Transcription factor Nrf2-mediated antioxidant defense system in the development of diabetic retinopathy.
ABSTRACT: Increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) is one of the major retinal metabolic abnormalities associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy. NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a redox sensitive factor, provides cellular defenses against the cytotoxic ROS. In stress conditions, Nrf2 dissociates from its cytosolic inhibitor, Kelch like-ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), and moves to the nucleus to regulate the transcription of antioxidant genes including the catalytic subunit of glutamylcysteine ligase (GCLC), a rate-limiting reduced glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis enzyme. Our aim is to understand the role of Nrf2-Keap1-GCLC in the development of diabetic retinopathy.Effect of diabetes on Nrf2-Keap1-GCLC pathway, and subcellular localization of Nrf2 and its binding with Keap1 was investigated in the retina of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The binding of Nrf2 at GCLC was quantified by chromatin immunoprecipitation technique. The results were confirmed in isolated retinal endothelial cells, and also in the retina from human donors with diabetic retinopathy.Diabetes increased retinal Nrf2 and its binding with Keap1, but decreased DNA-binding activity of Nrf2 and also its binding at the promoter region of GCLC. Similar impairments in Nrf2-Keap1-GCLC were observed in the endothelial cells exposed to high glucose and in the retina from donors with diabetic retinopathy. In retinal endothelial cells, glucose-induced impairments in Nrf2-GCLC were prevented by Nrf2 inducer tBHQ and also by Keap1-siRNA.Due to increased binding of Nrf2 with Keap1, its translocation to the nucleus is compromised contributing to the decreased GSH levels. Thus, regulation of Nrf2-Keap1 by pharmacological or molecular means could serve as a potential adjunct therapy to combat oxidative stress and inhibit the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:Oxidative stress figures prominently in retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Ligands for ?1R, a unique transmembrane protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and nuclear and plasma membranes, have profound retinal neuroprotective properties in vitro and in vivo. Studies to determine the mechanism of ?1R-mediated retinal neuroprotection have focused mainly on neurons. Little is known about the effects of ?1R on Müller cell function, yet these radial glial cells are essential for homeostatic support of the retina. Here we investigated whether ?1R mediates the oxidative stress response of Müller cells using wild-type (WT) and ?1R-knockout (?1RKO) mice. We observed increased endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in ?1RKO Müller cells compared to WT, which was accompanied by decreased expression of Sod1, catalase, Nqo1, Hmox1, Gstm6, and Gpx1. The protein levels of SOD1, CAT, NQO1, and GPX1 were also significantly decreased. The genes encoding these antioxidants contain an antioxidant response element (ARE), which under stress is activated by NRF2, a transcription factor that typically resides in the cytoplasm bound by KEAP1. In the ?1RKO Müller cells Nrf2 expression was decreased significantly at the gene (and protein) level, whereas Keap1 gene (and protein) levels were markedly increased. NRF2-ARE binding affinity was decreased markedly in ?1RKO Müller cells. We investigated system xc(-), the cystine-glutamate exchanger important for synthesis of glutathione (GSH), and observed decreased function in ?1RKO Müller cells compared to WT as well as decreased GSH and GSH/GSSG ratios. This was accompanied by decreased gene and protein levels of xCT, the unique component of system xc(-). We conclude that Müller glial cells lacking ?1R manifest elevated ROS, perturbation of antioxidant balance, suppression of NRF2 signaling, and impaired function of system xc(-). The data suggest that the oxidative stress-mediating function of retinal Müller glial cells may be compromised in the absence of ?1R. The neuroprotective role of ?1R may be linked directly to the oxidative stress-mediating properties of supportive glial cells.
Project description:The Nrf2-Keap1 pathway regulates transcription of a wide array of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes and offers critical protection against oxidative stress. This pathway has demonstrated benefit for a variety of retinal conditions. Retinal ischemia plays a pivotal role in many vision threatening diseases. Retinal vascular endothelial cells are an important participant in ischemic injury. In this setting, Nrf2 provides a protective pathway via amelioration of oxidative stress and inflammation. In this study, we investigated a potent small molecule inhibitor of the Nrf2-Keap1 protein-protein interaction (PPI), CPUY192018, for its therapeutic potential in retinal cells and retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury. In human retinal endothelial cells (HREC), treatment with CPUY192018 increased Nrf2 protein levels and nuclear translocation, stimulated Nrf2-ARE-induced transcriptional capacity, and induced Nrf2 target gene expression. Furthermore, CPUY192018 protected HREC against oxidative stress and inflammatory activation. CPUY192018 also activated Nrf2 and suppressed inflammatory response in macrophages. In the retinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) model, administration of CPUY192018 induced Nrf2 target gene activation in the retina. Both systemic and topical treatment with CPUY192018 rescued visual function after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Taken together, these findings indicate that small molecule Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibitors can activate the Nrf2 pathway in the retina and provide protection against retinal ischemic and inflammatory injury, suggesting Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibition in the treatment of retinal conditions.
