Author(s): Smolock AR, Mishra G, Eguchi K, Eguchi S, Scalia R
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis of a role for the calcium-dependent protease calpain in the endothelial dysfunction induced by hyperglycemic activation of protein kinase C (PKC). METHODS AND RESULTS: Chronic hyperglycemia with insulin deficiency (type 1 diabetes) was induced in rats by streptozotocin. Total PKC and calpain activities, along with activity and expression level of the 2 endothelial-expressed calpains isoforms, μ- and m-calpain, were measured in vascular tissue homogenates by enzymatic assays and Western blot analysis, respectively. Intravital microscopy was used to measure and correlate leukocyte-endothelium interactions with calpain activity in the microcirculation. Expression levels and endothelial localization of the inflammatory adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were studied by Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence, respectively. The mechanistic role of hyperglycemia alone in the process of PKC-induced calpain activation and actions was also investigated. We found that in the type 1 diabetic vasculature, PKC selectively upregulates the activity of the μ-calpain isoform. Mechanistic studies confirmed a role for hyperglycemia and PKCβ in this process. The functional implications of PKC-induced calpain activation were upregulation of endothelial expressed intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and leukocyte-endothelium interactions. CONCLUSIONS: Our results uncover the role of μ-calpain in the endothelial dysfunction of PKC. Calpain may represent a novel molecular target for the treatment of PKC-associated diabetic vascular disease.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine