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  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-Products Signaling Interferes with the Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Contractile Phenotype and Function.

Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-Products Signaling Interferes with the Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Contractile Phenotype and Function.

PloS one (2015-08-08)
Elie Simard, Thomas Söllradl, Jean-Sébastien Maltais, Julie Boucher, Pédro D'Orléans-Juste, Michel Grandbois
ABSTRACT

Increased blood glucose concentrations promote reactions between glucose and proteins to form advanced glycation end-products (AGE). Circulating AGE in the blood plasma can activate the receptor for advanced end-products (RAGE), which is present on both endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). RAGE exhibits a complex signaling that involves small G-proteins and mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), which lead to increased nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity. While RAGE signaling has been previously addressed in endothelial cells, little is known regarding its impact on the function of VSMC. Therefore, we hypothesized that RAGE signaling leads to alterations in the mechanical and functional properties of VSMC, which could contribute to complications associated with diabetes. We demonstrated that RAGE is expressed and functional in the A7r5 VSMC model, and its activation by AGE significantly increased NF-κB activity, which is known to interfere with the contractile phenotype of VSMC. The protein levels of the contraction-related transcription factor myocardin were also decreased by RAGE activation with a concomitant decrease in the mRNA and protein levels of transgelin (SM-22α), a regulator of VSMC contraction. Interestingly, we demonstrated that RAGE activation increased the overall cell rigidity, an effect that can be related to an increase in myosin activity. Finally, although RAGE stimulation amplified calcium signaling and slightly myosin activity in VSMC challenged with vasopressin, their contractile capacity was negatively affected. Overall, RAGE activation in VSMC could represent a keystone in the development of vascular diseases associated with diabetes by interfering with the contractile phenotype of VSMC through the modification of their mechanical and functional properties.

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