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1.  Susceptibility to myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury at early stage of type 1 diabetes in rats 
Large body of evidences accumulated in clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that hearts of diabetic subjects are more sensitive to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), which results in a higher rate of mortality at post-operation than that of non-diabetes. However, experimental results are equivocal and point to either increased or decreased susceptibility of the diabetic hearts to IRI, especially at the early stage of the disease. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that the duration/severity of the indexed ischemia is a major determinant of the vulnerability to myocardial IRI at early stage of diabetes.
Four weeks streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic (D) and non-diabetic (C) Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive 30 or 45 min of left anterior descending artery ligation followed by 2 or 3 hours of reperfusion, respectively. Cardiac function was recorded by using Pressure-Volume (PV) conduction system. Myocardial infarct size was determined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Plasma Creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, myocardial nitric oxide(NO) content and nitrotyrosine formation, 15-F2t-Isoprostane and plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured with colorimetric assays. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL staining. Myocardial TNFα, Caspase-3, STAT3, Akt, and GSK-3β were determined by Western blotting.
Prolongation of ischemia but not reperfusion from 30 min to 45 min significantly increased infarct size in D compared to C rats (P < 0.05), accompanied with significantly increased plasma CK-MB (P < 0.05). Prolongation of the duration of either ischemia or reperfusion significantly increased plasma LDH release and myocardial 15-F2t-Isoprostane and reduced plasma SOD activity, with concomitant reduction of myocardial NO and increase of nitrotyrosine formation in D relative to C (P < 0.05). Prolongation of ischemia and reperfusion significantly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and increased the peak rate of pressure, accompanied with increased end systolic pressure in D relative to C rats (P < 0.05) but reduced phosphorylations of myocardial STAT3 at site Ser727 and Akt at site Ser473 as well as GSK-3β at Ser 9 (P < 0.05).
Diabetic hearts, even at early stage of the disease are more sensitive to IRI, and this increased severity of post-ischemic myocardial injury depends more on the duration of ischemia than that of reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3847499  PMID: 24041262
Ischemia reperfusion injury; Diabetes mellitus; Infarct size
2.  Catestatin Improves Post-Ischemic Left Ventricular Function and Decreases Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Heart 
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology  2010;30(8):1171-1179.
The Chromogranin A (CgA)-derived anti-hypertensive peptide catestatin (CST) antagonizes catecholamine secretion, and is a negative myocardial inotrope acting via a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism. It is not known whether CST contributes to ischemia/reperfusion injury or is a component of a cardioprotective response to limit injury. Here, we tested whether CST by virtue of its negative inotropic activity improves post-ischemic cardiac function and cardiomyocyte survival. Three groups of isolated perfused hearts from adult Wistar rats underwent 30-min ischemia and 120-min reperfusion (I/R, Group 1), or were post-conditioned by brief ischemic episodes (PostC, 5-cycles of 10-s I/R at the beginning of 120-min reperfusion, Group 2), or with exogenous CST (75 nM for 20 min, CST-Post, Group-3) at the onset of reperfusion. Perfusion pressure and left ventricular pressure (LVP) were monitored. Infarct size was evaluated with nitroblue-tetrazolium staining. The CST (5 nM) effects were also tested in simulated ischemia/reperfusion experiments on cardiomyocytes isolated from young-adult rats, evaluating cell survival with propidium iodide labeling. Infarct size was 61 ± 6% of risk area in hearts subjected to I/R only. PostC reduced infarct size to 34 ± 5%. Infarct size in CST-Post was 36 ± 3% of risk area (P < 0.05 respect to I/R). CST-Post reduced post-ischemic rise of diastolic LVP, an index of contracture, and significantly improved post-ischemic recovery of developed LVP. In isolated cardiomyocytes, CST increased the cell viability rate by about 65% after simulated ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest a novel cardioprotective role for CST, which appears mainly due to a direct reduction of post-ischemic myocardial damages and dysfunction, rather than to an involvement of adrenergic terminals and/or endothelium.
PMCID: PMC3008938  PMID: 21104119
Chromogranin A; Cardioprotection; Ischemia; Post-conditioning; Reperfusion injury
3.  Impaired cardiac ischemic tolerance in spontaneously hypertensive rats is attenuated by adaptation to chronic and acute stress 
The myocardial response to ischemia may be markedly augmented by risk factors associated with lifestyle, leading to left ventricular hypertrophy – an important contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension impairs heart function, and may negatively affect the outcome of ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, ischemic tolerance may persist in altered hearts of hypertensive animals, and may be modified by short- or long-term adaptation to stressful conditions. This article discusses differences in the effects of long-term adaptation to crowding stress and short-term adaptation to ischemic stress, on ischemic tolerance in altered hearts of hypertensive rats.
Chronic hypertension may have a negative impact on the myocardial response to ischemia. On the other hand, intrinsic ischemic tolerance may persist even in the pathologically altered hearts of hypertensive animals, and may be modified by short- or long-term adaptation to different stressful conditions. The effects of long-term limitation of living space (ie, crowding stress [CS]) and brief ischemia-induced stress on cardiac response to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury are not yet fully characterized in hypertensive subjects. The present study was designed to test the influence of chronic and acute stress on the myocardial response to I/R in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) compared with their effects in normotensive counterparts. In both groups, chronic, eight-week CS was induced by caging five rats per cage in cages designed for two rats (200 cm2/rat), while controls (C) were housed four to a cage in cages designed for six animals (480 cm2/rat). Acute stress was evoked by one cycle of I/R (5 min each, ischemic preconditioning) before sustained I/R in isolated Langendorff-perfused hearts of normotensive and SHR rats. At baseline conditions, the effects of CS were manifested only as a further increase in blood pressure in SHR, and by marked limitation of coronary perfusion in normotensive animals, while no changes in heart mechanical function were observed in any of the groups. Postischemic recovery of contractile function, severity of ventricular arrhythmias and lethal injury (infarction size) were worsened in the hypertrophied hearts of C-SHR compared with normotensive C. However, myo-cardial stunning and reperfusion-induced ventricular arrhythmias were attenuated by CS in SHR, which was different from deterioration of I/R injury in the hearts of normotensive animals. In contrast, ischemic preconditioning conferred an effective protection against I/R in both groups, although the extent of anti-infarct and anti-arrhythmic effects was lower in SHR. Both forms of stress may improve the altered response to ischemia in hypertensive subjects. In contrast to short-term preconditioning stress, chronic psychosocial stress was associated with a higher risk of lethal arrhythmias and contractile failure in normotensive animals exposed to an acute ischemic challenge.
