Heat stress induces apoptosis through a Ca²?-mediated mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
ABSTRACT: Heat stress can be acutely cytotoxic, and heat stress-induced apoptosis is a prominent pathological feature of heat-related illnesses, although the precise mechanisms by which heat stress triggers apoptosis are poorly defined.The percentages of viability and cell death were assessed by WST-1 and LDH release assays. Apoptosis was assayed by DNA fragmentation and caspase activity. Expression of cleaved PARP, Apaf-1, phospho-PERK, Phospho-eIF2a, ATF4, XBP-1s, ATF6, GRP78, phospho-IP3R, RYR and SERCA was estimated by Western blot. The effect of calcium overload was determined using flow cytometric analysis with the fluorescent probe Fluo-3/AM. The generation of ROS (O2-, H2O2, NO) was labeled by confocal laser scanning microscopy images of fluorescently and flow cytometry.In this study, we found that heat stress in HUVEC cells activated initiators of three major unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling transduction pathways: PERK-eIF2a-ATF4, IRE1-XBP-1S and ATF6 to protect against ER stress, although activation declined over time following cessation of heat stress. Furthermore, we show that intense heat stress may induce apoptosis in HUVEC cells through the calcium-mediated mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, as indicated by elevation of cytoplasmic Ca2+, expression of Apaf-1, activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, PARP cleavage, and ultimately nucleosomal DNA fragmentation; Reactive oxygen species (ROS) appear to act upstream in this process. In addition, we provide evidence that IP3R upregulation may promote influx of Ca2+ into the cytoplasm after heat stress.Our findings describe a novel mechanism for heat stress-induced apoptosis in HUVEC cells: following elevation of cytoplasm Ca2+, activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway via the IP3R upregulation, with ROS acting as an upstream regulator of the process.
Project description:Disruption of nitric oxide pathway and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress had been observed in preeclampsia (PE). However, the correlation and overall detailed expression profiles of ER stress-related markers and endothelial nitric oxide synthase/inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/iNOS) in patients with PE were poorly understood. In this study, placental protein expression of ER stress-related markers as well as eNOS/iNOS in normotensive control (n=32) and PE pregnancies (n=32) was examined by western blot. In addition, apoptosis was detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labelling (TUNEL) staining in placentas. Compared with control, we found elevated ER stress response was agreeable with iNOS upregulation in placenta tissue of PE patients. Placental protein expression of ER stress-related markers, including GRP78, GRP94, p-PERK, eIF2a, p-eIF2a, XBP1, CHOP, Ire1, p-Ire1 and iNOS, was higher, and eNOS expression was lower in PE (P<0.05 for all); however, the expression of ATF6 and PERK was similar in the PE and control groups. Upregulation of CHOP and iNOS was consistent of apoptosis increasing indicated by TUNEL staining and caspase 4 expression upregulation in PE placenta. Our datas suggest that the exaggerated ER stress response and upregulated iNOS are probably associated with increased apoptosis in placenta of PE patients and may contribute to the pathophysiology of PE.
