A Common Polymorphism in EC-SOD Affects Cardiopulmonary Disease Risk by Altering Protein Distribution
Background—The enzyme extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD; SOD3) is a major antioxidant defense in lung and vasculature. A nonsynonomous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in EC-SOD (rs1799895) leads to an arginine to glycine (Arg→Gly) amino acid substitution at position 213 (R213G) in the heparin-binding domain (HBD). In recent human genetic association studies, this SNP attenuates the risk of lung disease, yet paradoxically increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Methods and Results—Capitalizing on the complete sequence homology between human and mouse in the HBD, we created an analogous R213G SNP knockin mouse. The R213G SNP did not change enzyme activity, but shifted the distribution of EC-SOD from lung and vascular tissue to extracellular fluid (e.g. bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and plasma). This shift reduces susceptibility to lung disease (lipopolysaccharide-induced lung injury) and increases susceptibility to cardiopulmonary disease (chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension).
Conclusions—We conclude that EC-SOD provides optimal protection when localized to the compartment subjected to extracellular oxidative stress: thus, the redistribution of EC-SOD from the lung and pulmonary circulation to the extracellular fluids is beneficial in alveolar lung disease but detrimental in pulmonary vascular disease. These findings account for the discrepant risk associated with R213G in humans with lung diseases compared with cardiovascular diseases.
- Received August 20, 2013.
- Revision received May 13, 2014.
- Accepted June 16, 2014.