3'UTR shortening of HAS2 promotes hyaluronan hyper-synthesis and bioenergetic dysfunction in pulmonary hypertension.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) comprises a diverse group of disorders that share a common pathway of pulmonary vascular remodeling leading to right ventricular failure. Development of anti-remodeling strategies is an emerging frontier in PH therapeutics that requires a greater understanding of the interactions between vascular wall cells and their extracellular matrices. The ubiquitous matrix glycan, hyaluronan (HA), is markedly elevated in lungs from patients and experimental models with PH. Herein, we identified HA synthase-2 (HAS2) in the pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) layer as a predominant locus of HA dysregulation. HA upregulation involves depletion of NUDT21, a master regulator of alternative polyadenylation, resulting in 3'UTR shortening and hyper-expression of HAS2. The ensuing increase of HAS2 and hyper-synthesis of HA promoted bioenergetic dysfunction of PASMC characterized by impaired mitochondrial oxidative capacity and a glycolytic shift. The resulting HA accumulation stimulated pro-remodeling phenotypes such as cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis-resistance, and stimulated pulmonary artery contractility. Transgenic mice, mimicking HAS2 hyper-synthesis in smooth muscle cells, developed spontaneous PH, whereas targeted deletion of HAS2 prevented experimental PH. Pharmacological blockade of HAS2 restored normal bioenergetics in PASMC, ameliorated cell remodeling phenotypes, and reversed experimental PH in vivo. In summary, our results uncover a novel mechanism of HA hyper-synthesis and downstream effects on pulmonary vascular cell metabolism and remodeling.





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Publication Info

Tseng, Victor, Scott D Collum, Ayed Allawzi, Kathryn Crotty, Samantha Yeligar, Aaron Trammell, M Ryan Smith, Bum-Yong Kang, et al. (2022). 3'UTR shortening of HAS2 promotes hyaluronan hyper-synthesis and bioenergetic dysfunction in pulmonary hypertension. Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology, 111. p. S0945-053X(22)00075-0. 10.1016/j.matbio.2022.06.001 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25429.

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Jennifer Leigh Ingram

Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Ingram's research interests focus on the study of airway remodeling in human asthma. Proliferation, migration, and invasion of airway fibroblasts are key features of airway remodeling that contribute to diminished lung function over time. Dr. Ingram uses molecular biology approaches to define the effects of interleukin-13 (IL-13), a cytokine abundantly produced in the asthmatic airway, in the human airway fibroblast. She has identified important regulatory functions of several proteins prevalent in asthma that control fibroblast growth and pro-fibrotic growth factor production in response to IL-13. By understanding these pathways and their role in human asthma and the chronic effects of airway remodeling, novel treatment strategies may be developed.

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