Role of Caspases in Ox-LDL-Induced Apoptotic Cascade in Human Coronary Artery Endothelial Cells

Jiawei Chen, Jawahar L. Mehta, Nezam Haider, Xingjian Zhang, Jagat Narula, Dayuan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) induces apoptosis in endothelial cells. However, steps leading to ox-LDL-induced apoptosis remain unclear. We examined the role of ox-LDL and its newly described receptor LOX-1 in the expression of intracellular pro- and antiapoptotic proteins and caspase pathways in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). Cells were cultured and treated with different concentrations (10 to 80 μg/mL) of ox-LDL for different times (2 to 24 hours). Ox-LDL induced apoptosis in HCAECs in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Ox-LDL also activated caspase-9 and caspase-3, but not caspase-8. After ox-LDL treatment, there was a significant release of activators of caspase-9, including cytochrome c and Smac from mitochondria to cytoplasmic compartment, and their release was not affected by treatment of cells with inhibitors of either caspase-8 or caspase-9. Ox-LDL also decreased expression of antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and c-IAP (inhibitory apoptotic protein)-1, which are involved in the release of cytochrome c and Smac and activation of caspase-9, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. On the other hand, ox-LDL did not change the expression of Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1β-converting enzyme-inhibitory protein (FLIP) and proapoptotic protein Fas, which are required for the activation of caspase-8. Further, ox-LDL did not cause the truncation of Bid, which implies the activation of caspase-8. In other experiments, pretreatment of HCAECs with the caspase-9 inhibitor z-LEHD-fmk, but not the caspase-8 inhibitor z-IETD-fmk, blocked ox-LDL-induced activation of caspase-3 and apoptosis. As expected, pretreatment with the caspase-3 inhibitor DEVD-CHO inhibited ox-LDL-induced activation of caspase-3 and resultant apoptosis. The proapoptotic effects of ox-LDL were mediated by its receptor LOX-1, because pretreatment of HCAECs with antisense-LOX-1, but not sense-LOX-1, blocked these effects of ox-LDL. These findings suggest that ox-LDL through its receptor LOX-1 decreases the expression of antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and c-IAP-1. This is followed by activation of apoptotic signaling pathway, involving release of cytochrome c and Smac and activation of caspase-9 and then caspase-3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation Research
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Caspases
  • Endothelial cells
  • LOX-1
  • Oxidized LDL

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