Vascular stiffness mechanoactivates YAP/TAZ-dependent glutaminolysis to drive pulmonary hypertension

Thomas Bertero, William M. Oldham, Katherine A. Cottrill, Sabrina Pisano, Rebecca R. Vanderpool, Qiujun Yu, Jingsi Zhao, Yiyin Tai, Ying Tang, Ying Yi Zhang, Sofiya Rehman, Masataka Sugahara, Zhi Qi, John Gorcsan, Sara O. Vargas, Rajan Saggar, Rajeev Saggar, W. Dean Wallace, David J. Ross, Kathleen J. HaleyAaron B. Waxman, Victoria N. Parikh, Teresa De Marco, Priscilla Y. Hsue, Alison Morris, Marc A. Simon, Karen A. Norris, Cedric Gaggioli, Joseph Loscalzo, Joshua Fessel, Stephen Y. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dysregulation of vascular stiffness and cellular metabolism occurs early in pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, the mechanisms by which biophysical properties of the vascular extracellular matrix (ECM) relate to metabolic processes important in PH remain undefined. In this work, we examined cultured pulmonary vascular cells and various types of PHdiseased lung tissue and determined that ECM stiffening resulted in mechanoactivation of the transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ (WWTR1). YAP/TAZ activation modulated metabolic enzymes, including glutaminase (GLS1), to coordinate glutaminolysis and glycolysis. Glutaminolysis, an anaplerotic pathway, replenished aspartate for anabolic biosynthesis, which was critical for sustaining proliferation and migration within stiff ECM. In vitro, GLS1 inhibition blocked aspartate production and reprogrammed cellular proliferation pathways, while application of aspartate restored proliferation. In the monocrotaline rat model of PH, pharmacologic modulation of pulmonary vascular stiffness and YAP-dependent mechanotransduction altered glutaminolysis, pulmonary vascular proliferation, and manifestations of PH. Additionally, pharmacologic targeting of GLS1 in this model ameliorated disease progression. Notably, evaluation of simian immunodeficiency virus-infected nonhuman primates and HIV-infected subjects revealed a correlation between YAP/TAZ-GLS activation and PH. These results indicate that ECM stiffening sustains vascular cell growth and migration through YAP/TAZ-dependent glutaminolysis and anaplerosis, and thereby link mechanical stimuli to dysregulated vascular metabolism. Furthermore, this study identifies potential metabolic drug targets for therapeutic development in PH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3313-3335
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume126
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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