Vascular calcification (VC) is regarded as an important pathological change lacking effective treatment and associated with high mortality. Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) is a member of Sirtuin family, a class III histone deacetylase and a key epigenetic regulator. SIRT6 has a protective role in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), however the exact role and molecular mechanism of SIRT6 in VC in CKD patients remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that SIRT6 was significantly downregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in the radial artery tissue of CKD patients with VC. SIRT6-transgenic (SIRT6-Tg) mice showed alleviated VC, while vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs)-specific, SIRT6 knocked down mice showed severe VC, in CKD. SIRT6 suppressed the osteogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs via regulation of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). Co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) and immunoprecipitation (IP) assays confirmed that SIRT6 bound to Runx2. Moreover, Runx2 was deacetylated by SIRT6 and further promoted nuclear export via exportin 1(XPO1), which in turn caused degradation of Runx2 through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. These results demonstrated that SIRT6 prevented VC by suppressing the osteogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs, and as such targeting SIRT6 may be an appealing therapeutic target for VC in CKD.
Wenxin Li, Weijing Feng, Xiaoyan Su, Dongling Luo, Zhibing Li, Yongqiao Zhou, Yongjun Zhu, Mengbi Zhang, Jie Chen, Baohua Liu, Hui Huang