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Yong Lin, Li Li, Junjie Liu, Xiaoting Zhao, Juxiu Ye, Peter S. Reinach, Jia Qu, Dongsheng Yan; SIRT1 Deletion Impairs Retinal Endothelial Cell Migration Through Downregulation of VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 and MMP14. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(13):5431-5440. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23558.
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Silent information regulator protein 1 (SIRT1) is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase that is abundantly expressed in vascular endothelial cells (VECs), and it has an essential role in angiogenesis. However, its contribution to retinal vascular development remains unclear. Here we characterize its involvement in regulating this process under both physiological and pathologic conditions.
Endothelium-specific Sirt1 knockout mice were established using the Cre-lox system. VECs were isolated using magnetic beads and identified by immunostaining. Retinal whole-mount staining analyzed the retinal vascular patterns. SIRT1 was knocked down or overexpressed in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) using small interfering RNA (siRNA) or lentivirus infection, respectively. Scratch assay, Transwell, and Matrigel angiogenesis assay evaluated cell migration and tube formation, respectively. Quantitative RT-PCR analyzed genes regulating VEC migration. Western blotting determined protein expression. Coimmunoprecipitation detected the interaction of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and SIRT1 as well as acetylation status of HIF-1α.
Specific deletion of Sirt1 in VECs dramatically delayed retinal vessel expansion and reduced vessel density. In the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model, Sirt1 ablation markedly suppressed retinal revascularization and consequently increased retinal avascularity. SIRT1 downregulation in HRMECs inhibited cell migration and tube formation, while overexpression of SIRT1 had the opposite effects. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A)/VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), and matrix metalloproteinases 14 (MMP14) expression significantly declined in Sirt1-null VECs, as well as SIRT1 siRNA-transfected HRMECs. SIRT1 downregulation upregulated the HIF-1α acetylation status. Conversely, SIRT1 overexpression decreased this response.
SIRT1 contributes to both physiological and pathologic retinal angiogenesis through promoting retinal VEC migration. Its underlying molecular mechanism involves SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of HIF-1α and subsequent upregulation of VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 and MMP14 expression.
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