bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2021‒11‒14
three papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Infect Immun. 2021 Nov 08. IAI0048121
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is intimately linked with inflammation in response to pathogenic infections. ER stress occurs when cells experience a buildup of misfolded or unfolded protein during times of perturbation, such as infections, which facilitates the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR involves multiple host pathways in an attempt to re-establish homeostasis, which oftentimes leads to inflammation and cell death if unresolved. The UPR is activated to help resolve some bacterial infections, and the IRE1α pathway is especially critical in mediating inflammation. To understand the role of the IRE1α pathway of the UPR during enteric bacterial infection, we employed Citrobacter rodentium to study host-pathogen interactions in intestinal epithelial cells and the murine gastrointestinal (GI) tract. C. rodentium is an enteric mouse pathogen that is similar to the human pathogens enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC, respectively), which have limited small animal models. Here, we demonstrate that both C. rodentium and EPEC induced the UPR in intestinal epithelial cells. UPR induction during C. rodentium infection correlated with the onset of inflammation in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). Our previous work implicated IRE1α and NOD1/2 in ER stress-induced inflammation, which we observed were also required for pro-inflammatory gene induction during C. rodentium infection. C. rodentium induced IRE1α-dependent inflammation in mice, and inhibiting IRE1α led to a dysregulated inflammatory response and delayed clearance of C. rodentium. This study demonstrates that ER stress aids inflammation and clearance of C. rodentium through a mechanism involving the IRE1α-NOD1/2 axis.
  2. Neoplasia. 2021 Nov 09. pii: S1476-5586(21)00089-0. [Epub ahead of print]23(12): 1213-1226
      The 78 kilodalton glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) is a major endoplasmic reticulum (ER) molecular chaperone with antiapoptotic properties and a key regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). ER-stress induction of GRP78 in cancer cells represents a major pro-survival branch of the UPR. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a highly lethal disease and high level of GRP78 is associated with aggressive disease and poor survival. Recently, we reported that PDAC exhibited high level of ER stress and that GRP78 haploinsufficiency is sufficient to suppress pancreatic tumorigenesis in mice, suggesting the utility of inhibitors of GRP78 expression in combating pancreatic cancer. Screening of clinically relevant compound libraries revealed that cardiac glycosides (CGs) can inhibit ER-stress induction of GRP78 in pancreatic and other types of human cancers. Using the FDA-approved CG compound Lanatoside C (LanC) and human pancreatic cancer cell lines as model systems, we discovered that LanC preferably suppressed ER stress induction of GRP78 and to a lesser extent GRP94. The suppression is at the post-transcriptional level and dependent on the Na+/K+-ATPase ion pump. Overexpression of GRP78 mitigates apoptotic activities of LanC in ER stressed cells. Our study revealed a new function of CGs as inhibitor of stress induction of GRP78, and that this suppression at least in part contributes to the apoptotic activities of CGs in human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. These findings support further investigation into CGs as potential antineoplastic agents for pancreatic and other cancers which depend on GRP78 for growth and survival.
    Keywords:  BiP; Cardiac Glycosides; ER-stress; GRP78; Lanatoside C; Pancreatic Cancer
  3. Oncogenesis. 2021 Nov 06. 10(11): 73
      Genetic aberrations are present in the ATRX gene in older high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) patients with very poor clinical outcomes. Its loss-of-function (LoF) facilitates the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway in tumor cells and is strongly linked to replication stress (RS) and DNA damage through G-quadruplex (G4) DNA secondary structures. However, limited information is available on ATRX alteration-related NB tumorigenesis. We herein knocked out (KO) ATRX in MYCN-amplified (NGP) and MYCN single copy (SK-N-AS) NB cells with wild-type (wt) and truncated TP53 at the C terminus, respectively, using CRISPR/Cas9 technologies. The loss of ATRX increased DNA damage and G4 formation related to RS in TP53 wt isogenic ATRX KO NGP cells, but not in SK-N-AS clones. A gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) showed that the gene sets related to DNA double-strand break repair, negative cell cycle regulation, the G2M checkpoint, and p53 pathway activation were enriched in NGP clones. The accumulation of DNA damage activated the ATM/CHK2/p53 pathway, leading to cell cycle arrest in NGP clones. Interestingly, ATRX loss did not induce RS related to DNA damage response (DDR) in TP53-truncated SK-N-AS cells. p53 inactivation abrogated cell cycle arrest and reduced G4 accumulation in NGP clones. The loss of p53 also induced G4 DNA helicases or Fanconi anemia group D2 protein (FANCD2) with ATRX deficiency, suggesting that ATRX maintained genome integrity and p53 deficiency attenuated RS-induced DNA damage in NB cells featuring inactivated ATRX by regulating DNA repair mechanisms and replication fork stability.