Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory vascular disease. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular
disease is the main cause of death in both developed and developing countries. Many
pathophysiological factors, including abnormal cholesterol metabolism, vascular inflammatory
response, endothelial dysfunction and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and
apoptosis, contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and the molecular mechanisms
underlying the development of atherosclerosis are not fully understood. Ubiquitination is a
multistep post-translational protein modification that participates in many important cellular
processes. Emerging evidence suggests that ubiquitination plays important roles in the pathogenesis
of atherosclerosis in many ways, including 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 a novel strategy
for the prevention of the progression of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, ubiquitin E3 ligases, vascular inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth
muscle cell function, lipid metabolism.
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