S-adenosylhomocysteine induces inflammation through NFkB: A possible role for EZH2 in endothelial cell activation

Madalena Barroso, Derrick Kao, Henk J. Blom, Isabel Tavares de Almeida, Rita Castro, Joseph Loscalzo, Diane E. Handy

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40 Citations (SciVal)


S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) can induce endothelial dysfunction and activation, contributing to atherogenesis; however, its role in the activation of the inflammatory mediator NFkB has not been explored. Our aim was to determine the role of NFkB in SAH-induced activation of endothelial cells. Furthermore, we examined whether SAH, as a potent inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases, suppresses the function of EZH2 methyltransferase to contribute to SAH-induced endothelial cell activation. We found that excess SAH increases the expression of adhesion molecules and cytokines in human coronary artery endothelial cells. Importantly, this up-regulation was suppressed in cells expressing a dominant negative form of the NFkB inhibitor, IkB. Moreover, SAH accumulation triggers the activation of both the canonical and non-canonical NFkB pathways, decreases EZH2, and reduces histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation. EZH2 knockdown recapitulated the effects of excess SAH on endothelial activation, i.e., it induced NFkB activation and the subsequent up-regulation of adhesion molecules and cytokines. Our findings suggest that suppression of the epigenetic regulator EZH2 by excess SAH may contribute to NFkB activation and the consequent vascular inflammatory response. These studies unveil new targets of SAH regulation, demonstrating that EZH2 suppression and NFkB activation mediated by SAH accumulation may contribute to its adverse effects in the vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-92
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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