Pathological vascular calcification (VC), a major risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, is a highly prevalent finding in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We previously analyzed several pathways protecting against high phosphate-induced VC through induction of autophagy. Here, we explored how O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) affected high phosphate-induced VC of CKD though mediation of autophagy.
In the rats with CKD induced by 5/6 nephrectomy, the VC process was accelerated by a high phosphate diet. The calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) was induced by high phosphate treatment. We then experimentally tested the effect of OGT on high phosphate-induced VC by conducting loss-of-function experiments. Co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays were performed to evaluate interaction between OGT and Yes-associated protein (YAP). In mechanistic studies of this pathway, we measured autophagy protein expression and autophagosome formation, as well as calcium deposition and calcium content in VSMCs and in vivo in response to altered expression of OGT and/or YAP.
OGT was up-regulated in high phosphate-induced VC models in vitro and in vivo. High phosphate-induced calcification in the rat aorta and VSMCs were suppressed by OGT silencing. OGT promoted the glycosylation of YAP to enhance its stability. Importantly, over-expressing YAP reduced autophagy and OGT expedited high phosphate-induced VC by inhibiting autophagy through upregulation of YAP.
OGT silencing downregulated YAP to induce autophagy activation, thus suppressing high phosphate-induced VC, which highlighted a promising preventive target against high phosphate-induced VC in CKD.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.