Meng, Yao, Wang, Yu, Shi, Yuan, Liu (2019) Knockdown of GAS5 Inhibits Atherosclerosis Progression via Reducing EZH2-Mediated ABCA1 Transcription in ApoE-/- Mice Molecular therapy. Nucleic acids 19() 84-96


Atherosclerosis is a disorder occurring in the large arteries and the primary cause of heart diseases. Accumulating evidence has implicated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in atherosclerosis. This study aims to clarify the potential effects of lncRNA growth arrest-specific 5 (GAS5) on cholesterol reverse-transport and intracellular lipid accumulation in atherosclerosis. GAS5 was mainly localized in the nucleus and highly expressed in the human monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1) macrophage-derived foam cells in coronary heart disease. Overexpressed GAS5 increased THP-1 macrophage lipid accumulation. Of note, GAS5 can inhibit the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) by binding to enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2). Overexpression of EZH2 reduced cholesterol efflux and ABCA1 expression. EZH2 promoted triple methylation of lysine 27 (H3K27) in the ABCA1 promoter region. Subjected to overexpressed GAS5, overexpressed EZH2, or downregulated ABCA1, the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-/- mice with atherosclerosis showed increased total cholesterol (TC), free cholesterol (FC), cholesterol ester (CE), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, aortic plaque, and lipid accumulation, accompanied by reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level and cholesterol outflow. Altogether, knockdown of GAS5 can potentially promote reverse-transportation of cholesterol and inhibit intracellular lipid accumulation, ultimately preventing the progression of atherosclerosis via reducing EZH2-mediated transcriptional inhibition of ABCA1 by histone methylation. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.