological events, including cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis and is also known to decrease glucose-dependent insulin secretion in pancreatic islets. In the present study, we examined the role of TNF-α on ABCA1 expression in rat pancreatic islets and INS-1 cells. ABCA1 protein levels decreased in response to rising concentrations of TNF-α in pancreatic islets. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed a significant decrease in ABCA1 mRNA expression. In parallel with its effect on endogenous ABCA1 mRNA levels, TNF-α suppressed the activity of a reporter construct containing the ABCA1 promoter. This effect was abrogated by BIRB796, but not by SB203580 or LY-294002. The constitutively active form of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) γ suppressed ABCA1 promoter activity but not p38-MAPK (α, β), while a dominant-negative mutant of p38-MAPK γ blocked the effect of TNF-α on ABCA1 promoter activity. BIRB796 inhibited the increased cholesterol ester content induced by TNF-α. However, BIRB796 had no effect on either the decreased insulin content or the ABCA1 suppression caused by TNF-α in INS-1 cells. We checked the influence of TNF-α of insulin secretion and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in rat pancreatic islet and INS-1 cell. TNF-α suppressed the insulin secretion and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in both rat pancreatic islet and INS-1 cell. In summary, TNF-α suppressed the expression of endogenous ABCA1 and suppress the insulin secretion in pancreatic islets and INS-1 cells. These findings raise the possibility that TNF-α may affect insulin secretion by controlling ABCA1 expression.