PMCID: PMC3209549  PMID: 22065943
Adaptation; Hypertension; Hypertrophy; Myocardial ischemia; Preconditioning; Social stress
4.  A Sphingosine Kinase Form 2 Knockout Sensitizes Mouse Myocardium to Ischemia/Reoxygenation Injury and Diminishes Responsiveness to Ischemic Preconditioning 
Sphingosine kinase (SphK) exhibits two isoforms, SphK1 and SphK2. Both forms catalyze the synthesis of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a sphingolipid involved in ischemic preconditioning (IPC). Since the ratio of SphK1 : SphK2 changes dramatically with aging, it is important to assess the role of SphK2 in IR injury and IPC. Langendorff mouse hearts were subjected to IR (30 min equilibration, 50 min global ischemia, and 40 min reperfusion). IPC consisted of 2 min of ischemia and 2 min of reperfusion for two cycles. At baseline, there were no differences in left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), ± dP/dtmax, and heart rate between SphK2 null (KO) and wild-type (WT) hearts. In KO hearts, SphK2 activity was undetectable, and SphK1 activity was unchanged compared to WT. Total SphK activity was reduced by 53%. SphK2 KO hearts subjected to IR exhibited significantly more cardiac damage (37 ± 1% infarct size) compared with WT (28 ± 1% infarct size); postischemic recovery of LVDP was lower in KO hearts. IPC exerted cardioprotection in WT hearts. The protective effect of IPC against IR was diminished in KO hearts which had much higher infarction sizes (35 ± 2%) compared to the IPC/IR group in control hearts (12 ± 1%). Western analysis revealed that KO hearts had substantial levels of phosphorylated p38 which could predispose the heart to IR injury. Thus, deletion of the SphK2 gene sensitizes the myocardium to IR injury and diminishes the protective effect of IPC.
PMCID: PMC3166792  PMID: 21904650
5.  Beta-estradiol attenuates hypoxic pulmonary hypertension by stabilizing the expression of p27kip1 in rats 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):182.
Pulmonary vascular structure remodeling (PVSR) is a hallmark of pulmonary hypertension. P27kip1, one of critical cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, has been shown to mediate anti-proliferation effects on various vascular cells. Beta-estradiol (β-E2) has numerous biological protective effects including attenuation of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). In the present study, we employed β-E2 to investigate the roles of p27kip1 and its closely-related kinase (Skp-2) in the progression of PVSR and HPH.
Sprague-Dawley rats treated with or without β-E2 were challenged by intermittent chronic hypoxia exposure for 4 weeks to establish hypoxic pulmonary hypertension models, which resemble moderate severity of hypoxia-induced PH in humans. Subsequently, hemodynamic and pulmonary pathomorphology data were gathered. Additionally, pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) were cultured to determine the anti-proliferation effect of β-E2 under hypoxia exposure. Western blotting or reverse transcriptional polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were adopted to test p27kip1, Skp-2 and Akt-P changes in rat lung tissue and cultured PASMCs.
Chronic hypoxia significantly increased right ventricular systolic pressures (RVSP), weight of right ventricle/left ventricle plus septum (RV/LV+S) ratio, medial width of pulmonary arterioles, accompanied with decreased expression of p27kip1 in rats. Whereas, β-E2 treatment repressed the elevation of RVSP, RV/LV+S, attenuated the PVSR of pulmonary arterioles induced by chronic hypoxia, and stabilized the expression of p27kip1. Study also showed that β-E2 application suppressed the proliferation of PASMCs and elevated the expression of p27kip1 under hypoxia exposure. In addition, experiments both in vivo and in vitro consistently indicated an escalation of Skp-2 and phosphorylated Akt under hypoxia condition. Besides, all these changes were alleviated in the presence of β-E2.
Our results suggest that β-E2 can effectively attenuate PVSR and HPH. The underlying mechanism may partially be through the increased p27kip1 by inhibiting Skp-2 through Akt signal pathway. Therefore, targeting up-regulation of p27kip1 or down-regulation of Skp-2 might provide new strategies for treatment of HPH.
PMCID: PMC3022723  PMID: 21182801
6.  PTEN inhibitors cause a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect in mice 
European journal of pharmacology  2010;650(1):298-302.
Inactivation of phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) decreases cardiac contractility under basal conditions and induces cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, the pharmacological effect of PTEN inhibitors on cardiac contractility has not been studied before. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that PTEN inhibition decreases cardiac contractility in mice. We first exposed isolated mouse hearts to the PTEN inhibitor bpV(phen) (40 μM), the phosphoinositide-3 kinase inhibitor wortmannin (1 μM), and the PTEN-resistant PIP3 analog 3-phosphorothioate-PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (3-PT-PTP, 0.5 μM) for 10 min. Left ventricular pressure was measured by a Mikro-tip pressure catheter. We then inhibited PTEN in mice by intra-peritoneal injection of VO-OHpic (10 μg/kg) 30 min before ischemia and then exposed them to 30 min of ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion. At the end of the experiments, hearts were isolated for measurement of myocardial infarct size by 1.5 % triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Left ventricular systolic pressure and heart rate were significantly decreased by bpV(phen). Consistent with the result, the maximal rate of left ventricular pressure increase or decrease was significantly decreased by bpV(phen). 3-PT-PIP3 mimicked the effect of bpV(phen), and the opposite effect on cardiac contractility was seen with wortmannin. Moreover, inhibition of PTEN in vivo by VO-OHpic decreased left ventricular systolic pressure and heart rate before ischemia, but resulted in an increase in cardiac functional recovery and a decrease in myocardial infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion. In conclusion, PTEN inhibition causes a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect while inducing cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC2997895  PMID: 20951693
PTEN; PI3K; cardiac contractility; reperfusion injury; myocardial infarction
7.  Hypercholesterolemic Myocardium Is Vulnerable to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury and Refractory to Sevoflurane-Induced Protection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76652.
