Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory vascular disease. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are the main reason of death in both developed and developing countries. Many pathophysiological factors, such as abnormal cholesterol metabolism, vascular inflammatory response and endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and apoptosis, contribute to the development of atherosclerosis; whereas the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of atherosclerosis remains to be fully understood. Ubiquitination is a multi-step post-translational protein modification process, participating in many important cellular processes. Emerging evidence suggests that ubiquitination plays important roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis through many aspects including a regulation of vascular inflammation, endothelial cell and vascular smooth muscle cell function, lipid metabolism and atherosclerotic plaque stability. This review summarizes important contributions of various E3 ligases to the development of atherosclerosis. Targeting ubiquitin E3 ligases may provide us a newly strategy to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, ubiquitin E3 ligases, vascular inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell function, lipid metabolism
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