The present studies focused on determining whether the autophagy-inducing drug OSU-03012 (AR-12) could enhance the toxicity of recombinant adenoviral delivery of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. The toxicity of a recombinant adenovirus to express MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was enhanced by OSU-03012 in a diverse panel of primary human GBM cells. The enhanced toxicity correlated with reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and expression of MCL-1 and BCL-XL, and was blocked by molecular activation of ERK1/2 and by inhibition of the intrinsic, but not the extrinsic, apoptosis pathway. Both OSU-03012 and expression of MDA-7/IL-24 increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) that correlated with increased levels of autophagy and expression of dominant negative PERK blocked autophagy induction and tumor cell death. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin1 suppressed OSU-03012 enhanced MDA-7/IL-24-induced autophagy and blocked the lethal interaction between the two agents. Ad.mda-7-infected GBM cells secreted MDA-7/IL-24 into the growth media and this conditioned media induced expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in uninfected GBM cells. OSU-03012 interacted with conditioned media to kill GBM cells and knockdown of MDA-7/IL-24 in these cells suppressed tumor cell killing. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the induction of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction by a combinatorial treatment approach represents a potentially viable strategy to kill primary human GBM cells.
ROS; caspase; ER stress; CD95; cell death
Vestibular schwannomas (VS) frequently express high levels of activated AKT. Small-molecule inhibitors of AKT signaling may have therapeutic potential in suppressing the growth of benign VS and malignant schwannomas.
Primary VS and Schwann cells, human malignant schwannoma HMS-97 cells, and mouse Nf2−/− Schwann cells and schwannoma cells were prepared to investigate the growth inhibitory and anti-tumour activities of OSU-03012, a celecoxib-derived small-molecule inhibitor of phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1. Cell proliferation assays, apoptosis, Western blot, in vivo xenograft analysis using SCID mice, and immunohistochemistry were performed.
OSU-03012 inhibited cell proliferation more effectively in both VS and HMS-97 cells than in normal human Schwann cells. The IC50 of OSU-03012 at 48 hours was approximately 3.1 μM for VS cells and 2.6 μM for HMS-97 cells, compared with the IC50 of greater than 12 μM for human Schwann cells. Similarly, mouse Nf2−/− schwannoma and Nf2−/− Schwann cells were more sensitive to growth inhibition by OSU-03012 than wild-type mouse Schwann cells and mouse schwannoma cells established from transgenic mice carrying the NF2 promoter-driven SV40 T-antigen gene. Like VS cells, malignant schwannoma HMS-97 cells expressed high levels of activated AKT. OSU-03012 induced apoptosis in both VS and HMS-97 cells and caused a marked reduction of AKT phosphorylation at both the Ser-308 and Thr-473 sites in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo xenograft analysis showed that OSU-03012 was well-tolerated and inhibited the growth of HMS-97 schwannoma xenografts by 55% after nine weeks of oral treatment. The anti-tumour activity correlated with reduced AKT phosphorylation.
OSU-03012 is a potential chemotherapeutic agent for VS and malignant schwannomas.
Vestibular schwannoma; Malignant schwannoma HMS-97; Neurofibromatosis type 2; The Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) gene; Merlin; PI3K/AKT pathway; OSU-03012; Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor; Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1; Xenograft; Magnetic resonance imaging
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills tumor cells. OSU lethality was suppressed by knock down of PERK and enhanced by knock down of ATF6 and IRE1α. OSU treatment suppressed expression of the chaperone, BiP/GRP78, and did so through reduced stability of the protein. Knock down of BiP/GRP78 further enhanced OSU lethality. Overexpression of BiP/GRP78 abolished OSU toxicity. Pre-treatment of cells with OSU enhanced radiosensitivity to a greater extent than concomitant or sequential drug treatment with radiation exposure. Expression of a mutant active p110 PI3K, or mutant active forms of the EGFR in GBM cells did not differentially suppress OSU killing. In contrast loss of PTEN function reduced OSU lethality, without altering AKT, p70 S6K or mTOR activity, or the drug's ability to radiosensitize GBM cells. Knock down of PTEN protected cells from OSU and radiation treatment whereas re-expression of PTEN facilitated drug lethality and radiosensitization. In a dose-dependent fashion OSU prolonged the survival of mice carrying GBM tumors and interacted with radiotherapy to further prolong survival. Collectively, our data show that reduced BiP/GRP78 levels play a key role in OSU-3012 toxicity in GBM cells, and that this drug has in vivo activity against an invasive primary human GBM isolate.
