Publications by authors named "Anahita Mojiri"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Telomerase therapy reverses vascular senescence and extends lifespan in progeria mice.

Eur Heart J 2021 Aug 14. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Houston Methodist Research Institute, 6670 Bertner Ave., R10-South, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Aims: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is an accelerated ageing syndrome associated with premature vascular disease and death due to heart attack and stroke. In HGPS a mutation in lamin A (progerin) alters nuclear morphology and gene expression. Current therapy increases the lifespan of these children only modestly. Thus, greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms of HGPS is required to improve therapy. Endothelial cells (ECs) differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from these patients exhibit hallmarks of senescence including replication arrest, increased expression of inflammatory markers, DNA damage, and telomere erosion. We hypothesized that correction of shortened telomeres may reverse these measures of vascular ageing.

Methods And Results: We generated ECs from iPSCs belonging to children with HGPS and their unaffected parents. Telomerase mRNA (hTERT) was used to treat HGPS ECs. Endothelial morphology and functions were assessed, as well as proteomic and transcriptional profiles with attention to inflammatory markers, DNA damage, and EC identity genes. In a mouse model of HGPS, we assessed the effects of lentiviral transfection of mTERT on measures of senescence, focusing on the EC phenotype in various organs. hTERT treatment of human HGPS ECs improved replicative capacity; restored endothelial functions such as nitric oxide generation, acetylated low-density lipoprotein uptake and angiogenesis; and reduced the elaboration of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, hTERT treatment improved cellular and nuclear morphology, in association with a normalization of the transcriptional profile, effects that may be mediated in part by a reduction in progerin expression and an increase in sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). Progeria mice treated with mTERT lentivirus manifested similar improvements, with a reduction in inflammatory and DNA damage markers and increased SIRT1 in their vasculature and other organs. Furthermore, mTERT therapy increased the lifespan of HGPS mice.

Conclusion: Vascular rejuvenation using telomerase mRNA is a promising approach for progeria and other age-related diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab547DOI Listing
August 2021

Caveats on modeling of nuclear biomechanics.

Mol Biol Cell 2020 10;31(22):2421-2422

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E20-05-0281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7851855PMC
October 2020

Dysfunction of iPSC-derived endothelial cells in human Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

Cell Cycle 2019 Oct 14;18(19):2495-2508. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Houston Methodist Research Institute , Houston , TX , USA.

Children with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) succumb to myocardial infarction and stroke in their teen years. Endothelial dysfunction is an early event in more common forms of atherosclerosis. Endothelial pathobiology may contribute to HGPS, but a comprehensive characterization of endothelial function in HGPS has not been performed. iPSCs derived from fibroblasts of HGPS patients or unaffected relatives were differentiated into endothelial cells (ECs). Immunofluorescent signal of the pluripotent stem cell markers SSEA4, Oct4, Sox2 and TRAI-60 was similar in HGPS or control iPSCs. Following the differentiation, FACS analysis and immunocytochemistry for CD31 and CD144 revealed a smaller percentage of ECs from HGPS iPSCs. Immunostaining for Lamin A revealed nuclear dysmorphology in HGPS iPSC-ECs. Furthermore, these cells were significantly larger and rounded, and they proliferated less, features which are typical of senescent endothelial cells. HGPS iPSC-ECs manifested less Dil-Ac-LDL uptake; less DAF-2DA staining for nitric oxide generation and formed fewer networks in matrigel . In immunodeficient mice injected with iPSC-ECs, HGPS iPSC-ECs generated a sparser vascular network compared to the control, with reduced capillary number. Telomere length (T/S ratio) of HGPS iPSC-EC was reduced as assessed by mmqPCR. iPSC-ECs derived from HGPS patients have dysmorphic appearance, abnormal nuclear morphology, shortened telomeres, reduced replicative capacity and impaired functions in vitro and in vivo. Targeting the endothelial abnormality in patients with HGPS may provide a new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of this condition. HGPS: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome; ZMPSTE24: Zinc metallopeptidase STE24; FTI: Farnesyltransferase inhibitors; VSMCs: Vascular smooth muscle cells; iPSC: Induced pluripotent stem cells; EC: Endothelial cells; hTERT: Human telomerase reverse transcriptase; VEGF: vascular endothelial growth factor; DAF-FM DA: 3-Amino, 4-aminomethyl-2',7'-difluorofluorescein diacetate; BMP4: Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4; mmqPCR: mono chrome multiplex PCR; SCG: single-copy gene; CSI: Cell shape index.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15384101.2019.1651587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6738911PMC
October 2019

