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Open AccessArticle

Hydrogen Sulfide Prevents Elastin Loss and Attenuates Calcification Induced by High Glucose in Smooth Muscle Cells through Suppression of Stat3/Cathepsin S Signaling Pathway

1
Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore
2
Department of Physiology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, China
3
Department of Pathophysiology, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221004, China
4
National University of Singapore (Suzhou) Research Institute (NUSRI), Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174202
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 27 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiovascular Complications of Diabetes)
Vascular calcification can be enhanced by hyperglycemia. Elastin loss in tunica media promotes the osteogenic transformation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and involves arterial medial calcification (AMC) that is associated with a high incidence of cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes. Here, we tested whether hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gaseous mediator, can prevent elastin loss and attenuate calcification induced by high glucose in SMCs. Calcification was induced by high glucose (4500 mg/L) in human aortic SMCs (HASMCs) under the condition of calcifying medium containing 10 mM β-glycerophosphate (β-GP). The experiments showed that NaHS (an H2S donor, 100 μM) mitigated the calcification of HASMCs treated with high glucose by decreasing calcium and phosphorus levels, calcium deposition and ALP activity and inhibited osteogenic transformation by increasing SMα-actin and SM22α, two phenotypic markers of smooth muscle cells, and decreasing core binding factor α-1 (Cbfα-1), a key factor in bone formation, protein expressions in HASMCs. Moreover, NaHS administration inhibited the activation of Stat3, cathepsin S (CAS) activity and its expression, but increased the level of elastin protein. Pharmacological inhibition or gene silencing Stat3 not only reversed elastin loss, but also attenuated CAS expression. Inhibition of CAS alleviated, while CAS overexpression exacerbated, elastin loss. Interestingly, overexpression of wild type (WT)-Stat3, but not its mutant C259S, elevated CAS protein expression and reduced elastin level. Moreover, NaHS induced S-sulfhydration in WT, but not in the C259S Stat3. These data suggest that H2S may directly regulate Cys259 residue in Stat3 and then impair its signaling function. Our data indicate that H2S may attenuate vascular calcification by upregulating elastin level through the inhibition of Stat3/CAS signaling. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen sulfide; calcification; smooth muscle cells; Stat3; cathepsin S; elastin hydrogen sulfide; calcification; smooth muscle cells; Stat3; cathepsin S; elastin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, Y.-B.; Zhou, H.; Li, L.; Kang, Y.; Cao, X.; Wu, Z.-Y.; Ding, L.; Sethi, G.; Bian, J.-S. Hydrogen Sulfide Prevents Elastin Loss and Attenuates Calcification Induced by High Glucose in Smooth Muscle Cells through Suppression of Stat3/Cathepsin S Signaling Pathway. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 4202.

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