OSU-03012; BiP/GRP78; ER stress; PERK; ionizing radiation; ceramide
OSU03012 is a non-COX inhibiting celecoxib derivative with growth inhibiting and apoptotic activity in many cancer cell lines. To investigate mechanisms related to cell cycle proteins in growth inhibition and apoptosis induced by OSU03012, the primary human oral epithelial cell line, TE1177, was transformed with HPV16 E6 (TE/E6), HPV16 E7 (TE/E7) or empty vector (TE/V). TE/E6 cell lines exhibiting low levels of p53 and undetectable levels of p21WAF1/CIP1 were sensitized to the growth inhibiting and apoptotic effects of OSU03012. The TE/E7 cell lines expressing low levels of Rb and elevated levels of p53 and p21WAF1/CIP1 were resistant. OSU03012 reduced the number of cells in the S phase of the TE/E7 and TE/V cell lines with intact p53-p21WAF1/CIP1 checkpoint, but not in the checkpoint defective TE/E6 cell lines. Treatment with OSU03012 also markedly reduced the levels of cyclin A and Cdk2 in TE/E7 and TE/V, but not in TE/E6 cell lines, which had significantly enhanced basal levels of cyclin A and Cdk2. Consistent with the TE/E6 cell line, p21WAF1/CIP1−/− mouse embryo fibroblasts were more sensitive to OSU03012-induced apoptosis as evidenced by PARP and caspase 3 cleavages. These data suggest that p21WAF1/CIP1 is an important factor in the sensitivity of cells to the growth inhibiting and apoptotic effects of OSU03012.
OSU03012; apoptosis; cell cycle; oral cancer; p21WAF1/CIP1
Rotaviruses are major pathogens causing life-threatening dehydrating gastroenteritis in children and animals. One of the nonstructural proteins, NSP4 (encoded by gene 10), is a transmembrane, endoplasmic reticulum-specific glycoprotein. Recently, our laboratory has shown that NSP4 causes diarrhea in 6- to 10-day-old mice by functioning as an enterotoxin. To confirm the role of NSP4 in rotavirus pathogenesis, we sequenced gene 10 from two pairs of virulent and attenuated porcine rotaviruses, the OSU and Gottfried strains. Comparisons of the NSP4 sequences from these two pairs of rotaviruses suggested that structural changes between amino acids (aa) 131 and 140 are important in pathogenesis. We next expressed the cloned gene 10 from the OSU virulent (OSU-v) and OSU attenuated (OSU-a) viruses by using the baculovirus expression system and compared the biological activities of the purified proteins. NSP4 from OSU-v virus increased intracellular calcium levels over 10-fold in intestinal cells when added exogenously and 6-fold in insect cells when expressed endogenously, whereas NSP4 from OSU-a virus had little effect. NSP4 from OSU-v caused diarrhea in 13 of 23 neonatal mice, while NSP4 from OSU-a caused disease in only 4 of 25 mice (P < 0.01). These results suggest that avirulence is associated with mutations in NSP4. Results from site-directed mutational analyses showed that mutated OSU-v NSP4 with deletion or substitutions in the region of aa 131 to 140 lost its ability to increase intracellular calcium levels and to induce diarrhea in neonatal mice, confirming the importance of amino acid changes from OSU-v NSP4 to OSU-a NSP4 in the alteration of virus virulence.