Project description:Oxidative stress and glutathione (GSH) depletion are implicated in mycocystin hepatotoxicity. To investigate the role of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in microcystin-induced liver injury, Nrf2-null, wild-type, and Keap1-hepatocyte knockout (Keap1-HKO) mice were treated with microcystin (50 ?g/kg, i.p.). Blood and liver samples were collected 8 h thereafter. Microcystin increased serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities, and caused extensive inflammation and necrosis in Nrf2-null and wild-type mice, but not in Keap1-HKO mice. Oxidative stress and inflammation are implicated in microcystin-induced hepatotoxicity, as evidenced by increased lipid peroxidation and increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes, such as neutrophil-specific chemokines mKC and MIP-2, and pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1? and IL-6. The increased expression of these pro-inflammatory genes was attenuated in Keap1-HKO mice. Nrf2 and Nqo1 mRNA and protein were higher in Keap1-HKO mice at constitutive levels and after microcystin. To further investigate the mechanism of the protection, hepatic GSH and the mRNA of GSH-related enzymes were determined. Microcystin markedly depleted liver GSH by 60-70% in Nrf2 and WT mice but only 35% in Keap1-HKO mice. The mRNAs of GSH conjugation and peroxide reduction enzymes, such as Gst?1, Gst?4, Gst?, and Gpx2 were higher in livers of Keap1-HKO mice, together with higher expression of the rate-limiting enzyme for GSH synthesis (Gclc). Organic anion transport polypeptides were increased by microcystin with the most increase in Keap1-HKO mice. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that higher basal levels of Nrf2 and GSH-related genes in Keap1-HKO mice prevented microcystin-induced oxidative stress and liver injury.
Project description:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a sight-threatening complication of diabetes. This study investigated the therapeutic effect of probucol in a mouse model of diabetic retinopathy. C57BL/6 mice were rendered diabetic through Streptozotocin (STZ) intraperitoneal injection. Mice were treated with probucol (150?mg/kg, gavage administration) or vehicle (DMSO) for 12 weeks. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus photography (FP), and fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) were conducted to evaluate retinal structure and damage. Eyes were collected for histology, reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay, apoptotic cells count, and western blot. After STZ injection, all mice developed hyperglycemia. Compared with the retina of the control group, the retina of diabetic mice showed enhanced arterial reflex and beaded vein dilatation. Besides, reduced inner and middle retinal thickness and significantly fewer nuclei were found in diabetic retina. Moreover, the diabetic retina also presented increased ROS generation and more TUNEL-positive cells. Probucol treatment prevented diabetes-induced lesions. In addition, the treatment also upregulated Nrf2 expression in diabetic retina. It was suggested that probucol attenuated diabetes-induced retinal neuronal degeneration via upregulating the Nrf2 signaling pathway possibly. Probucol may be repurposed for DR management.
Project description:Glucose is the most important metabolic substrate of the retina and maintenance of nor-moglycemia is an essential challenge for diabetic patients. Glycemic excursions could lead to cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy. We recently showed that hy-poglycemia induced retinal cell death in mouse via caspase 3 activation and glutathione (GSH) decrease. Ex vivo experiments in 661W photoreceptor cells confirmed the low-glucose induction of death via superoxide production and activation of caspase 3, which was concomitant with a decrease of GSH content. We evaluate herein retinal gene expression 4 h and 48 h after insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Microarray analysis demonstrated clusters of genes whose expression is modified by hypoglycemia and we discuss the potential implication of those genes in retinal cell death. In addition, we highlight, by gene set enrichment analysis, three important pathways, including KEGG lysosomes, KEGG GSH metabolism and REACTOME apoptosis pathways. We tested the effect of recurrent hypoglycemia (three successive 5h periods of hypoglycemia separated by 48 h recovery) on retinal cell death. Interestingly, exposure to multiple hypoglycemic events prevents retinal cell death and GSH decrease, or adapts the retina to external stress by restoring GSH level comparable to control situation. We hypothesize that scavenger GSH is a key compound in this apoptotic process, and maintaining “normal” GSH level, as well as a strict glycemic control, may represent a therapeutic challenge in order to avoid side effects of diabetes, especially diabetic retinopathy. Overall design: 4 experimental groups, 3 samples per group
Project description:In this study, we identified Nrf2 as a molecular target of -shogaol (6S), a bioactive compound isolated from ginger, in colon epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Following 6S treatment of HCT-116 cells, the intracellular GSH/GSSG ratio was initially diminished but was then elevated above the basal level. