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      Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes in Human Varicose Veins: Involvement of Matrix Gla Protein in Extracellular Matrix Remodeling


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          This study was designed to identify the global pattern of differentially expressed genes in human varicose veins. Using suppressive subtractive hybridization, we identified overexpression of genes known to be associated with extracellular matrix remodeling, including collagen III, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases I, dermatopontin, matrix Gla protein (MGP) and tenascin C. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis confirmed the differential expression of these genes. The overexpression of MGP transcript was associated with increased MGP level in varicose veins, in particular the undercarboxylated form of the protein. Smooth muscle cells from varicose veins showed increased proliferation rate and enhanced matrix mineralization. This observation correlated with the presence of ectopic mineralization areas in the varicose vein walls. The use of warfarin, to inhibit MGP activity, or siRNA targeting MGP transcript induced a reduction in the exacerbated proliferation of varicose vein smooth muscle cells. Our results suggest that high expression of MGP in varicose veins may contribute to venous wall remodeling by affecting proliferation and mineralization processes probably through impaired carboxylation of MGP. In addition, suppressive subtractive hybridization results also produce a profile of differentially expressed genes in varicose veins, in particular extracellular matrix components. Further study of these genes will provide insights into their specific roles in the etiology of venous disease.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Suppression subtractive hybridization: a method for generating differentially regulated or tissue-specific cDNA probes and libraries.

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            Differential expression of bone matrix regulatory proteins in human atherosclerotic plaques.

            In the present study, we examined the expression of regulators of bone formation and osteoclastogenesis in human atherosclerosis because accumulating evidence suggests that atherosclerotic calcification shares features with bone calcification. The most striking finding of this study was the constitutive immunoreactivity of matrix Gla protein, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein in nondiseased aortas and the absence of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, BMP-4, osteopontin, and osteonectin in nondiseased aortas and early atherosclerotic lesions. When atherosclerotic plaques demonstrated calcification or bone formation, BMP-2, BMP-4, osteopontin, and osteonectin were upregulated. Interestingly, this upregulation was associated with a sustained immunoreactivity of matrix Gla protein, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein. The 2 modulators of osteoclastogenesis (osteoprotegerin [OPG] and its ligand, OPGL) were present in the nondiseased vessel wall and in early atherosclerotic lesions. In advanced calcified lesions, OPG was present in bone structures, whereas OPGL was only present in the extracellular matrix surrounding calcium deposits. The observed expression patterns suggest a tight regulation of the expression of bone matrix regulatory proteins during human atherogenesis. The expression pattern of both OPG and OPGL during atherogenesis might suggest a regulatory role of these proteins not only in osteoclastogenesis but also in atherosclerotic calcification.
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              Osteo/chondrocytic transcription factors and their target genes exhibit distinct patterns of expression in human arterial calcification.

              Mineralization-regulating proteins are found deposited at sites of vascular calcification. However, the relationship between the onset of calcification in vivo and the expression of genes encoding mineralization-regulating proteins is unknown. This study aimed to determine the temporal and spatial pattern of expression of key bone and cartilage proteins as atherosclerotic calcification progresses. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on a panel of noncalcified and calcified human arterial samples, two classes of proteins could be identified: (1) Matrix Gla protein, osteonectin, osteoprotegerin, and aggrecan were constitutively expressed by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in the normal vessel media but downregulated in calcified arteries whereas (2) alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, and collagen II were expressed predominantly in the calcified vessel together with Cbfa1, Msx2, and Sox9, transcription factors that regulate expression of these genes. In the calcified plaque in situ hybridization identified subsets of VSMCs expressing osteoblast and chondrocyte-like gene expression profiles whereas osteoclast-like macrophages were present around sites of calcification. These observations suggest a sequence of molecular events in vascular calcification beginning with the loss of expression by VSMCs, of constitutive inhibitory proteins, and ending with expression by VSMCs and macrophages of chondrocytic, osteoblastic, and osteoclastic-associated proteins that orchestrate the calcification process.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                October 2007
                20 July 2007
                : 44
                : 6
                : 444-459
                aINSERM, U533, bUniversité de Nantes, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, l’Institut du Thorax, cCHU Nantes, Service d’anatomo-pathologie, Hôpital Guillaume et René Laënnec, dUniversité de Nantes, Faculté de médecine, l’Institut du Thorax, eOuest-Genopôle, fCHU Nantes, l’Institut du Thorax, Nantes, France; gDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
                106189 J Vasc Res 2007;44:444–459
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 2, References: 65, Pages: 16
                Research Paper


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