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Small Molecule Glycomimetics Inhibit Vascular Calcification via c-Met/Notch3/HES1 Signalling

Mahmoud, AM and Jones, AM and Sidgwick, GP and Arafat, AM and Alexander, YM and Wilkinson, FL (2019) Small Molecule Glycomimetics Inhibit Vascular Calcification via c-Met/Notch3/HES1 Signalling. Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, 53 (2). pp. 323-336. ISSN 1015-8987


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© Copyright by the Author(s). Published by Cell Physiol Biochem Press. BACKGROUND/AIMS: Vascular calcification represents a huge clinical problem contributing to adverse cardiovascular events, with no effective treatment currently available. Upregulation of hepatocyte growth factor has been linked with vascular calcification, and thus, represent a potential target in the development of a novel therapeutic strategy. Glycomimetics have been shown to interrupt HGF-receptor signalling, therefore this study investigated the effect of novel glycomimetics on osteogenic signalling and vascular calcification in vitro. METHODS: Primary human vascular smooth muscle cells (HVSMCs) were induced by β-glycerophosphate (β-GP) and treated with 4 glycomimetic compounds (C1-C4). The effect of β-GP and C1-C4 on alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteogenic markers and c-Met/Notch3/HES1 signalling was determined using colorimetric assays, qRT-PCR and western blotting respectively. RESULTS: C1-C4 significantly attenuated β-GP-induced calcification, as shown by Alizarin Red S staining and calcium content by day 14. In addition, C1-C4 reduced ALP activity and prevented upregulation of the osteogenic markers, BMP-2, Runx2, Msx2 and OPN. Furthermore, β-GP increased c-Met phosphorylation at day 21, an effect ameliorated by C2 and C4 and the c-Met inhibitor, crizotinib. We next interrogated the effects of the Notch inhibitor DAPT and confirmed an inhibition of β-GP up-regulated Notch3 protein by C2, DAPT and crizotinib compared to controls. Hes-1 protein upregulation by β-GP, was also significantly downregulated by C2 and DAPT. GOLD docking analysis identified a potential binding interaction of C1-C4 to HGF which will be investigated further. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that glycomimetics have potent anti-calcification properties acting via HGF/c-Met and Notch signalling.

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