Adverse Epigenetic Signatures by Histone Methyltransferase Set7 Contribute to Vascular Dysfunction in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes MellitusCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
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Background—Cellular studies showed that histone methyltransferase Set7 mediates high glucose–induced inflammation via epigenetic regulation of the transcription factor NF-kB. However, the link between Set7 and vascular dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus remains unknown. This study was designed to investigate whether Set7 contributes to vascular dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods and Results—Set7-driven epigenetic changes on NF-kB p65 promoter and expression of NF-kB-dependent genes, cyclooxygenase 2 and inducible endothelial nitric oxide synthase, were assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from 68 subjects (44 patients with T2DM and 24 age-matched controls). Brachial artery flow–mediated dilation, 24-hour urinary levels of 8-isoprostaglandin F2α, and plasma adhesion molecules, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, were also determined. Experiments in human aortic endothelial cells exposed to high glucose were performed to elucidate the mechanisms of Set7-driven inflammation and oxidative stress. Set7 expression increased in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with T2DM when compared with controls. Patients with T2DM showed Set7-dependent monomethylation of lysine 4 of histone 3 on NF-kB p65 promoter. This epigenetic signature was associated with upregulation of NF-kB, subsequent transcription of oxidant/inflammatory genes, and increased plasma levels of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Interestingly, we found that Set7 expression significantly correlated with oxidative marker 8-isoprostaglandin F2α (r=0.38; P=0.01) and flow-mediated dilation (r=−0.34; P=0.04). In human aortic endothelial cells, silencing of Set7 prevented monomethylation of lysine 4 of histone 3 and abolished NF-kB-dependent oxidant and inflammatory signaling.
Conclusions—Set7-induced epigenetic changes contribute to vascular dysfunction in patients with T2DM. Targeting this chromatin-modifying enzyme may represent a novel therapeutic approach to prevent atherosclerotic vascular disease in this setting.
- Received April 30, 2014.
- Accepted October 16, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.