The manuscripts by Park et al.1 and Zhang et al.2 were initially planned as studies to understand the regulation of cell survival in transformed cells treated with sorafenib and vorinostat, and in primary hepatocytes treated with a bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor. In both cell systems we discovered that the toxicity of sorafenib and vorinostat or bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor exposure depended on the generation of ceramide and the ligand-independent activation of the CD95 death receptor, with subsequent activation of pro-caspase 8. We noted, however, in these systems that, in parallel with death receptor–induced activation of the extrinsic pathway, CD95 signaling also promoted increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and eIF2α, increased expression of ATG5, and increased processing of LC3 and vesicularization of a GFP-LC3 construct. The knockdown of ATG5 expression blocked GFP-LC3 vesicularization and enhanced cell killing. Thus ceramide-CD95 signaling promoted cell death via activation of pro-caspase 8 and cell survival via autophagy. PERK was shown to signal in a switch-hitting fashion; PERK promoted CD95-DISC formation and an eIF2α-dependent reduction in c-FLIP-s levels that were essential for cell killing to proceed, but in parallel it also promoted autophagy that was protective. The death receptor-induced apoptosis and autophagy occur proximal to the receptor rather than the mitochondrion, and the relative flow of death receptor signaling into either pathway may determine cell fate. Finally, death receptor induced apoptosis and autophagy could be potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Vorinostat; Sorafenib; bile acid; CD95; autophagy; ceramide; cell death; ASMase
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The studies by further defines the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that were dependent on activation of JNK1-3 with subsequent activation of BAX and the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent upon protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK-/- cells. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methyladenine, expression of HSP70 or of BiP/GRP78, or by knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression, but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data demonstrate that GST-MDA-7 induces an ER stress response that, via the induction of autophagy, is causal in the activation of pro-apoptotic pathways that converge on the mitochondrion and ultimately culminate in decreased glioma cell survival.
autophagy; caspase; ER stress; cell death
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1-3. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent on protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK−/− cells. JNK1-3 signaling activated BAX, whereas inhibition of JNK1-3, deletion of BAX, or expression of dominant-negative caspase-9 suppressed lethality. GST-MDA-7 also promoted a PERK-, JNK-, and cathepsin B–dependent cleavage of BID; loss of BID function promoted survival. GST-MDA-7 suppressed BAD and BIM phosphorylation and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methylade-nine, expression of HSP70 or BiP/GRP78, or knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data show that GST-MDA-7 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is causal in the activation of multiple proapoptotic pathways, which converge on the mitochondrion and highlight the complexity of signaling pathways altered by mda-7/IL-24 in glioma cells that ultimately culminate in decreased tumor cell survival.
Our previous studies showed that overexpression of Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) induced autophagy-mediated apoptosis in PNET cells. In the present study, we attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and signaling cascades associated with SPARC overexpression in combination with radiation therapy that eventually leads to autophagy-mediated apoptosis in neuroblastoma. SPARC expression in SK-N-AS and NB-1691 cells demonstrated the activation of caspase 3, cleavage of PARP and induction of apoptosis. The experiments to unravel the mechanisms associated with autophagy -apoptosis illustrated that SPARC overexpression triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and thereby unfolded protein response (UPR). This was apparent with the activation of stress receptors, inositol-requiring enzyme (IRE 1α), RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK) and BiP. The study further demonstrated the induction of transcription factor CHOP as a result of IRE-JNK activation in response to increased SPARC levels. Inhibition of ER stress and JNK activation led to inhibition of autophagy-mediated apoptosis. Further, the apparent expression of ER stress molecules among the orthotopic tumors treated by SPARC overexpression plasmids substantiated our in vitro observations. Taken together, these results illustrate the critical role of ER stress in regulating autophagy-mediated apoptosis in SPARC-overexpressed neuroblastoma cells and radiation treatment.
