Norepinephrine-induced oxidative stress causes PC-12 cell apoptosis by both endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial intrinsic pathway: inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase survival pathway

Weike Mao, Chikao Iwai, Peter C Keng, Raju Vulapalli, Chang-seng Liang
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2006, 290 (5): C1373-84
Norepinephrine (NE) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response and reduces maturation and translocation of NE transporter to cell membrane via enhanced formation of reactive oxygen species in PC-12 cells. In the present study, we investigated whether ER stress is also implicated in the proapoptotic effect of NE. We found that the apoptotic effect of NE was associated with increased processing of ER-resident pro-caspase-12, cleavage of caspase-9 and -3, and mitochondrial release of cytochrome c. ER stress was evidenced by upregulation of ER chaperone GRP78 and transcription factor CHOP and the translocation of XBP-1 from the ER to the nucleus by NE. NE also reduced phospho-Akt (Ser473), indicating suppression of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase)/Akt survival pathway. Similar results were produced by thapsigargin. NGF, which promotes the PI3-kinase/Akt activity, reduced the effects of NE and thapsigargin on apoptosis and activation of caspase-12 and -3. However, the effects of NE, but not of thapsigargin, were abolished by pretreatment with SOD and catalase. In contrast, the PI3-kinase inhibitors LY-294002 and wortmannin abolished the protective effects of both SOD/catalase and NGF on NE-induced apoptosis. The functional importance of caspase-12 activation was supported by the use of Z-ATAD-FMK, which reduced the NE-induced processing of caspase-12 and cell apoptosis, but the caspase-12, -9, and -3 inhibitors had no effects on the increase in cytosolic cytochrome c produced by NE. In contrast, the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c was abolished by SOD/catalase and NGF. These results indicate that NE induced cell apoptosis by both ER stress and a mitochondrial death pathway and that the effects of NE were mediated via oxidative stress and inhibition of the PI3-kinase/Akt survival pathway.

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