The protective role of HSP90 against 3-hydroxykynurenine-induced neuronal apoptosis

M W Lee, S C Park, H S Chae, J H Bach, H J Lee, S H Lee, Y K Kang, K Y Kim, W B Lee, S S Kim
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2001 June 8, 284 (2): 261-7
3-hydroxykynurenine (3HK), an endogenous metabolite of tryptophan in the kynurenine pathway, is a potential neurotoxin in several neurodegenerative disorders. Stabilizing protein structure, heat shock proteins (HSPs) have diverse roles as molecular chaperones to mediate stress tolerance. In the present study, we investigated the possible protective role of HSPs against 3HK induced neuronal cell death. Here we report that 3HK induced in a dose- and time-dependent manner neuronal cell death in neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells. The cell death showed characteristic apoptotic features such as cell shrinkage, plasma membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation, and nuclear condensation and fragmentation. Furthermore, SK-N-SN cells were protected from 3HK induced cytotoxicity by prior elevation of HSPs expression. Our results show that the protective effect was abolished by HSP90 anti-sense oligonucleotides while not by HSP27 and HSP70 anti-sense oligonucleotides. Also, our result shows that HSP90 effectively inhibits caspases activities leading to the apoptosis. These results suggest that 3HK induces apoptosis in neuroblastoma SK-N-SN cells and that HSP90 is major contributing protein component of protection against 3HK induced apoptosis.

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