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Circulation. 2012 Feb 28;125(8):1014-26. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.041830. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

C/EBP homologous protein-10 (CHOP-10) limits postnatal neovascularization through control of endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK.



C/EBP homologous protein-10 (CHOP-10) is a novel developmentally regulated nuclear protein that emerges as a critical transcriptional integrator among pathways regulating differentiation, proliferation, and survival. In the present study, we analyzed the role of CHOP-10 in postnatal neovascularization.


Ischemia was induced by right femoral artery ligation in wild-type and CHOP-10(-/-) mice. In capillary structure of skeletal muscle, CHOP-10 mRNA and protein levels were upregulated by ischemia and diabetes mellitus. Angiographic score, capillary density, and foot perfusion were increased in CHOP-10(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. This effect was associated with a reduction in apoptosis and an upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) levels in ischemic legs of CHOP-10(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. In agreement with these results, eNOS mRNA and protein levels were significantly upregulated in CHOP-10 short interfering RNA-transfected human endothelial cells, whereas overexpression of CHOP-10 inhibited basal transcriptional activation of the eNOS promoter. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we also showed that CHOP-10 was bound to the eNOS promoter. Interestingly, enhanced postischemic neovascularization in CHOP-10(-/-) mice was fully blunted in CHOP-10/eNOS double-knockout animals. Finally, we showed that induction of diabetes mellitus is associated with a marked upregulation of CHOP-10 that substantially inhibited postischemic neovascularization.


This study identifies CHOP-10 as an important transcription factor modulating vessel formation and maturation.

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