The novel coronary artery disease risk gene JCAD/KIAA1462 promotes endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis

Eur Heart J. 2019 Aug 1;40(29):2398-2408. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehz303.


Aims: Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified that the JCAD locus is associated with risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and myocardial infarction (MI). However, the mechanisms whereby candidate gene JCAD confers disease risk remain unclear. We addressed whether and how JCAD affects the development of atherosclerosis, the common cause of CAD.

Methods and results: By mining data in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) database, we found that CAD-associated risk variants at the JCAD locus are linked to increased JCAD gene expression in human arteries, implicating JCAD as a candidate causal CAD gene. We therefore generated global and endothelial cell (EC) specific-JCAD knockout mice, and observed that JCAD deficiency attenuated high fat diet-induced atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice. JCAD-deficiency in mice also improved endothelium-dependent relaxation. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of JCAD-depleted human coronary artery ECs showed that JCAD depletion inhibited the activation of YAP/TAZ pathway, and the expression of downstream pro-atherogenic genes, including CTGF and Cyr61. As a result, JCAD-deficient ECs attracted fewer monocytes in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. Moreover, JCAD expression in ECs was decreased under unidirectional laminar flow in vitro and in vivo. Proteomics studies suggest that JCAD regulates YAP/TAZ activation by interacting with actin-binding protein TRIOBP, thereby stabilizing stress fiber formation. Finally, we observed that endothelial JCAD expression was increased in mouse and human atherosclerotic plaques.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that the GWAS-identified CAD risk gene JCAD promotes endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis, thus highlighting the possibility of new therapeutic strategies for CAD by targeting JCAD.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery disease; Endothelial function; GWAS; JCAD/KIAA1462; Therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics*
  • Diet, Western / adverse effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Genes / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Signal Transduction


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • JCAD protein, human