SPARC; Neuroblastoma; Autophagy; Apoptosis; ER stress
Our previous studies showed that overexpression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) induced autophagy-mediated apoptosis in PNET cells. In the present study, we attempted to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and signaling cascades associated with SPARC overexpression in combination with radiation therapy that eventually leads to autophagy-mediated apoptosis in neuroblastoma. SPARC expression in SK-N-AS and NB-1691 cells demonstrated the activation of caspase 3, cleavage of PARP and induction of apoptosis. The experiments to unravel the mechanisms associated with autophagy-apoptosis illustrated that SPARC overexpression triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and thereby unfolded protein response (UPR). This was apparent with the activation of stress receptors, inositol-requiring enzyme (IRE 1α), RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK) and BiP. This study further demonstrated the induction of transcription factor CHOP as a result of IRE-JNK activation in response to increased SPARC levels. Inhibition of ER stress and JNK activation led to inhibition of autophagy-mediated apoptosis. Further, the apparent expression of ER stress molecules among the orthotopic tumors treated by SPARC overexpression plasmids substantiated our in vitro observations. Taken together, these results illustrate the critical role of ER stress in regulating autophagy-mediated apoptosis in SPARC-overexpressed neuroblastoma cells and radiation treatment.
secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine; neuroblastoma; autophagy; apoptosis; endoplasmic reticulum stress
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common paediatric soft-tissue sarcoma including two major subtypes, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS). Increasing evidence suggests that oncogenesis of RMS involves multistages of signalling protein dysregulation which may include prolonged activation of serine/threonine kinases such as phosphoinositide-dependant kinase-1 (PDK-1) and AKT. To date, whether PDK-1/AKT pathway is activated in RMS is unknown. This study was to examine phosphorylation status of AKT and to evaluate a novel small molecular inhibitor, OSU-03012 targeting PDK-1 in RMS. We examined phosphorylation levels of AKT using ARMS and ERMS tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry staining. Our results showed phospho-AKTThr308 level is elevated 42 and 35% in ARMS and ERMS, respectively. Phospho-AKTSer473 level is also increased 43% in ARMS and 55% in ERMS. Furthermore, we showed that OSU-03012 inhibits cell viability and induces apoptosis in ARMS and ERMS cell lines (RH30, SMS-CTR), which express elevated phospho-AKT levels. Normal cells are much less sensitive to OSU-03012 and in which no detectable apoptosis was observed. This study showed, for the first time, that PDK-1/AKT pathway is activated in RMS and may play an important role in survival of RMS. PDK-1/AKT pathway may be an attractive therapeutic target for cancer intervention in RMS using OSU-03012.
AKT; PDK-1; rhabdomyosarcoma; small molecular inhibitor; tissue microarray
Beclin 1, the mammalian orthologue of yeast Atg6, has a central role in autophagy, a process of programmed cell survival, which is increased during periods of cell stress and extinguished during the cell cycle. It interacts with several cofactors (Atg14L, UVRAG, Bif-1, Rubicon, Ambra1, HMGB1, nPIST, VMP1, SLAM, IP3R, PINK and survivin) to regulate the lipid kinase Vps-34 protein and promote formation of Beclin 1-Vps34-Vps15 core complexes, thereby inducing autophagy. In contrast, the BH3 domain of Beclin 1 is bound to, and inhibited by Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL. This interaction can be disrupted by phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1, or ubiquitination of Beclin 1. Interestingly, caspase-mediated cleavage of Beclin 1 promotes crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy. Beclin 1 dysfunction has been implicated in many disorders, including cancer and neurodegeneration. Here, we summarize new findings regarding the organization and function of the Beclin 1 network in cellular homeostasis, focusing on the cross-regulation between apoptosis and autophagy.
Beclin 1; PI3K; Bcl-2; autophagy; apoptosis; signal transduction
Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) produces subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB), which cleaves the molecular chaperone BiP in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), leading to an ER stress response and then activation of apoptotic signaling pathways. Here, we show that an early event in SubAB-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells is mediated by RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK), not activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) or inositol-requiring enzyme 1(Ire1), two other ER stress sensors. PERK knockdown suppressed SubAB-induced eIF2α phosphorylation, activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) expression, caspase activation, and cytotoxicity. Knockdown of eIF2α by small interfering RNA (siRNA) or inhibition of eIF2α dephosphorylation by Sal003 enhanced SubAB-induced caspase activation. Treatment with proteasome inhibitors (i.e., MG132 and lactacystin), but not a general caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD) or a lysosome inhibitor (chloroquine), suppressed SubAB-induced caspase activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, suggesting that the ubiquitin-proteasome system controls events leading to caspase activation, i.e., Bax/Bak conformational changes, followed by cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Levels of ubiquitinated proteins in HeLa cells were significantly decreased by SubAB treatment. Further, in an early event, some antiapoptotic proteins, which normally turn over rapidly, have their synthesis inhibited, and show enhanced degradation via the proteasome, resulting in apoptosis. In PERK knockdown cells, SubAB-induced loss of ubiquitinated proteins was inhibited. Thus, SubAB-induced ER stress is caused by BiP cleavage, leading to PERK activation, not by accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, which undergo PERK-dependent degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system.