Project description:Acidosis commonly exists in the tissue microenvironment of various pathophysiological conditions such as tumors, inflammation, ischemia, metabolic disease, and respiratory disease. For instance, the tumor microenvironment is characterized by acidosis and hypoxia due to tumor heterogeneity, aerobic glycolysis (the "Warburg effect"), and the defective vasculature that cannot efficiently deliver oxygen and nutrients or remove metabolic acid byproduct. How the acidic microenvironment affects the function of blood vessels, however, is not well defined. GPR4 (G protein-coupled receptor 4) is a member of the proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptors and it has high expression in endothelial cells (ECs). We have previously reported that acidosis induces a broad inflammatory response in ECs. Acidosis also increases the expression of several endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response genes such as CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein) and ATF3 (activating transcription factor 3). In the current study, we have examined acidosis/GPR4- induced ER stress pathways in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and other types of ECs. All three arms of the ER stress/unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways were activated by acidosis in ECs as an increased expression of phosphorylated eIF2? (eukaryotic initiation factor 2?), phosphorylated IRE1? (inositol-requiring enzyme 1?), and cleaved ATF6 upon acidic pH treatment was observed. The expression of other downstream mediators of the UPR, such as ATF4, ATF3, and spliced XBP-1 (X box-binding protein 1), was also induced by acidosis. Through genetic and pharmacological approaches to modulate the expression level or activity of GPR4 in HUVEC, we found that GPR4 plays an important role in mediating the ER stress response induced by acidosis. As ER stress/UPR can cause inflammation and cell apoptosis, acidosis/GPR4-induced ER stress pathways in ECs may regulate vascular growth and inflammatory response in the acidic microenvironment.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the subsequent unfolded protein response may initially be protective, but when prolonged, have been implicated in atherogenesis in diabetic conditions. Triglycerides and free fatty acids (FFAs) are elevated in patients with diabetes and may contribute to ER stress. We sought to evaluate the effect of acute FFA elevation on ER stress in endothelial and circulating white cells.Twenty-one healthy subjects were treated with intralipid (20%; 45 mL/h) plus heparin (12 U/kg/h) infusion for 5 hours. Along with increased triglyceride and FFA levels, intralipid/heparin infusion reduced the calf reactive hyperemic response without a change in conduit artery flow-mediated dilation consistent with microvascular dysfunction. To investigate the short-term effects of elevated triglycerides and FFA, we measured markers of ER stress in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and vascular endothelial cells (VECs). In VECs, activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and phospho-inositol requiring kinase 1 (pIRE1) proteins were elevated after infusion (both P<0.05). In PBMCs, ATF6 and spliced X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP-1) gene expression increased by 2.0- and 2.5-fold, respectively (both P<0.05), whereas CHOP and GADD34 decreased by ≈67% and 74%, respectively (both P<0.01). ATF6 and pIRE1 protein levels also increased (both P<0.05), and confocal microscopy revealed the nuclear localization of ATF6 after infusion, suggesting activation.Along with microvascular dysfunction, intralipid infusion induced an early protective ER stress response evidenced by activation of ATF6 and IRE1 in both leukocytes and endothelial cells. Our results suggest a potential link between metabolic disturbances and ER stress that may be relevant to vascular disease.
Project description:Pachymic acid (PA) is a purified triterpene extracted from medicinal fungus Poria cocos. In this paper, we investigated the anticancer effect of PA on human chemotherapy resistant pancreatic cancer. PA triggered apoptosis in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells PANC-1 and MIA PaCa-2. Comparative gene expression array analysis demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was induced by PA through activation of heat shock response and unfolded protein response related genes. Induced ER stress was confirmed by increasing expression of XBP-1s, ATF4, Hsp70, CHOP and phospho-eIF2?. Moreover, ER stress inhibitor tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) blocked PA induced apoptosis. In addition, 25 mg kg-1 of PA significantly suppressed MIA PaCa-2 tumor growth in vivo without toxicity, which correlated with induction of apoptosis and expression of ER stress related proteins in tumor tissues. Taken together, growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis by PA in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells were associated with ER stress activation both in vitro and in vivo. PA may be potentially exploited for the use in treatment of chemotherapy resistant pancreatic cancer.
Project description:The plant metabolite andrographolide induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells. The mechanism(s) by which andrographolide induces apoptosis however, have not been elucidated. The present study was performed to determine the molecular events that promote apoptosis in andrographolide treated cells using T84, HCT116 and COLO 205 colon cancer cell lines. Andrographolide was determined to limit colony formation and Ki67 expression, alter nuclear morphology, increase cytoplasmic histone-associated-DNA-fragments, and increase cleaved caspase-3 levels. Andrographolide also induced significantly higher expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress proteins GRP-78 and IRE-1 by 48 h but not PERK or ATF6. Apoptosis signaling molecules BAX, spliced XBP-1 and CHOP were also significantly increased. Moreover, chemical inhibition of ER stress or IRE-1 depletion with siRNA in andrographolide treated cells significantly limited expression of IRE-1 and CHOP as determined by immunofluorescence staining, real time PCR, or immunobloting. This was accompanied by a decreased BAX/Bcl-2 ratio. Andrographolide significantly promotes cancer cell death compared to normal cells. These data demonstrate that andrographolide associated ER stress contributes to apoptosis through the activation of a pro-apoptotic GRP-78/IRE-1/XBP-1/CHOP signaling pathway.