Regulation of von Willebrand Factor Gene in Endothelial Cells That Are Programmed to Pluripotency and Differentiated Back to Endothelial Cells.

Stem Cells 2019 04 1;37(4):542-554. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Endothelial cells play a central role in physiological function and pathophysiology of blood vessels in health and disease. However, the molecular mechanism that establishes the endothelial phenotype, and contributes to its signature cell type-specific gene expression, is not yet understood. We studied the regulation of a highly endothelial-specific gene, von Willebrand factor (VWF), in induced pluripotent stem cells generated from primary endothelial cells (human umbilical vein endothelial cells [HUVEC] into a pluripotent state [HiPS]) and subsequently differentiated back into endothelial cells. This allowed us to explore how VWF expression is regulated when the endothelial phenotype is revoked (endothelial cells to HiPS), and re-established (HiPS back to endothelial cells [EC-Diff]). HiPS were generated from HUVECs, their pluripotency established, and then differentiated back to endothelial cells. We established phenotypic characteristics and robust angiogenic function of EC-Diff. Gene array analyses, VWF chromatin modifications, and transacting factors binding assays were performed on the three cell types (HUVEC, HiPS, and EC-Diff). The results demonstrated that generally cohorts of transacting factors that function as transcriptional activators, and those that contribute to histone acetylation and DNA demethylation, were significantly decreased in HiPS compared with HUVECs and EC-Diff. In contrast, there were significant increases in the gene expression levels of epigenetic modifiers that function as methyl transferases in HiPS compared with endothelial cells. The results demonstrated that alterations in chromatin modifications of the VWF gene, in addition to expression and binding of transacting factors that specifically function as activators, are responsible for establishing endothelial specific regulation of the VWF gene. Stem Cells 2019;37:542-554.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.2978DOI Listing
April 2019

Endothelial cells of different organs exhibit heterogeneity in von Willebrand factor expression in response to hypoxia.

Atherosclerosis 2019 03 12;282:1-10. Epub 2019 Jan 12.

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: We have previously demonstrated that in response to hypoxia, von Willebrand factor (VWF) expression is upregulated in lung and heart endothelial cells both in vitro and in vivo, but not in kidney endothelial cells. The aim of our current study was to determine whether endothelial cells of different organs employ distinct molecular mechanisms to mediate VWF response to hypoxia.

Methods: We used cultured human primary lung, heart and kidney endothelial cells to determine the activation of endogenous VWF as well as exogenously expressed VWF promoter in response to hypoxia. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and siRNA knockdown analyses were used to determine the roles of VWF promoter associated transacting factors in mediating its hypoxia response. Platelet aggregates formations in vascular beds of mice were used as a marker for potential functional consequences of hypoxia-induced VWF upregulation in vivo.

Results: Our analyses demonstrated that while Yin Yang 1 (YY1) and specificity protein 1 (Sp1) participate in the hypoxia-induced upregulation of VWF specifically in lung endothelial cells, GATA6 mediates this process specifically in heart endothelial cells. In both cell types, the response to hypoxia involves the decreased association of the NFIB repressor with the VWF promoter, and the increased acetylation of the promoter-associated histone H4. In mice exposed to hypoxia, the upregulation of VWF expression was concomitant with the presence of thrombi in heart and lung, but not kidney vascular beds.

