NYMC Faculty Publications

Reactive Oxygen Species Differentially Modulate the Metabolic and Transcriptomic Response of Endothelial Cells

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important mediators of both physiological and pathophysiological signal transduction in the cardiovascular system. The effects of ROS on cellular processes depend on the concentration, localization, and duration of exposure. Cellular stress response mechanisms have evolved to mitigate the negative effects of acute oxidative stress. In this study, we investigate the short-term and long-term metabolic and transcriptomic response of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) to different types and concentrations of ROS. To generate intracellular HO, we utilized a lentiviral chemogenetic approach for overexpression of human D-amino acid oxidase (DAO). DAO converts D-amino acids into their corresponding imino acids and HO. HUVEC stably overexpressing DAO (DAO-HUVEC) were exposed to D-alanine (3 mM), exogenous HO (10 µM or 300 µM), or menadione (5 µM) for various timepoints and subjected to global untargeted metabolomics (LC-MS/MS) and RNAseq by MACE (Massive analysis of cDNA ends). A total of 300 µM HO led to pronounced changes on both the metabolic and transcriptomic level. In particular, metabolites linked to redox homeostasis, energy-generating pathways, and nucleotide metabolism were significantly altered. Furthermore, 300 µM HO affected genes related to the p53 pathway and cell cycle. In comparison, the effects of menadione and DAO-derived HO mainly occurred at gene expression level. Collectively, all types of ROS led to subtle changes in the expression of ribosomal genes. Our results show that different types and concentration of ROS lead to a different metabolic and transcriptomic response in endothelial cells.