The inflammatory oxidant peroxynitrous acid modulates the structure and function of the recombinant human V3 isoform of the extracellular matrix proteoglycan versican

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Continued oxidant production during chronic inflammation generates host tissue damage, with this being associated with pathologies including atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaques contain modified proteins that may contribute to disease development, including plaque rupture, the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. Versican, a large extracellular matrix (ECM) chondroitin-sulfate proteoglycan, accumulates during atherogenesis, where it interacts with other ECM proteins, receptors and hyaluronan, and promotes inflammation. As activated leukocytes produce oxidants including peroxynitrite/peroxynitrous acid (ONOO/ONOOH) at sites of inflammation, we hypothesized that versican is an oxidant target, with this resulting in structural and functional changes that may exacerbate plaque development. The recombinant human V3 isoform of versican becomes aggregated on exposure to ONOO/ONOOH. Both reagent ONOO/ONOOH and SIN-1 (a thermal source of ONOO/ONOOH) modified Tyr, Trp and Met residues. ONOO/ONOOH mainly favors nitration of Tyr, whereas SIN-1 mostly induced hydroxylation of Tyr, and oxidation of Trp and Met. Peptide mass mapping indicated 26 sites with modifications (15 Tyr, 5 Trp, 6 Met), with the extent of modification quantified at 16. Multiple modifications, including the most extensively nitrated residue (Tyr161), are within the hyaluronan-binding region, and associated with decreased hyaluronan binding. ONOO/ONOOH modification also resulted in decreased cell adhesion and increased proliferation of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Evidence is also presented for colocalization of versican and 3-nitrotyrosine epitopes in advanced (type II-III) human atherosclerotic plaques. In conclusion, versican is readily modified by ONOO/ONOOH, resulting in chemical and structural modifications that affect protein function, including hyaluronan binding and cell interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102794
JournalRedox Biology
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Extracellular matrix, Hyaluronan, Nitration, Peroxynitrite, Post-translational modification, Protein oxidation, Proteomics, SIN-1, Versican

ID: 360068728