Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Connexin43 siRNA promotes HUVEC proliferation and inhibits apoptosis induced by ox-LDL: an involvement of ERK signaling pathway.

PMID 24833468


Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), one of the most important risk factors of atherosclerosis, is a highly antigenic, potent chemoattractant that facilitates the development of atherosclerosis. Gap junctions also play an important in the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we investigated the effects of ox-LDL on connexin43 and the mechanisms of connexin43 siRNA-inhibited apoptosis induced by ox-LDL in human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC), to clarify the role of connexin43 in atherosclerosis. Our results showed that ox-LDL significantly inhibited the growth and promoted apoptosis of HUVEC in a dose-dependent manner. Also, ox-LDL upregulated the expression of connexin43. Furthermore, knockdown connexin43 by siRNA promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis in ox-LDL-stimulated HUVEC. Moreover, the level of phosphor-ERK1/2 and connexin43 was remarkably attenuated by a ERK pathway inhibitor (PD98059). These results suggest that connexin43 siRNA promotes HUVEC proliferation and inhibits apoptosis induced by ox-LDL, and ERK signaling pathway appears to be involved in these processes.