Hemin is a strong inducer of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in vitro and in vivo. Whereas moderate overexpression of HO-1 is protective against oxidative stress, uncontrolled levels of HO-1 can be detrimental. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of apigenin (APG), a flavonoid involved in a number of phosphorylation pathways and also known to inhibit inducible genes, such as iNOS and COX-2, on HO-1 expression. Incubation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts with APG (5--40 microM) decreased hemin-induced HO-1 protein and mRNA expression. APG also reduced the induction of HO-1 promoter activity, as assessed by bioluminescence imaging, in NIH3T3 cells transfected with the 15-kb HO-1 promoter fused with the reporter gene luciferase (HO-1-luc). Furthermore, through the use of specific inhibitors, APG's effect was found to be unrelated to its PKC, CK 2, PI 3 K, p38, or ERK inhibitory activities. Quercetin (10--40 microM), also a flavonoid, also inhibited hemin-induced HO-1 expression. Additionally, in vivo studies using HO-1-luc transgenic mice showed that APG (50 mg/kg) decreased hemin-induced HO activity and HO-1 protein expression in the liver. These results suggest that hemin-induced HO-1 expression can be attenuated by flavonoids, such as APG.
"In astrocytes, increasing HO1 expression by adenoviral gene transfer before heme exposure attenuates oxidative stress and cell death (Chen and Regan, 2005). In fibroblasts, a moderate overexpression of HO1 is protective, whereas uncontrolled (beyond threshold) HO1 levels can be detrimental (Abate et al, 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemoproteins undergo degradation during hypoxic/ischemic conditions, but the pro-oxidant free heme that is released cannot be recycled and must be degraded. The extracellular heme associates with its high-affinity binding protein, hemopexin (HPX). Hemopexin is shown here to be expressed by cortical neurons and it is present in mouse cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. Using the transient ischemia model (90-min middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 96-h survival), we provide evidence that HPX is protective in the brain, as neurologic deficits and infarct volumes were significantly greater in HPX(-/-) than in wild-type mice. Addressing the potential protective HPX cellular pathway, we observed that exogenous free heme decreased cell survival in primary mouse cortical neuron cultures, whereas the heme bound to HPX was not toxic. Heme-HPX complexes induce HO1 and, consequently, protect primary neurons against the toxicity of both heme and pro-oxidant tert-butyl hydroperoxide; such protection was decreased in HO1(-/-) neuronal cultures. Taken together, these data show that HPX protects against heme-induced toxicity and oxidative stress and that HO1 is required. We propose that the heme-HPX system protects against stroke-related damage by maintaining a tight balance between free and bound heme. Thus, regulating extracellular free heme levels, such as with HPX, could be neuroprotective.
Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2009; 29(5):953-64. DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2009.19 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The highly inducible enzyme, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1), metabolizes heme, thereby protecting a variety of cells against oxidative stress and apoptosis. Up-regulation by cancer chemopreventive agents has been reported, but its regulation and function in transformed cells are unclear. We compared induction by two dietary polyphenols, curcumin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), with that by the endogenous substrate hemin in epithelial and endothelial cells and examined the relevance to apoptosis. Curcumin or hemin (20 microM) induced HO-1 in breast cells from 5 to 24 h. Curcumin (5-40 microM) or hemin (5-100 microM) induced HO-1 and nuclear levels of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-related factor (Nrf2) in a dose-dependent manner. EGCG had no effect in breast cells, but at 30 microM, it induced nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and HO-1 expression in B-lymphoblasts. In all cases, induction was inhibited by pretreatment with the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one (LY294002) or the p38 inhibitor 4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)1H-imidazole (SB203580). The nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)-DNA binding inhibitor helenalin (20 microM) also prevented induction. However, wortmannin had no effect, suggesting that PI3K was not involved. Curcumin and hemin also induced nuclear Nrf2 and HO-1 effectively in wild-type mouse embryo fibroblasts (wt MEFs) and in B-Raf(-/-) MEFs but not in Nrf2(-/-) MEFs. However, EGCG (5-20 microM) induced HO-1 only in wt MEFs. Results suggest that signaling through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, NF-kappaB, and Nrf2 as well as other unidentified molecules is involved in HO-1 induction by hemin and both polyphenols, but cell-specific factors also play a role, particularly with respect to EGCG. Induction of HO-1 by curcumin, EGCG, or low concentrations (5-10 microM) of helenalin did not protect MDA-MB468 breast cells or B-lymphoblasts from apoptosis.
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