Project description:Reovirus type 3 Dearing (reovirus) is a tumor-selective oncolytic virus currently under evaluation in clinical trials. Here, we report that the therapeutic efficacy of reovirus in head and neck squamous cell cancer can be enhanced by targeting the unfolded protein response (UPR) kinase, protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK). PERK inhibition by GSK2606414 increased reovirus efficacy in both 2D and 3D models in vitro, while perturbing the normal host cell response to reovirus-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. UPR reporter constructs were used for live-cell 3D spheroid imaging. Profiling of eIF2a-ATF4, IRE1a-XBP1, and ATF6 pathway activity revealed a context-dependent increase in eIF2a-ATF4 signaling due to GSK2606414. GSK2606414 blocked eIF2a-ATF4 signaling because of the canonical ER stress agent thapsigargin. In the context of reovirus infection, GSK2606414 induced eIF2a-ATF4 signaling. Knockdown of eIF2a kinases PERK, GCN2, and PKR revealed eIF2a-ATF4 reporter activity was dependent on either PERK or GCN2. Knockdown of ATF4 abrogated the GSK2606414-induced increase in reovirus protein levels, confirming eIF2a-ATF signaling as key to the observed phenotype. Our work identifies a novel approach to enhance the efficacy and replication of reovirus in a therapeutic setting.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptotic cell death play an important role in the pathogenesis and perpetuation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We aimed to explore the potential of glutamine to reduce ER stress and apoptosis in a rat model of experimental IBD. Colitis was induced in male Wistar rats by intracolonic administration of 30 mg of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Glutamine (25 mg/dL) was given by rectal route daily for 2 d or 7 d. Both oxidative stress (TBARS concentration and oxidised/reduced glutathione ratio) and ER stress markers (CHOP, BiP, calpain-1 and caspase-12 expression) increased significantly within 48 h of TNBS instillation, and glutamine attenuated the extent of the changes. Glutamine also inhibited the significant increases of ATF6, ATF4 and spliced XBP-1 mRNA levels induced by TNBS instillation. TNBS-colitis resulted in a significant increase in p53 and cytochrome c expression, and a reduced Bcl-xL expression and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. These effects were significantly inhibited by glutamine. Treatment with the amino acid also resulted in significant decreases of caspase-9, caspase-8 and caspase-3 activities. Double immunofluorescence staining showed co-localization of CHOP and cleaved caspase-3 in colon sections. Phospho-JNK and PARP-1 expression was also significantly higher in TNBS-treated rats, and treatment with glutamine significantly decreased JNK phosphorylation and PARP-1 proteolysis. To directly address the effect of glutamine on ER stress and apoptosis in epithelial cells, the ER stress inducers brefeldin A and tunicamycin were added to Caco-2 cells that were treated with glutamine (5 mM and 10 mM). The significant enhancement in PERK, ATF6 phosphorylated IRE1, BiP and cleaved caspase-3 expression induced by brefeldin A and tunicamycin was partly prevented by glutamine. Data obtained indicated that modulation of ER stress signalling and anti-apoptotic effects contribute to protection by glutamine against damage in TNBS-induced colitis.
