Background: Disturbed flow (d-flow)–induced senescence and activation of endothelial cells (ECs) have been suggested to have critical roles in promoting atherosclerosis. Telomeric repeat-binding factor 2 (TERF2)-interacting protein (TERF2IP), a member of the shelterin complex at the telomere, regulates the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), in which EC activation and senescence are engendered simultaneously by p90RSK-induced phosphorylation of TERF2IP S205 and subsequent nuclear export of the TERF2IP-TERF2 complex. In this study, we investigated TERF2IP-dependent gene expression and its role in regulating d-flow-induced SASP. Methods: A principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering were used to identify genes whose expression is regulated by TERF2IP in ECs under d-flow conditions. Senescence was determined by reduced telomere length, increased p53 and p21 expression, and increased apoptosis; EC activation was detected by NF-κB activation and the expression of adhesion molecules. The involvement of TERF2IP S205 phosphorylation in d-flow–induced SASP was assessed by depletion of TERF2IP and mutation of the phosphorylation site. Results: Our unbiased transcriptome analysis showed that TERF2IP caused alteration in the expression of a distinct set of genes, including rapamycin-insensitive companion of mTOR (RICTOR) and makorin-1 (MKRN1) ubiquitin E3 ligase, under d-flow conditions. In particular, both depletion of TERF2IP and overexpression of the TERF2IP S205A phosphorylation site mutant in ECs increased the d-flow and p90RSK-induced MKRN1 expression and subsequently inhibited apoptosis, telomere shortening, and NF-κB activation in ECs via suppression of p53, p21, and telomerase (TERT) induction. Conclusions: MKRN1 and RICTOR belong to a distinct reciprocal gene set that is both negatively and positively regulated by p90RSK. TERF2IP S205 phosphorylation, a downstream event of p90RSK activation, uniquely inhibits MKRN1 expression and contributes to EC activation and senescence, which are key events for atherogenesis.
- Senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP)
- Telomeric repeat binding factor 2-interacting protein (TERF2IP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism