Inhibitors of histone deacetylation downregulate the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and compromise endothelial cell function in vasorelaxation and angiogenesis

Lothar Rössig, Huige Li, Beate Fisslthaler, Carmen Urbich, Ingrid Fleming, Ulrich Förstermann, Andreas M Zeiher, Stefanie Dimmeler
Circulation Research 2002 November 1, 91 (9): 837-44
The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) inhibits hypoxia-stimulated angiogenesis. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-derived NO is central to angiogenesis signaling in endothelial cells (ECs). We hypothesized that the HDAC-dependent regulation of angiogenesis may involve a modulatory effect on eNOS expression. The HDAC inhibitors TSA, butyric acid (BuA), and MS-275 time- and concentration-dependently suppressed eNOS protein levels to 41+/-2%, 46+/-12%, and 40+/-12% of control, respectively. In parallel, TSA and BuA also downregulated eNOS mRNA expression to 21+/-4% and 37+/-4% of control. TSA also attenuated the NO-dependent relaxation of porcine coronary arteries (P<0.0001, TSA 1 micromol/L) and prevented tube formation in a human angiogenesis assay. Although vascular endothelial growth factor substitution did not compensate for the inhibitory effect of TSA, exogenous NO reversed the inhibition of angiogenesis by TSA. To address the underlying signaling mechanism, we characterized the effect of TSA on eNOS gene transcription and mRNA half-life. Although TSA decreased both eNOS protein and mRNA levels, TSA paradoxically enhanced the activity of the eNOS promoter, and did not alter the eNOS transcription rate in nuclear run-on experiments, suggesting that TSA posttranscriptionally targets eNOS mRNA. These data indicate that HDAC-dependent mechanisms contribute to the regulation of eNOS expression in ECs.

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