Regulation of Cyclooxygenase Gene Expression by Glucocorticoids in Cardiomyocytes
AdvisorChen, Qin M
Committee ChairChen, Qin M
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractGlucocorticoids (GCs) are endogenous steroid hormones that regulate a number of critical physiological processes. Psychological stress increases the level of GCs in the circulating system. The biological effect of elevated GCs on the heart is not well understood. We found that GCs induced Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2 gene expression in cardiomyocytes. COX-1 or COX-2 encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of prostanoids, which modulate crucial physiological and pathophysiological responses. The present studies aim to elucidate the signaling transduction pathway and the mechanism underlying GC induced COX expression.Our data demonstrate that GCs activate COX-1 gene expression through transcriptional regulation. COX-1 gene promoter studies support a role of Sp binding site in CT induced COX-1 gene expression. The nuclear protein binding to this site appears to be Sp3 transcription factor. Co-immunoprecipitation assays indicated a physical interaction between GR and Sp3 protein. Silencing of Sp3 transcription factor with small interfering RNA suppressed CT-induced COX-1 promoter activation. These data suggest that the activated GR interacts with Sp3 transcription factor that binds to COX-1 promoter to up-regulate COX-1 gene expression in cardiomyocytes.We also found that administration of GC in adult mice increased the level of COX-2 in the ventricles. With isolated neonatal cardiomyocytes, corticosterone (CT) induces the transcription of COX-2 gene. This response appears to be cardiomyocyte cell type specific and GC receptor (GR)-dependent. CT causes activation of p38 MAPK and subsequently CREB phosphorylation that mediates COX-2 gene expression. Mifepristone, a GR antagonist, failed to inhibit p38 and CREB activation and p38 inhibition failed to prevent activation of GR. These data suggest that two parallel signaling pathways, GR and p38 MAPK, act in concert to regulate the expression of COX-2 gene in cardiomyocytes.In addition to the investigation of mechanism and signaling transduction pathway, I have explored pharmacological agents that modulate COX expression. LY294002, a commonly used PI3K inhibitor, inhibited COX-2 gene expression via a PI3K-independent mechanism. Whereas GSK-3 inhibitors, such as lithium chloride, upregulated COX-2 gene expression, but suppressed GC-induced COX-1 expression. These data have paved the foundation for pharmacological manipulation of COX-1 and COX-2 gene expression in the heart.
Degree ProgramPharmacology & Toxicology