SUMOylation of Vps34 by SUMO1 promotes phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells by activating autophagy in pulmonary arterial hypertension

In this study, we explored the role of SUMO1 in the dedifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) involved in hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling and PAH in vivo and in vitro.ResultsIn a mouse model of hypoxic PAH, SUMO1 expression was significantly increased, which was associated with activation of autophagy (increased LC3b and decreased p62), dedifferentiation of pulmonary arterial VSMCs (reduced α-SMA, SM22 and SM-MHC), and pulmonary vascular remodeling. Similar results were obtained in a MCT-induced PAH model. Overexpression of SUMO1 significantly increased VSMC proliferation, migration, hypoxia-induced VSMC dedifferentiation, and autophagy, but these effects were abolished by inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA in aortic VSMCs. Furthermore, SUMO1 knockdown reversed hypoxia-induced proliferation and migration of PASMC. Mechanistically, SUMO1 promotes Vps34 SUMOylation and the assembly of the Beclin-1-Vps34-Atg14 complex, thereby inducing autophagy, whereas Vps34 mutation K840R reduces Vps34 SUMOylation and inhibits VSMC dedifferentiation.DiscussionOur data uncovers an important role of SUMO1 in VSMC proliferation, migration, autophagy, and phenotypic switching (dedifferentiation) involved in pulmonary vascular remodeling and PAH. Targeting of the SUMO1-Vps34-autophagy signaling axis may be exploited to develop therapeutic strategies to treat PAH.
Source: Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics - Category: Respiratory Medicine Source Type: research

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