Exposure of cells to Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress leads to activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)–Akt signaling pathway and transcriptional induction of the inhibitor of apoptosis family of proteins. One of the proximal effectors of the ER stress response, the PKR-like ER kinase (PERK), leads to cellular adaptation to stress by multiple mechanisms, including attenuation of protein synthesis, and transcriptional induction of pro-survival genes. While PERK activity leads to cellular adaptation to ER stress, we now demonstrate that PERK activity also inhibits the ER stress-induced apoptotic program through induction of cellular inhibitor of apoptosis (cIAP1 and cIAP2) proteins. This induction of IAPs occurs through both transcriptional and translational responses that are PERK-dependent. Reintroduction of cIAP1 or cIAP2 expression into PERK−/− MEFs during ER stress delays the early onset of ER stress-induced caspase activation and apoptosis observed in these cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activation of the PI3K-Akt pathway by ER stress is dependent on PERK, suggesting additional ways in which PERK activity protects cells from ER stress-induced apoptosis.
PERK; ER Stress; Apoptosis; IAP
To avoid excess accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), eukaryotic cells have signaling pathways from the ER to the cytosol or nucleus. These processes are collectively termed the ER stress response. Double stranded RNA activated protein kinase (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) is a major transducer of the ER stress response and directly phosphorylates eIF2α, resulting in translational attenuation. Phosphorylated eIF2α specifically promotes the translation of the transcription factor ATF4. ATF4 plays important roles in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Perk−/− mice are reported to exhibit severe osteopenia, and the phenotypes observed in bone tissues are very similar to those of Atf4−/− mice. However, the involvement of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling pathway in osteogenesis is unclear. Phosphorylated eIF2α and ATF4 protein levels were attenuated in Perk−/− calvariae, and the gene expression levels of osteocalcin (Ocn) and bone sialoprotein (Bsp), which are targets for ATF4, were also down-regulated. Treatment of wild-type primary osteoblasts with BMP2, which is required for osteoblast differentiation, induced ER stress, leading to an increase in ATF4 protein expression levels. In contrast, the level of ATF4 in Perk−/− osteoblasts was severely diminished. The results indicate that PERK signaling is required for ATF4 activation during osteoblast differentiation. Perk−/− osteoblasts exhibited decreased alkaline phosphatase activities and delayed mineralized nodule formation relative to wild-type cultures. These abnormalities were almost completely restored by the introduction of ATF4 into Perk−/− osteoblasts. Taken together, ER stress occurs during osteoblast differentiation and activates the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling pathway followed by the promotion of gene expression essential for osteogenesis, such as Ocn and Bsp.
Bone; Differentiation; ER Stress; Transcription Factors; Transcription Target Genes; Osteoblast
Exposure of cells to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress leads to activation of PKR-like ER kinase (PERK), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation, repression of cyclin D1 translation, and subsequent cell cycle arrest in G1 phase. However, whether PERK is solely responsible for regulating cyclin D1 accumulation after unfolded protein response pathway (UPR) activation has not been assessed. Herein, we demonstrate that repression of cyclin D1 translation after UPR activation occurs independently of PERK, but it remains dependent on eIF2α phosphorylation. Although phosphorylation of eIF2α in PERK–/– fibroblasts is attenuated in comparison with wild-type fibroblasts, it is not eliminated. The residual eIF2α phosphorylation correlates with the kinetics of cyclin D1 loss, suggesting that another eIF2α kinase functions in the absence of PERK. In cells harboring targeted deletion of both PERK and GCN2, cyclin D1 loss is attenuated, suggesting GCN2 functions as the redundant kinase. Consistent with these results, cyclin D1 translation is also stabilized in cells expressing a nonphosphorylatable allele of eIF2α; in contrast, repression of global protein translation still occurs in these cells, highlighting a high degree of specificity in transcripts targeted for translation inhibition by phosphorylated eIF2α. Our results demonstrate that PERK and GCN2 function to cooperatively regulate eIF2α phosphorylation and cyclin D1 translation after UPR activation.
Endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis plays an important role in the destruction of pancreatic β-cells and contributes to the development of type 1 diabetes. The present study examined the effect of KIOM-4, a mixture of four plant extracts, on streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in rat pancreatic β-cells (RINm5F). KIOM-4 was found to inhibit STZ-induced apoptotic cell death, confirmed by formation of apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation. STZ was found to induce the characteristics of ER stress; mitochondrial Ca2+ overloading, enhanced ER staining, release of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), phosphorylation of RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) like ER kinase (PERK) and eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF-2α), cleavage of activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and caspase 12, and upregulation of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP). However, KIOM-4 attenuated these changes induced by STZ. Furthermore, KIOM-4 suppressed apoptosis induced by STZ in CHOP downregulated cells using CHOP siRNA. These results suggest that KIOM-4 exhibits protective effects in STZ-induced pancreatic β-cell damage, by interrupting the ER stress-mediated pathway.
The accumulation of misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers a cellular process known as the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR). One of the earliest responses is the attenuation of protein translation. Little is known about the role that Ca2+ mobilization plays in the early UPR. Work from our group has shown that cytosolic phosphorylation of calnexin (CLNX) controls Ca2+ uptake into the ER via the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) 2b.
Here, we demonstrate that calcineurin (CN), a Ca2+ dependent phosphatase, associates with the (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK), and promotes PERK auto-phosphorylation. This association, in turn, increases the phosphorylation level of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 α (eIF2-α) and attenuates protein translation. Data supporting these conclusions were obtained from co-immunoprecipitations, pull-down assays, in-vitro kinase assays, siRNA treatments and [35S]-methionine incorporation measurements. The interaction of CN with PERK was facilitated at elevated cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations and involved the cytosolic domain of PERK. CN levels were rapidly increased by ER stressors, which could be blocked by siRNA treatments for CN-Aα in cultured astrocytes. Downregulation of CN blocked subsequent ER-stress-induced increases in phosphorylated elF2-α. CN knockdown in Xenopus oocytes predisposed them to induction of apoptosis.
We also found that CLNX was dephosphorylated by CN when Ca2+ increased. These data were obtained from [γ32P]-CLNX immunoprecipitations and Ca2+ imaging measurements. CLNX was dephosphorylated when Xenopus oocytes were treated with ER stressors. Dephosphorylation was pharmacologically blocked by treatment with CN inhibitors.
Finally, evidence is presented that PERK phosphorylates CN-A at low resting levels of Ca2+. We further show that phosphorylated CN-A exhibits decreased phosphatase activity, consistent with this regulatory mechanism being shut down as ER homeostasis is re-established.
Our data suggest two new complementary roles for CN in the regulation of the early UPR. First, CN binding to PERK enhances inhibition of protein translation to allow the cell time to recover. The induction of the early UPR, as indicated by increased P-elF2α, is critically dependent on a translational increase in CN-Aα. Second, CN dephosphorylates CLNX and likely removes inhibition of SERCA2b activity, which would aid the rapid restoration of ER Ca2+ homeostasis.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident PKR-like kinase (PERK) is necessary for Akt activation in response to ER stress. We demonstrate that PERK harbors intrinsic lipid kinase, favoring diacylglycerol (DAG) as a substrate and generating phosphatidic acid (PA). This activity of PERK correlates with activation of mTOR and phosphorylation of Akt on Ser473. PERK lipid kinase activity is regulated in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) p85α-dependent manner. Moreover, PERK activity is essential during adipocyte differentiation. Because PA and Akt regulate many cellular functions, including cellular survival, proliferation, migratory responses, and metabolic adaptation, our findings suggest that PERK has a more extensive role in insulin signaling, insulin resistance, obesity, and tumorigenesis than previously thought.
