The novel exchange protein activated by cyclic AMP 1 (EPAC1) agonist, I942, regulates inflammatory gene expression in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs)

Jolanta Wiejak, Boy Van Basten, Urszula Luchowska-Stańska, Graham Hamilton, Stephen J. Yarwood

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Abstract

Exchange protein activated by cyclic AMP (EPAC1) suppresses multiple inflammatory actions in vascular endothelial cells (VECs), partly due to its ability to induce expression of the suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) gene, the protein product of which inhibits interleukin 6 (IL6) signalling through the JAK/STAT3 pathway. Here, for the first time, we use the non-cyclic nucleotide EPAC1 agonist, I942, to determine its actions on cellular EPAC1 activity and cyclic AMP-regulated gene expression in VECs. We demonstrate that I942 promotes EPAC1 and Rap1 activation in HEK293T cells and induces SOCS3 expression and suppresses IL6-stimulated JAK/STAT3 signalling in HUVECs. SOCS3 induction by I942 in HUVECs was blocked by the EPAC1 antagonist, ESI-09, and EPAC1 siRNA, but not by the broad-spectrum protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, H89, indicating that I942 regulates SOCS3 gene expression through EPAC1. RNA sequencing was carried out to further identify I942-regulated genes in HUVECs. This identified 425 I942-regulated genes that were also regulated by the EPAC1-selective cyclic AMP analogue, 007, and the cyclic AMP-elevating agents, forskolin and rolipram (F/R). The majority of genes identified were suppressed by I942, 007 and F/R treatment and many were involved in the control of key vascular functions, including the gene for the cell adhesion molecule, VCAM1. I942 and 007 also inhibited IL6-induced expression of VCAM1 at the protein level and blocked VCAM1-dependent monocyte adhesion to HUVECs. Overall, I942 represents the first non-cyclic nucleotide EPAC1 agonist in cells with the ability to suppress IL6 signalling and inflammatory gene expression in VECs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-276
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research
Volume1866
Issue number2
Early online date9 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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Keywords

  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • Cyclic AMP
  • EPAC1
  • Inflammation
  • Transcriptome
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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