Recent studies have demonstrated that volatile anesthetic postconditioning confers myocardial protection against ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury through activation of the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway. As RISK has been shown to be impaired in hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, we investigate whether anesthetic-induced cardiac protection was maintained in hypercholesterolemic rats. In the present study, normocholesteolemic or hypercholesterolemic rat hearts were subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. Animals received 2.4% sevoflurane for 5 min or 3 cycles of 10-s ischemia/10-s reperfusion. The hemodynamic parameters, including left ventricular developed pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and heart rate, were continuously monitored. The infarct size, apoptosis, p-Akt, p-ERK1/2, p-GSK3β were determined. We found that both sevoflurane and ischemic postconditioning significantly improved heart pump function, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2 and their downstream target of GSK3β in the healthy rats. In the hypercholesterolemic rats, neither sevoflurane nor ischemic postconditioning improved left ventricular hemodynamics, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylated Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3β. In contrast, GSK inhibitor SB216763 conferred cardioprotection against IR injury in healthy and hypercholesterolemic hearts. In conclusions, hyperchoesterolemia abrogated sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection against IR injury by alteration of upstream signaling of GSK3β and acute GSK inhibition may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to protect hypercholesterolemic hearts against IR injury.
PMCID: PMC3790738  PMID: 24124583
8.  The Na+/Ca2+ exchange inhibitor SEA0400 limits intracellular Ca2+ accumulation and improves recovery of ventricular function when added to cardioplegia 
The Na+/Ca2+ exchange inhibitor SEA0400 prevents myocardial injury in models of global ischemia and reperfusion. We therefore evaluated its potential as a cardioplegia additive.
Isolated rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxia (45 min) followed by reperfusion. During hypoxia, cells were protected using cardioplegia with (n = 25) or without (n = 24) SEA0400 (1 μM), or were not protected with cardioplegia (hypoxic control, n = 8). Intracellular Ca2+ levels were measured using Ca2+ sensitive dye (fura-2 AM). Isolated rat hearts were arrested using cardioplegia with (n = 7) or without (n = 6) SEA0400 (1 μM) then reperfused after 45 min of ischemia. Left ventricular (LV) function, troponin release, and mitochondrial morphology were evaluated.
Cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia without cardioplegia had poor survival (13%). Survival was significantly improved when cells were protected with cardioplegia containing SEA0400 (68%, p = 0.009); cardioplegia without SEA0400 was associated with intermediate survival (42%). Cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia alone had a rapid increase in intracellular Ca2+ (305 ± 123 nM after 20 minutes of ischemia). Increases in intracellular Ca2+ were reduced in cells arrested with cardioplegia without SEA0400; however cardioplegia containing SEA0400 was associated with the lowest intracellular Ca2+ levels (110 ± 17 vs. 156 ± 42 nM after 45 minutes of ischemia, p = 0.004). Hearts arrested with cardioplegia containing SEA0400 had better recovery of LV work compared to cardioplegia without SEA0400 (23140 ± 2264 vs. 7750 ± 929 mmHg.μl, p = 0.0001). Troponin release during reperfusion was lower (0.6 ± 0.2 vs. 2.4 ± 0.5 ng/mL, p = 0.0026), and there were more intact (41 ± 3 vs. 22 ± 5%, p < 0.005), and fewer disrupted mitochondria (24 ± 2 vs. 33 ± 3%, p < 0.05) in the SEA0400 group.
SEA0400 added to cardioplegia limits accumulation of intracellular Ca2+ during ischemic arrest in isolated cardiomyocytes and prevents myocardial injury and improves recovery of LV function in isolated hearts.
PMCID: PMC3914709  PMID: 24401610
Myocardial protection/cardioplegia; Myocardium; Ischemia; Ischemia/reperfusion injury; Cardiac function
9.  Loss of cardioprotection induced by ischemic preconditioning after an initial ischemic period in isolated rat hearts 
The beneficial effect of ischemic preconditioning (PC) has been extensively studied in normal hearts but its effects on diseased hearts remain largely unknown. The effect of PC in the already ischemic myocardium has not been previously studied, although ischemia in varying intervals, which is difficult to assess, is often encountered in clinical practice.
To investigate whether the cardioprotective effect of PC is preserved when it is applied after a period of ischemia of varying duration.
Male Wistar rats were used for this study. Isolated normal rat hearts were perfused in Langendorff mode. Before 20 min of zero flow global ischemia followed by 45 min of reperfusion, hearts were subjected to an initial 20-min period of ischemia followed by 10 min of reperfusion (group A1); an initial 20-min period of ischemia followed by 10 min of reperfusion and two-cycle PC (3 min of ischemia, 5 min of reperfusion followed by 5 min of ischemia and 5 min of reperfusion) (group A2); and two-cycle PC followed by the initial 20-min period of ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion (group A3).
Groups B and C were subjected to an initial ischemia of 15 min and 10 min, respectively, and subgroups 1, 2 and 3 were treated as above. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was measured at 45 min of reperfusion (LVEDP45 in mmHg). Postischemic recovery of left ventricular developed pressure was expressed as a percentage of the initial value (LVDP%).
LVDP% and LVEDP45 were similar between groups A1 and A2, while when ischemic preconditioning preceded the two periods of ischemia (group A3), it resulted in significantly higher LVDP% and significantly lower LVEDP45 compared with groups A1 and A2. Left ventricular functional recovery was not increased in group B2 compared with group B1. LVDP% and LVEDP45 were similar among groups C1, C2 and C3.
