ResearchPad - stress-signaling-cascade Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Genome-wide identification of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and expression profiling of <i>CmMAPKs</i> in melon (<i>Cucumis melo</i> L.)]]> Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is a form of serine/threonine protein kinase that activated by extracellular stimulation acting through the MAPK cascade (MAPKKK-MAPKK-MAPK). The MAPK cascade gene family, an important family of protein kinases, plays a vital role in responding to various stresses and hormone signal transduction processes in plants. In this study, we identified 14 CmMAPKs, 6 CmMAPKKs and 64 CmMAPKKKs in melon genome. Based on structural characteristics and a comparison of phylogenetic relationships of MAPK gene families from Arabidopsis, cucumber and watermelon, CmMAPKs and CmMAPKKs were categorized into 4 groups, and CmMAPKKKs were categorized into 3 groups. Furthermore, chromosome location revealed an unevenly distribution on chromosomes of MAPK cascade genes in melon, respectively. Eventually, qRT-PCR analysis showed that all 14 CmMAPKs had different expression patterns under drought, salt, salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), red light (RL), and Podosphaera xanthii (P. xanthii) treatments. Overall, the expression levels of CmMAPK3 and CmMAPK7 under different treatments were higher than those in control. Our study provides an important basis for future functional verification of MAPK genes in regulating responses to stress and signal substance in melon.

<![CDATA[IL-11 prevents IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death through selective downregulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling and ROS scavenging]]>


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) exhibits hepatotoxicity through signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) activation. On the contrary, interleukin-11 (IL-11) shows tissue-protective effects on various organs including the liver through STAT3 activation. Here, we found that IL-11 pretreatment protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death and investigated the molecular mechanisms, particularly focusing on signal crosstalk.

Methods and results

Primary culture mouse hepatocytes were treated with IL-11 prior to IFN-γ, and cell death was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase release into media. As a result, IL-11 pretreatment effectively suppressed IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death. Since IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death requires STAT1 signaling, the activity of STAT1 was analyzed. IFN-γ robustly activated STAT1 with its peak at 1 hr after stimulation, which was significantly attenuated by IL-11 pretreatment. Consistently, IL-11 pretreatment impeded mRNA increase of STAT1-downstream molecules promoting cell death, i.e., IRF-1, caspase 1, bak, and bax. IL-11-mediated suppression of STAT1 signaling was presumably due to upregulation of the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) genes, which are well-known negative feedback regulators of the JAK/STAT pathway. Interestingly, however, IFN-γ pretreatment failed to affect the following IL-11-induced STAT3 activation, although IFN-γ also upregulated SOCSs. Finally, we demonstrated that IL-11 pretreatment mitigated oxidative stress through increasing expression of ROS scavengers.


IL-11 protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death via STAT1 signal suppression and ROS scavenging. Further investigation into the mechanisms underlying selective negative feedback regulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling compared to IL-11/STAT3 signaling may shed new light on the molecular biology of hepatocytes.

<![CDATA[Ask1 and Akt act synergistically to promote ROS-dependent regeneration in Drosophila]]>

How cells communicate to initiate a regenerative response after damage has captivated scientists during the last few decades. It is known that one of the main signals emanating from injured cells is the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which propagate to the surrounding tissue to trigger the replacement of the missing cells. However, the link between ROS production and the activation of regenerative signaling pathways is not yet fully understood. We describe here the non-autonomous ROS sensing mechanism by which living cells launch their regenerative program. To this aim, we used Drosophila imaginal discs as a model system due to its well-characterized regenerative ability after injury or cell death. We genetically-induced cell death and found that the Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (Ask1) is essential for regenerative growth. Ask1 senses ROS both in dying and living cells, but its activation is selectively attenuated in living cells by Akt1, the core kinase component of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor pathway. Akt1 phosphorylates Ask1 in a secondary site outside the kinase domain, which attenuates its activity. This modulation of Ask1 activity results in moderate levels of JNK signaling in the living tissue, as well as in activation of p38 signaling, both pathways required to turn on the regenerative response. Our findings demonstrate a non-autonomous activation of a ROS sensing mechanism by Ask1 and Akt1 to replace the missing tissue after damage. Collectively, these results provide the basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of communication between dying and living cells that triggers regeneration.

