bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2021‒08‒01
seven papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 684526
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is one of the most important cellular organelles and is essential for cell homeostasis. Upon external stimulation, ER stress induces the unfolded protein response (UPR) and ER-associated degradation (ERAD) to maintain ER homeostasis. However, persistent ER stress can lead to cell damage. ER-phagy is a selective form of autophagy that ensures the timely removal of damaged ER, thereby protecting cells from damage caused by excessive ER stress. As ER-phagy is a newly identified form of autophagy, many receptor-mediated ER-phagy pathways have been discovered in recent years. In this review, we summarize our understanding of the maintenance of ER homeostasis and describe the receptors identified to date. Finally, the relationships between ER-phagy and diseases are also discussed.
    Keywords:  ER-phagy; ERAD; autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum (ER); unfolded protein response (UPR)
  2. FEBS J. 2021 Jul 31.
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer. It currently ranks as one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers worldwide, with an increasing mortality rate and limited treatment options. An important hallmark of liver pathologies, such as liver fibrosis and HCC, is the accumulation of misfolded and unfolded proteins in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which induces ER-stress and leads to the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Upon accumulation of misfolded proteins, ER-stress is sensed through three transmembrane proteins, IRE1α, PERK and ATF6, which trigger the UPR to either alleviate ER-stress or induce apoptosis. Increased expression of ER-stress markers has been widely shown to correlate with fibrosis, inflammation, drug resistance and overall HCC aggressiveness, as well as poor patient prognosis. While preclinical in vivo cancer models and in vitro approaches have shown promising results by pharmacologically targeting ER-stress mediators, the major challenge of this therapeutic strategy lies in specifically and effectively targeting ER-stress in HCC. Furthermore, both ER-stress inducers and inhibitors have been shown to ameliorate HCC progression, adding to the complexity of targeting ER-stress players as an anti-cancer strategy. More studies are needed to better understand the dual role and molecular background of ER-stress in HCC, as well as its therapeutic potential for patients with liver cancer.
    Keywords:  ER-stress; fibrosis; hepatocellular carcinoma; tumor microenvironment; unfolded protein response
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 671461
      Defects in stress responses are important contributors in many chronic conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-driven pathologies like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Specifically, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is linked with these pathologies and control of ER stress can ameliorate tissue damage. MicroRNAs have a critical role in regulating diverse stress responses including ER stress. Here, we show that miR-494 plays a functional role during ER stress. Pharmacological ER stress inducers (tunicamycin (TCN) and thapsigargin) and hyperglycemia robustly increase the expression of miR-494 in vitro. ATF6 impacts the primary miR-494 levels whereas all three ER stress pathways are necessary for the increase in mature miR-494. Surprisingly, miR-494 pretreatment dampens the induction and magnitude of ER stress in response to TCN in endothelial cells and increases cell viability. Conversely, inhibition of miR-494 increases ER stress de novo and amplifies the effects of ER stress inducers. Using Mass Spectrometry (TMT-MS) we identified 23 proteins that are downregulated by both TCN and miR-494 in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Among these, we found 6 transcripts which harbor a putative miR-494 binding site. We validated the anti-apoptotic gene BIRC5 (survivin) and GINS4 as targets of miR-494 during ER stress. In summary, our data indicates that ER stress driven miR-494 may act in a feedback inhibitory loop to dampen downstream ER stress signaling.
    Keywords:  ER stress; UPR – unfolded protein response; cell stress adaptation; endothelial cells; microRNA
  4. Allergy. 2021 Jul 27.
      BACKGROUND: Contact sensitizers may interfere with correct protein folding. Generation of un-/misfolded proteins can activate the IRE-1 or PERK-signaling pathways initiating the unfolded protein response (UPR) and thereby determine inflammatory immune responses. We have analyzed the effect of sensitizers with different potencies on the induction of UPR activation/inhibition and the subsequent generation of a pro-inflammatory micromilieu in vitro as well as the effect of UPR modulation on the inflammatory response in the murine contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in vivo.METHODS: Semi-quantitative and quantitative PCR, fluorescence microscopy, ELISA, NF-κB activation and translocation assays, DC/keratinocyte co-culture assay, FACS and in vivo CHS experiments were performed.
    RESULTS: Sensitizers and irritants activate IRE-1 and PERK in murine and human keratinocytes. Synergistic effects occur after combination of different weak sensitizers / addition of irritants. Moreover, tolerogenic dinitrothiocyanobenzene can be converted into a strong sensitizer by pre-activation of the UPR. Blocking UPR signaling results in decreased NF-κB activation and cytokine production in keratinocytes and in activation marker downregulation in a HaCaT/THP-1 co-culture. Interestingly, not only systemic but also topical application of UPR inhibitors abrogates CHS responses in vivo.
