Hydrogen Sulfide Induces Keap1 S-sulfhydration and Suppresses Diabetes-Accelerated Atherosclerosis via Nrf2 Activation
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been shown to have powerful antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties that can regulate multiple cardiovascular functions. However, its precise role in diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis remains unclear. We report here that H2S reduced aortic atherosclerotic plaque formation with reduction in superoxide (O2−) generation and the adhesion molecules in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced LDLr−/− mice but not in LDLr−/−Nrf2−/− mice. In vitro, H2S inhibited foam cell formation, decreased O2− generation, and increased nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) nuclear translocation and consequently heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression upregulation in high glucose (HG) plus oxidized LDL (ox-LDL)–treated primary peritoneal macrophages from wild-type but not Nrf2−/− mice. H2S also decreased O2− and adhesion molecule levels and increased Nrf2 nuclear translocation and HO-1 expression, which were suppressed by Nrf2 knockdown in HG/ox-LDL–treated endothelial cells. H2S increased S-sulfhydration of Keap1, induced Nrf2 dissociation from Keap1, enhanced Nrf2 nuclear translocation, and inhibited O2− generation, which were abrogated after Keap1 mutated at Cys151, but not Cys273, in endothelial cells. Collectively, H2S attenuates diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis, which may be related to inhibition of oxidative stress via Keap1 sulfhydrylation at Cys151 to activate Nrf2 signaling. This may provide a novel therapeutic target to prevent atherosclerosis in the context of diabetes.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db16-0020/-/DC1.
See accompanying article, p. 2832.
- Received January 11, 2016.
- Accepted June 15, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.