Abstract 251: Investigating the Role of the Hexosamine Biosynthesis Pathway in Diabetic Atherosclerosis
Background: Diabetes mellitus dramatically increases the risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. We have established that chronic hyperglycemia promotes an increase in glucose flux through the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP). Central to this pathway is glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT), the rate-limiting enzyme controlling the conversion of glucose to glucosamine. We have shown that glucosamine is a potent inducer of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER. Chronic ER stress can initiate a multifaceted, cell-specific, response that results in lipid accumulation, inflammation and apoptosis: the hallmark features of atherosclerosis. We hypothesize that conditions of chronic hyperglycemia, associated with diabetes mellitus, can accelerate the development of atherosclerosis by a mechanism that involves increased HBP flux resulting in glucosamine-induced ER stress and the subsequent activation of pro-atherogenic pathways.
Results: STZ-induced hyperglycemic and glucosamine supplemented apoE-/- mice had significantly larger and more advanced atherosclerotic lesions compared to the control mice. Indications of ER stress were increased in atherosclerotic lesions of hyperglycemic and glucosamine-supplemented mice but not in the controls. In glucosamine-supplemented mice the accelerated atherosclerosis was independent of detectable changes in blood glucose concentration, glucose tolerance, plasma insulin, or plasma lipid levels. Treatment with either valproate or 4-phenylbutyrate, two small molecules that have been shown to block ER stress signaling, attenuated hyperglycemic and glucosamine-induced atherogenesis. Our data suggest that elevated concentrations of glucose/glucosamine induce ER stress by interfering with lipid-linked oligosaccharide biosynthesis and N-linked glycosylation.
Conclusions: Similar to hyperglycemia, glucosamine-supplementation promotes ER stress and accelerated atherosclerosis in apoE-/- mice. These findings support a model by which conditions of hyperglycemia promote vascular complications via a glucosamine-intermediate.
Author Disclosures: D. Beriault: None. G. Werstuck: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.