Sirt3 Impairment and SOD2 Hyperacetylation in Vascular Oxidative Stress and Hypertension

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Clinical studies have shown that Sirt3 (Sirtuin 3) expression declines by 40% by 65 years of age paralleling the increased incidence of hypertension and metabolic conditions further inactivate Sirt3 because of increased NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, reduced form) and acetyl-CoA levels. Sirt3 impairment reduces the activity of a key mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) because of hyperacetylation.


In this study, we examined whether the loss of Sirt3 activity increases vascular oxidative stress because of SOD2 hyperacetylation and promotes endothelial dysfunction and hypertension.

Methods and Results:

Hypertension was markedly increased in Sirt3-knockout (Sirt3−/−) and SOD2-depleted (SOD2+/−) mice in response to low dose of angiotensin II (0.3 mg/kg per day) compared with wild-type C57Bl/6J mice. Sirt3 depletion increased SOD2 acetylation, elevated mitochondrial O2· –, and diminished endothelial nitric oxide. Angiotensin II-induced hypertension was associated with Sirt3 S-glutathionylation, acetylation of vascular SOD2, and reduced SOD2 activity. Scavenging of mitochondrial H2O2 in mCAT mice expressing mitochondria-targeted catalase prevented Sirt3 and SOD2 impairment and attenuated hypertension. Treatment of mice after onset of hypertension with a mitochondria-targeted H2O2 scavenger, mitochondria-targeted hydrogen peroxide scavenger ebselen, reduced Sirt3 S-glutathionylation, diminished SOD2 acetylation, and reduced blood pressure in wild-type but not in Sirt3−/− mice, whereas an SOD2 mimetic, (2-[2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino]-2-oxoethyl) triphenylphosphonium (mitoTEMPO), reduced blood pressure and improved vasorelaxation both in Sirt3−/− and wild-type mice. SOD2 acetylation had an inverse correlation with SOD2 activity and a direct correlation with the severity of hypertension. Analysis of human subjects with essential hypertension showed 2.6-fold increase in SOD2 acetylation and 1.4-fold decrease in Sirt3 levels, whereas SOD2 expression was not affected.


Our data suggest that diminished Sirt3 expression and redox inactivation of Sirt3 lead to SOD2 inactivation and contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertension.

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