Ischemic preconditioning does not improve functional recovery in isolated rat hearts that have been initially subjected to 20 min or 15 min of zero-flow global ischemia, while an initial 10-min ischemic period seems to precondition the heart.
PMCID: PMC2716191  PMID: 19644579
Heart; Ischemia; Preconditioning; Rat
10.  A new tumour suppression mechanism by p27Kip1: EGFR down-regulation mediated by JNK/c-Jun pathway inhibition 
Biochemical Journal  2014;463(Pt 3):383-392.
p27Kip1 is a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases that drive G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Reduced p27Kip1 expression is prevalent in a wide range of human tumours; however, the exact mechanism(s) of p27Kip1-mediated tumour suppression remains obscure. In the present study, we identified a close inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) expression: the parental T24 human bladder cancer cells had high p27Kip1 expression but low EGFR expression and, in striking contrast, the metastatic derivative of T24 (T24T) had low p27Kip1 expression but high EGFR expression. This relationship was also found in various human cancer tissues, and was not only just correlative but also causal; depletion of p27Kip1 in MEF (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cells resulted in markedly elevated EGFR expression, a result reproducible with an Egfr promoter-luciferase reporter in both T24 and MEF cells, suggesting transcriptional repression of EGFR by p27Kip1. Indeed, p27Kip1 was found to regulate EGFR expression via the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase)/c-Jun transcription factor: p27Kip1 deficiency activated JNK/c-Jun, whereas inhibition of JNK/c-Jun by dominant-negative mutants dramatically repressed Egfr transcription. Furthermore, the proximal promoter of the Egfr gene was crucial for its transcription, where the recruiting activity of c-Jun was much greater in p27Kip1−/− cells than in p27Kip1+/+ cells. Introduction of GFP–p27Kip1 into T24T cells suppressed JNK/c-Jun activation, EGFR expression and anchorage-independent growth. The results of the present study demonstrate that p27Kip1 suppresses JNK/c-Jun activation and EGFR expression in MEFs and human bladder cancer cells, and the results obtained are consistent with those from human cancer specimens. The present study provides new insights into p27Kip1 suppression of cancer cell growth, migration and metastasis.
An inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR expression in parental T24 human bladder cancer cells and various human cancer tissues was found. Depletion of p27Kip1 in cells markedly elevated EGFR expression through transcriptional repression of Egfr by p27Kip1 via the JNK/c-Jun cascade.
PMCID: PMC4209780  PMID: 25121353
bladder cancer; c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway; epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); p27Kip1; signal transduction pathway; AP-1, activator protein 1; BME, basal medium Eagle; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSF-1, heat-shock factor 1; Hsp, heat-shock protein; IHC, immunohistochemistry; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; MEF, mouse embryonic fibroblast; RT, reverse transcription; SP1, specificity protein 1
11.  Inhibition of mitochondrial permeability transition pore restores the cardioprotection by postconditioning in diabetic hearts 
Cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes mellitus may attenuate the cardioprotection by postconditioning. This study aimed to investigate the cardioprotective effect of ischemic-postconditioning (IPostC) against ischemia/reperfusion injury in normal and chronically type-1 diabetic rats and the effect of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) inhibition in this field.
Diabetes was induced by a single intra-peritoneal injection of streptozotocin (50 mg/kg) in Wistar male rats (250-300 g). After 8 weeks, the hearts of control and diabetic animals were isolated and mounted on a constant-pressure Langendorff apparatus. All hearts were subjected to 30 min regional ischemia followed by 45 min reperfusion (by occluding and re-opening of LAD coronary artery, respectively). At the end of ischemia, the hearts received IPostC, cyclosporine-A, or both or none of them. Myocardial creatine-kinase (CK) release as an index of tissue injury was measured spectrophotometery in coronary effluent in reperfusion phase. Infarct size was identified by triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Heart rate, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), LV systolic pressure (LVSP), rate-pressure product (RPP) and coronary flow were recorded throughout the experiment.
IPostC, applied at the onset of reperfusion, failed to improve myocardial LVEDP and RPP, or reduce tissue damage indicated by infarct size and CK release in diabetic hearts, while it significantly recovered these parameters toward the pre-ischemic values in control hearts (P < 0.05). In contrast, with simultaneous inhibition of mPTP using cyclosporine-A, the cardioprotective effects of IPostC on myocardial hemodynamics, infarct size and CK release were significantly restored in diabetic hearts (P < 0.05).
The loss of cardioprotection by IPostC in diabetic state can be overcome by increasing the potency of protective IPostC through its co-application with mPTP inhibition.
PMCID: PMC4247617  PMID: 25436201
Reperfusion injury; Diabetes; Postconditioning; mPTP; Cardioprotection
12.  Effect of hypoxia and Beraprost sodium on human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation: the role of p27kip1 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):77.
Hypoxia induces the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) in vivo and in vitro, and prostacyclin analogues are thought to inhibit the growth of PASMC. Previous studies suggest that p27kip1, a kind of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, play an important role in the smooth muscle cell proliferation. However, the mechanism of hypoxia and the subcellular interactions between p27kip1 and prostacyclin analogues in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (HPASMC) are not fully understood.
We investigated the role of p27kip1 in the ability of Beraprost sodium (BPS; a stable prostacyclin analogue) to inhibit the proliferation of HPASMC during hypoxia. To clarify the biological effects of hypoxic air exposure and BPS on HPASMC, the cells were cultured in a hypoxic chamber under various oxygen concentrations (0.1–21%). Thereafter, DNA synthesis was measured as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, the cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining. The p27kip1 mRNA and protein expression and it's stability was measured by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. Further, we assessed the role of p27kip1 in HPASMC proliferation using p27kip1 gene knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection.
Although severe hypoxia (0.1% oxygen) suppressed the proliferation of serum-stimulated HPASMC, moderate hypoxia (2% oxygen) enhanced proliferation in accordance with enhanced p27kip1 protein degradation, whereas BPS suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by suppressing p27kip1 degradation with intracellular cAMP-elevation. The 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP), a cAMP analogue, had similar action as BPS in the regulation of p27kip1. Moderate hypoxia did not affect the stability of p27kip1 protein expression, but PDGF, known as major hypoxia-induced growth factors, significantly decreased p27kip1 protein stability. We also demonstrated that BPS and 8-Br-cAMP suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by blocking p27kip1 mRNA degradation. Furthermore, p27kip1 gene silencing partially attenuated the effects of BPS and partially restored hypoxia-induced proliferation.
