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1.  Lipotoxic disruption of NHE1 interaction with PI(4,5)P2 expedites proximal tubule apoptosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(3):1057-1068.
Chronic kidney disease progression can be predicted based on the degree of tubular atrophy, which is the result of proximal tubule apoptosis. The Na+/H+ exchanger NHE1 regulates proximal tubule cell survival through interaction with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2], but pathophysiologic triggers for NHE1 inactivation are unknown. Because glomerular injury permits proximal tubule luminal exposure and reabsorption of fatty acid/albumin complexes, we hypothesized that accumulation of amphipathic, long-chain acyl-CoA (LC-CoA) metabolites stimulates lipoapoptosis by competing with the structurally similar PI(4,5)P2 for NHE1 binding. Kidneys from mouse models of progressive, albuminuric kidney disease exhibited increased fatty acids, LC-CoAs, and caspase-2–dependent proximal tubule lipoapoptosis. LC-CoAs and the cytosolic domain of NHE1 directly interacted, with an affinity comparable to that of the PI(4,5)P2-NHE1 interaction, and competing LC-CoAs disrupted binding of the NHE1 cytosolic tail to PI(4,5)P2. Inhibition of LC-CoA catabolism reduced NHE1 activity and enhanced apoptosis, whereas inhibition of proximal tubule LC-CoA generation preserved NHE1 activity and protected against apoptosis. Our data indicate that albuminuria/lipiduria enhances lipotoxin delivery to the proximal tubule and accumulation of LC-CoAs contributes to tubular atrophy by severing the NHE1-PI(4,5)P2 interaction, thereby lowering the apoptotic threshold. Furthermore, these data suggest that NHE1 functions as a metabolic sensor for lipotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3934167  PMID: 24531551
2.  Differential regulation of P2X7 receptor activation by extracellular NAD and ecto-ARTs in murine macrophages and T cells 
Extracellular NAD induces the ATP-independent activation of the ionotropic P2X7 purinergic receptor (P2X7R) in murine T lymphocytes via a novel covalent pathway involving ADP-ribosylation of arginine residues on the P2X7R ecto-domain. This modification is catalyzed by ART2.2, a GPI-anchored ADP-ribosyltransferase (ART) that is constitutively expressed in murine T cells. We previously reported that ART2.1, a related ecto-ART, is up-regulated in inflammatory murine macrophages that constitutively express P2X7R. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that extracellular NAD acts via ART2.1 to regulate P2X7R function in murine macrophages. Co-expression of the cloned murine P2X7R with ART2.1 or ART2.2 in HEK293 cells verified that P2X7R is an equivalent substrate for ADP-ribosylation by either ART2.1 or ART2.2. However, in contrast with T cells, stimulation of macrophages or HEK293 cells with NAD alone did not activate the P2X7R. Rather, NAD potentiated ATP-dependent P2X7R activation as indicated by a left-shift in the ATP dose-response relationship. Thus, extracellular NAD regulates the P2X7R in both macrophages and T cells but via distinct mechanisms. While ADP-ribosylation is sufficient to gate P2X7R channel opening in T cells, this P2X7R modification in macrophages does not gate the channel but decreases the threshold for gating in response to ATP binding. These findings indicate that extracellular NAD and ATP can act synergistically to regulate P2X7R signaling in murine macrophages and also suggest that the cellular context in which P2X7R signaling occurs differs between myeloid versus lymphoid leukocytes.
PMCID: PMC2768492  PMID: 19542469
3.  Blockade of maitotoxin-induced oncotic cell death reveals zeiosis 
BMC Physiology  2002;2:2.
Maitotoxin (MTX) initiates cell death by sequentially activating 1) Ca2+ influx via non-selective cation channels, 2) uptake of vital dyes via formation of large pores, and 3) release of lactate dehydrogenase, an indication of cell lysis. MTX also causes formation of membrane blebs, which dramatically dilate during the cytolysis phase. To determine the role of phospholipase C (PLC) in the cell death cascade, U73122, a specific inhibitor of PLC, and U73343, an inactive analog, were examined on MTX-induced responses in bovine aortic endothelial cells.
Addition of either U73122 or U73343, prior to MTX, produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of the cell death cascade (IC50 ≈ 1.9 and 0.66 μM, respectively) suggesting that the effect of these agents was independent of PLC. Addition of U73343 shortly after MTX, prevented or attenuated the effects of the toxin, but addition at later times had little or no effect. Time-lapse videomicroscopy showed that U73343 dramatically altered the blebbing profile of MTX-treated cells. Specifically, U73343 blocked bleb dilation and converted the initial blebbing event into "zeiosis", a type of membrane blebbing commonly associated with apoptosis. Cells challenged with MTX and rescued by subsequent addition of U73343, showed enhanced caspase-3 activity 48 hr after the initial insult, consistent with activation of the apoptotic program.
Within minutes of MTX addition, endothelial cells die by oncosis. Rescue by addition of U73343 shortly after MTX showed that a small percentage of cells are destined to die by oncosis, but that a larger percentage survive; cells that survive the initial insult exhibit zeiosis and may ultimately die by apoptotic mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC65053  PMID: 11825342
4.  Maitotoxin-induced membrane blebbing and cell death in bovine aortic endothelial cells 
BMC Physiology  2001;1:2.
Maitotoxin, a potent cytolytic agent, causes an increase in cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) via activation of Ca2+-permeable, non-selective cation channels (CaNSC). Channel activation is followed by formation of large endogenous pores that allow ethidium and propidium-based vital dyes to enter the cell. Although activation of these cytolytic/oncotic pores, or COP, precedes release of lactate dehydrogenase, an indication of oncotic cell death, the relationship between CaNSC, COP, membrane lysis, and the associated changes in cell morphology has not been clearly defined. In the present study, the effect maitotoxin on [Ca2+]i, vital dye uptake, lactate dehydrogenase release, and membrane blebbing was examined in bovine aortic endothelial cells.
Maitotoxin produced a concentration-dependent increase in [Ca2+]i followed by a biphasic uptake of ethidium. Comparison of ethidium (Mw 314 Da), YO-PRO-1 (Mw 375 Da), and POPO-3 (Mw 715 Da) showed that the rate of dye uptake during the first phase was inversely proportional to molecular weight, whereas the second phase appeared to be all-or-nothing. The second phase of dye uptake correlated in time with the release of lactate dehydrogenase. Uptake of vital dyes at the single cell level, determined by time-lapse videomicroscopy, was also biphasic. The first phase was associated with formation of small membrane blebs, whereas the second phase was associated with dramatic bleb dilation.
These results suggest that maitotoxin-induced Ca2+ influx in bovine aortic endothelial cells is followed by activation of COP. COP formation is associated with controlled membrane blebbing which ultimately gives rise to uncontrolled bleb dilation, lactate dehydrogenase release, and oncotic cell death.
PMCID: PMC32181  PMID: 11231888

Results 1-4 (4)