Conclusions: Heart and lung endothelial cells demonstrated VWF upregulation in response to hypoxia, using distinct mechanisms, while this response was lacking in kidney endothelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.01.002DOI Listing
March 2019

Von Willebrand factor contribution to pathophysiology outside of von Willebrand disease.

Microcirculation 2018 Oct 26:e12510. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

VWF is a procoagulant protein that plays a central role in the initiation of platelets aggregate formation and thrombosis. While von Willebrand disease has long been known to result from qualitative and quantitative deficiencies of VWF, it is recently that contribution of elevated levels of VWF to various pathological conditions including thrombosis, inflammation, angiogenesis, and cancer metastasis has been appreciated. Here, we discuss contribution of elevated levels of VWF to various thrombotic and nonthrombotic pathological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/micc.12510DOI Listing
October 2018

Functional assessment of von Willebrand factor expression by cancer cells of non-endothelial origin.

Oncotarget 2017 Feb;8(8):13015-13029

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a highly adhesive procoagulant molecule that mediates platelet adhesion to endothelial and subendothelial surfaces. Normally it is expressed exclusively in endothelial cells (ECs) and megakaryocytes. However, a few studies have reported VWF detection in cancer cells of non-endothelial origin, including osteosarcoma. A role for VWF in cancer metastasis has long been postulated but evidence supporting both pro- and anti-metastatic roles for VWF has been presented. We hypothesized that the role of VWF in cancer metastasis is influenced by its cellular origin and that cancer cell acquisition of VWF expression may contribute to enhanced metastatic potential. We demonstrated de novo expression of VWF in glioma as well as osteosarcoma cells. Endothelial monolayer adhesion, transmigration and extravasation capacities of VWF expressing cancer cells were shown to be enhanced compared to non-VWF expressing cells, and were significantly reduced as a result of VWF knock down. VWF expressing cancer cells were also detected in patient tumor samples of varying histologies. Analyses of the mechanism of transcriptional activation of the VWF in cancer cells demonstrated a pattern of trans-activating factor binding and epigenetic modifications consistent overall with that observed in ECs. These results demonstrate that cancer cells of non-endothelial origin can acquire de novo expression of VWF, which can enhance processes, including endothelial and platelet adhesion and extravasation, that contribute to cancer metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5355073PMC
February 2017

A role of stochastic phenotype switching in generating mosaic endothelial cell heterogeneity.

Nat Commun 2016 Jan 8;7:10160. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Center for Vascular Biology Research, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

Previous studies have shown that biological noise may drive dynamic phenotypic mosaicism in isogenic unicellular organisms. However, there is no evidence for a similar mechanism operating in metazoans. Here we show that the endothelial-restricted gene, von Willebrand factor (VWF), is expressed in a mosaic pattern in the capillaries of many vascular beds and in the aorta. In capillaries, the mosaicism is dynamically regulated, with VWF switching between ON and OFF states during the lifetime of the animal. Clonal analysis of cultured endothelial cells reveals that dynamic mosaic heterogeneity is controlled by a low-barrier, noise-sensitive bistable switch that involves random transitions in the DNA methylation status of the VWF promoter. Finally, the hearts of VWF-null mice demonstrate an abnormal endothelial phenotype as well as cardiac dysfunction. Together, these findings suggest a novel stochastic phenotype switching strategy for adaptive homoeostasis in the adult vasculature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5154372PMC
January 2016

Hypoxia results in upregulation and de novo activation of von Willebrand factor expression in lung endothelial cells.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2013 Jun 11;33(6):1329-38. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Departments of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Objective: Increased von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels in lungs are associated with diseases such as pulmonary hypertension. The objective of our study was to determine the mechanism of increased VWF levels in conditions, such as hypoxia, which contribute to pulmonary hypertension.