Our study suggests that moderate hypoxia induces HPASMC proliferation, which is partially dependent of p27kip1 down-regulation probably via the induction of growth factors such as PDGF, and BPS inhibits both the cell proliferation and p27kip1 mRNA degradation through cAMP pathway.
PMCID: PMC2164950  PMID: 17974037
13.  Myocardin regulates BMP10 expression and is required for heart development 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(10):3678-3691.
Myocardin is a muscle lineage–restricted transcriptional coactivator that has been shown to transduce extracellular signals to the nucleus required for SMC differentiation. We now report the discovery of a myocardin/BMP10 (where BMP10 indicates bone morphogenetic protein 10) signaling pathway required for cardiac growth, chamber maturation, and embryonic survival. Myocardin-null (Myocd) embryos and embryos harboring a cardiomyocyte-restricted mutation in the Myocd gene exhibited myocardial hypoplasia, defective atrial and ventricular chamber maturation, heart failure, and embryonic lethality. Cardiac hypoplasia was caused by decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation accompanied by a dramatic increase in programmed cell death. Defective chamber maturation and the block in cardiomyocyte proliferation were caused in part by a block in BMP10 signaling. Myocardin transactivated the Bmp10 gene via binding of a serum response factor–myocardin protein complex to a nonconsensus CArG element in the Bmp10 promoter. Expression of p57kip2, a BMP10-regulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, was induced in Myocd–/– hearts, while BMP10-activated cardiogenic transcription factors, including NKX2.5 and MEF2c, were repressed. Remarkably, when embryonic Myocd–/– hearts were cultured ex vivo in BMP10-conditioned medium, the defects in cardiomyocyte proliferation and p57kip2 expression were rescued. Taken together, these data identify a heretofore undescribed myocardin/BMP10 signaling pathway that regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and apoptosis in the embryonic heart.
PMCID: PMC3461917  PMID: 22996691
14.  Dynasore Protects Mitochondria and Improves Cardiac Lusitropy in Langendorff Perfused Mouse Heart 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60967.
Heart failure due to diastolic dysfunction exacts a major economic, morbidity and mortality burden in the United States. Therapeutic agents to improve diastolic dysfunction are limited. It was recently found that Dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1) mediates mitochondrial fission during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, whereas inhibition of Drp1 decreases myocardial infarct size. We hypothesized that Dynasore, a small noncompetitive dynamin GTPase inhibitor, could have beneficial effects on cardiac physiology during I/R injury.
Methods and Results
In Langendorff perfused mouse hearts subjected to I/R (30 minutes of global ischemia followed by 1 hour of reperfusion), pretreatment with 1 µM Dynasore prevented I/R induced elevation of left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP), indicating a significant and specific lusitropic effect. Dynasore also decreased cardiac troponin I efflux during reperfusion and reduced infarct size. In cultured adult mouse cardiomyocytes subjected to oxidative stress, Dynasore increased cardiomyocyte survival and viability identified by trypan blue exclusion assay and reduced cellular Adenosine triphosphate(ATP) depletion. Moreover, in cultured cells, Dynasore pretreatment protected mitochondrial fragmentation induced by oxidative stress.
Dynasore protects cardiac lusitropy and limits cell damage through a mechanism that maintains mitochondrial morphology and intracellular ATP in stressed cells. Mitochondrial protection through an agent such as Dynasore can have clinical benefit by positively influencing the energetics of diastolic dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3626591  PMID: 23596510
15.  X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein-Mediated Attenuation of Apoptosis, Using a Novel Cardiac-Enhanced Adeno-Associated Viral Vector 
Human Gene Therapy  2012;23(6):635-646.
Successful amelioration of cardiac dysfunction and heart failure through gene therapy approaches will require a transgene effective at attenuating myocardial injury, and subsequent remodeling, using an efficient and safe delivery vehicle. Our laboratory has established a well-curated, high-quality repository of human myocardial tissues that we use as a discovery engine to identify putative therapeutic transgene targets, as well as to better understand the molecular basis of human heart failure. By using this rare resource we were able to examine age- and sex-matched left ventricular samples from (1) end-stage failing human hearts and (2) nonfailing human hearts and were able to identify the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) as a novel target for treating cardiac dysfunction. We demonstrate that XIAP is diminished in failing human hearts, indicating that this potent inhibitor of apoptosis may be central in protecting the human heart from cellular injury culminating in heart failure. Efforts to ameliorate heart failure through delivery of XIAP compelled the design of a novel adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector, termed SASTG, that achieves highly efficient transduction in mouse heart and in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Increased XIAP expression achieved with the SASTG vector inhibits caspase-3/7 activity in neonatal cardiomyocytes after induction of apoptosis through three common cardiac stresses: protein kinase C-γ inhibition, hypoxia, or β-adrenergic receptor agonist. These studies demonstrate the potential benefit of XIAP to correct heart failure after highly efficient delivery to the heart with the rationally designed SASTG AAV vector.
Piacentino and colleagues describe a novel, rationally designed adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 3b vector called SASTG. They demonstrate that this vector achieves highly efficient transduction in mouse heart and in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Moreover, they show that SASTG mediates overexpression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) and ameliorates apoptosis induced in cardiomyocytes by stresses associated with heart failure.
PMCID: PMC3392616  PMID: 22339372
16.  The Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2 Regulates Cell Cycle Exit, Differentiation, and Migration of Embryonic Cerebral Cortical Precursors 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2011;21(8):1840-1856.
