Plumericin inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells by blocking STAT3 signaling via S-glutathionylation

Heiss EH, Liu R, Waltenberger B, Khan S, Schachner D, Kollmann P, Zimmermann K, Cabaravdic M, Uhrin P, Stuppner H, Breuss JM, Atanasov AG, Dirsch VM
Source: Scientific Reports
Publication Date: (2016)
Issue: 9(6): ePub
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells (R-ASM), Rat
Species: rat
Tissue Origin: aortic
The etiology of atherosclerosis and restenosis involves aberrant inflammation and proliferation, rendering compounds with both anti-inflammatory and anti-mitogenic properties as promising candidates for combatting vascular diseases. A recent study identified the iridoid plumericin as a new scaffold inhibitor of the pro-inflammatory NF-?B pathway in endothelial cells. We here examined the impact of plumericin on the proliferation of primary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Plumericin inhibited serum-stimulated proliferation of rat VSMC. It arrested VSMC in the G1/G0-phase of the cell cycle accompanied by abrogated cyclin D1 expression and hindered Ser 807/811-phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. Transient depletion of glutathione by the electrophilic plumericin led to S-glutathionylation as well as hampered Tyr705-phosphorylation and activation of the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3). Exogenous addition of glutathione markedly prevented this inhibitory effect of plumericin on Stat3. It also overcame downregulation of cyclin D1 expression and the reduction of biomass increase upon serum exposure. This study revealed an anti-proliferative property of plumericin towards VSMC which depends on plumericin's thiol reactivity and S-glutathionylation of Stat3. Hence, plumericin, by targeting at least two culprits of vascular dysfunction -inflammation and smooth muscle cell proliferation -might become a promising electrophilic lead compound for vascular disease therapy.