Epigenetic regulation of endothelial lineage committed genes in pro-angiogenic hematopoietic and endothelial progenitor cells

Kisho Ohtani, Georgios J. Vlachojannis, Masamichi Koyanagi, Jes Niels Boeckel, Carmen Urbich, Ruxandra Farcas, Halvard Bonig, Victor E. Marquez, Andreas M. Zeiher, Stefanie Dimmeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Proangiogenic hematopoietic and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to postnatal neovascularization, but the mechanisms regulating differentiation to the endothelial lineage are unclear. Objective: To elucidate the epigenetic control of endothelial gene expression in proangiogenic cells and EPCs. Methods and Results: Here we demonstrate that the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) promoter is epigenetically silenced in proangiogenic cells (early EPCs), CD34 + cells, and mesoangioblasts by DNA methylation and prominent repressive histone H3K27me3 marks. In order to reverse epigenetic silencing to facilitate endothelial commitment, we used 3-deazaneplanocin A, which inhibits the histone methyltransferase enhancer of zest homolog 2 and, thereby, reduces H3K27me3. 3-Deazaneplanocin A was not sufficient to increase eNOS expression, but the combination of 3-deazaneplanocin A and the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A augmented eNOS expression, indicating that the concomitant inhibition of silencing histone modification and enhancement of activating histone modification facilitates eNOS expression. In ischemic tissue, hypoxia plays a role in recruiting progenitor cells. Therefore, we examined the effect of hypoxia on epigenetic modifications. Hypoxia modulated the balance of repressive to active histone marks and increased eNOS mRNA expression. The reduction of repressive H3K27me3 was associated with an increase of the histone demethylase Jmjd3. Silencing of Jmjd3 induced apoptosis and senescence in proangiogenic cells and inhibited hypoxia-mediated up-regulation of eNOS expression in mesoangioblasts. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that histone modifications epigenetically control the eNOS promoter in proangiogenic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1229
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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