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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Feb;33(2):321-9. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.300619. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Phosphorylation of protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 (PIAS1) by MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 inhibits endothelial inflammation via increasing both PIAS1 transrepression and SUMO E3 ligase activity.

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  • 1Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute and Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



Protein inhibitor of activated signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (PIAS1) is known to function as small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) E3 ligase as well as transrepressor. The aim of the study is to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms for these 2 different functions, especially with respect to endothelial inflammation.


The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-activated protein kinase-2 is a proinflammatory kinase and phosphorylates PIAS1 at the Ser522 residue. Activation of MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 enhances p53-SUMOylation, but a PIAS1 phosphorylation mutant, PIAS1-S522A, abolished this p53-SUMOylation, suggesting a critical role for PIAS1-S522 phosphorylation in its SUMO ligase activity. Because nuclear p53 can inhibit Kruppel-like factor 2 promoter activity, we investigated the roles for PIAS1 phosphorylation and p53-SUMOylation in the Kruppel-like factor 2 and endothelial NO synthase expression. Both MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 and PIAS1 overexpression increased Kruppel-like factor 2 promoter activity and endothelial NO synthase expression, which were inhibited by expressing a p53-SUMOylation defective mutant, p53-K386R, and PIAS1-S522A. PIAS1-S522A also abolished the anti-inflammatory effect of wild-type PIAS1 in vitro and also in vivo, which was examined by leukocyte rolling in microvessels of skin grafts transduced by adenovirus encoding PIAS1-WT or - S522A mutant.


Our study has identified a novel negative feedback regulatory pathway through which MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 limits endothelial inflammation via the PIAS1 S522 phosphorylation-mediated increase in PIAS1 transrepression and SUMO ligase activity.

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