Maro Okamura

University of Yamanashi, Kōfu-shi, Yamanashi-ken, Japan

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Publications (19)77.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a key regulator of adipose tissue mass, but mechanisms underlying this effect have not been fully elucidated. We found that exposure to TNF-alpha caused a significant decrease in the number of adipocytes, but not preadipocytes. Subsequent experiments revealed that TNF-alpha selectively deleted adipocytes through induction of apoptosis. Following exposure to TNF-alpha, rapid activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) was observed only in preadipocytes, but not in adipocytes. Inhibition of NF-kappaB rendered preadipocytes susceptible to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis, suggesting that different activity of NF-kappaB is the determinant for the distinct apoptotic responses. During adipocyte differentiation, expression and activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) were upregulated. Treatment of preadipocytes with a PPARgamma agonist attenuated NF-kappaB activation and rendered the cells vulnerable to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Conversely, treatment of adipocytes with a PPARgamma antagonist enhanced NF-kappaB activation and conferred resistance to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis, suggesting involvement of PPARgamma in the suppression of NF-kappaB in adipocytes. We also found that, following differentiation, expression and activity of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), especially C/EBPalpha and C/EBPbeta, were upregulated in adipocytes. Overexpression of individual C/EBPs significantly inhibited activation of NF-kappaB in preadipocytes. Furthermore, transfection with siRNA for C/EBPalpha or C/EBPbeta enhanced activity of NF-kappaB in adipocytes, suggesting that C/EBP is also involved in the repression of NF-kappaB in adipocytes. These results suggested novel mechanisms by which TNF-alpha selectively deletes adipocytes in the adipose tissue. The C/EBP- and PPARgamma-mediated suppression of NF-kappaB may contribute to TNF-alpha-related loss of adipose tissue mass under certain pathological situations, such as cachexia.
    Laboratory Investigation 09/2010; 90(9):1385-95. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nephrin, a crucial component of the slit diaphragm, is downregulated in proteinuric glomerular diseases including glomerulonephritis. We previously reported that 1) expression of nephrin in cultured podocytes is reinforced by retinoic acid (RA) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), 2) these effects are mediated by retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR), and 3) basal and inducible expression of nephrin is downregulated by TNF-alpha. In the present investigation, we identified that TNF-alpha selectively represses activity of RAR but not VDR. To elucidate mechanisms underlying this observation, we tested involvement of downstream targets for TNF-alpha: nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt, and cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA). TNF-alpha caused activation of NF-kappaB, MAP kinases, and PI3K-Akt in podocytes, whereas blockade of these molecules did not affect inhibition of RAR by TNF-alpha. In contrast, TNF-alpha depressed activity of cAMP-PKA, and blockade of PKA inhibited basal and RA-induced activation of RAR. Furthermore, activity of RAR was significantly upregulated by cAMP, and the suppressive effect of TNF-alpha on RAR was reversed by cAMP-elevating agents. These results suggest that 1) expression of nephrin in podocytes is regulated by the cAMP-RAR pathway and 2) suppression of nephrin by TNF-alpha is caused, at least in part, through selective inhibition of this pathway.
    AJP Renal Physiology 03/2010; 298(6):F1436-44. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are widely distributed pollutants in environments. These toxic substances activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and thereby cause a broad spectrum of pathological changes. Development of AhR inhibitors will be useful for prevention of diseases caused by AhR activation. Using the dioxin responsive element (DRE)-based sensing via secreted alkaline phosphatase (DRESSA), we examined effects of Antrodia camphorata, a mycerial extract, on the activation of AhR by halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. We found that Antrodia camphorata markedly suppressed activation of AhR triggered by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). In contrast, activation of AhR by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo[a]pyrene and 3-methylcholanthrene) was inhibited only modestly by this mycelium. Similarly, Antrodia camphorata only mildly attenuated activation of AhR by cigarette smoke that contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Consistent with these results, Northern blot analysis revealed that DRE-driven exogenous and endogenous gene expression triggered by TCDD was abolished by Antrodia camphorata, whereas it did not substantially affect DRE-induced transcription triggered by benzo[a]pyrene, 3-methylcholanthrene or cigarette smoke. We also found that the inhibitory effect of Antrodia camphorata on TCDD-induced AhR activation was ascribed to neither down-regulation of AhR, down-regulation of the AhR nuclear translocator, nor up-regulation of the AhR repressor. These results suggest that Antrodia camphorata preferentially inhibits AhR activation and DRE-dependent gene expression triggered by dioxin.
    Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 10/2009; 32(9):1510-5. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Modest induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress confers resistance to inflammation in glomeruli. Recently, we found that ER stress leads to mesangial insensitivity to cytokine-induced activation of NF-kappaB, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. ER stress can trigger expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs), which interact with transcription factors including NF-kappaB. Here, we investigated a role for C/EBPs in the ER stress-induced resistance to cytokines. Mesangial cells preferentially induced C/EBPbeta after exposure to thapsigargin or tunicamycin; induction of C/EBPdelta was modest and transient, and expression of C/EBPalpha was absent. The induction of C/EBPbeta correlated with accumulation of C/EBPbeta protein and enhanced transcriptional activity of C/EBP. Overexpression of C/EBPbeta markedly suppressed TNF-alpha-induced activation of NF-kappaB, independent of its transacting potential. Knockdown of C/EBPbeta by small interfering RNA reversed the suppressive effect of ER stress on NF-kappaB. In vivo, preconditioning of mice with ER stress induced renal C/EBPbeta and suppressed NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression in response to LPS. Using dominant negative mutants and null mutants for individual branches of the unfolded protein response, we identified the RNA-dependent protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK) and the inositol-requiring ER-to-nucleus signal kinase 1 (IRE1) pathways as the unfolded protein response responsible for ER stress-induced C/EBPbeta. These results suggest that ER stress blunts cytokine-triggered activation of NF-kappaB, in part through PERK- and IRE1-mediated preferential induction of C/EBPbeta.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 10/2009; 21(1):73-81. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunosuppressive agents cyclosporin A (CsA) and tacrolimus (FK506) inhibit cytokine production by activated lymphocytes through interfering with calcineurin. However, little is known about their effects on the function of nonlymphoid cells. We found that, in renal tubular cells, induction of MCP-1 by inflammatory cytokines was blunted by CsA and FK506. This suppression was correlated with induction of unfolded protein response (UPR) evidenced by endogenous and exogenous indicators. The induction of UPR by these agents was reversible and observed generally in other nonimmune cells. Furthermore, administration with CsA in reporter mice caused rapid, systemic induction of UPR in vivo. In TNF-alpha-treated cells, suppression of MCP-1 by CsA or FK506 was associated with blunted responses of NF-kappaB, the crucial regulator of MCP-1. The suppression of NF-kappaB was reproduced by other inducers of UPR including AB(5) subtilase cytotoxin, tunicamycin, thapsigargin, and A23187. CsA and FK506, as well as other UPR inducers, caused up-regulation of C/EBP family members, especially C/EBPbeta and CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein), and overexpression of either C/EBPbeta or CHOP significantly attenuated TNF-alpha-triggered NF-kappaB activation. Furthermore, down-regulation of C/EBPbeta by small interfering RNA substantially reversed the suppressive effect of CsA on TNF-alpha-induced MCP-1 expression. These results suggested that CsA and FK506 confer insensitiveness to TNF-alpha on resident cells through UPR-dependent induction of the C/EBP family members.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 182(11):7201-11. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin has the potential to induce expression of inflammation-associated genes, although the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We examined the effects of subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB), an AB(5) toxin produced by some Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli, on the activation of NF-kappaB. SubAB is known to be a protease which selectively degrades GRP78/Bip. Treatment of NRK-52E cells with SubAB caused rapid cleavage of GRP78. Following the degradation of GRP78, transient activation of NF-kappaB was observed with a peak at 6-12 h; the