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HNF4alpha dysfunction as a molecular rational for cyclosporine induced hypertension

: Niehof, M.; Borlak, J.

Postprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-1530332 (616 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 15c63bee9069c6557e77fec29c082a75
Erstellt am: 15.2.2011

PLoS one. Online journal 6 (2011), Nr.1, Art. e16319, 9 S.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
HNF4alpha; cyclosporine; hypertension; transcription factor; gene expression regulation

Induction of tolerance against grafted organs is achieved by the immunosuppressive agent cyclosporine, a prominent member of the calcineurin inhibitors. Unfortunately, its lifetime use is associated with hypertension and nephrotoxicity. Several mechanism for cyclosporine induced hypertension have been proposed, i.e. activation of the sympathetic nervous system, endothelin-mediated systemic vasoconstriction, impaired vasodilatation secondary to reduction in prostaglandin and nitric oxide, altered cytosolic calcium translocation, and activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). In this regard the molecular basis for undue RAS activation and an increased signaling of the vasoactive oligopeptide angiotensin II (AngII) remain elusive. Notably, angiotensinogen (AGT) is the precursor of AngII and transcriptional regulation of AGT is controlled by the hepatic nuclear factor HNF4alpha. To better understand the molecular events associated with cyclosporine induced hypertension, we investigated the effect of cyclosporine on HNF4alpha expression and activity and searched for novel HNF4alpha target genes among members of the RAS cascade. Using bioinformatic algorithm and EMSA bandshift assays we identified angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1), angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE), and angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as genes targeted by HNF4alpha. Notably, cyclosporine represses HNF4alpha gene and protein expression and its DNA-binding activity at consensus sequences to AGT, AGTR1, ACE, and ACE2. Consequently, the gene expression of AGT, AGTR1, and ACE2 was significantly reduced as evidenced by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. While RAS is composed of a sophisticated interplay between multiple factors we propose a decrease of ACE2 to enforce AngII signaling via AGTR1 to ultimately result in vasoconstriction and hypertension. Taken collectively we demonstrate cyclosporine to repress HNF4alpha activity through calcineurin inhibitor mediated inhibition of nuclear factor of activation of T-cells (NFAT) which in turn represses HNF4alpha that leads to a disturbed balance of RAS.