<![CDATA[LRRK2 kinase plays a critical role in manganese-induced inflammation and apoptosis in microglia]]>

Long-term exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) causes manganism, a neurodegenerative disorder with Parkinson’s disease (PD)-like symptoms. Increasing evidence suggests that leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), which is highly expressed in microglia and macrophages, contributes to the inflammation and neurotoxicity seen in autosomal dominant and sporadic PD. As gene-environment interactions have emerged as important modulators of PD-associated toxicity, LRRK2 may also mediate Mn-induced inflammation and pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the role of LRRK2 in Mn-induced toxicity using human microglial cells (HMC3), LRRK2-wild-type (WT) and LRRK2-knockout (KO) RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Results showed that Mn activated LRRK2 kinase by phosphorylation of its serine residue at the 1292 position (S1292) as a marker of its kinase activity in macrophage and microglia, while inhibition with GSK2578215A (GSK) and MLi-2 abolished Mn-induced LRRK2 activation. LRRK2 deletion and its pharmacological inhibition attenuated Mn-induced apoptosis in macrophages and microglia, along with concomitant decreases in the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-associated X (Bax) protein. LRRK2 deletion also attenuated Mn-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. Mn-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 and ERK signaling proteins was significantly attenuated in LRRK2 KO cells and GSK-treated cells. Moreover, inhibition of MAPK p38 and ERK as well as LRRK2 attenuated Mn-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity plays a critical role in Mn-induced toxicity via downstream activation of MAPK signaling in macrophage and microglia. Collectively, these results suggest that LRRK2 could be a potential molecular target for developing therapeutics to treat Mn-related neurodegenerative disorders.

<![CDATA[RSM1, an Arabidopsis MYB protein, interacts with HY5/HYH to modulate seed germination and seedling development in response to abscisic acid and salinity]]>

MYB transcription factors are involved in many biological processes, including metabolism, development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. RADIALIS-LIKE SANT/MYB 1 (RSM1) belongs to a MYB-related subfamily, and previous transcriptome analysis suggests that RSM1 may play roles in plant development, stress responses and plant hormone signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms of RSM1 action in response to abiotic stresses remain obscure. We show that down-regulation or up-regulation of RSM1 expression alters the sensitivity of seed germination and cotyledon greening to abscisic acid (ABA), NaCl and mannitol in Arabidopsis. The expression of RSM1 is dynamically regulated by ABA and NaCl. Transcription factors ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5) and HY5 HOMOLOG (HYH) regulate RSM1 expression via binding to the RSM1 promoter. Genetic analyses reveal that RSM1 mediates multiple functions of HY5 in responses of seed germination, post-germination development to ABA and abiotic stresses, and seedling tolerance to salinity. Pull-down and BiFC assays show that RSM1 interacts with HY5/HYH in vitro and in vivo. RSM1 and HY5/HYH may function as a regulatory module in responses to ABA and abiotic stresses. RSM1 binds to the promoter of ABA INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5), thereby regulating its expression, while RSM1 interaction also stimulates HY5 binding to the ABI5 promoter. However, no evidence was found in the dual-luciferase transient expression assay to support that RSM enhances the activation of ABI5 expression by HY. In summary, HY5/HYH and RSM1 may converge on the ABI5 promoter and independently or somehow dependently regulate ABI5 expression and ABI5-downstream ABA and abiotic stress-responsive genes, thereby improving the adaption of plants to the environment.

