JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endoplasmic reticulum stress promotes macrophage-derived foam cell formation by up-regulating cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) expression

Shutong Yao, Cheng Miao, Hua Tian, Hui Sang, Nana Yang, Peng Jiao, Jiju Han, Chuanlong Zong, Shucun Qin
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2014 February 14, 289 (7): 4032-42
24366867
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) up-regulates CD36, a scavenger receptor responsible for macrophage uptake of ox-LDL without limitation. However, the precise underlying mechanism is not completely understood. Our previous study has demonstrated that ox-LDL induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in macrophages. The goal of this study was to explore the exact relationship between ER stress and macrophage-derived foam cell formation and whether ER stress would be involved in ox-LDL-induced CD36 up-regulation. Our results showed that ox-LDL-induced lipid accumulation in macrophages was promoted synergistically by ER stress inducer tunicamycin (TM), while attenuated by ER stress inhibitor 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA). Ox-LDL caused CD36 up-regulation with concomitant activation of ER stress as assessed by phosphorylation of inositol-requiring kinase/endonuclease-1 (IRE-1) and protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK), up-regulation of X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP 78), and nuclear translocation of activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6). TM not only up-regulated CD36 alone but also synergized with ox-LDL to increase CD36 expression. Alleviation of ER stress with PBA and siRNA against ATF6, IRE1, and GRP78 mitigated ox-LDL-induced CD36 protein up-regulation. Moreover, administration of apoE(-/-) mice with PBA suppressed the up-regulation of CD36, phospho-IRE1, and GRP78 in macrophage-dense atherosclerotic lesions and in peritoneal macrophages. Additionally, CD36 silencing attenuated ox-LDL-induced nuclear translocation of ATF6, phosphorylation of IRE1 and up-regulation of XBP1 and GRP78. These data indicate that CD36-mediated ox-LDL uptake in macrophages triggers ER stress response, which, in turn, plays a critical role in CD36 up-regulation, enhancing the foam cell formation by uptaking more ox-LDL.

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