    CONCLUSION: These observations highlight an important role of the UPR in determination of the inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo further underlining the importance of tissue stress- and damage responses in the development of ACD and provide mechanistically based concepts as a basis for the development of new therapeutic approaches to treat allergic contact dermatitis.
    Keywords:  Allergic contact dermatitis; Contact hypersensitivity; Inflammation; Unfolded protein response
  5. Cell Transplant. 2021 Jan-Dec;30:30 9636897211035080
      α-mangostin has been confirmed to promote the apoptosis of MG-63 cells, but its specific pro-apoptosis mechanism in osteosarcoma (OS) remains further investigation. Here, we demonstrated that α-mangostin restrained the viability of OS cells (143B and Saos-2), but had little effect on the growth of normal human osteoblast. α-mangostin increased OS cell apoptosis by activating the caspase-3/8 cascade. Besides, α-mangostin induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and restrained the Wnt/β-catenin pathway activity. 4PBA (an ER stress inhibitor) or LiCl (an effective Wnt activator) treatment effectively hindered α-mangostin-induced apoptosis and the caspase-3/8 cascade. Furthermore, we also found that α-mangostin induced ER stress by promoting ROS production. And ER stress-mediated apoptosis caused by ROS accumulation depended on the inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In addition, α-mangostin significantly hindered the growth of xenograft tumors, induced the expression of ER stress marker proteins and activation of the caspase-3/8 cascade, and restrained the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in vivo. In short, ROS-mediated ER stress was involved in α-mangostin triggered apoptosis, which might depended on Wnt/β-catenin signaling inactivation.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ROS; apoptosis; osteosarcoma; α-mangostin
  6. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Jul 28. mbcE21050251
      Accumulating evidence indicate that increased ribosome biogenesis is a hallmark of cancer. It is well established that inhibition of any steps of ribosome biogenesis induces a nucleolar stress characterized by p53 activation and subsequent cell cycle arrest and/or cell death. However, cells derived from solid tumors have demonstrated different degree of sensitivity to ribosome biogenesis inhibition, where cytostatic effects rather than apoptosis are observed. The reason for this is not clear and the p53-specific transcriptional program induced after nucleolar stress has not been previously investigated. Here we demonstrate that blocking rRNA synthesis by depletion of essential rRNA processing factors such as LAS1L, PELP1, and NOP2 or by inhibition of RNA Pol I with the specific small molecule inhibitor CX-5461, mainly induce cell cycle arrest accompanied with autophagy in solid tumor-derived cell lines. Using gene expression analysis, we find that p53 orchestrates a transcriptional program involved in promoting metabolic remodeling and autophagy to help cells survive under nucleolar stress. Importantly, our study demonstrates that blocking autophagy significantly sensitizes cancer cells to RNA Pol I inhibition by CX-5461, suggesting that interfering with autophagy should be considered a strategy to heighten the responsiveness of ribosome biogenesis-targeted therapies in p53-positive tumors.
  7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 03. pii: e2025539118. [Epub ahead of print]118(31):
      The p53 pathway is a universal tumor suppressor mechanism that limits tumor progression by triggering apoptosis or permanent cell cycle arrest, called senescence. In recent years, efforts to reactivate p53 function in cancer have proven to be a successful therapeutic strategy in murine models and have gained traction with the development of a range of small molecules targeting mutant p53. However, knowledge of the downstream mediators of p53 reactivation in different oncogenic contexts has been limited. Here, we utilized a panel of murine cancer cell lines from three distinct tumor types susceptible to alternative outcomes following p53 restoration to define unique and shared p53 transcriptional signatures. While we found that the majority of p53-bound sites and p53-responsive transcripts are tumor-type specific, analysis of shared targets identified a core signature of genes activated by p53 across all contexts. Furthermore, we identified repression of E2F and Myc target genes as a key feature of senescence. Characterization of p53-induced transcripts revealed core and senescence-specific long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are predominantly chromatin associated and whose production is coupled to cis-regulatory activities. Functional investigation of the contributions of p53-induced lncRNAs to p53-dependent outcomes highlighted Pvt1b, the p53-dependent isoform of Pvt1, as a mediator of p53-dependent senescence via Myc repression. Inhibition of Pvt1b led to decreased activation of senescence markers and increased levels of markers of proliferation. These findings shed light on the core and outcome-specific p53 restoration signatures across different oncogenic contexts and underscore the key role of the p53-Pvt1b-Myc regulatory axis in mediating proliferative arrest.
    Keywords:  lncRNA; p53; senescence; transcription; tumor suppression