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CD9 induces cellular senescence and aggravates atherosclerotic plaque formation
Jung Hee Cho # 1 2 3, Eok-Cheon Kim # 1 2, Youlim Son # 1 2, Da-Woon Lee 1 2, Yong Seop Park 1 2, Joon Hyuk Choi 4, Kyung-Hyun Cho 5, Ki-Sun Kwon 6, Jae-Ryong Kim 7 8
CD9, a 24 kDa tetraspanin membrane protein, is known to regulate cell adhesion and migration, cancer progression and metastasis, immune and allergic responses, and viral infection. CD9 is upregulated in senescent endothelial cells, neointima hyperplasia, and atherosclerotic plaques. However, its role in cellular senescence and atherosclerosis remains undefined. We investigated the potential mechanism for CD9-mediated cellular senescence and its role in atherosclerotic plaque formation. CD9 knockdown in senescent human umbilical vein endothelial cells significantly rescued senescence phenotypes, while CD9 upregulation in young cells accelerated senescence. CD9 regulated cellular senescence through a phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase-AKT-mTOR-p53 signal pathway. CD9 expression increased in arterial tissues from humans and rats with age, and in atherosclerotic plaques in humans and mice. Anti-mouse CD9 antibody noticeably prevented the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE-/- mice and Ldlr-/- mice. Furthermore, CD9 ablation in ApoE-/- mice decreased atherosclerotic lesions in aorta and aortic sinus. These results suggest that CD9 plays critical roles in endothelial cell senescence and consequently the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, implying that CD9 is a novel target for prevention and treatment of vascular aging and atherosclerosis.