Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2007
Publication Date: April 30, 2008
Citation: Cao, H. 2008. Tristetraprolin family proteins may prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. In: Takeyama T., editor. Messenger RNA Research Perspectives. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. pp 9-16. Technical Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most deadly disease in the U. S., according to the American Heart Association statistics. CVD have been consistently ranked the No. 1 killer since 1900 (except 1918), accounted for 38.5% of all deaths in 2001, and was estimated to cost $368.4 billion in 2004 in the U.S. More than 64 million Americans suffer one or more types of CVD. The causes of CVD are complex. Recent studies have pointed out the importance of pro-inflammatory mediators in the development and progression of CVD. These mediators include tumor necrosis factor, interleukins, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Recent studies have explored the regulation of cytokine mRNA stability in the cardiovascular system by the tristetraprolin (TTP) family of proteins. TTP family proteins are well-established factors which destabilize these cytokine mRNAs. For example, VEGF, coding for the angiogenic cytokine VEGF, has been proposed as the most important regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. TTP and related proteins, TIS11B and TIS11D, have been shown to regulate VEGF mRNA stability. Our recent studies indicate that cinnamon and green tea extracts increase TTP gene expression in cell and animal models. The results suggest that these extracts may help to reduce CVD via TTP-mediated cytokine mRNA destabilization. More detailed study is required to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlining the regulation of cytokine mRNA stability by the TTP family proteins in the cardiovascular system and related tissues, thereby providing potential targets for developing alternative strategies for the prevention of CVD.