<![CDATA[Analysis of the transcriptome data in Litopenaeus vannamei reveals the immune basis and predicts the hub regulation-genes in response to high-pH stress]]>

Soil salinization erodes the farmlands and poses a serious threat to human life, reuse of the saline-alkali lands as cultivated resources becomes increasingly prominent. Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) is an important farmed aquatic species for the development and utilization of the saline-alkali areas. However, little is known about the adaptation mechanism of this species in terms of high-pH stress. In the present study, a transcriptome analysis on the gill tissues of L. vannamei in response to high-pH stress (pH 9.3 ± 0.1) was conducted. After analyzing, the cyclic nucleotide gated channel-Ca2+ (CNGC-Ca2+) and patched 1 (Ptc1) were detected as the majority annotated components in the cAMP signaling pathway (KO04024), indicating that the CNGC-Ca2+ and Ptc1 might be the candidate components for transducing and maintaining the high-pH stress signals, respectively. The immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF), heat shock protein (HSP), glutathione s-transferase (GST), prophenoloxidase/phenoloxidase (proPO/PO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), anti-lipopolysaccharide factor (ALF) and lipoprotein were discovered as the major transcribed immune factors in response to high-pH stress. To further detect hub regulation-genes, protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were constructed; the genes/proteins “Polymerase (RNA) II (DNA directed) polypeptide A” (POLR2A), “Histone acetyltransferase p300” (EP300) and “Heat shock 70kDa protein 8” (HSPA8) were suggested as the top three hub regulation-genes in response to acute high-pH stress; the genes/proteins “Heat shock 70kDa protein 4” (HSPA4), “FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog” (FOS) and “Nucleoporin 54kDa” (NUP54) were proposed as the top three hub regulation-genes involved in adapting endurance high-pH stress; the protein-interactions of “EP300-HSPA8” and “HSPA4-NUP54” were detected as the most important biological interactions in response to the high-pH stress; and the HSP70 family genes might play essential roles in the adaptation of the high-pH stress environment in L. vannamei. These findings provide the first insight into the molecular and immune basis of L. vannamei in terms of high-pH environments, and the construction of a PPI network might improve our understanding in revealing the hub regulation-genes in response to abiotic stress in shrimp species and might be beneficial for further studies.

<![CDATA[Baldspot/ELOVL6 is a conserved modifier of disease and the ER stress response]]>

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is an important modifier of human disease. Genetic variation in response genes is linked to inter-individual differences in the ER stress response. However, the mechanisms and pathways by which genetic modifiers are acting on the ER stress response remain unclear. In this study, we characterize the role of the long chain fatty acid elongase Baldspot (ELOVL6) in modifying the ER stress response and disease. We demonstrate that loss of Baldspot rescues degeneration and reduces IRE1 and PERK signaling and cell death in a Drosophila model of retinitis pigmentosa and ER stress (Rh1G69D). Dietary supplementation of stearate bypasses the need for Baldspot activity. Finally, we demonstrate that Baldspot regulates the ER stress response across different tissues and induction methods. Our findings suggest that ELOVL6 is a promising target in the treatment of not only retinitis pigmentosa, but a number of different ER stress-related disorders.

<![CDATA[Deletion of exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (Epac) causes defects in hippocampal signaling in female mice]]>

Previous studies demonstrate essential roles for the exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP 1 and 2 (Epac1 and Epac2; here collectively referred to as Epac) in the brain. In the hippocampus, Epac contributes to the control of neuronal growth and differentiation and has been implicated in memory and learning as well as in anxiety and depression. In the present study we address the hypothesis that Epac affects hippocampal cellular responses to acute restraint stress. Stress causes activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling is essential for proper feedback regulation of the stress response, both in the brain and along the HPA axis. In the hippocampus, GR expression is regulated by cAMP and the brain enriched micro RNA miR-124. Epac has been associated with miR-124 expression in hippocampal neurons, but not in regulation of GR. We report that hippocampal expression of Epac1 and Epac2 increased in response to acute stress in female wild type mice. In female mice genetically deleted for Epac, nuclear translocation of GR in response to restraint stress was significantly delayed, and moreover, miR-124 expression was decreased in these mice. Male mice lacking Epac also showed abnormalities in miR-124 expression, but the phenotype was less profound than in females. Serum corticosterone levels were slightly altered immediately after stress in both male and female mice deleted for Epac. The presented data indicate that Epac1 and Epac2 are involved in controlling cellular responses to acute stress in the mouse hippocampus and provide novel insights into the underlying transcriptional and signaling networks. Interestingly, we observe sex specific differences when Epac is deleted. As the incidence and prevalence of stress-related diseases are higher in women than in men, the Epac knockout models might serve as genetic tools to further elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying differences between male and female with regard to regulation of stress.

