CIKS (Act1 or TRAF3IP2) mediates high glucose-induced endothelial dysfunction

Balachandar Venkatesan, Anthony J. Valente, Nitin A. Das, Andrea J. Carpenter, Tadashi Yoshida, Jean Luc Delafontaine, Ulrich Siebenlist, Bysani Chandrasekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction is characterized by enhanced inflammatory cytokine and adhesion molecule expression, and endothelial-monocyte adhesion. The adapter molecule CIKS (connection to IKK and SAPK/JNK; also known as Act1 or TRAF3IP2) is an upstream regulator of NF-κB and AP-1, and plays a role in inflammation and injury. Here we show that high glucose (HG; 25. mM vs. 5. mM d-glucose)-induced endothelial-monocyte adhesion and inhibition of endothelial cell (EC) migration were both reversed by CIKS knockdown. In EC, HG induced CIKS mRNA and protein expression via DPI-inhibitable Nox4-dependent ROS generation. Further, HG induced CIKS transcription and enhanced CIKS promoter-dependent reporter gene activation via Nox4, ROS, AP-1 and C/EBP. Coimmunoprecipitation and immunoblotting revealed CIKS/IKKβ/JNK physical association under basal conditions that was enhanced by HG treatment. Importantly, CIKS knockdown inhibited HG-induced (i) IKKβ and JNK phosphorylation, (ii) p65 and c-Jun nuclear translocation, and (iii) NF-κB- and AP-1-dependent proinflammatory cytokine, chemokine, and adhesion molecule expression. Similar to HG, the deleterious metabolic products of chronic hyperglycemia, AGE-HSA, AOPPs-HSA and oxLDL, also induced CIKS-dependent endothelial dysfunction. Notably, aortas from streptozotocin-induced and the autoimmune type 1 diabetic NOD and Akita mice showed enhanced DPI-inhibitable ROS generation and CIKS expression. Since CIKS mediates high glucose-induced NF-κB and AP-1-dependent inflammatory signaling and endothelial dysfunction, targeting CIKS may delay progression of vascular diseases during diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Act1
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Oxidative stress
  • TRAF3IP2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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