Mounting evidence indicates cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) of the Cip/Kip family, including p57Kip2 and p27Kip1, control not only cell cycle exit but also corticogenesis. Nevertheless, distinct activities of p57Kip2 remain poorly defined. Using in vivo and culture approaches, we show p57Kip2 overexpression at E14.5–15.5 elicits precursor cell cycle exit, promotes transition from proliferation to neuronal differentiation, and enhances process outgrowth, while opposite effects occur in p57Kip2-deficient precursors. Studies at later ages indicate p57Kip2 overexpression also induces precocious glial differentiation, suggesting stage-dependent effects. In embryonic cortex, p57Kip2 overexpression advances cell radial migration and alters postnatal laminar positioning. While both CKIs induce differentiation, p57Kip2 was twice as effective as p27Kip1 in inducing neuronal differentiation and was not permissive to astrogliogenic effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor, suggesting that the CKIs differentially modulate cell fate decisions. At molecular levels, although highly conserved N-terminal regions of both CKIs elicit cycle withdrawal and differentiation, the C-terminal region of p57Kip2 alone inhibits in vivo migration. Furthermore, p57Kip2 effects on neurogenesis and gliogenesis require the N-terminal cyclin/CDK binding/inhibitory domains, while previous p27Kip1 studies report cell cycle-independent functions. These observations suggest p57Kip2 coordinates multiple stages of corticogenesis and exhibits distinct and common activities compared with related family member p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3138513  PMID: 21245411
gliogenesis; in utero electroporation; neurite outgrowth; neurogenesis; transfection
17.  14-3-3ε Plays a Role in Cardiac Ventricular Compaction by Regulating the Cardiomyocyte Cell Cycle 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(24):5089-5102.
Trabecular myocardium accounts for the majority of the ventricles during early cardiogenesis, but compact myocardium is the primary component at later developmental stages. Elucidation of the genes regulating compact myocardium development is essential to increase our understanding of left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC), a cardiomyopathy characterized by increased ratios of trabecular to compact myocardium. 14-3-3ε is an adapter protein expressed in the lateral plate mesoderm, but its in vivo cardiac functions remain to be defined. Here we show that 14-3-3ε is expressed in the developing mouse heart as well as in cardiomyocytes. 14-3-3ε deletion did not appear to induce compensation by other 14-3-3 isoforms but led to ventricular noncompaction, with features similar to LVNC, resulting from a selective reduction in compact myocardium thickness. Abnormal compaction derived from a 50% decrease in cardiac proliferation as a result of a reduced number of cardiomyocytes in G2/M and the accumulation of cardiomyocytes in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. These defects originated from downregulation of cyclin E1 and upregulation of p27Kip1, possibly through both transcriptional and posttranslational mechanisms. Our work shows that 14-3-3ε regulates cardiogenesis and growth of the compact ventricular myocardium by modulating the cardiomyocyte cell cycle via both cyclin E1 and p27Kip1. These data are consistent with the long-held view that human LVNC may result from compaction arrest, and they implicate 14-3-3ε as a new candidate gene in congenital human cardiomyopathies.
PMCID: PMC3510533  PMID: 23071090
18.  Cardioprotection against Ischemia/Reperfusion by Licochalcone B in Isolated Rat Hearts 
The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a major cause of heart injury induced by ischemia-reperfusion. The left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) and the maximum up/down rate of left ventricular pressure (±dp/dtmax⁡) were documented by a physiological recorder. Myocardial infarct size was estimated macroscopically using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Coronary effluent was analyzed for lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK) release to assess the degree of cardiac injury. The levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-8 (IL-8), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were analyzed to determine the inflammation status of the myocardial tissue. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis analysis was performed using the In Situ Cell Death Detection Kit, POD. Accordingly, licochalcone B pretreatment improved the heart rate (HR), increased LVDP, and decreased CK and LDH levels in coronary flow. SOD level and GSH/GSSG ratio increased, whereas the levels of MDA, TNF-α, and CRP and activities of IL-8 and IL-6 decreased in licochalcone B-treated groups. The infarct size and cell apoptosis in hearts from licochalcone B-treated group were lower than those in hearts from the I/R control group. Therefore, the cardioprotective effects of licochalcone B may be attributed to its antioxidant, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory activities.
PMCID: PMC4158311  PMID: 25215172
19.  Nerve Growth Factor Protects the Ischemic Heart via Attenuation of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induced Apoptosis by Activation of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase 
Background: Increased expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) has been found in the myocardium suffered from ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). The pro-survival activity of NGF on ischemic heart has been supposed to be mediated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signaling pathway. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is activated initially as a defensive response to eliminate the accumulated unfolded proteins, has shown a critical involvement in the ischemia induced myocardial apoptosis. This study was aimed to investigate whether NGF induced heart protection against I/R injury includes a mechanism of attenuation of ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis by activation of PI3K/Akt pathway.
Methods: Isolated adult rat hearts were perfused with a Langendörff perfusion system. Hearts in the Sham group were subjected to 225 min of continuous Krebs-Henseleit buffer (KHB) perfusion without ischemia. Hearts in I/R group were perfused with KHB for a 75-min of equilibration period followed by 30 min of global ischemia and 120 min of KHB reperfusion. Hearts in the NGF group accepted 45 min of euilibration perfusion and 30 min of NGF pretreatment (with a final concentration of 100 ng/ml in the KHB) before 30 min of global ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion. Hearts in K252a and LY294002 groups were pretreated with either a TrkA inhibitor, K252a or a phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002 for 30 min before NGF (100 ng/ml) administration. Cardiac hemodynamics were measured from the beginning of the perfusion. Cardiac enzymes and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) were assayed before ischemia and at the end of reperfusion. Myocardial apoptosis rate was measured by TUNEL staining, and expression of glucose-related protein 78 (GRP78), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), caspase-12, total- and phospho-(Ser473)-Akt were assessed by Western blot analyses.
