117 research outputs found

    Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis

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    Atherosclerosis is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Atherosclerosis is initiated by endothelium activation and, followed by a cascade of events (accumulation of lipids, fibrous elements, and calcification), triggers the vessel narrowing and activation of inflammatory pathways. The resultant atheroma plaque, along with these processes, results in cardiovascular complications. This review focuses on the different stages of atherosclerosis development, ranging from endothelial dysfunction to plaque rupture. In addition, the post-transcriptional regulation and modulation of atheroma plaque by microRNAs and lncRNAs, the role of microbiota, and the importance of sex as a crucial risk factor in atherosclerosis are covered here in order to provide a global view of the disease.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci√≥n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019/2020; U.G-G. was supported by Margarita Salas Grant; and S.J. and A.L-S were supported by a grant PIF (2017‚Äď2018) and PIF (2019‚Äď2020) Gobierno Vasco, respectively

    Identification of the genetic mechanism that associates L3MBTL3 to multiple sclerosis.

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    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. One of the challenges of the post-genome-wide association studies (GWAS) era is to understand the molecular basis of statistical associations to reveal gene networks and potential therapeutic targets. The L3MBTL3 locus has been associated with MS risk by GWAS. To identify the causal variant of the locus, we performed fine mapping in a cohort of 3440 MS patients and 1688 healthy controls. The variant that best explained the association was rs6569648 (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ4.13E-10, odds ratio‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI)‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.64-0.79), which tagged rs7740107, located in intron 7 of L3MBTL3. The rs7740107 (A/T) variant has been reported to be the best expression and splice quantitative trait locus (eQTL and sQTL) of the region in up to 35 human genotype-tissue expression (GTEx) tissues. By sequencing RNA from blood of 17 MS patients and quantification by digital qPCR, we determined that this eQTL/sQTL originated from the expression of a novel short transcript starting in intron 7 near rs7740107. The short transcript was translated into three proteins starting at different translation initiation codons. These N-terminal truncated proteins lacked the region where L3MBTL3 interacts with the transcriptional regulator Recombination Signal Binding Protein for Immunoglobulin Kappa J Region which, in turn, regulates the Notch signalling pathway. Our data and other functional studies suggest that the genetic mechanism underlying the MS association of rs7740107 affects not only the expression of L3MBTL3 isoforms, but might also involve the Notch signalling pathway

    Genomic Multiple Sclerosis Risk Variants Modulate the Expression of the ANKRD55-IL6ST Gene Region in Immature Dendritic Cells

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    Intronic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ANKRD55 gene are associated with the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The risk alleles have been linked to higher expression levels of ANKRD55 and the neighboring IL6ST (gp130) gene in CD4(+) T lymphocytes of healthy controls. The biological function of ANKRD55, its role in the immune system, and cellular sources of expression other than lymphocytes remain uncharacterized. Here, we show that monocytes gain capacity to express ANKRD55 during differentiation in immature monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) in the presence of interleukin (IL)-4/granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). ANKRD55 expression levels are further enhanced by retinoic acid agonist AM580 but downregulated following maturation with interferon (IFN)-gamma and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). ANKRD55 was detected in the nucleus of moDC in nuclear speckles. We also analyzed the adjacent IL6ST, IL31RA, and SLC38A9 genes. Of note, in healthy controls, MS risk SNP genotype influenced ANKRD55 and IL6ST expression in immature moDC in opposite directions to that in CD4(+) T cells. This effect was stronger for a partially correlated SNP, rs13186299, that is located, similar to the main MS risk SNPs, in an ANKRD55 intron. Upon analysis in MS patients, the main GWAS MS risk SNP rs7731626 was associated with ANKRD55 expression levels in CD4(+) T cells. MoDC-specific ANKRD55 and IL6ST mRNA levels showed significant differences according to the clinical form of the disease, but, in contrast to healthy controls, were not influenced by genotype. We also measured serum sgp130 levels, which were found to be higher in homozygotes of the protective allele of rs7731626. Our study characterizes ANKRD55 expression in moDC and indicates monocyte-to-dendritic cell (Mo-DC) differentiation as a process potentially influenced by MS risk SNPs

