Research ArticleVASCULAR BIOLOGY

TFEB inhibits endothelial cell inflammation and reduces atherosclerosis

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Sci. Signal.  31 Jan 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 464, eaah4214
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aah4214

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Protected from atherosclerosis by TFEB

Atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaques in blood vessels, can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. Lu et al. found that, in cultured endothelial cells, the transcription factor TFEB reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, two processes thought to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. When fed a high-fat diet, mice that overexpressed TFEB in endothelial cells developed smaller atherosclerotic lesions than their control littermates on the same diet. Thus, treatments that enhance the activity of TFEB in endothelial cells could reduce the development of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, because the anti-inflammatory effect of TFEB in endothelial cells was independent of its role in autophagy, a process in which cells digest macromolecules and organelles, these results highlight new roles for this transcription factor.