Siew Hwa Chu

National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

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Publications (5)13.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: At sites of chronic inflammation, such as in the inflamed rheumatoid joint, activated neutrophils release hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and the enzyme myeloperoxidase to catalyse the formation of hypochlorous acid (HOCl). 3-chlorotyrosine, a marker of HOCl in vivo, has been observed in synovial fluid proteins from rheumatoid arthritis patients. However the mechanisms of HOCl-induced cytotxicity are unknown. We determined the molecular mechanisms by which HOCl induced cell death in human mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) differentiated into a chondrocytic phenotype as a model of human cartilage cells and show that HOCl induced rapid Bax conformational change, mitochondrial permeability and release of intra-mitochondrial pro-apoptotic proteins which resulted in nuclear translocation of AIF and EndoG. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Bax substantially prevented mitochondrial permeability, release of intra-mitochondrial pro-apoptotic proteins. Cell death was inhibited by siRNA-mediated knockdown of Bax, AIF or EndoG. Although we observed several biochemical markers of apoptosis, caspase activation was not detected either by western blotting, fluorescence activity assays or by using caspase inhibitors to inhibit cell death. This was further supported by findings that (1) in vitro exposure of recombinant human caspases to HOCl caused significant inhibition of caspase activity and (2) the addition of HOCl to staurosporine-treated MPCs inhibited the activity of cellular caspases. Our results show for the first time that HOCl induced Bax-dependent mitochondrial permeability which led to cell death without caspase activity by processes involving AIF/EndoG-dependent pathways. Our study provides a novel insight into the potential mechanisms of cell death in the inflamed human joint.
    Cellular Signalling 05/2007; 19(4):705-14. · 4.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gaseous mediators hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and nitric oxide (*NO) are synthesised in the body from L-cysteine and L-arginine, respectively. In the cardiovascular system, *NO is an important regulator of vascular tone and its over- or under-production has been linked to a variety of diseases. The physiological significance of H2S is not yet clear but, like *NO, it exhibits vasodilator activity and may play a part in septic and haemorrhagic shock, hypertension, regulation of cardiac contractility, and in inflammation. To date, there have been no reports of a chemical interaction between H2S and *NO. Here we show that incubation of the H2S donor, sodium hydrosulphide, with a range of *NO donors and *NO gas in vitro leads to the formation of a nitrosothiol molecule as determined by a combination of techniques; electron paramagnetic resonance, amperometry, and measurement of nitrite. We further show that this nitrosothiol did not induce cGMP accumulation in cultured RAW264.7 cells unless *NO was released with Cu2+. Finally, using liver homogenates from LPS treated rats we present evidence for the endogenous formation of this nitrosothiol. These findings provide the first evidence for the formation of a novel nitrosothiol generated by reaction between H2S and *NO. We propose that generation of this nitrosothiol in the body may regulate the physiological effects of both *NO and H2S.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2006; 343(1):303-10. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • Nitric Oxide-biology and Chemistry - NITRIC OXIDE-BIOL CHEM. 01/2006; 14(4):40-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen sulphide (H(2)S) is a cytotoxic gas that has recently been proposed as a novel neuromodulator. Endogenous levels of H(2)S in the brain range between 50 and 160 microM, and considerably lower H(2)S levels are reported in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme that catalyses the formation of the oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl), are elevated in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampal microglia, and neurons of AD patients where MPO co-localised with beta-amyloid plaques. Recently 3-chlorotyrosine, a bio-marker for MPO activity (and HOCl production), was shown to be elevated threefold in hippocampal proteins from AD patients. Since H(2)S and HOCl are important mediators in brain function and disease, we investigated the effects of H(2)S on HOCl-mediated damage to bio-molecules and to cultured human SH-SY5Y cells. H(2)S significantly inhibited HOCl-mediated inactivation of alpha(1)-antiproteinase and protein oxidation to a comparable extent to reduced glutathione. H(2)S also inhibited HOCl-induced cytotoxicity, intracellular protein oxidation, and lipid peroxidation in SH-SY5Y cells. These data suggest that H(2)S has the potential to act as an inhibitor of HOCl-mediated processes in vivo and that the potential antioxidant action of H(2)S deserves further study, especially since extracellular GSH levels in the brain are very low.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2005; 326(4):794-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a well-known cytotoxic gas. Recently it has been shown to stimulate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to enhance long-term potentiation suggesting a novel neuromodulatory role in vivo. Endogenous levels of H2S in the brain are reported to range between 10 and 160 microm. Considerably lower H2S levels are reported in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, where levels of brain protein nitration (probably mediated by peroxynitrite) are markedly increased. Activation of NMDA receptors leads to intracellular tyrosine nitration by peroxynitrite. Because H2S and peroxynitrite are important mediators in brain function and disease, we investigated the effects of the H2S 'donor', sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaSH) on peroxynitrite-mediated damage to biomolecules and to cultured human SH-SY5Y cells. H2S significantly inhibited peroxynitrite-mediated tyrosine nitration and inactivation of alpha1-antiproteinase to a similar extent to reduced glutathione at each concentration tested (30-250 microm). H2S also inhibited peroxynitrite-induced cytotoxicity, intracellular protein nitration and protein oxidation in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. These data suggest that H2S has the potential to act as an inhibitor of peroxynitrite-mediated processes in vivo and that the potential antioxidant action of H2S deserves further study, given that extracellular GSH levels in the brain are very low.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2004; 90(3):765-8. · 3.97 Impact Factor