Results: NGF pretreatment significantly improved the recovery of post-ischemia cardiac hemodynamics. Reduced creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and cTnI levels, as well as decreased myocardial apoptosis ratio were observed in the NGF group. The improvement of NGF on recovery of cardiac function and alleviation of myocardial injury were completely abolished by K252a or LY294002. GRP78, caspase-12 and CHOP were highly expressed in ischemic myocardium, while NGF significantly inhibited the overexpression of these proteins which were involved in ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis. NGF pretreatment also induced phosphorylation of Akt. When the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway is blocked by LY294002, the NGF induced suppression of the apoptosis-related proteins expression was reversed.
Conclusions: NGF pretreatment may protect the ischemic heart via inhibition of the ER stress-induced apoptosis; this pro-survival effect is mediated by PI3K/Akt pathway.
PMCID: PMC4278880  PMID: 25552923
ischemia/reperfusion injury; nerve growth factor; endoplasmic reticulum; apoptosis.
20.  Patterns of p57Kip2 Expression in Embryonic Rat Brain Suggest Roles in Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit and Neuronal Differentiation 
Developmental neurobiology  2009;69(1):1-21.
In developing central nervous system, a variety of mechanisms couple cell cycle exit to differentiation during neurogenesis. The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p57Kip2 controls the transition from proliferation to differentiation in many tissues, but roles in developing brain remain uncertain. To characterize possible functions, we defined p57Kip2 protein expression in embryonic day (E) 12.5 to 20.5 rat brains using immunohistochemistry combined with markers of proliferation and differentiation. p57Kip2 was localized primarily in cell nuclei and positive cells formed two distinct patterns including wide dispersion and laminar aggregation that were brain region-specific. From E12.5 to E16.5, p57Kip2 expression was detected mainly in ventricular (VZ) and/or mantle zones of hippocampus, septum, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain and spinal cord. After E18.5, p57Kip2 was detected in select regions undergoing differentiation. p57Kip2 expression was also compared to regional transcription factors, including Ngn2, Nkx2.1 and Pax6. Time course studies performed in diencephalon showed that p57Kip2 immunoreactivity co-localized with BrdU at 8 hr in nuclei exhibiting the wide dispersion pattern, whereas co-localization in the laminar pattern occurred only later. Moreover, p57Kip2 frequently co-localized with neuronal marker, β-III tubulin. Finally, we characterized relationships of p57Kip2 to CDK inhibitor p27Kip1: In proliferative regions, p57Kip2 expression preceded p27Kip1 as cells underwent differentiation, though the proteins co-localized in substantial numbers of cells, suggesting potentially related yet distinct functions of Cip/Kip family members during neurogenesis. Our observations that p57Kip2 exhibits nuclear expression as precursors exit the cell cycle and begin expressing neuronal characteristics suggests that the CDK inhibitor contributes to regulating the transition from proliferation to differentiation during brain development.
PMCID: PMC2967216  PMID: 18814313
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2; Embryonic Development/physiology; Nervous System/cytology/*embryology; Brain/embryology; Neuronal Differentiation
21.  A small molecule AMPK activator protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury 
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a stress signaling enzyme that orchestrates the regulation of energy-generating and -consuming pathways. Intrinsic AMPK activation protects the heart against ischemic injury and apoptosis, but whether pharmacologic AMPK stimulation mitigates ischemia-reperfusion damage is unknown. The aims of this study were to determine whether direct stimulation of AMPK using a small molecule activator, A-769662, attenuates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, and to examine its cardioprotective mechanisms. Isolated mouse hearts pre-treated with A-769662 had better recovery of left ventricular contractile function (55% vs. 29% of baseline rate-pressure product; p=0.03) and less myocardial necrosis (56% reduction in infarct size; p<0.01) during post-ischemic reperfusion compared to control hearts. Pre-treatment with A-769662 in vivo attenuated infarct size in C57Bl/6 mice undergoing left coronary artery occlusion and reperfusion compared to vehicle (36% vs. 18%, p=0.025). Mouse hearts with genetically inactivated AMPK were not protected by A-769662, indicating the specificity of this compound. Pre-treatment with A-769662 increased the phosphorylation and inactivation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2), preserved energy charge during ischemia, delayed the development of ischemic contracture, and reduced myocardial apoptosis and necrosis. A-769662 also augmented endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation during ischemia, which partially attenuated myocardial stunning, but did not prevent necrosis. AMPK is a therapeutic target that can be stimulated by a direct-acting small molecule in order to prevent injury during ischemia-reperfusion. The use of AMPK activators may represent a novel strategy to protect the heart and other solid organs against ischemia.
PMCID: PMC4005884  PMID: 21402077
AMPK; cardioprotection; reperfusion injury; signal transduction; ischemic preconditioning
22.  FTY720 postconditions isolated perfused heart by a mechanism independent of sphingosine kinase 2 and different from S1P or ischemic postconditioning 
We investigated the hypothesis that postconditioning by FTY720 (FTY) in isolated perfused mouse hearts is independent of the sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) pathway.
Ex vivo hearts were exposed to postconditioning (POST) by either ischemia or FTY720. Protection against ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury was measured by recovery of left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) and infarct size.
FTY effectively postconditioned (POST) ex vivo hearts against ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury as measured by recovery of LVDP and a low infarct size. FTY protection, unlike S1P but like sphingosine (Sph), was insensitive to inhibition of S1P G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) or inhibition of PI3 kinase. Protection by FTY and Sph was however blocked by inhibitors of PKA and PKG. Thus, FTY follows the same cardioprotective pathway as Sph. This was further supported by studies of FTY POST in knockout (KO) mice lacking the SphK2 form of Sph kinase that is needed for phosphorylation of FTY to an S1P analog. In the absence of SphK2, FTY (and Sph) POST was still cardioprotective. This differed from the effect of SphK2 KO on protection by ischemic POST (IPOST). IPOST was not effective in KO hearts. To see if the GPCR signaling pathway to protection is normal in KO hearts, we looked at POST by GPCR agonists S1P and adenosine. Both provided effective protection even in KO hearts suggesting that the problem with IPOST in KO hearts is a low level of S1P available for release during IPOST. Thus, pharmacologic POST with FTY or Sph, like adenosine and S1P, is unaffected in the KO.