<![CDATA[The Oogenic Germline Starvation Response in C. elegans]]>

Many animals alter their reproductive strategies in response to environmental stress. Here we have investigated how L4 hermaphrodites of Caenorhabditis elegans respond to starvation. To induce starvation, we removed food at 2 h intervals from very early- to very late-stage L4 animals. The starved L4s molted into adulthood, initiated oogenesis, and began producing embryos; however, all three processes were severely delayed, and embryo viability was reduced. Most animals died via ‘bagging,’ because egg-laying was inhibited, and embryos hatched in utero, consuming their parent hermaphrodites from within. Some animals, however, avoided bagging and survived long term. Long-term survival did not rely on embryonic arrest but instead upon the failure of some animals to produce viable progeny during starvation. Regardless of the bagging fate, starved animals showed two major changes in germline morphology: All oogenic germlines were dramatically reduced in size, and these germlines formed only a single oocyte at a time, separated from the remainder of the germline by a tight constriction. Both changes in germline morphology were reversible: Upon re-feeding, the shrunken germlines regenerated, and multiple oocytes formed concurrently. The capacity for germline regeneration upon re-feeding was not limited to the small subset of animals that normally survive starvation: When bagging was prevented ectopically by par-2 RNAi, virtually all germlines still regenerated. In addition, germline shrinkage strongly correlated with oogenesis, suggesting that during starvation, germline shrinkage may provide material for oocyte production. Finally, germline shrinkage and regeneration did not depend upon crowding. Our study confirms previous findings that starvation uncouples germ cell proliferation from germline stem cell maintenance. Our study also suggests that when nutrients are limited, hermaphrodites scavenge material from their germlines to reproduce. We discuss our findings in light of the recently proposed state of dormancy, termed Adult Reproductive Diapause.

<![CDATA[GmCYP82A3, a Soybean Cytochrome P450 Family Gene Involved in the Jasmonic Acid and Ethylene Signaling Pathway, Enhances Plant Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses]]>

The cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) represent a large and important enzyme superfamily in plants. They catalyze numerous monooxygenation/hydroxylation reactions in biochemical pathways, P450s are involved in a variety of metabolic pathways and participate in the homeostasis of phytohormones. The CYP82 family genes specifically reside in dicots and are usually induced by distinct environmental stresses. However, their functions are largely unknown, especially in soybean (Glycine max L.). Here, we report the function of GmCYP82A3, a gene from soybean CYP82 family. Its expression was induced by Phytophthora sojae infection, salinity and drought stresses, and treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) or ethephon (ETH). Its expression levels were consistently high in resistant cultivars. Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants overexpressing GmCYP82A3 exhibited strong resistance to Botrytis cinerea and Phytophthora parasitica, and enhanced tolerance to salinity and drought stresses. Furthermore, transgenic plants were less sensitive to jasmonic acid (JA), and the enhanced resistance was accompanied with increased expression of the JA/ET signaling pathway-related genes.

