Abstract 291: Upregulation of Multiple DNA Methyltransferase Isoforms is Associated With Tissue Inflammation in Human Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a degenerative condition of the aorta characterized by aortic dilatation secondary to tissue inflammation and matrix remodeling, which ultimately progresses to aortic dissection and rupture. While recent work suggests that in vitro exposure to pro-inflammatory stimuli promotes DNMT3b-dependent DNA methylation in skeletal muscle, epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression in TAA remain largely uncharacterized. We therefore tested the hypothesis that expression of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is increased in human TAA tissue and that such increases are associated with upregulation of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) levels. Normal aortic samples (n=13) were acquired from non-aneurysmal hearts/aorta not suitable for cardiac transplant, whereas TAA samples from patients with tricuspid aortic valves (n=29) were acquired from patients undergoing elective surgery for aortic aneurysm. We measured relative expression of TNF-α, DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b mRNA levels in normal and TAA tissue by qRT-PCR, and DNMT3b protein levels by western blot. Marked increases in expression of the inflammatory marker TNF-α were noted in TAA tissue (12.3± 2.34), and were associated with significantly increased DNMT1 (1.4±0.13), DNMT3a (1.44±0.09) and DNMT3b (1.94±0.27) mRNA levels (p<0.05 for all). DNMT3b protein levels were also dramatically increased in human TAA samples (2.99±0.58-fold, n = 10/group, p<0.05) when compared to normal aortic tissue. Collectively, these data suggest a novel potential role for DNA methyltransferases as major regulators of altered gene expression in TAA, and support our working hypothesis that inflammation-induced increases in DNMT3b levels may be critical repressors of protective gene expression in TAA.
Author Disclosures: M.A. Hagler: None. A.H. Jbeli: None. M. Kunkala: None. C.M. Roos: None. T.M. Sundt: None. J.D. Miller: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.