Everolimus Inhibits Anti-HLA I Antibody-Mediated Endothelial Cell Signaling, Migration and Proliferation More Potently Than Sirolimus



Antibody (Ab) crosslinking of HLA I molecules on the surface of endothelial cells triggers proliferative and pro-survival intracellular signaling, which is implicated in the process of chronic allograft rejection, also known as transplant vasculopathy (TV). The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in HLA I Ab-induced signaling cascades. Everolimus provides a tool to establish how the mTOR signal network regulates HLA I–mediated migration, proliferation and survival. We found that everolimus inhibits mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) by disassociating Raptor from mTOR, thereby preventing class I–induced phosphorylation of mTOR, p70S6K, S6RP and 4E-BP1, and resultant class I–stimulated cell migration and proliferation. Furthermore, we found that everolimus inhibits class I–mediated mTORC2 activation (1) by disassociating Rictor and Sin1 from mTOR; (2) by preventing class I–stimulated Akt phosphorylation and (3) by preventing class I–mediated ERK phosphorylation. These results suggest that everolimus is more effective than sirolimus at antagonizing both mTORC1 and mTORC2, the latter of which is critical in endothelial cell functional changes leading to TV in solid organ transplantation after HLA I crosslinking. Our findings point to a potential therapeutic effect of everolimus in prevention of chronic Ab-mediated rejection.