S100A8 and S100A9 promote endothelial cell activation through the RAGE‑mediated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 pathway
- Xiang Zhong
- Fengwen Xie
- Li Chen
- Zhixing Liu
- Qun Wang
Affiliations: Department of Cardiac Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330006, P.R. China, Department of Ultrasound, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330006, P.R. China
- Published online on: October 14, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2020.11595
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S100 calcium binding protein A8 (S100A8) and A9 (S100A9) belong to the S100 family of calcium‑binding proteins and have important roles in inflammation. They increase endothelial cell proliferation, thereby affecting inflammation, angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. However, the mechanism of action of S100A8/9 in endothelial cells needs further study. Therefore, the present study sought to investigate the effects of S100A8/9 on the proliferation and angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and their mechanism of action. The viability of HUVECs was determined through a Cell Counting Kit‑8 assay. The effect of S100A8/9 on the proliferation of HUVECs was detected by flow cytometry. Migration was evaluated by a Transwell migration assay. Apoptosis was evaluated by Annexin V‑FITC and PI staining via flow cytometry. Western blot analysis and reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were performed to evaluate the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3‑phosphate kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR pathway and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). We previously confirmed that S100A8/9 were consistently overexpressed at 1 and 7 days post‑surgery in a rabbit vein graft model, which is the period when apoptosis changes to proliferation in neointimal hyperplasia. In the present study, proliferation, viability and migration were increased after treating HUVECs with S100A8/9. S100A8/9 stimulated the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and mTORC2, which was significantly suppressed by a receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)‑blocking antibody. Furthermore, depleting expression of RAGE or mTORC2 protein components (rapamycin‑insensitive companion of mTOR) by small interfering RNA was found to reduce the cell viability, migration and angiogenesis of S100A8/9‑treated HUVECs. The development of neointimal hyperplasia is a complex process initiated by damage to endothelial cells. In conclusion, S100A8/9 has an important role in intimal hyperplasia by promoting cell growth and angiogenesis via RAGE signaling and activation of mTORC2.