<![CDATA[Hypoxia Enhances the Proliferative Response of Macrophages to CSF-1 and Their Pro-Survival Response to TNF]]>

In chronic inflammatory lesions there are increased numbers of macrophages with a possible contribution of enhanced survival/proliferation due, for example, to cytokine action; such lesions are often hypoxic. Prior studies have found that culture in low oxygen can promote monocyte/macrophage survival. We show here, using pharmacologic inhibitors, that the hypoxia-induced pro-survival response of macrophages exhibits a dependence on PI3-kinase and mTOR activities but surprisingly is suppressed by Akt and p38 MAPK activities. It was also found that in hypoxia at CSF-1 concentrations, which under normoxic conditions are suboptimal for macrophage proliferation, macrophages can proliferate more strongly with no evidence for alteration in CSF-1 receptor degradation kinetics. TNF promoted macrophage survival in normoxic conditions with an additive effect in hypoxia. The enhanced hypoxia-dependent survival and/or proliferation of macrophages in the presence of CSF-1 or TNF may contribute to their elevated numbers at a site of chronic inflammation.

<![CDATA[Interaction of Caveolin-1 with Ku70 Inhibits Bax-Mediated Apoptosis]]>

Caveolin-1, the structural protein component of caveolae, acts as a scaffolding protein that functionally regulates signaling molecules. We show that knockdown of caveolin-1 protein expression enhances chemotherapeutic drug-induced apoptosis and inhibits long-term survival of colon cancer cells. In vitro studies demonstrate that caveolin-1 is a novel Ku70-binding protein, as shown by the binding of the scaffolding domain of caveolin-1 (amino acids 82–101) to the caveolin-binding domain (CBD) of Ku70 (amino acids 471–478). Cell culture data show that caveolin-1 binds Ku70 after treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs. Mechanistically, we found that binding of caveolin-1 to Ku70 inhibits the chemotherapeutic drug-induced release of Bax from Ku70, activation of Bax, translocation of Bax to mitochondria and apoptosis. Potentiation of apoptosis by knockdown of caveolin-1 protein expression is greatly reduced in the absence of Bax expression. Finally, we found that overexpression of wild type Ku70, but not a mutant form of Ku70 that cannot bind to caveolin-1 (Ku70 Φ→A), limits the chemotherapeutic drug-induced Ku70/Bax dissociation and apoptosis. Thus, caveolin-1 acts as an anti-apoptotic protein in colon cancer cells by binding to Ku70 and inhibiting Bax-dependent cell death.

<![CDATA[Alpha-1-antitrypsin suppresses oxidative stress in preeclampsia by inhibiting the p38MAPK signaling pathway: An in vivo and in vitro study]]>

This present study was designed to investigate the effects of alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) on oxidative stress in preeclampsia (PE) by regulating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signaling pathway. HTR8/SVneo cells were randomly assigned into normal, hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R), HR + AAT and HR + siRNA-AAT groups. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein expressions of p-p38MAPK, AAT, signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) and activating transcription factor2 (ATF2). Flow cytometry, scratch test, cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and the 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiazol (-z-y1)-3,5-di- phenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay were conducted to detect reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell apoptosis, cell migration, proliferation and cytotoxicity, respectively. Mouse models in PE were established, which were divided into normal pregnancy (NP), PE and PE + AAT groups with blood pressure and urine protein measured. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were conducted to detect the activity of oxidative stress-related kinases and expressions of inflammatory cytokines and coagulation-related factors in cells and mice placenta. Immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay were performed to detect AAT and p38MAPK expressions, apoptosis-related protein expressions, and apoptosis rate in mice placenta. Compared with the normal group, the H/R group had decreased expression of AAT, activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and GSH-Px, cell proliferation and migration, but increased p38MAPK, STAT1, ATF2, MDA, H2O2, inflammatory cytokines, coagulation-related factors, cell cytotoxicity, ROS, apoptotic factors and apoptosis rate. Compared with the H/R group, the HR + ATT group had increased expressions of AAT, activity of SOD and GSH-Px, cell proliferation and migration but decreased p38MAPK, STAT1, ATF2, malonyldialdehyde (MDA), H2O2, inflammatory cytokines and coagulation-related factors, cell cytotoxicity, ROS, apoptotic factors and apoptosis rate, while opposite results were observed in the HR + siRNA-ATT group. Compared with the NP group, the PE group had decreased activity of SOD and GSH-Px but increased MDA, H2O2, AAT, p38MAPK, inflammatory cytokines, coagulation-related factors and apoptosis rate. The indexes in the PE + AAT group were between the NP and PE groups. Thus, we concluded that AAT suppressed oxidative stress in PE by inhibiting p38MAPK signaling pathway.

