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      Increased Aortic Calpain-1 Activity Mediates Age-Associated Angiotensin II Signaling of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

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          Abstract

          Background

          Angiotensin II (Ang II) signaling, including matrix metalloproteinase type II (MMP2) activation, has been linked to an age-associated increase in migration capacity of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and to other proinflammatory features of arterial aging. Calpain-1 activation is required for MMP2 expression in fibroblasts and is induced in cardiomyocytes by Ang II. The consequences of engagement of calpain-1 with its substrates, however, in governing the age-associated proinflammatory status within the arterial wall, remains unknown.

          Methodology/Principal Findings

          The present findings demonstrate that transcription, translation, and activity of calpain-1 are significantly up-regulated in rat aortae or early-passage aortic VSMC from old (30-mo) rats compared to young (8-mo). Dual immunolabeling of the arterial wall indicates that colocalization of calpain-1 and Ang II increases within the aged arterial wall. To further explore the relationship of calpain-1 to Ang II, we chronically infused Ang II into young rats, and treated cultured aortic rings or VSMC with Ang II. We also constructed adenoviruses harboring calpain-1 (CANP1) or its endogenous inhibitor calpastatin (CAST) and infected these into VSMC. Ang II induces calpain-1 expression in the aortic walls in vivo and ex vivo and VSMC in vitro. The Ang II mediated, age-associated increased MMP2 activity and migration in VSMC are both blocked by calpain inhibitor 1 or CAST. Over-expression of calpain-1 in young VSMC results in cleavage of intact vimentin, and an increased migratory capacity mimicking that of old VSMC, which is blocked by the MMP inhibitor, GM6001.

          Conclusions/Significance

          Calpain-1 activation is a pivotal molecular event in the age-associated arterial Ang II/MMP2 signaling cascade that is linked to cytoskeleton protein restructuring, and VSMC migration. Therefore, targeting calpain-1 has the potential to delay or reverse the arterial remodeling that underlies age-associated diseases i.e. atherosclerosis.

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          Most cited references51

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          The calpain system.

          The calpain system originally comprised three molecules: two Ca2+-dependent proteases, mu-calpain and m-calpain, and a third polypeptide, calpastatin, whose only known function is to inhibit the two calpains. Both mu- and m-calpain are heterodimers containing an identical 28-kDa subunit and an 80-kDa subunit that shares 55-65% sequence homology between the two proteases. The crystallographic structure of m-calpain reveals six "domains" in the 80-kDa subunit: 1). a 19-amino acid NH2-terminal sequence; 2). and 3). two domains that constitute the active site, IIa and IIb; 4). domain III; 5). an 18-amino acid extended sequence linking domain III to domain IV; and 6). domain IV, which resembles the penta EF-hand family of polypeptides. The single calpastatin gene can produce eight or more calpastatin polypeptides ranging from 17 to 85 kDa by use of different promoters and alternative splicing events. The physiological significance of these different calpastatins is unclear, although all bind to three different places on the calpain molecule; binding to at least two of the sites is Ca2+ dependent. Since 1989, cDNA cloning has identified 12 additional mRNAs in mammals that encode polypeptides homologous to domains IIa and IIb of the 80-kDa subunit of mu- and m-calpain, and calpain-like mRNAs have been identified in other organisms. The molecules encoded by these mRNAs have not been isolated, so little is known about their properties. How calpain activity is regulated in cells is still unclear, but the calpains ostensibly participate in a variety of cellular processes including remodeling of cytoskeletal/membrane attachments, different signal transduction pathways, and apoptosis. Deregulated calpain activity following loss of Ca2+ homeostasis results in tissue damage in response to events such as myocardial infarcts, stroke, and brain trauma.
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            A simplified system for generating recombinant adenoviruses.

            Recombinant adenoviruses provide a versatile system for gene expression studies and therapeutic applications. We report herein a strategy that simplifies the generation and production of such viruses. A recombinant adenoviral plasmid is generated with a minimum of enzymatic manipulations, using homologous recombination in bacteria rather than in eukaryotic cells. After transfections of such plasmids into a mammalian packaging cell line, viral production is conveniently followed with the aid of green fluorescent protein, encoded by a gene incorporated into the viral backbone. Homogeneous viruses can be obtained from this procedure without plaque purification. This system should expedite the process of generating and testing recombinant adenoviruses for a variety of purposes.
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              Arterial and cardiac aging: major shareholders in cardiovascular disease enterprises: Part I: aging arteries: a "set up" for vascular disease.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2008
                21 May 2008
                : 3
                : 5
                : e2231
                Affiliations
                [1]Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                Laboratorio di Patologia Vascolare, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, Italy
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: EL LJ MW. Performed the experiments: LJ MW JZ GS RM RT GP. Analyzed the data: LJ MW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: LJ. Wrote the paper: EL LJ MW RM.

                [¤a]

                Current address: Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Cardiovascolare, Gruppo Multimedica, Milano, Italy

                [¤b]

                Current address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

                Article
                07-PONE-RA-01956R2
                10.1371/journal.pone.0002231
                2373882
                18493299
                162e4ef6-f590-4cc8-b9f7-5c1e11e59b13
                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain declaration which stipulates that, once placed in the public domain, this work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.
                History
                : 8 August 2007
                : 8 April 2008
                Page count
                Pages: 12
                Categories
                Research Article
                Cell Biology/Cell Signaling
                Cell Biology/Cytoskeleton
                Cardiovascular Disorders/Geriatric Cardiology
                Cardiovascular Disorders/Vascular Biology
                Pathology/Cellular Pathology

                Uncategorized
                Uncategorized

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