activation subsided within 24 h despite the continuous absence of intact GRP78. The activation of NF-kappaB was preceded by transient phosphorylation of Akt. Treatment of the cells with a selective inhibitor of Akt1/2 or an inhibitor of PI3K attenuated SubAB-induced NF-kappaB activation, suggesting that activation of Akt is an event upstream of NF-kappaB. Degradation of GRP78 caused the unfolded protein response (UPR), and inducers of the UPR mimicked the stimulatory effects of SubAB on Akt and NF-kappaB. SubAB triggered the three major branches of the UPR including the IRE1-XBP1, PERK, and ATF6 pathways. Dominant-negative inhibition of IRE1alpha, XBP1, or PERK did not attenuate activation of NF-kappaB by SubAB. In contrast, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of ATF6 significantly suppressed SubAB-triggered Akt phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation. These results suggested that loss of GRP78 by SubAB leads to transient phosphorylation of Akt and consequent activation of NF-kappaB through the ATF6 branch of the UPR.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 183(2):1480-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nephrin is a key molecule involved in the structure and function of the slit diaphragm in the glomerulus. We previously reported that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] induced expression of nephrin in murine podocytes. In this report, we investigated roles of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR), the retinoid X receptor (RXR) and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in the regulation of the nephrin gene. Reporter podocytes were treated with agonists and/or antagonists of RAR, RXR or VDR, and activities of the nephrin gene promoter, the retinoic acid response element (RARE) and the vitamin D response element (VDRE) were evaluated. Expression of nephrin in podocytes was up-regulated by ATRA and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). The nephrin gene promoter was also activated by these agents, which was mediated by RAR and VDR, but unexpectedly, not by RXR. ATRA-triggered, RAR-mediated activation of the nephrin gene promoter was not suppressed by the VDR antagonist. Similarly, ATRA-induced activation of RARE was not inhibited by the VDR antagonist. In contrast, the 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-triggered, VDR-mediated activation of the nephrin gene promoter was significantly suppressed by the RAR antagonist, but not by RXR antagonists. Interestingly, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-induced activation of VDRE was not inhibited by the RAR antagonist. These results suggested selective cooperation of RAR and VDR in the regulation of the nephrin gene, i.e. (1) ATRA induces nephrin gene expression via RAR independently of RXR and VDR and (2) 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) induces nephrin gene expression via selective cooperation of RAR and VDR, which is independent of RXR.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 06/2009; 24(10):3006-12. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress causes induction of inflammatory molecules via activation of NF-kappaB. However, we found that, under ER stress conditions, renal mesangial cells acquire anergy to proinflammatory stimuli. Priming of the cells with ER stress inducers (tunicamycin, thapsigargin, A23187, and AB5 subtilase cytotoxin) caused blunted induction of MCP-1 in response to TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, macrophage-derived factors, or bystander macrophages. The magnitude of suppression was closely correlated with the level of GRP78, an endogenous indicator of ER stress. The suppression of MCP-1 under ER stress conditions was reversible and observed in general regardless of cell types or triggers of ER stress. The decrease in the level of MCP-1 mRNA was ascribed to transcriptional suppression via unexpected inhibition of NF-kappaB, but not to accelerated mRNA degradation. Subsequent experiments revealed that TNFR-associated factor 2, an essential component for TNF-alpha signaling, was down-regulated by ER stress. We also found that, under ER stress conditions, expression of NF-kappaB suppressor A20 was induced. Overexpression of A20 resulted in suppression of cytokine-triggered NF-kappaB activation and knockdown of A20 by RNA interference significantly attenuated induction of anergy by ER stress. In contrast, other ER stress-inducible/-related molecules that may suppress NF-kappaB (e.g., GRP78, NO, reactive oxygen species, and IkappaB) were not involved in the inhibitory effects of ER stress. These results elucidated ER stress-dependent mechanisms by which nonimmune cells acquire anergy to inflammatory stimuli under pathological situations. This self-defense machinery may play a role in halting progression of acute inflammation and in its spontaneous subsidence.