Approach And Results: We have previously reported generation of transgenic mice that express LacZ transgene under the regulation of lung- and brain-specific transcriptional regulatory elements of the VWF gene. Hypoxia exposure of these transgenic mice resulted in increased VWF and LacZ mRNA levels as well as redistribution of their expression from primarily larger vessels in the lungs to microvessels. Exposure of cultured lung microvascular endothelial cells to hypoxia demonstrated that VWF upregulation was accompanied by increased platelet binding. Transcription upregulation was mediated through inhibition of the repressor nuclear factor-IB association with the VWF promoter, and increased nuclear translocation of the transcription factor YY1 and association with its cognate binding site on the VWF gene. Knockdown of YY1 expression abolished the hypoxia-induced upregulation and reduced basal level of VWF.

Conclusions: These analyses demonstrate that hypoxia induces a phenotypic shift, accompanied by modulation of nuclear factor-IB and YY1 activities, in microvascular endothelial cells of the lungs to support VWF promoter activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.301359DOI Listing
June 2013

Human herpesvirus-6 viral load and antibody titer in serum samples of patients with multiple sclerosis.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2011 Aug 20;44(4):247-51. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Medical Technology Research Center, Faculty of Para-Clinical Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Despite the number of cases with definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) being on increase, the role of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection as a trigger for MS disease still is deliberated. Based on antibody detection and quantitative HHV-6 polymerase chain reaction assay, this study was achieved to find out the possible association between infection with HHV-6 and clinical progression of MS disease.

Methods: A total of 108 serum samples were obtained from 30 MS patients followed prospectively for a 6-month period. These samples were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and for anti-HHV-6 IgG titer. Activation of the disease was determined by either magnetic resonance imaging or by clinical status of the patients. Control groups were also included.

Results: The average antibody index for the MS patients in the first sample collection was higher than both control groups (p = 0.001). HHV-6 DNA was detected in the serum samples of 10 of 30 MS patients. The mean HHV-6 viral load in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with and without relapse was 973 and 714, respectively. Seven patients showed an exacerbation during the study period. Of those, four patients had HHV-6 DNA in their collected samples. The prevalence of HHV-6 DNA was significantly higher in patients with MS as compared with control groups (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The results indicate that HHV-6 is implicated somehow in MS disease. Over time, rising HHV-6 IgG antibody titers together with an exacerbation and detection of HHV-6 DNA in serum samples of some MS patients suggests possible association between the reactivation of the virus and disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2010.08.002DOI Listing
August 2011

Hepatitis B virus genotypes in southwest Iran: molecular, serological and clinical outcomes.

World J Gastroenterol 2008 Mar;14(10):1510-3

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Center, Namazi Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Aim: To investigate the associations of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype with HBeAg and anti-HBe status, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and HBV-DNA detection in different groups of HBV-infected patients in southwest Iran.

Methods: A total of 89 HBsAg-positive serum samples were collected from the same number of patients. All sera were then investigated to determine HBV DNA and serological markers. For all the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive samples, biochemical, histopathological assays and genotyping were also performed.

Results: Genotype D was the only type of HBV found in different clinical forms of acute and chronic infections. There was a high prevalence of HBeAg-negative HBV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis (52.7%). Out of 55 patients with chronic hepatitis, seven (12.7%) were diagnosed with cirrhosis. A significant association between the presence of anti-HBe antibody and an increase in ALT level, among either HBeAg-negative (P = 0.01) or HBeAg-positive (P = 0.026) patients, was demonstrated. No significant differences were observed between the clinical outcomes of HBeAg-positive and -negative individuals (P = 0.24).

Conclusion: Genotype D has been recognized as the only type of HBV found in different clinical forms of HBV infections, including cirrhosis, among the residents of southwest Iran. Anti-HBe possibly plays a role in disease progression in some patients with chronic hepatitis, at least for a period of disease.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2693743PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.14.1510DOI Listing
March 2008
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