FTY720 administered in vivo might behave in a dual manner showing both S1P-like effects and sphingosine-like effects. It appears that the latter may have been overlooked and may be the more important in aging hearts.
PMCID: PMC3659128  PMID: 23567658
cardioprotection; FTY720; ischemia/reperfusion injury; postconditioning; sphingosine; sphingosine kinase 2; sphingosine 1-phosphate
23.  Hydrogen sulfide postconditioning protects isolated rat hearts against ischemia and reperfusion injury mediated by the JAK2/STAT3 survival pathway 
The JAK2/STAT3 signal pathway is an important component of survivor activating factor enhancement (SAFE) pathway. The objective of the present study was to determine whether the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway participates in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) postconditioning, protecting isolated rat hearts from ischemic-reperfusion injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (230-270 g) were divided into 6 groups (N = 14 per group): time-matched perfusion (Sham) group, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) group, NaHS postconditioning group, NaHS with AG-490 group, AG-490 (5 µM) group, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO; <0.2%) group. Langendorff-perfused rat hearts, with the exception of the Sham group, were subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by 90 min of reperfusion after 20 min of equilibrium. Heart rate, left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), and the maximum rate of increase or decrease of left ventricular pressure (± dp/dtmax) were recorded. Infarct size was determined using triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining. Myocardial TUNEL staining was used as the in situ cell death detection method and the percentage of TUNEL-positive nuclei to all nuclei counted was used as the apoptotic index. The expression of STAT3, bcl-2 and bax was determined by Western blotting. After reperfusion, compared to the I/R group, H2S significantly improved functional recovery and decreased infarct size (23.3 ± 3.8 vs 41.2 ± 4.7%, P < 0.05) and apoptotic index (22.1 ± 3.6 vs 43.0 ± 4.8%, P < 0.05). However, H2S-mediated protection was abolished by AG-490, the JAK2 inhibitor. In conclusion, H2S postconditioning effectively protects isolated I/R rat hearts via activation of the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC3854176  PMID: 22948409
Hydrogen sulfide; JAK2/STAT3; Apoptosis; Postconditioning; Ischemia/reperfusion injury
24.  Phosphorylation and Subcellular Localization of p27Kip1 Regulated by Hydrogen Peroxide Modulation in Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44502.
The Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27Kip1) is a key protein in the decision between proliferation and cell cycle exit. Quiescent cells show nuclear p27Kip1, but this protein is exported to the cytoplasm in response to proliferating signals. We recently reported that catalase treatment increases the levels of p27Kip1 in vitro and in vivo in a murine model. In order to characterize and broaden these findings, we evaluated the regulation of p27Kip1 by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human melanoma cells and melanocytes. We observed a high percentage of p27Kip1 positive nuclei in melanoma cells overexpressing or treated with exogenous catalase, while non-treated controls showed a cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Then we studied the levels of p27Kip1 phosphorylated (p27p) at serine 10 (S10) and at threonine 198 (T198) because phosphorylation at these sites enables nuclear exportation of this protein, leading to accumulation and stabilization of p27pT198 in the cytoplasm. We demonstrated by western blot a decrease in p27pS10 and p27pT198 levels in response to H2O2 removal in melanoma cells, associated with nuclear p27Kip1. Melanocytes also exhibited nuclear p27Kip1 and lower levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 than melanoma cells, which showed cytoplasmic p27Kip1. We also showed that the addition of H2O2 (0.1 µM) to melanoma cells arrested in G1 by serum starvation induces proliferation and increases the levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 leading to cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Nuclear localization and post-translational modifications of p27Kip1 were also demonstrated by catalase treatment of colorectal carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells, extending our findings to these other human cancer types. In conclusion, we showed in the present work that H2O2 scavenging prevents nuclear exportation of p27Kip1, allowing cell cycle arrest, suggesting that cancer cells take advantage of their intrinsic pro-oxidant state to favor cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3435274  PMID: 22970236
Sphingomyelin breakdown product ceramide has recently been found to induce an adaptive response and reduce myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Since activation of MAP kinases plays an essential role in myocardial adaptation to ischemic stress and since ceramide is involved in lipid raft formation where MAP kinases can be translocated in response to stress, we reasoned that preconditioning may potentiate the translocation of MAP kinases into the lipid raft. To test the hypothesis, rats were divided into five groups: i) control, ii) ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), iii) I/R + C2-ceramide, iv) adapted and v) adapted+ desipramine, an inhibitor of ceramide formation. Isolated hearts were preperfused for 15 min with Krebs Henseleit Bicarbonate (KHB) buffer in the absence or presence of 10 μM desipramine followed by adaptation induced by four cyclic episodes of 5 min ischemia and 10 min reperfusion. For myocardial adaptation to ischemia with ceramide, the hearts were perfused with 1μM C-2-ceramide. All hearts were then subjected to 30 min ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. As expected, both ischemic adaptation and ceramide adaptation made the heart resistant to I/R injury as evidenced by improved ventricular performance and reduced myocardial infarct size and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, which were significantly blocked with desipramine indicating the involvement of ceramide in ischemic adaptation. Ceramide also participated in the formation of lipid raft, and desipramine disrupted the raft formation. In the adapted hearts, there was an increased association of the proapoptotic p38MAPKα with caveolin-1 while there was a reduced association of anti-apoptotic p38MAPKβ with caveolin-3 indicating reduced amount of p38MAPKα and increased amount of p38MAPKβ were available to the adapted hearts thereby generating a survival signal. Desipramine decreased the association of P38MAPKα and C-2 ceramide increased the association of P38MAPKα with the lipid raft. The survival signal was further confirmed by increased phosphorylation of AKT and enhanced induction of expression of Bcl-2 during adaptation and its reversal with desipramine. The results indicated a unique ceramide signaling the ischemic and PC hearts involving lipid rafts, which generated a survival signal by differentially associating the p38MAPKα and p38MAPKβ with the caveolin-1 and caveoli-3, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2782735  PMID: 17069850
Ceramide; lipid raft; caveolin; p38MAP kinase; Survival signal; ischemia/reperfusion

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