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2009; 182(2):1182-91. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental pollutants including halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and thereby cause a wide range of pathological changes. Development of AhR antagonists will be useful for prevention and treatment of diseases related to AhR activation. Towards this end, we aimed in the present study at seeking for potential inhibitors of the AhR pathway in mycelial extracts using the dioxin responsive element-based sensing via secreted alkaline phosphatase (DRESSA). Through the screening of 13 mycelia, extracts prepared from Phellinus linteus, Cordyceps militaris and Hericium erinaceum inhibited activation of AhR by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, benzo[a]pyrene or 3-methylcholanthrene. Subsequent studies revealed that only Phellinus linteus suppressed activation of AhR and AhR-dependent gene expression triggered by all of these agonists. Cigarette smoke is known to contain a number of halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. We found that Phellinus linteus has the potential to block activation of AhR and AhR-dependent gene expression triggered by cigarette smoke. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of Phellinus linteus on the AhR pathway was independent of; 1) depression of AhR or AhR nuclear translocator, and 2) induction of AhR repressor. We conclude that Phellinus linteus contains potent inhibitor(s) of AhR activation and may be useful for prevention of pathologies associated with aberrant activation of AhR.
    Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 11/2008; 31(10):1888-93. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We found that, in murine podocytes, expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) in response to TNF-alpha was suppressed by indomethacin but not by ibuprofen. This anti-inflammatory potential was correlated with induction of 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), a marker of unfolded protein response (UPR). Indomethacin, but not ibuprofen, also triggered expression of CHOP, another endogenous indicator of UPR, as well as repression of endoplasmic reticulum stress-responsive alkaline phosphatase, an exogenous indicator of UPR. Like ibuprofen, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin and sulindac also did not induce UPR, indicating that the induction of UPR by indomethacin was independent of cyclooxygenase inhibition. The induction of UPR by indomethacin was observed similarly in other cells including mesangial cells and tubular epithelial cells. In tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-treated cells, suppression of MCP-1 by indomethacin was inversely correlated with induction of UPR, and other inducers of UPR including tunicamycin, thapsigargin, and A23187 reproduced the suppressive effect. Reporter assays showed that indomethacin as well as thapsigargin attenuated activation of NF-kappaB by TNF-alpha, and it was associated with enhanced degradation of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) and blunted degradation of IkappaBbeta. Subsequent experiments revealed that acute ablation of GRP78 protein by AB5 subtilase cytotoxin caused reinforcement of MCP-1 induction and NF-kappaB activation by TNF-alpha and that transfection with GRP78 significantly suppressed the cytokine-induced activation of NF-kappaB. These results suggested that indomethacin suppressed the response of podocytes to TNF-alpha via UPR and that UPR-triggered induction of GRP78 and degradation of TRAF2 may be responsible, at least in part, for the suppressive effect of indomethacin.
