Functional RNA Interference (RNAi) Screen Identifies System A Neutral Amino Acid Transporter 2 (SNAT2) as a Mediator of Arsenic-induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

Program in Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 01/2012; 287(8):6025-34. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.311217
Source: PubMed


Exposure to the toxic metalloid arsenic is associated with diabetes and cancer and causes proteotoxicity and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress at the cellular level. Adaptive responses to ER stress are implicated in cancer and diabetes; thus, understanding mechanisms of arsenic-induced ER stress may offer insights into pathogenesis. Here, we identify genes required for arsenite-induced ER stress response in a genome-wide RNAi screen. Using an shRNA library targeting ∼20,000 human genes, together with an ER stress cell model, we performed flow cytometry-based cell sorting to isolate cells with defective response to arsenite. Our screen discovered several genes modulating arsenite-induced ER stress, including sodium-dependent neutral amino acid transporter, SNAT2. SNAT2 expression and activity are up-regulated by arsenite, in a manner dependent on activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), an important mediator of the integrated stress response. Inhibition of SNAT2 expression or activity or deprivation of its primary substrate, glutamine, specifically suppressed ER stress induced by arsenite but not tunicamycin. Induction of SNAT2 is coincident with the activation of the nutrient-sensing mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which is at least partially required for arsenite-induced ER stress. Importantly, inhibition of the SNAT2 or the System L transporter, LAT1, suppressed mTOR activation by arsenite, supporting a role for these transporters in modulating amino acid signaling. These findings reveal SNAT2 as an important and specific mediator of arsenic-induced ER stress, and suggest a role for aberrant mTOR activation in arsenic-related human diseases. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the utility of RNAi screens in elucidating cellular mechanisms of environmental toxins.

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    • "We also demonstrate here that the mechanism of these alterations is related to the activation of UPR signaling pathway. Although arsenic is known to induce UPR signaling in multiple cell-types (Binet et al., 2010; Lu et al., 2011; Oh et al., 2012; Yen et al., 2012), it was not shown whether arsenic can induce UPR signaling in macrophages and whether activated UPR signaling plays key role(s) in arsenic-induced impairment of macrophage functions. The demonstration in the present study that chemical chaperone PBA protects against arsenic-induced alterations in macrophage functions and survival by attenuating UPR signaling provides a novel mechanism by which arsenic mediates its toxicity to disrupt innate immune functions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic exposure is known to disrupt innate immune functions in humans and in experimental animals. In this study, we provide a mechanism by which arsenic trioxide (ATO) disrupts macrophage functions. ATO treatment of murine macrophage cells diminished internalization of FITC-labeled latex beads, impaired clearance of phagocytosed fluorescent bacteria and reduced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These impairments in macrophage functions are associated with ATO-induced unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathway characterized by the enhancement in proteins such as GRP78, p-PERK, p-eIF2α, ATF4 and CHOP. The expression of these proteins is altered both at transcriptional and translational levels. Pretreatment with chemical chaperon, 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) attenuated the ATO-induced activation in UPR signaling and afforded protection against ATO-induced disruption of macrophage functions. This treatment also reduced ATO-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Interestingly, treatment with antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) prior to ATO exposure, not only reduced ROS production and UPR signaling but also improved macrophage functions. These data demonstrate that UPR signaling and ROS generation are interdependent and are involved in the arsenic-induced pathobiology of macrophage. These data also provide a novel strategy to block the ATO-dependent impairment in innate immune responses.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 08/2013; 272(3). DOI:10.1016/j.taap.2013.08.004 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    • "CHOP10 is ubiquitously expressed at very low levels and highly inducible as a result of the unfolded protein response (UPR), an adaptive response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Exposure to iAs and its trivalent methylated metabolites results in ER stress and triggers UPR (Naranmandura et al. 2012; Oh et al. 2012), both of which are involved in many aspects of the pathogenesis of diabetes (Cnop et al. 2011; Oyadomari and Mori 2004). Thus, we hypothesized that suppression of adipogenic differentiation by arsenic is associated "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is growing evidence that chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) is associated with an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the mechanisms for the diabetogenic effect of iAs are still largely unknown. White adipose tissue (WAT) actively stores and releases energy and maintains lipid and glucose homeostasis. Objective: We sought to determine the mechanisms of arsenic suppression of adipogenesis. Methods: The effects and associated mechanisms of iAs and its major metabolites on adipogenesis were determined in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, mouse adipose-derived stromal-vascular fraction cells (ADSVFCs), and human adipose tissue–derived stem cells (ADSCs). Results: Exposure of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes to noncytotoxic levels of arsenic, including inorganic arsenite (iAs3+, ≤ 5 μM), inorganic arsenate (≤ 20 μM), trivalent monomethylated arsenic (MMA3+, ≤ 1 μM), and trivalent dimethylated arsenic (DMA3+, ≤ 2 μM) decreased adipogenic hormone-induced adipogenesis in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, iAs3+, MMA3+, and DMA3+ exhibited a strong inhibitory effect on adipogenesis in primary cultured mouse ADSVFCs and human ADSCs. Time-course studies in 3T3-L1 cells revealed that inhibition of adipogenesis by arsenic occurred in the early stage of terminal adipogenic differentiation and was highly correlated with the induction of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP10), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response protein. Induction of CHOP10 by arsenic is associated with reduced DNA-binding activity of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), which regulates the transcription of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and C/EBPα. Conclusions: Low-level iAs and MMA3+ trigger the ER stress response and up-regulate CHOP10, which inhibits C/EBPβ transcriptional activity, thus suppressing adipogenesis. Arsenic-induced dysfunctional adipogenesis may be associated with a reduced capacity of WAT to store lipids and with insulin resistance.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 12/2012; 121(2). DOI:10.1289/ehp.1205731 · 7.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic arsenic exposure has been linked to endothelial dysfunction and apoptosis. We investigate the involvement of unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling in the arsenic-mediated cytotoxicity of the SVEC4-10 mouse endothelial cells. The SVEC4-10 cells underwent apoptosis in response to As2O3 dose- and time-dependently, accompanied by increased accumulation of calcium, and activation of caspase-3. These phenomena were completely inhibited by α-lipoic acid (LA), which did not scavenge ROS over-production, but were only partially or not ameliorated by tiron, a potent superoxide scavenger. Moreover, arsenic activated UPR, leading to phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 subunit α (eIF2α), induction of ATF4, and processing of ATF6. Treatment with arsenic also triggered the expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers, GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein), and CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein). The activation of eIF2α, ATF4 and ATF6 and expression of GRP78 and CHOP are repressed by both LA and tiron, indicating arsenic-induced UPR is mediated through ROS-dependent and ROS-independent pathways. Arsenic also induced ER stress-inducible genes, BAX, PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis), TRB3 (tribbles-related protein 3), and SNAT2 (sodium-dependent neutral amino acid transporter 2). Consistent with intracellular calcium and cell viability data, ROS may not be important in arsenic-induced death, because tiron did not affect the expression of these pro-apoptotic genes. In addition, pretreatment with salubrinal, a selective inhibitor of eIF2α dephosphorylation, enhanced arsenic-induced GRP78 and CHOP expression and partially prevented arsenic cytotoxicity in SVEC4-10 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that arsenic-induced endothelial cytotoxicity is associated with ER stress, which is mediated by ROS-dependent and ROS-independent signaling.
    Archives of Toxicology 07/2013; 88(2). DOI:10.1007/s00204-013-1101-x · 5.98 Impact Factor
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