<![CDATA[Phosphorylation of p65(RelA) on Ser547 by ATM Represses NF-κB-Dependent Transcription of Specific Genes after Genotoxic Stress]]>

The NF-κB pathway is involved in immune and inflammation responses, proliferation, differentiation and cell death or survival. It is activated by many external stimuli including genotoxic stress. DNA double-strand breaks activate NF-κB in an ATM-dependent manner. In this manuscript, a direct interaction between p65(RelA) and the N-terminal extremity of ATM is reported. We also report that only one of the five potential ATM-(S/T)Q target sites present in p65, namely Ser547, is specifically phosphorylated by ATM in vitro. A comparative transcriptomic analysis performed in HEK-293 cells expressing either wild-type HA-p65 or a non-phosphorylatable mutant HA-p65S547A identified several differentially transcribed genes after an etoposide treatment (e.g. IL8, A20, SELE). The transcription of these genes is increased in cells expressing the mutant. Substitution of Ser547 to alanine does not affect p65 binding abilities on the κB site of the IL8 promoter but reduces p65 interaction with HDAC1. Cells expressing p65S547A have a higher level of histone H3 acetylated on Lys9 at the IL8 promoter, which is in agreement with the higher gene induction observed. These results indicate that ATM regulates a sub-set of NF-κB dependent genes after a genotoxic stress by direct phosphorylation of p65.

<![CDATA[REDD1 Protects Osteoblast Cells from Gamma Radiation-Induced Premature Senescence]]>

Radiotherapy is commonly used for cancer treatment. However, it often results in side effects due to radiation damage in normal tissue, such as bone marrow (BM) failure. Adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) reside in BM next to the endosteal bone surface, which is lined primarily by hematopoietic niche osteoblastic cells. Osteoblasts are relatively more radiation-resistant than HSPCs, but the mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study, we demonstrated that the stress response gene REDD1 (regulated in development and DNA damage responses 1) was highly expressed in human osteoblast cell line (hFOB) cells after γ irradiation. Knockdown of REDD1 with siRNA resulted in a decrease in hFOB cell numbers, whereas transfection of PCMV6-AC-GFP-REDD1 plasmid DNA into hFOB cells inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p21 expression and protected these cells from radiation-induced premature senescence (PS). The PS in irradiated hFOB cells were characterized by significant inhibition of clonogenicity, activation of senescence biomarker SA-β-gal, and the senescence-associated cytokine secretory phenotype (SASP) after 4 or 8 Gy irradiation. Immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the stress response proteins p53 and nuclear factor κ B (NFkB) interacted with REDD1 in hFOB cells. Knockdown of NFkB or p53 gene dramatically suppressed REDD1 protein expression in these cells, indicating that REDD1 was regulated by both factors. Our data demonstrated that REDD1 is a protective factor in radiation-induced osteoblast cell premature senescence.