In this study, infection of 293/ACE2 cells with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) activated several apoptosis-associated events, namely, cleavage of caspase-3, caspase-8, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP), and chromatin condensation and the phosphorylation and hence inactivation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α). In addition, two of the three cellular eIF2α kinases known to be virus induced, protein kinase R (PKR) and PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), were activated by SARS-CoV. The third kinase, general control nonderepressible-2 kinase (GCN2), was not activated, but late in infection the level of GCN2 protein was significantly reduced. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses revealed that the reduction of GCN2 protein was not due to decreased transcription or stability of GCN2 mRNA. The specific reduction of PKR protein expression by antisense peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers strongly reduced cleavage of PARP in infected cells. Surprisingly, the knockdown of PKR neither enhanced SARS-CoV replication nor abrogated SARS-CoV-induced eIF2α phosphorylation. Pretreatment of cells with beta interferon prior to SARS-CoV infection led to a significant decrease in PERK activation, eIF2α phosphorylation, and SARS-CoV replication. The various effects of beta interferon treatment were found to function independently on the expression of PKR. Our results show that SARS-CoV infection activates PKR and PERK, leading to sustained eIF2α phosphorylation. However, virus replication was not impaired by these events, suggesting that SARS-CoV possesses a mechanism to overcome the inhibitory effects of phosphorylated eIF2α on viral mRNA translation. Furthermore, our data suggest that viral activation of PKR can lead to apoptosis via a pathway that is independent of eIF2α phosphorylation.
Activation of the unfolded protein response sensor PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (Perk) attenuates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress levels. Conversantly, if the damage is too severe and ER function cannot be restored, this signaling branch triggers apoptosis. Bcl-2 homology 3-only family member Bim is essential for ER stress-induced apoptosis. However, the regulatory mechanisms controlling Bim activation under ER stress conditions are not well understood. Here, we show that downregulation of the miR-106b-25 cluster contributes to ER stress-induced apoptosis and the upregulation of Bim. Hypericin-mediated photo-oxidative ER damage induced Perk-dependent cell death and led to a significant decrease in the levels of miRNAs belonging to miR-106b-25 cluster in wild-type (WT) but not in Perk−/− MEFs. Further, we show that expression of miR-106b-25 and Mcm-7 (host gene of miR-106b-25) is co-regulated through the transcription factors Atf4 (activating transcription factor 4) and Nrf2 (nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2). ER stress increased the activity of WT Bim 3′UTR (untranslated region) construct but not the miR-106b-25 recognition site-mutated Bim 3′UTR construct. Overexpression of miR-106b-25 cluster inhibits ER stress-induced cell death in WT but did not confer any further protection in Bim-knockdown cells. Further, we show downregulation in the levels of miR-106b-25 cluster in the symptomatic SOD1G86R transgenic mice. Our results suggest a molecular mechanism whereby repression of miR-106b-25 cluster has an important role in ER stress-mediated increase in Bim and apoptosis.
miR-106b-25; unfolded protein response; apoptosis; Bim; ATF4; NRF2
The γ134.5 protein of herpes simplex virus (HSV) plays a crucial role in virus infection. Although the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is activated during HSV infection, the γ134.5 protein inhibits the activity of PKR by mediating dephosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF-2α. Here we show that HSV infection also induces phosphorylation of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident kinase PERK, a hallmark of ER stress response. The virus-induced phosphorylation of PERK is blocked by cycloheximide but not by phosphonoacetic acid, suggesting that the accumulation of viral proteins in the ER is essential. Notably, the maximal phosphorylation of PERK is delayed in PKR+/+ cells compared to that seen in PKR−/− cells. Further analysis indicates that hyperphosphorylation of eIF-2α caused by HSV is greater in PKR+/+ cells than in PKR−/− cells. However, expression of the γ134.5 protein suppresses the ER stress response caused by virus, dithiothreitol, and thapsigargin as measured by global protein synthesis. Interestingly, the expression of GADD34 stimulated by HSV infection parallels the status of eIF-2α phosphorylation. Together, these observations suggest that regulation of eIF-2α phosphorylation by the γ134.5 protein is an efficient way to antagonize the inhibitory activity of PKR as well as PERK during productive infection.
