The International Journal Of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
This study aimed to investigate the putative role of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase in the metabolic response of human aortic endothelial cells. This enzyme catalyses S-adenosylmethionine-mediated methylation of nicotinamide to methylnicotinamide. This reaction is accompanied by the reduction of the intracellular nicotinamide and S-adenosylmethionine content. This may affect NAD+ synthesis and various processes of methylation, including epigenetic modifications of chromatin. Particularly high activity of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase is detected in liver, many neoplasms as well as in various cells in stressful conditions. The elevated nicotinamide N-methyltransferase content was also found in endothelial cells treated with statins. Although the exogenous methylnicotinamide has been postulated to induce a vasodilatory response, the specific metabolic role of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase in vascular endothelium is still unclear. Treatment of endothelial cells with bacterial lipopolysaccharide evokes several metabolic and functional consequences which built a multifaceted physiological response of endothelium to bacterial infection. Among the spectrum of biochemical changes substantially elevated protein level of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase was particularly intriguing. Here it has been shown that silencing of the nicotinamide N-methyltransferase gene influences several changes which are observed in cells treated with lipopolysaccharide. They include altered energy metabolism and rearrangement of the mitochondrial network. A complete explanation of the mechanisms behind the protective consequences of the nicotinamide N-methyltransferase deficiency in cells treated with lipopolysaccharide needs further investigation.