<![CDATA[LZAP Inhibits p38 MAPK (p38) Phosphorylation and Activity by Facilitating p38 Association with the Wild-Type p53 Induced Phosphatase 1 (WIP1)]]>

LZAP (Cdk5rap3, C53) is a putative tumor suppressor that inhibits RelA, Chk1 and Chk2 and activates p53. LZAP is lost in a portion of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and experimental loss of LZAP expression is associated with enhanced invasion, xenograft tumor growth and angiogenesis. p38 MAPK can increase or decrease proliferation and cell death depending on cellular context. LZAP has no known enzymatic activity, implying that its biological functions are likely mediated by its protein-protein interactions. To gain further insight into LZAP activities, we searched for LZAP-associated proteins (LAPs). Here we show that the LZAP binds p38, alters p38 cellular localization, and inhibits basal and cytokine-stimulated p38 activity. Expression of LZAP inhibits p38 phosphorylation in a dose-dependent fashion while loss of LZAP enhances phosphorylation and activation with resultant phosphorylation of p38 downstream targets. Mechanistically, the ability of LZAP to alter p38 phosphorylation depended, at least partially, on the p38 phosphatase, Wip1. Expression of LZAP increased both LZAP and Wip1 binding to p38. Taken together, these data suggest that LZAP activity includes inhibition of p38 phosphorylation and activation.

<![CDATA[Cdc48 and Cofactors Npl4-Ufd1 Are Important for G1 Progression during Heat Stress by Maintaining Cell Wall Integrity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae]]>

The ubiquitin-selective chaperone Cdc48, a member of the AAA (ATPase Associated with various cellular Activities) ATPase superfamily, is involved in many processes, including endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), ubiquitin- and proteasome-mediated protein degradation, and mitosis. Although Cdc48 was originally isolated as a cell cycle mutant in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, its cell cycle functions have not been well appreciated. We found that temperature-sensitive cdc48-3 mutant is largely arrested at mitosis at 37°C, whereas the mutant is also delayed in G1 progression at 38.5°C. Reporter assays show that the promoter activity of G1 cyclin CLN1, but not CLN2, is reduced in cdc48-3 at 38.5°C. The cofactor npl4-1 and ufd1-2 mutants also exhibit G1 delay and reduced CLN1 promoter activity at 38.5°C, suggesting that Npl4-Ufd1 complex mediates the function of Cdc48 at G1. The G1 delay of cdc48-3 at 38.5°C is a consequence of cell wall defect that over-activates Mpk1, a MAPK family member important for cell wall integrity in response to stress conditions including heat shock. cdc48-3 is hypersensitive to cell wall perturbing agents and is synthetic-sick with mutations in the cell wall integrity signaling pathway. Our results suggest that the cell wall defect in cdc48-3 is exacerbated by heat shock, which sustains Mpk1 activity to block G1 progression. Thus, Cdc48-Npl4-Ufd1 is important for the maintenance of cell wall integrity in order for normal cell growth and division.

<![CDATA[Brimonidine Blocks Glutamate Excitotoxicity-Induced Oxidative Stress and Preserves Mitochondrial Transcription Factor A in Ischemic Retinal Injury]]>

Glutamate excitotoxicity-induced oxidative stress have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal ischemia and optic neuropathies including glaucoma. Brimonindine (BMD), an alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist, contributes to the neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against glutamate excitotoxicity or oxidative stress. However, the molecular mechanisms of BMD-associated mitochondrial preservation in RGC protection against glutamate excitotoxicity-induced oxidative stress following retinal ischemic injury remain largely unknown. Here, we tested whether activation of alpha 2 adrenergic receptor by systemic BMD treatment blocks glutamate excitotoxicity-induced oxidative stress, and preserves the expression of mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complex in ischemic retina. Sprague-Dawley rats received BMD (1 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (0.9% saline) systemically and then transient ischemia was induced by acute intraocular pressure elevation. Systemic BMD treatment significantly increased RGC survival at 4 weeks after ischemia. At 24 hours, BMD significantly decreased Bax expression but increased Bcl-xL and phosphorylated Bad protein expression in ischemic retina. Importantly. BMD significantly blocked the upregulations of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors 1 and 2A protein expression, as well as of SOD2 protein expression in ischemic retina at 24 hours. During the early neurodegeneration following ischemic injury (12–72 hours), Tfam and OXPHOS complex protein expression were significantly increased in vehicle-treated retina. At 24 hours after ischemia, Tfam immunoreactivity was increased in the outer plexiform layer, inner nuclear layer, inner plexiform layer and ganglion cell layer. Further, Tfam protein was expressed predominantly in RGCs. Finally, BMD preserved Tfam immunoreactivity in RGCs as well as Tfam/OXPHOS complex protein expression in the retinal extracts against ischemic injury. Our findings suggest that systemic BMD treatment protects RGCs by blockade of glutamate excitotoxicity-induced oxidative stress and subsequent preservation of Tfam/OXPHOS complex expression in ischemic retina.

