Cellular repressor of E1A-stimulated genes (CREG) is a lysosomal glycoprotein implicated in maintaining vascular homeostasis. Here, we have hypothesized that CREG is a critical target of intervention for the prevention of hypertensive vascular remodeling.Approach and Results—
CREG gene expression was significantly decreased accompanied by an upregulated expression of angiotensin II (Ang II) in remodeled vascular tissues of high salt–induced Dahl salt-sensitive rats and Ang II–induced mice. In particular, the downregulation of CREG gene was Ang II specific and independent from blood pressure. Prominent medial hypertrophy and vascular fibrosis in both thoracic aortas and mesenteric arteries were observed in CREG+/− mice infused with Ang II than in CREG+/+ mice, but blunted response in CREG+/+ mice received recombinant human CREG protein, suggesting that changes in CREG expression account for the different phenotype between genotypes. Within a tiled promoter array, E26 transformation-specific-1 binds to CREG promoter at high stringency with the stimulation of Ang II. Moreover, the Ang II–induced E26 transformation-specific-1 directly interacted with the CREG promoter (-1179 and -271 bp) and inhibited its transcription in vascular smooth muscle cells. Selective, pharmacological inhibition of E26 transformation-specific-1 led to restoration of CREG expression in aortas and rescue of experimental vascular remodeling by systemic administration of dominant negative E26 transformation-specific-1 membrane-permeable peptides.Conclusions—
CREG is a novel mediator of vascular remodeling in response to Ang II and may be an attractive therapeutic target for prevention of vascular diseases.