Vascular Smooth Muscle LRP6 Limits Arteriosclerotic Calcification in Diabetic LDLR-/- Mice by Restraining Noncanonical Wnt Signals
Rationale: Wnt signaling regulates key aspects of diabetic vascular disease.
Objective: We generated SM22-Cre;LRP6(fl/fl);LDLR-/- mice to determine contributions of Wnt co-receptor LRP6 in the vascular smooth muscle lineage (VSM) of male LDLR-null mice, a background susceptible to diet (HFD) - induced diabetic arteriosclerosis.
Methods and Results: As compared to LRP6(fl/fl);LDLR-/- controls, SM22-Cre;LRP6(fl/fl);LDLR-/- (LRP6-VKO) siblings exhibited increased aortic calcification on HFD without changes in fasting glucose, lipids, or body composition. Pulse wave velocity (index of arterial stiffness) was also increased. Vascular calcification paralleled enhanced aortic osteochondrogenic programs and circulating osteopontin (OPN), a matricellular regulator of arteriosclerosis. Survey of ligands and Frizzled (Fzd) receptor profiles in LRP6-VKO revealed upregulation of canonical and noncanonical Wnts alongside Fzd10. Fzd10 stimulated noncanonical signaling and OPN promoter activity via an USF-activated cognate inhibited by LRP6. RNAi revealed that USF1 but not USF2 supports OPN expression in LRP6-VKO VSM, and immunoprecipitation confirmed increased USF1 association with OPN chromatin. ML141, an antagonist of cdc42/Rac1 noncanonical signaling, inhibited USF1 activation, osteochondrogenic programs, alkaline phosphatase, and VSM calcification. Mass spectrometry identified LRP6 binding to protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) - 1, and nuclear asymmetric dimethylarginine modification was increased with LRP6-VKO. RNAi demonstrated that PRMT1 inhibits OPN and TNAP while PRMT4 supports expression. USF1 complexes containing the H3R17Me2a signature of PRMT4 are increased with LRP6-VKO. Jmjd6, a demethylase downregulated with LRP6 deficiency, inhibits OPN and TNAP expression, USF1:H3R17Me2a complex formation and transactivation.
Conclusions: LRP6 restrains VSM noncanonical signals that promote osteochondrogenic differentiation, mediated in part via USF1- and arginine methylation - dependent relays.
- Protein arginine methylation
- vascular calcification
- type 2 diabetes mellitus
- transcriptional regulation
- signal transduction
- Received April 20, 2015.
- Revision received May 26, 2015.
- Accepted May 28, 2015.