Atorvastatin prevents endothelial dysfunction in high glucose condition through Skp2-mediated degradation of FOXO1 and ICAM-1

Jonghanne Park, Injoo Hwang, Sung Jean Kim, Seock Won Youn, Jin Hur, Hyo Soo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor atorvastatin has been reported to exert vasculo-protective action in diabetes. We investigated the vasculo-protective mechanism of atorvastatin by evaluating its effect on two major pathogenic molecules, FOXO1 and ICAM1, mediated by S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) in diabetic endothelial dysfunction. Approach and results: [1] FOXO1: Hyperglycemic condition increased FOXO1 protein level in endothelial cells, which was reversed by atorvastatin. This atorvastatin effect was obliterated by treatment of protease inhibitor, suggesting that atorvastatin induces degradation of FOXO1. Immunoprecipitation showed that atorvastatin facilitated the binding of Skp2 to FOXO1, leading to ubiquitination and degradation of FOXO1. [2] ICAM-1: Increased ICAM1 in high glucose condition was reduced by atorvastatin. But this effect of atorvastatin was obliterated when Skp2 was inhibited, suggesting that atorvastatin enhances binding of Skp2 to ICAM1 leading to degradation. Actually, ubiquitination and degradation of ICAM-1 were reduced when Skp2 was inhibited. In vitro monocyte adhesion assay revealed that atorvastatin reduced monocyte adhesion on endothelial cells in high glucose condition, which was reversed by Skp2 knock-down. Conclusion: Atorvastatin strengthens Skp2 binding to FOXO1 or ICAM1, leading to ubiquitination and degradation. Skp2-dependent ubiquitination of major pathogenic molecules is the key mechanism for statin's protective effect on endothelial function in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2050-2057
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 8 2018


  • Diabetes complications
  • Endothelial cells
  • Forkhead box protein O1
  • Intercellular adhesion molecule-1
  • S-Phase kinase-associated proteins
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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