International journal of molecular medicine

Arg⁹⁷² insulin receptor substrate-1 inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression in human endothelial cells by upregulating microRNA-155.

PMID 25902041


The dysregulation of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis attributable to the abnormal expression/activity of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) is considered to be a major characteristic of insulin-resistant states, as well as an essential contributor to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. The Arg972 insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) is associated with insulin resistance. In the present study, we investigated the association between Arg972 IRS-1 and eNOS expression/activity in human subjects and in primary cultures of human endothelial cells. Data from 832 human subjects revealed that heterozygous and homozygous Arg972 IRS-1 carriers had significantly lower levels of plasma eNOS and nitrite/nitrate than the homozygous wild-type (WT) IRS-1 carriers. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) established from delivering mothers expressing heterozygous Arg972 IRS-1 had significantly lower eNOS expression/activity and higher miR-155 levels than those expressing WT homozygous IRS-1. The overexpression of IRS-1 and Arg972 IRS-1 in the HUVECs, respectively, decreased and increased the miR-155 expression level. In addition, the overexpression of IRS-1 in the HUVECs significantly increased eNOS expression; this effect was reversed by transfection with mature miR-155 mimic or treatment with the selective phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, BKM120. On the other hand, the overexpression of Arg972 IRS-1 markedly decreased eNOS expression and this effect was reversed by transfection with antagomir-155. On the whole, our in vivo data demonstrate that Arg972 IRS-1 is associated with decreased plasma eNOS and nitrite/nitrate levels in human subjects. Our in vitro data demonstrate that Arg972 IRS-1 inhibits eNOS expression in human endothelial cells by upregulating miR-155 expression through the impairment of PI3K signaling. The present study provides new insight into the pathophysiological role of Arg972 IRS-1 in cardiovascular diseases.