Whole-Transcriptome Sequencing Analyses of Nuclear Antixoxidant-1 in Endothelial Cells: Role in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis

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Inflammation, oxidative stress, and copper (Cu) play an important role in cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis. We previously reported that cytosolic Cu chaperone antioxidant-1 (Atox1) translocates to the nucleus in response to inflammatory cytokines or exogenous Cu and that Atox1 is localized at the nucleus in the endothelium of inflamed atherosclerotic aorta. However, the roles of nuclear Atox1 and their function are poorly understood. Here we showed that Atox1 deficiency in ApoE−/− mice with a Western diet exhibited a significant reduction of atherosclerotic lesion formation. In vitro, adenovirus-mediated overexpression of nuclear-targeted Atox1 (Ad-Atox1-NLS) in cultured human endothelial cells (ECs) increased monocyte adhesion and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production compared to control cells (Ad-null). To address the underlying mechanisms, we performed genome-wide mapping of Atox1-regulated targets in ECs, using an unbiased systemic approach integrating sequencing data. Combination of ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq analyses in ECs transfected with Ad-Atox1-NLS or Ad-null identified 1387 differentially expressed genes (DEG). Motif enrichment assay and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that 248 differentially expressed genes, including inflammatory and angiogenic genes, were regulated by Atox1-NLS, which was then confirmed by real-time qPCR. Among these genes, functional analysis of inflammatory responses identified CD137, CSF1, and IL5RA as new nuclear Atox1-targeted inflammatory genes, while CD137 is also a key regulator of Atox1-NLS-induced ROS production. These findings uncover new nuclear Atox1 downstream targets involved in inflammation and ROS production and provide insights into the nuclear Atox1 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2919
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • ROS
  • antioxidant-1
  • atherosclerosis
  • copper
  • endothelial cells
  • inflammation
  • transcriptome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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