Advanced oxidation protein products induce hypertrophy and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human proximal tubular cells through induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress

Xun Tang, Guang Rong, Yang Bu, Shaojie Zhang, Min Zhang, Jun Zhang, Xiujie Liang
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 2015, 35 (2): 816-28

BACKGROUND: In chronic kidney disease (CKD), the accumulation of advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) is prevalent. Hypertrophy and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tubular cells are associated with the pathogenesis of CKD. However, whether AOPPs induce tubular-cell hypertrophy and EMT is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of AOPPs on human proximal tubular cells (HK-2 cells) and the mechanisms underlying tubular-cell hypertrophy and EMT in vitro.

METHODS: The mRNA and protein expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP), glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78, p27, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and E-cadherin were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot, respectively. Cell cycle was detected by flow cytometry. Bicinchoninic acid method was performed to measure total protein content.

RESULTS: AOPP treatment upregulated total protein expression, caused an increase in the percentage of G1-phase cells, and induced the overexpression of p27 and α-SMA, lowered the expression of E-cadherin. Furthermore, AOPP treatment induced the overexpression of GRP78 and CHOP. Moreover, the aforementioned effects were reversed following the treatment of cells with an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, or salubrinal, which is an inhibitor of ER stress, whereas these effects were produced after exposure to thapsigargin, an inducer of ER stress.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that AOPPs induced HK-2-cell hypertrophy and EMT by inducing ER stress, which was likely mediated by ROS. These findings could facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for suppressing the progression of CKD.

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