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) correlated inversely with the GSH/GSSG ratio. Further analysis using gene microarray showed that 6S upregulated the expression of Nrf2 target genes (AKR1B10, FTL, GGTLA4, and HMOX1) in HCT-116 cells. Western blotting confirmed upregulation, phosphorylation, and nuclear translocation of Nrf2 protein followed by Keap1 decrease and upregulation of Nrf2 target genes (AKR1B10, FTL, GGTLA4, HMOX1, and MT1) and glutathione synthesis genes (GCLC and GCLM). Pretreatment of cells with a specific inhibitor of p38 (SB202190), PI3K (LY294002), or MEK1 (PD098059) attenuated these effects of 6S. Using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we found that 6S modified multiple cysteine residues of Keap1 protein. In vivo 6S treatment induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation and significantly upregulated the expression of MT1, HMOX1, and GCLC in the colon of wild-type mice but not Nrf2(-/-) mice. Similar to 6S, a cysteine-conjugated metabolite of 6S (M2), which was previously found to be a carrier of 6S in vitro and in vivo, also activated Nrf2. Our data demonstrated that 6S and its cysteine-conjugated metabolite M2 activate Nrf2 in colon epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo through Keap1-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Project description:Diabetic retinopathy is a major vision threatening disease among working age adults, and increased oxidative stress is one of the prime causative factors in its pathogenesis. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cytosol damage mitochondria, and due to compromised antioxidant signaling system and dysfunctional mitochondria with damaged mitochondrial DNA, ROS continue to pile up, accelerating capillary cell loss. In addition to other cellular and enzymatic defense systems, the retina is also equipped with the nuclear erythroid-2-p45-related factor-2 (Nrf2) antioxidant response element signaling pathway, which controls the expression of genes important in detoxification and elimination of ROS. However, in diabetes, its transcriptional activity is impaired, further exacerbating and exposing the retina to elevated stress. Diabetic milieu also alters epigenetic factors responsible for chromatin modifications and gene regulation, and kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), important in regulating Nrf2-antioxidant signaling axis, is epigenetically modified, impeding nuclear translocation of Nrf2, and this inhibits the transcription of genes with Antioxidant Response Element. This review discusses antioxidant signaling, especially the role of Nrf2, in diabetic retinopathy, and possible involvement of epigenetic modifications in antioxidant signaling and Nrf2 transcriptional activity. Therapies targeting Nrf2 activation, including epigenetic modifications, have potentional to prevent mitochondrial damage and inhibit the development, and progression of this sight-threatening disease which most of the patients get after 20-25 years of diabetes.
Project description:Glucose is the most important metabolic substrate of the retina and maintenance of normoglycemia is an essential challenge for diabetic patients. Chronic, exaggerated, glycemic excursions could lead to cardiovascular diseases, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy. We recently showed that hypoglycemia induced retinal cell death in mouse via caspase 3 activation and glutathione (GSH) decrease. Ex vivo experiments in 661W photoreceptor cells confirmed the low-glucose induction of death via superoxide production and activation of caspase 3, which was concomitant with a decrease of GSH content. We evaluate herein retinal gene expression 4 h and 48 h after insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Microarray analysis demonstrated clusters of genes whose expression was modified by hypoglycemia and we discuss the potential implication of those genes in retinal cell death. In addition, we identify by gene set enrichment analysis, three important pathways, including lysosomal function, GSH metabolism and apoptotic pathways. Then we tested the effect of recurrent hypoglycemia (three successive 4h periods of hypoglycemia spaced by 48 h recovery) on retinal cell death. Interestingly, exposure to multiple hypoglycemic events prevented GSH decrease and retinal cell death, or adapted the retina to external stress by restoring GSH level comparable to control situation. We hypothesize that scavenger GSH is a key compound in this apoptotic process, and maintaining "normal" GSH level, as well as a strict glycemic control, represents a therapeutic challenge in order to avoid side effects of diabetes, especially diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:Toosendanin (TSN) is the main active compound in Toosendan Fructus and Meliae Cortex, two commonly used traditional Chinese medicines. TSN has been reported to induce hepatotoxicity, but its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated the critical role of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in protecting against TSN-induced hepatotoxicity in mice and human normal liver L-02 cells. In mice, administration of TSN (10?mg/kg)-induced acute liver injury evidenced by increased serum alanine/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities, and total bilirubin (TBiL) content as well as the histological changes. Furthermore, TSN markedly increased liver reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and decreased liver glutathione (GSH) content and Nrf2 expression. In L-02 cells, TSN (2??M) time-dependently reduced glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL) activity and cellular expression of the catalytic/modify subunit of GCL (GCLC/GCLM). Moreover, TSN reduced cellular GSH content and the increased ROS formation, and time-dependently decreased Nrf2 expression and increased the expression of the Nrf2 inhibitor protein kelch-like ECH-associated protein-1 (Keap1). Pre-administration of quercetin (40, 80?mg/kg) effectively inhibited TSN-induced liver oxidative injury and reversed the decreased expression of Nrf2 and GCLC/GCLM in vivo and in vitro. In addition, the quercetin-provided protection against TSN-induced hepatotoxicity was diminished in Nrf2 knock-out mice. In conclusion, TSN decreases cellular GSH content by reducing Nrf2-mediated GCLC/GCLM expression via decreasing Nrf2 expression. Quercetin attenuates TSN-induced hepatotoxicity by inducing the Nrf2/GCL/GSH antioxidant signaling pathway. This study implies that inducing Nrf2 activation may be an effective strategy to prevent TSN-induced hepatotoxicity.