P38MAP kinase, but not phosphoinositol-3 kinase, signal downstream of glutamine-mediated fibronectin-integrin signaling after intestinal injury

Stefanie Niederlechner, Christine Baird, Paul E Wischmeyer
Nutrition Journal 2013 June 21, 12 (1): 88

BACKGROUND: Glutamine appears to mediate protection against gut injury via multiple pathways. These include fibronectin-integrin, PI3-K/MAPK pathways, and activation of heat shock protein (HSP) response. We hypothesize there may be a relationship between these pathways mediating glutamine's protection in intestinal epithelial-6 cells after heat stress. We assessed whether p38MAPK and PI3-K/Akt signaling are involved in glutamine's cytoprotective mechanism and the role they play in glutamine-mediated protection in conjunction with fibronectin-integrin osmosignaling after hyperthermia.

METHODS: Intestinal epithelial cells were treated for 15 min with glutamine, with/without the fibronectin-integrin interaction inhibitor GRGDSP, inactive control peptide GRGESP, p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580, or PI3-K/Akt inhibitor LY294002 under basal (37°C) and stressed (43°C or 44°C) conditions. Cell survival was measured via MTS assay 24 h post-heat stress (44°C × 50 min). Total p38MAPK, [T(P)180/Y(P)182]p38MAPK, total Akt, [S(P)473]Akt, HSP70, FN, and caspase-3 levels were determined via Western blot after non-lethal HS (43°C × 50 min). Additionally, HSP70 levels were assessed via Western blot and ELISA.

RESULTS: We were able to show that GRGDSP and LY294002 attenuated glutamine's protective effect. However, SB203580 increased cell survival after heat stress. LY294002 attenuated glutamine-mediated increases in fibronectin and in HSP70 expression after hyperthermia. GRGDSP increased glutamine-mediated attenuations in p38MAPK phosphorylation, but had no effect on glutamine-mediated augmentations in Akt phosphorylation.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that glutamine is protective after heat stress by activating PI3-K/Akt signaling preventing fibronectin-integrin expression and increasing HSP70 expression. Furthermore, dephosphorylation of p38MAPK after heat stress plays an important role in glutamine-mediated cellular protection. However, p38MAPK, but not PI3-K/Akt, signals downstream of glutamine-mediated fibronectin-integrin signaling after hyperthermia.

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