Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Online ISSN : 1880-3873
Print ISSN : 1340-3478
ISSN-L : 1340-3478
Original Article
Critical Promoter Region for Statin-Induced Human Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Transcription in EA.hy926 Cells
Yamato MashimoToshio IshikawaMaiko NumakuraMakoto KinoshitaTamio Teramoto
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2013 Volume 20 Issue 4 Pages 321-329


Aim: Statins have many anti-atherogenic effects apart from reducing the serum level of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). For instance, statins can enhance the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), at least partly by upregulating its transcription. Although it has been reported that -786 T/C polymorphism of the promoter region has an important influence on statininduced transcription of the human eNOS gene, much remains unclear about statin-induced eNOS transcription. We tried to identify other statin-responsive promoter regions.
Methods: A human endothelial cell line (EA.hy926 cells) was treated with pitavastatin, atorvastatin, or fluvastatin, after which eNOS mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. EA.hy926 cells were also transiently transfected with luciferase reporter genes driven by various lengths of the human eNOS promoter and were treated with statins before luciferase activity was measured.
Results: Statin treatment increased eNOS mRNA levels in EA.hy926 cells. In addition, cells transfected with the reporter gene driven by the eNOS promoter fragment starting from position -740 exhibited a pitavastatin-induced increase of luciferase activity, which was not observed in cells transfected with the reporter gene driven by the fragment starting from -727. Similar results were also obtained with atorvastatin and fluvastatin.
Conclusions: Statins enhanced eNOS expression in EA.hy926 cells, at least partly by inducing its transcription. Although a statin-responsive sequence that could function even in a heterologous promoter was not precisely identified, the region of the human eNOS promoter around position -730 seems to be critical for statin-induced transcriptional activation.

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