<![CDATA[Cadmium Induces Transcription Independently of Intracellular Calcium Mobilization]]>


Exposure to cadmium is associated with human pathologies and altered gene expression. The molecular mechanisms by which cadmium affects transcription remain unclear. It has been proposed that cadmium activates transcription by altering intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and disrupting calcium-mediated intracellular signaling processes. This hypothesis is based on several studies that may be technically problematic; including the use of BAPTA chelators, BAPTA-based fluorescent sensors, and cytotoxic concentrations of metal.

Methodology/Principal Finding

In the present report, the effects of cadmium on [Ca2+]i under non-cytotoxic and cytotoxic conditions was monitored using the protein-based calcium sensor yellow cameleon (YC3.60), which was stably expressed in HEK293 cells. In HEK293 constitutively expressing YC3.60, this calcium sensor was found to be insensitive to cadmium. Exposing HEK293::YC3.60 cells to non-cytotoxic cadmium concentrations was sufficient to induce transcription of cadmium-responsive genes but did not affect [Ca2+]i mobilization or increase steady-state mRNA levels of calcium-responsive genes. In contrast, exposure to cytotoxic concentrations of cadmium significantly reduced intracellular calcium stores and altered calcium-responsive gene expression.


These data indicate that at low levels, cadmium induces transcription independently of intracellular calcium mobilization. The results also support a model whereby cytotoxic levels of cadmium activate calcium-responsive transcription as a general response to metal-induced intracellular damage and not via a specific mechanism. Thus, the modulation of intracellular calcium may not be a primary mechanism by which cadmium regulates transcription.

<![CDATA[Involvement of the FoxO1/MuRF1/Atrogin-1 Signaling Pathway in the Oxidative Stress-Induced Atrophy of Cultured Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Myotubes]]>

Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the most important mechanisms implicated in the muscle wasting of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, but its role has never been demonstrated. We therefore assessed the effects of both pro-oxidant and antioxidant treatments on the oxidative stress levels and atrophic signaling pathway of cultured COPD myotubes. Treatment of cultured COPD myotubes with the pro-oxidant molecule H2O2 resulted in increased ROS production (P = 0.002) and protein carbonylation (P = 0.050), in association with a more pronounced atrophy of the myotubes, as reflected by a reduced diameter (P = 0.003), and the activated expression of atrophic markers MuRF1 and FoxO1 (P = 0.022 and P = 0.030, respectively). Conversely, the antioxidant molecule ascorbic acid induced a reduction in ROS production (P<0.001) and protein carbonylation (P = 0.019), and an increase in the myotube diameter (P<0.001) to a level similar to the diameter of healthy subject myotubes, in association with decreased expression levels of MuRF1, atrogin-1 and FoxO1 (P<0.001, P = 0.002 and P = 0.042, respectively). A significant negative correlation was observed between the variations in myotube diameter and the variations in the expression of MuRF1 after antioxidant treatment (P = 0.047). Moreover, ascorbic acid was able to prevent the H2O2-induced atrophy of COPD myotubes. Last, the proteasome inhibitor MG132 restored the basal atrophy level of the COPD myotubes and also suppressed the H2O2-induced myotube atrophy. These findings demonstrate for the first time the involvement of oxidative stress in the atrophy of COPD peripheral muscle cells in vitro, via the FoxO1/MuRF1/atrogin-1 signaling pathway of the ubiquitin/proteasome system.