1. Department of Nephrology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai, China.
2. Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui, China.
*These authors contributed equally in this work.
Background: Interleukin-6 (IL-6)/soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) promotes peritoneal angiogenesis by stimulating SP4-mediated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production in peritoneal dialysis (PD). Moreover, histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) is involved in IL-6/sIL-6R signalling via the acceleration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying how EZH2 epigenetically activates VFGF expression in IL-6/sIL-6R signalling during PD is still unclear.
Methods and Results: In this study, we measured the expression of EZH2, DNMT3B and SP4 in human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs) treated with IL-6/sIL-6R stimulation and/or EZH2 overexpression, silencing or inhibition. Methylation of the CpG site in the SP4 promoter region and VEGF production were measured under these treatments in HPMCs. Moreover, tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was detected following treatment with conditioned media from these stimulated HPMCs. The 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6Nx) rat model was established, and the rats were injected with peritoneal dialysate. EZH2, DNMT3B and SP4 expression and microvessels were analysed in 5/6Nx + PD rats treated with IL-6/sIL-6R and EZH2 overexpression. The results showed that IL-6/sIL-6R and EZH2 overexpression enhanced the expression of EZH2, DNMT3B and SP4, but EZH2 silencing/inhibition reduced these expression levels. The results for VEGF production and tube formation in vitro followed the same trend. IL-6/sIL-6R and EZH2 overexpression increased the methylation percentage of the -170 bp CpG site in the SP4 promoter region in HPMCs. Moreover, IL-6/sIL-6R and EZH2 overexpression stimulated EZH2, DNMT3B and SP4 expression and promoted angiogenesis in 5/6Nx + PD rats.
Conclusions: Thus, this study indicated that EZH2 is involved in IL-6/sIL-6R signalling and epigenetically regulates SP4 expression, thereby stimulating VEGF production and angiogenesis in PD. Targeting EZH2 is expected to be a novel therapeutic approach for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients with PD treatment.
Keywords: angiogenesis, IL-6/sIL-6R, EZH2, SP4, VEGF, peritoneal dialysis