    Novel transcript discovery expands the repertoire of pathologically-associated, long non-coding RNAs in vascular smooth muscle cells

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    Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) provide vital contractile force within blood vessel walls, yet can also propagate cardiovascular pathologies through proliferative and pro-inflammatory activities. Such phenotypes are driven, in part, by the diverse effects of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) on gene expression. However, lncRNA characterisation in VSMCs in pathological states is hampered by incomplete lncRNA representation in reference annotation. We aimed to improve lncRNA representation in such contexts by assembling non-reference transcripts in RNA sequencing datasets describing VSMCs stimulated in vitro with cytokines, growth factors, or mechanical stress, as well as those isolated from atherosclerotic plaques. All transcripts were then subjected to a rigorous lncRNA prediction pipeline. We substantially improved coverage of lncRNAs responding to pro-mitogenic stimuli, with non-reference lncRNAs contributing 21‚Äď32% for each dataset. We also demonstrate non-reference lncRNAs were biased towards enriched expression within VSMCs, and transcription from enhancer sites, suggesting particular relevance to VSMC processes, and the regulation of neighbouring protein-coding genes. Both VSMC-enriched and enhancer-transcribed lncRNAs were large components of lncRNAs responding to pathological stimuli, yet without novel transcript discovery 33‚Äď46% of these lncRNAs would remain hidden. Our comprehensive VSMC lncRNA repertoire allows proper prioritisation of candidates for characterisation and exemplifies a strategy to broaden our knowledge of lncRNA across a range of disease states.British Heart Foundation, European Research Council Advanced Grant VASCMIR and British/Israeli Collaborative grant BIRAX

    A new risk variant for multiple sclerosis at 11q23.3 locus is associated with expansion of CXCR5+ circulating regulatory T cells

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    Genome-wide association studies and meta-analysis have contributed to the identification of more than 200 loci associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, a proportion of MS heritability remains unknown. We aimed to uncover new genetic variants associated with MS and determine their functional effects. For this, we resequenced the exons and regulatory sequences of 14 MS risk genes in a cohort of MS patients and healthy individuals (n = 1,070) and attempted to validate a selection of signals through genotyping in an independent cohort (n = 5,138). We identified three new MS-associated variants at C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 5 (CXCR5), Ts translation elongation factor, mitochondrial (TSFM) and cytochrome P450 family 24 subfamily A member 1 (CYP24A1). Rs10892307 resulted in a new signal at the CXCR5 region that explains one of the associations with MS within the locus. This polymorphism and three others in high linkage disequilibrium mapped within regulatory regions. Of them, rs11602393 showed allele-dependent enhancer activity in the forward orientation as determined by luciferase reporter assays. Immunophenotyping using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from MS patients associated the minor allele of rs10892307 with increased percentage of regulatory T cells expressing CXCR5. This work reports a new signal for the CXCR5 MS risk locus and points to rs11602393 as the causal variant. The expansion of CXCR5+ circulating regulatory T cells induced by this variant could cause its MS association.Funding: The genotyping service was carried out at CEGEN-PRB2-ISCIII and was supported by grant PT13/0001, ISCIII-SGEFI/FEDER. This work was also supported by the following grants: BFU2016-77961-P (AEI/FEDER); 2017-SGR-00702 (Direcci√≥ General de Recerca, Generalitat de Catalunya); Unidad de Excelencia Mar√≠a de Maeztu funded by the MINECO (MDM-2014-0370); Proyectos de Investigaci√≥n en Salud (FIS PI12/02229, PI15/00587, PI16/01259); Red Espa√Īola de Esclerosis M√ļltiple (RD16/0015/0004 to M.C., RD16/0015/0002; RD16/0015/0005 to K.V.; RD16/0015/0016) integrated in the Plan Estatal I+D+I and cofunded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER; ‚ÄúOtra forma de hacer Europa‚ÄĚ); SAF2016-80595-C2-1-P (Ministerio de Econom√≠a, Industria y Competitividad

    The Rare IL22RA2 Signal Peptide Coding Variant rs28385692 Decreases Secretion of IL-22BP Isoform-1, -2 and -3 and Is Associated with Risk for Multiple Sclerosis.

