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Articles by B Liang
Total Records ( 2 ) for B Liang
  J Du , J Xie , Z Zhang , H Tsujikawa , D Fusco , D Silverman , B Liang and L. Yue

Rationale: Cardiac fibrosis contributes to pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation (AF), which is the most commonly sustained arrhythmia and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although it has been suggested that Ca2+ signals are involved in fibrosis promotion, the molecular basis of Ca2+ signaling mechanisms and how Ca2+ signals contribute to fibrogenesis remain unknown.

Objective: To determine the molecular mechanisms of Ca2+-permeable channel(s) in human atrial fibroblasts, and to investigate how Ca2+ signals contribute to fibrogenesis in human AF.

Methods and Results: We demonstrate that the transient receptor potential (TRP) melastatin related 7 (TRPM7) is the molecular basis of the major Ca2+-permeable channel in human atrial fibroblasts. Endogenous TRPM7 currents in atrial fibroblasts resemble the biophysical and pharmacological properties of heterologous expressed TRPM7. Knocking down TRPM7 by small hairpin RNA largely eliminates TRPM7 current and Ca2+ influx in atrial fibroblasts. More importantly, atrial fibroblasts from AF patients show a striking upregulation of both TRPM7 currents and Ca2+ influx and are more prone to myofibroblast differentiation, presumably attributable to the enhanced expression of TRPM7. TRPM7 small hairpin RNA markedly reduced basal AF fibroblast differentiation. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, the major stimulator of atrial fibrosis, requires TRPM7-mediated Ca2+ signal for its effect on fibroblast proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, TGF-β1–induced differentiation of cultured human atrial fibroblasts is well correlated with an increase of TRPM7 expression induced by TGF-β1.

Conclusions: Our results establish that TRPM7 is the major Ca2+-permeable channel in human atrial fibroblasts and likely plays an essential role in TGF-β1–elicited fibrogenesis in human AF.

  S Wang , M Zhang , B Liang , J Xu , Z Xie , C Liu , B Viollet , D Yan and M. H. Zou

Rational: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor and ubiquitously expressed in vascular cells. Recent studies suggest that AMPK activation improves endothelial function by counteracting oxidative stress in endothelial cells. How AMPK suppresses oxidative stress remains to be established.

Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the effects of AMPK in regulating NAD(P)H oxidase, oxidative stress, and endothelial function.

Methods and Results: The markers of oxidative stress, NAD(P)H oxidase subunit expression (gp91phox, p47phox, p67phox, NOX1 to -4), NAD(P)H oxidase–mediated superoxide production, 26S proteasome activity, IB degradation, and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-B (p50 and p65) were examined in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and mouse aortas isolated from AMPK2 deficient mice. Compared to the wild type, acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation was significantly impaired in parallel with increased production of oxidants in AMPK2–/– mice. Further, pretreatment of aorta with either superoxide dismutase (SOD) or tempol or apocynin significantly improved acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation in AMPK2–/– mice. Analysis of aortic endothelial cells from AMPK2–/– mice and human umbilical vein endothelial cells expressing dominant negative AMPK or AMPK2-specific siRNA revealed that loss of AMPK activity increased NAD(P)H oxidase subunit expression (gp91phox, p47phox, p67phox, NOX1 and -4), NAD(P)H oxidase–mediated superoxide production, 26S proteasome activity, IB degradation, and nuclear translocation of NF-B (p50 and p65), whereas AMPK activation by AICAR or overexpression of constitutively active AMPK had the opposite effect. Consistently, we found that genetic deletion of AMPK2 in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLr–/–) strain markedly increased 26S proteasome activity, IB degradation, NF-B transactivation, NAD(P)H oxidase subunit overexpression, oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction, all of which were largely suppressed by chronic administration of MG132, a potent cell permeable proteasome inhibitor.

Conclusions: We conclude that AMPK2 functions as a physiological suppressor of NAD(P)H oxidase and ROS production in endothelial cells. In this way, AMPK maintains the nonatherogenic and noninflammatory phenotype of endothelial cells.

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