We previously reported that high pathophysiological concentrations of leptin, the adipocyte-secreted peptide, upregulates the expression of a potent proatherogenic matricellular protein, thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Moreover, this regulation was found to occur at the level of transcription; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. The goal of the present study was to investigate the specific transcriptional mechanisms that mediate upregulation of TSP-1 expression by leptin. Primary human aortic smooth muscle cell (HASMC) cultures were transiently transfected with different TSP-1 gene (THBS1) promoter linked-luciferase reporter constructs and luciferase activity in response to leptin (100ng/ml) was assessed. We identified a long THBS1 promoter (-1270/+750) fragment with specific leptin response elements that was required for increased TSP-1 transcription by leptin. Promoter analyses, protein/DNA array and gel shift assays demonstrated activation and association of transcription factors, interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), to the distal fragment of the THBS1 promoter in response to leptin. Supershift, chromatin immunoprecipitation and co-immunoprecipitation revealed formation of a single complex between IRF-1 and CREB in response to leptin; importantly, recruitment of this complex to the THBS1 promoter mediated leptin-induced TSP-1 transcription. Finally, binding sequence decoy oligomer and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that regulatory elements for both IRF-1 (-1019 to -1016) and CREB (-1198 to -1195), specific to the distal THBS1 promoter, were required for leptin-induced TSP-1 transcription. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that leptin promotes a co-operative association between IRF-1 and CREB on the THBS1 promoter driving TSP-1 transcription in VSMC.
- vascular smooth muscle cells
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology