PAI-1 contributes to homocysteine-induced cellular senescence

Tianjiao Sun, Asish K. Ghosh*, Mesut Eren, Toshio Miyata, Douglas E. Vaughan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Cellular Senescence is associated with organismal aging and related pathologies. Previously, we reported that plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is an essential mediator of senescence and a potential therapeutic target for preventing aging-related pathologies. In this study, we investigate the efficacies of PAI-1 inhibitors in both in vitro and in vivo models of homocysteine (Hcy)-induced cardiovascular aging. Elevated Hcy, a known risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, induces endothelial senescence as evidenced by increased senescence-associated β-Gal positivity (SA-β-Gal), flattened cellular morphology, and cylindrical appearance of cellular nuclei. Importantly, inhibition of PAI-1 by small molecule inhibitors reduces the number of SA-β-Gal positive cells, normalizes cellular morphology and nuclear shape. Furthermore, while Hcy induces the levels of senescence regulators PAI-1, p16, p53 and integrin β3, and suppresses catalase expression, treatment with PAI-1 inhibitors blocks the Hcy-induced stimulation of senescence cadres, and reverses the Hcy-induced suppression of catalase, indicating that PAI-1 specific small molecule inhibitors are efficient to prevent Hcy-induced cellular senescence. Our in vivo study shows that the levels of integrin β3, a recently identified potential regulator of cellular senescence, and its interaction with PAI-1 are significantly elevated in Hcy-treated heart tissues. In contrast, Hcy suppresses antioxidant gene regulator Nrf2 expression in hearts. However, co-treatment with PAI-1 inhibitor completely blocks the stimulation of Hcy-induced induction of integrin β3 and reverses Nrf2 expression. Collectively these in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that pharmacological inhibition of PAI-1 improves endothelial and cardiac health by suppressing the pro-senescence effects of hyperhomocysteinemia through suppression of Hcy-induced master regulators of cellular senescence PAI-1 and integrin β3. Therefore, PAI-1 inhibitors are promising drugs for amelioration of hyperhomocysteinemia-induced vascular aging and aging-related disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109394
JournalCellular Signalling
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Catalase
  • Cellular senescence
  • Heart
  • Homocysteine
  • Integrin β3
  • Nrf2
  • PAI-1
  • TM5441
  • TM5A15
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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