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      Regulation of angiotensin II actions by enhancers and super-enhancers in vascular smooth muscle cells

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          Abstract

          Angiotensin II (AngII) promotes hypertension and atherosclerosis by activating growth-promoting and pro-inflammatory gene expression in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Enhancers and super-enhancers (SEs) play critical roles in driving disease-associated gene expression. However, enhancers/SEs mediating VSMC dysfunction remain uncharacterized. Here, we show that AngII alters vascular enhancer and SE repertoires in cultured VSMCs in vitro, ex vivo, and in AngII-infused mice aortas in vivo. AngII-induced enhancers/SEs are enriched in binding sites for signal-dependent transcription factors and dependent on key signaling kinases. Moreover, CRISPR-Cas9-mediated deletion of candidate enhancers/SEs, targeting SEs with the bromodomain and extra-terminal domain inhibitor JQ1, or knockdown of overlapping long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) blocks AngII-induced genes associated with growth-factor signaling and atherosclerosis. Furthermore, JQ1 ameliorates AngII-induced hypertension, medial hypertrophy and inflammation in vivo in mice. These results demonstrate AngII-induced signals integrate enhancers/SEs and lncRNAs to increase expression of genes involved in VSMC dysfunction, and could uncover novel therapies.

          Abstract

          The repertoire of tissue-specific distal regulators of gene transcription enhancers defines homeostasis or disease. Here, the authors reveal the enhancer and super-enhancer signature of vascular smooth muscle cells under normal and angiotensin II stimuli, providing new insight into the transcriptional regulation of vascular pathologies.

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          Most cited references 43

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          ChIP-seq accurately predicts tissue-specific activity of enhancers.

          A major yet unresolved quest in decoding the human genome is the identification of the regulatory sequences that control the spatial and temporal expression of genes. Distant-acting transcriptional enhancers are particularly challenging to uncover because they are scattered among the vast non-coding portion of the genome. Evolutionary sequence constraint can facilitate the discovery of enhancers, but fails to predict when and where they are active in vivo. Here we present the results of chromatin immunoprecipitation with the enhancer-associated protein p300 followed by massively parallel sequencing, and map several thousand in vivo binding sites of p300 in mouse embryonic forebrain, midbrain and limb tissue. We tested 86 of these sequences in a transgenic mouse assay, which in nearly all cases demonstrated reproducible enhancer activity in the tissues that were predicted by p300 binding. Our results indicate that in vivo mapping of p300 binding is a highly accurate means for identifying enhancers and their associated activities, and suggest that such data sets will be useful to study the role of tissue-specific enhancers in human biology and disease on a genome-wide scale.
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            Angiotensin II promotes atherosclerotic lesions and aneurysms in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

            Increased plasma concentrations of angiotension II (Ang II) have been implicated in atherogenesis. To examine this relationship directly, we infused Ang II or vehicle for 1 month via osmotic minipumps into mature apoE(-/-) mice. These doses of Ang II did not alter arterial blood pressure, body weight, serum cholesterol concentrations, or distribution of lipoprotein cholesterol. However, Ang II infusions promoted an increased severity of aortic atherosclerotic lesions. These Ang II-induced lesions were predominantly lipid-laden macrophages and lymphocytes; moreover, Ang II promoted a marked increase in the number of macrophages present in the adventitial tissue underlying lesions. Unexpectedly, pronounced abdominal aortic aneurysms were present in apoE(-/-) mice infused with Ang II. Sequential sectioning of aneurysmal abdominal aorta revealed two major characteristics: an intact artery that is surrounded by a large remodeled adventitia, and a medial break with pronounced dilation and more modestly remodeled adventitial tissue. Although no atherosclerotic lesions were visible at the medial break point, the presence of hyperlipidemia was required because infusions of Ang II into apoE(+/+) mice failed to generate aneurysms. These results demonstrate that increased plasma concentrations of Ang II have profound and rapid effects on vascular pathology when combined with hyperlipidemia, in the absence of hemodynamic influences.
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              Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome.

               M Kellis,  B Wold,  M Snyder (2014)
              With the completion of the human genome sequence, attention turned to identifying and annotating its functional DNA elements. As a complement to genetic and comparative genomics approaches, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project was launched to contribute maps of RNA transcripts, transcriptional regulator binding sites, and chromatin states in many cell types. The resulting genome-wide data reveal sites of biochemical activity with high positional resolution and cell type specificity that facilitate studies of gene regulation and interpretation of noncoding variants associated with human disease. However, the biochemically active regions cover a much larger fraction of the genome than do evolutionarily conserved regions, raising the question of whether nonconserved but biochemically active regions are truly functional. Here, we review the strengths and limitations of biochemical, evolutionary, and genetic approaches for defining functional DNA segments, potential sources for the observed differences in estimated genomic coverage, and the biological implications of these discrepancies. We also analyze the relationship between signal intensity, genomic coverage, and evolutionary conservation. Our results reinforce the principle that each approach provides complementary information and that we need to use combinations of all three to elucidate genome function in human biology and disease.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                rnatarajan@coh.org
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                13 November 2017
                13 November 2017
                2017
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0421 8357, GRID grid.410425.6, Department of Diabetes Complications and Metabolism, , Diabetes Metabolism Research Institute, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, ; Duarte, CA 91010 USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0421 8357, GRID grid.410425.6, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, , Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, ; Duarte, CA 91010 USA
                Article
                1629
                10.1038/s41467-017-01629-7
                5684340
                29133788
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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