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Zinc deficiency promotes endothelin secretion and endothelial cell migration through nuclear hypoxia-inducible factor-1 translocation.

American journal of physiology. Cell physiology (2019-05-23)
Jessica Morand, Anne Briançon-Marjollet, Emeline Lemarie, Brigitte Gonthier, Josiane Arnaud, Irina Korichneva, Diane Godin-Ribuot
ABSTRACT

Zinc is involved in the expression and function of various transcription factors, including the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). HIF-1 and its target gene endothelin-1 (ET-1) are activated by intermittent hypoxia (IH), one of the main consequences of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and both play a key role in the cardiovascular consequences of IH. Because OSA and IH are associated with zinc deficiency, we investigated the effect of zinc deficiency caused by chelation on the HIF-1/ET-1 pathway and its functional consequences in endothelial cells. Primary human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) were incubated with submicromolar doses of the zinc-specific membrane-permeable chelator N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylene diamine (TPEN, 0.5 µM) or ET-1 (0.01 µM) with or without bosentan, a dual ET-1-receptor antagonist. HIF-1α expression was silenced by transfection with specific siRNA. Nuclear HIF-1 content was assessed by immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot. Migratory capacity of HMVEC was evaluated with a wound-healing scratch assay. Zinc chelation by TPEN exposure induced the translocation of the cytosolic HIF-1α subunit of HIF-1 to the nucleus as well as an HIF-1-mediated ET-1 secretion by HMVEC. Incubation with either TPEN or ET-1 increased endothelial wound-healing capacity. Both HIF-1α silencing or bosentan abolished this effect. Altogether, these results suggest that zinc deficiency upregulates ET-1 signaling through HIF-1 activation and stimulates endothelial cell migration, suggesting an important role of zinc in the vascular consequences of IH and OSA mediated by HIF-1-ET- signaling.