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    The IL22RA2 locus is associated with risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) but causative variants are yet to be determined. In a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) screen of this locus in a Basque population, rs28385692, a rare coding variant substituting Leu for Pro at position 16 emerged significantly (p = 0.02). This variant is located in the signal peptide (SP) shared by the three secreted protein isoforms produced by IL22RA2 (IL-22 binding protein-1(IL-22BPi1), IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3). Genotyping was extended to a Europe-wide case-control dataset and yielded high significance in the full dataset (p = 3.17 √ó 10-4). Importantly, logistic regression analyses conditioning on the main known MS-associated SNP at this locus, rs17066096, revealed that this association was independent from the primary association signal in the full case-control dataset. In silico analysis predicted both disruption of the alpha helix of the H-region of the SP and decreased hydrophobicity of this region, ultimately affecting the SP cleavage site. We tested the effect of the p.Leu16Pro variant on the secretion of IL-22BPi1, IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3 and observed that the Pro16 risk allele significantly lowers secretion levels of each of the isoforms to around 50%-60% in comparison to the Leu16 reference allele. Thus, our study suggests that genetically coded decreased levels of IL-22BP isoforms are associated with augmented risk for MS

    BIRC6 Is Associated with Vulnerability of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaque

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    Carotid atherosclerotic plaque rupture can lead to cerebrovascular accident (CVA). By comparing RNA-Seq data from vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) extracted from carotid atheroma surgically excised from a group of asymptomatic and symptomatic subjects, we identified more than 700 genomic variants associated with symptomatology (p < 0.05). From these, twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected for further validation. Comparing genotypes of a hospital-based cohort of asymptomatic with symptomatic patients, an exonic SNP in the BIRC6 (BRUCE/Apollon) gene, rs35286811, emerged as significantly associated with CVA symptomatology (p = 0.002; OR = 2.24). Moreover, BIRC6 mRNA levels were significantly higher in symptomatic than asymptomatic subjects upon measurement by qPCR in excised carotid atherosclerotic tissue (p < 0.0001), and significantly higher in carriers of the rs35286811 risk allele (p < 0.0001). rs35286811 is a proxy of a GWAS SNP reported to be associated with red cell distribution width (RDW); RDW was increased in symptomatic patients (p < 0.03), but was not influenced by the rs35286811 genotype in our cohort. BIRC6 is a negative regulator of both apoptosis and autophagy. This work introduces BIRC6 as a novel genetic risk factor for stroke, and identifies autophagy as a genetically regulated mechanism of carotid plaque vulnerability.This work was financially supported by grants from the Departments of Education (Ref. PIBA2018-67) and Health (Ref. RIS3-2019222038) of the Basque Government, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; by the Spanish Neurovascular Network (INVICTUSplus) (Ref. RD16/0019/0007) funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovaci√≥n, Madrid, Spain; and by the research project grant (IKERIKTUS) funded by the RefbioII Trans-Pyrenean Cooperation Network for Biomedical Research financed by Horizon 2020. I.A. is supported by the Marat√≥n EiTB 2017 for Funding of Research into Stroke, Bilbao, Spain (Ref. BIO18/IC/005); R.T.N. is the recipient of a fellowship from the Secretar√≠a Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnolog√≠a e Innovaci√≥n (SENACYT; Convocatoria Doctorado de Investigaci√≥n Ronda III, 2018; Ref. BIDP-III-2018-12) of the Gobierno Nacional, Rep√ļblica de Panam√°
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