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J Biol Chem. 2008 Apr 11;283(15):9595-605. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M710092200. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

Oxysterol and diabetes activate STAT3 and control endothelial expression of profilin-1 via OSBP1.

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  • 1Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Endothelial dysfunction plays a central role in diabetic vascular disease, but its molecular bases are not completely defined. We showed previously that the actin-binding protein proflin-1 was increased in the diabetic endothelium and that attenuated expression of profilin-1 protected against atherosclerosis. Also 7-ketocholesterol up-regulated profilin-1 in endothelial cells via transcriptional mechanisms. The present study addressed the pathways responsible for profilin-1 gene expression in 7-ketocholesterol-stimulated endothelial cells and in the diabetic aorta. In luciferase reporter assays, the response to 7-ketocholesterol within the 5'-flanking region of profilin-1 was dependent on a single STAT response element. In aortic endothelial cells, 7-ketocholesterol enhanced STAT3 activation, which required JAK2 and tyrosine 394 phosphorylation of oxysterol-binding protein-1. These changes were recapitulated in the aorta of diabetic rats. Also 7-ketocholesterol in cultured endothelial cells and diabetes in the aorta elicited the recruitment of STAT3 and relevant coregulatory factors to the oxysterol-responsive region of the profilin-1 promoter. These events were required for profilin-1 up-regulation. These studies identify a previously unrecognized oxysterol-binding protein-mediated mode of activation of STAT3 that controls the expression of the proatherogenic protein profilin-1 in response to 7-ketocholesterol and the diabetic milieu.

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