Project description:Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) is a key protein in mitochondrial fusion and it participates in the bridging of mitochondria to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Recent data indicate that Mfn2 ablation leads to ER stress. Here we report on the mechanisms by which Mfn2 modulates cellular responses to ER stress. Induction of ER stress in Mfn2-deficient cells caused massive ER expansion and excessive activation of all three Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) branches (PERK, XBP-1, and ATF6). In spite of an enhanced UPR, these cells showed reduced activation of apoptosis and autophagy during ER stress. Silencing of PERK increased the apoptosis of Mfn2-ablated cells in response to ER stress. XBP-1 loss-of-function ameliorated autophagic activity of these cells upon ER stress. Mfn2 physically interacts with PERK, and Mfn2-ablated cells showed sustained activation of this protein kinase under basal conditions. Unexpectedly, PERK silencing in these cells reduced ROS production, normalized mitochondrial calcium, and improved mitochondrial morphology. In summary, our data indicate that Mfn2 is an upstream modulator of PERK. Furthermore, Mfn2 loss-of-function reveals that PERK is a key regulator of mitochondrial morphology and function.
Project description:Cells apoptosis induced by intense heat stress is the prominent feature of heat-related illness. However, little is known about the biological effects of heat stress on cells apoptosis. Herein, we presented evidence that intense heat stress could induce early apoptosis of HUVEC cells through activating mitochondrial pathway with changes in mitochondrial membrane potential(ΔΨm), release of cytochrome c, and activation of caspase-9 and -3. We further revealed that p53 played a crucial role in heat stress-induced early apoptosis, with p53 protein rapidly translocated into mitochondria. Using pifithrin-α(PFT), a p53's mitochondrial translocation inhibitor, we found that pretreated with PFT, heat stress induced mitochondrial p53 translocation was significantly suppressed, accompanied by a significant alleviation in the loss of ΔΨm, cytochrome c release and caspase-9 activation. Furthermore, we also found that generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was a critical mediator in heat stress-induced apoptosis. In addition, the antioxidant MnTMPyP significantly decreased the heat stress-induced p53's mitochondrial translocation, followed by the loss of ΔΨm, cytochrome c release, caspase-9 activation and heat stress-mediated apoptosis. Conclusively, these findings indicate the contribution of the transcription-independent mitochondrial p53 pathway to early apoptosis in HUVEC cells induced by oxidative stress in response to intense heat stress.
Project description:Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are one of the genetic causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Although the primary symptom of ALS is muscle weakness, the link between SOD1 mutations, cellular dysfunction and muscle atrophy and weakness is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize cellular markers of ER stress in skeletal muscle across the lifespan of G93A*SOD1 (ALS-Tg) mice. Muscles were obtained from ALS-Tg and age-matched wild type (WT) mice at 70d (pre-symptomatic), 90d and 120-140d (symptomatic) and analyzed for ER stress markers. In white gastrocnemius (WG) muscle, ER stress sensors PERK and IRE1? were upregulated ~2-fold at 70d and remained (PERK) or increased further (IRE1?) at 120-140d. Phospho-eIF2?, a downstream target of PERK and an inhibitor of protein translation, was increased by 70d and increased further to 12.9-fold at 120-140d. IRE1? upregulation leads to increased splicing of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP-1) to the XBP-1s isoform. XBP-1s transcript was increased at 90d and 120-140d indicating activation of IRE1? signaling. The ER chaperone/heat shock protein Grp78/BiP was upregulated 2-fold at 70d and 90d and increased to 6.1-fold by 120-140d. The ER-stress-specific apoptotic signaling protein CHOP was upregulated 2-fold at 70d and 90d and increased to 13.3-fold at 120-140d indicating progressive activation of an apoptotic signal in muscle. There was a greater increase in Grp78/BiP and CHOP in WG vs. the more oxidative red gastrocnemius (RG) ALS-Tg at 120-140d indicating greater ER stress and apoptosis in fast glycolytic muscle. These data show that the ER stress response is activated in skeletal muscle of ALS-Tg mice by an early pre-symptomatic age and increases with disease progression. These data suggest a mechanism by which myocellular ER stress leads to reduced protein translation and contributes to muscle atrophy and weakness in ALS.