Osteoclasts (OCs) are responsible for bone resorption in inflammatory joint diseases. Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) has been shown to induce differentiation of monocytes to OC precursors, but nothing is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we elucidate how MCPIP, induced by MCP-1, mediates this differentiation. Knockdown of MCPIP abolished MCP-1-mediated expression of OC markers, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, and serine protease cathepsin K. Expression of MCPIP induced p47PHOX and its membrane translocation, reactive oxygen species formation, and induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress chaperones, up-regulation of autophagy marker, Beclin-1, and lipidation of LC3, and induction of OC markers. Inhibition of oxidative stress attenuated ER stress and autophagy, and suppressed expression of OC markers. Inhibition of ER stress by a specific inhibitor or by knockdown of IRE1 blocked autophagy and induction of OC markers. ER stress inducers, tunicamycin and thapsigargin, induced expression of OC markers. Autophagy inhibition by 3′-methyladenine, LY294002, wortmannin or by knockdown of Beclin-1 or Atg 7 inhibited MCPIP-induced expression of OC markers. These results strongly suggest that MCP-1-induced differentiation of OC precursor cells is mediated via MCPIP-induced oxidative stress that causes ER stress leading to autophagy, revealing a novel mechanistic insight into the role of MCP-1 in OCs differentiation.
MCP-1; MCPIP; osteoclast differentiation; reactive oxygen species; ER stress
Beclin 1/Atg6 is an essential component of the evolutionary conserved PtdIns(3)-kinase (Vps34) protein complex that regulates macroautophagy (autophagy) in eukaryotic cells and also interacts with antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL. To elucidate the physiological function of Beclin 1, we generated transgenic mice producing a green fluorescent Beclin 1 protein (Beclin 1-GFP) under Beclin 1 endogenous regulation. The beclin 1-GFP transgene is functional because it completely rescues early embryonic lethality in beclin 1-deficient mice. The transgenic mice appear normal, with undetected change in basal autophagy levels in different tissues, despite the additional expression of functional Beclin 1-GFP. Staining of Beclin 1-GFP shows mostly diffuse cytoplasmic distribution in various tissues. Detailed analysis of the transgene expression by flow cytometry reveals a Bcl-2-like biphasic expression pattern in developing T and B cells, as well as differential regulation of expression in mature versus immature thymocytes following in vitro stimulation. Moreover, thymocytes expressing high Beclin 1-GFP levels appear increasingly sensitive to glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in vitro. Our results, therefore, support a role for Beclin 1 in lymphocyte development involving cross talk between autophagy and apoptosis.
Beclin 1; autophagy; T cell; B cell; apoptosis
Stanniocalcin 2 (STC2) is a secreted protein activated by (PKR)-like Endoplasmic Reticulum Kinase (PERK) signalling under conditions of ER stress in vitro. Over-expression of STC2 in mice leads to a growth-restricted phenotype; however, the physiological function for STC2 has remained elusive. Given the relationship of STC2 to PERK signalling, the objective of this study was to examine the role of STC2 in PERK signalling in vivo.
Since PERK signalling has both physiological and pathological roles in the pancreas, STC2 expression was assessed in mouse pancreata before and after induction of injury using a cerulein-induced pancreatitis (CIP) model. Increased Stc2 expression was identified within four hours of initiating pancreatic injury and correlated to increased activation of PERK signalling. To determine the effect of STC2 over-expression on PERK, mice systemically expressing human STC2 (STC2Tg) were examined. STC2Tg pancreatic tissue exhibited normal pancreatic morphology, but altered activation of PERK signalling, including increases in Activating Transcription Factor (ATF) 4 accumulation and autophagy. Upon induction of pancreatic injury, STC2Tg mice exhibited limited increases in circulating amylase levels and increased maintenance of cellular junctions.
This study links STC2 to the pathological activation of PERK in vivo, and suggests involvement of STC2 in responding to pancreatic acinar cell injury.