Outside-in, inside-out: proteomic analysis of endothelial stress mediated by 7-ketocholesterol

Lívia Rosa-Fernandes, Luciana M. F. Maselli, Nair Y. Maeda, Giuseppe Palmisano, Sergio P. Bydlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Oxysterols are cholesterol oxidation products formed through enzymatic or autoxidation mechanisms. 7-ketocholeterol (7KC) is one of most abundant oxysterols found in atherosclerotic lesions. Its role in atherosclerosis pathogenesis has been broadly studied in a variety of models. The arterial microenvironment is a multicellular dynamic compartment that, among other systemic factors, is continuously stimulated by 7KC. Endothelial cells have a key role on that environment, being in intimate contact with both the blood stream and the vessel wall, the site of disease origin. 7KC has been shown to promote endothelial cell death and/or dysfunction, depending on its concentration. However, its contribution to the cell microenvironment through cell stimulation has not received much attention. Here we applied mass spectrometry-based proteomics followed by bioinformatics workflow to analyze the effect of a non-toxic 7KC concentration on endothelial cell protein expression and secretion in vitro. Trypsin digests were prepared from the secretome of the endothelial cells and from the total cell pellet after 24 h exposure to 7KC. All samples were analyzed by high resolution and accurate mass nano-LC MS/MS. After database search and statistical analysis, differentially expressed proteins were selected for further studies. Our workflow identified 1805 secreted proteins and 2203 intracellular proteins, and of these, 48 and 53, respectively, were regulated. Regulated proteins upon 7KC exposure are involved in unfolded protein response, vascular homeostasis, and reduced control of angiogenesis. Moreover, blood coagulation was another main pathway regulated through Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor (TFPI), an antithrombotic agent associated with coronary disease that we found to be more than 2 times downregulated. Taken together, these data show differential endothelial protein regulation and secretion upon 7KC exposure for short time periods under non-toxic conditions. Herewith, these data support the role of 7KC in atherosclerosis pathophysiology and thus reinforce the deleterious effect of endothelial cells stress in the arterial microenvironment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue numberPart B
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Oxysterol
  • Endothelial cells
  • 7-Ketocholesterol
  • Proteomics
  • Secretome


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