    American journal of physiology. Renal physiology 10/2008; 295(5):F1495-503. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycelial extracts have a wide range of biological activities that modulate functions of mammalian cells. In this report, we sought to identify antiadipogenic mycelia with the use of 3T3-L1 cells and found that the extract of Cordyceps militaris exclusively suppressed differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into mature adipocytes without affecting cell viability. This inhibitory effect was dose dependent, reversible, and associated with 1) a decrease in lipid accumulation, 2) blunted induction of adipocyte markers including adiponectin, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-alpha, and 3) sustained expression of a preadipocyte marker, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. C. militaris also significantly decreased accumulation of lipid and hypertrophy in mature adipocytes and preserved their response to insulin (phosphorylation of Akt) during prolonged culture. Subsequent experiments revealed that C. militaris has the potential to activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). In 3T3-L1 cells, treatment with AhR agonists including benzo[a]pyrene and 3-methylcholanthrene reproduced the antiadipogenic effect of C. militaris. Furthermore, dominant-negative inhibition of AhR abrogated the suppressive effect of C. militaris on adipocyte differentiation. These results suggest that C. militaris has the potential to interfere with adipocyte differentiation through activation of AhR.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 08/2008; 295(4):E859-67. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this report, we investigated a role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in cigarette smoke (CS)-induced apoptosis of human bronchial epithelial cells (hBEC). Exposure of hBEC to CS or CS extract (CSE) caused expression of endogenous ER stress markers GRP78 and CHOP and induction of apoptosis evidenced by nuclear condensation, membrane blebbing, and activation of caspase-3 and caspase-4. In vivo exposure of mice to CS also caused induction of GRP78 and CHOP in the lung. Attenuation of ER stress by overexpression of ER chaperone GRP78 or ORP150 significantly attenuated CSE-triggered apoptosis. Exposure of hBEC to CSE caused generation of reactive oxygen species, and treatment with antioxidants inhibited CSE-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, antioxidants including a scavenger of O(2)(*-) blunted induction of CHOP by CSE without affecting the level of GRP78, and dominant-negative inhibition of CHOP abolished CSE-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, a generator of O(2)(*-) selectively induced CHOP and apoptosis in hBEC. Our results revealed that: (1) CS induces ER stress in vitro and in vivo, (2) ER stress mediates CS-triggered apoptosis downstream of oxidative stress, (3) CS-initiated apoptosis is caused through oxidative stress-dependent induction of CHOP, (4) O(2)(*-) may play a dominant role in this process, and (5) oxidative stress-independent induction of GRP78 counterbalances the proapoptotic action of CHOP.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 08/2008; 45(1):50-9. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cadmium triggers apoptosis of LLC-PK1 cells through induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We found that cadmium caused generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and that cadmium-induced ER stress was inhibited by antioxidants. In contrast, suppression of ER stress did not attenuate cadmium-triggered oxidative stress, suggesting that ER stress occurs downstream of oxidative stress. Exposure of the cells to either O(2)(*), H(2)O(2), or ONOO(-) caused apoptosis, whereas ER stress was induced only by O(2)(*) or ONOO(-). Transfection with manganese superoxide dismutase significantly attenuated cadmium-induced ER stress and apoptosis, whereas pharmacological inhibition of ONOO(-) was ineffective. Interestingly, transfection with catalase attenuated cadmium-induced apoptosis without affecting the level of ER stress. O(2)(*) caused activation of the activating transcription factor 6-CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP) and the inositol-requiring ER-to-nucleus signal kinase 1-X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1) proapoptotic cascades, and overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase attenuated cadmium-triggered induction of both pathways. Furthermore, phosphorylation of proapoptotic c-Jun N-terminal kinase by O(2)(*) or cadmium was suppressed by dominant-negative inhibition of XBP1. These data elucidated 1) cadmium caused ER stress via generation of ROS, 2) O(2)(*) was selectively involved in cadmium-triggered, ER stress-mediated apoptosis through activation of the activating transcription factor 6-CHOP and inositol-requiring ER-to-nucleus signal kinase 1-XBP1 pathways, and 3) phosphorylation of JNK was caused by O(2)(*)-triggered activation of XBP1.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2008; 283(7):4252-60. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA), an anti-ulcer agent, has anti-inflammatory potential against experimental colitis and ischemia-induced renal inflammation. However, molecular mechanisms involved in its anti-inflammatory effects are largely unknown. We found that, in glomerular mesangial cells, GGA blocked activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and consequent induction of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) by inflammatory cytokines. It was inversely correlated with induction of unfolded protein response (UPR) evidenced by expression of 78kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) and suppression of endoplasmic reticulum stress-responsive alkaline phosphatase. Various inducers of UPR including tunicamycin, thapsigargin, A23187, 2-deoxyglucose, dithiothreitol, and AB(5) subtilase cytotoxin reproduced the suppressive effects of GGA. Furthermore, attenuation of UPR by stable transfection with GRP78 diminished the anti-inflammatory effects of GGA. These results disclosed a novel, UPR-dependent mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory potential of GGA.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2008; 365(1):47-53. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preadipocytes constitutively express GATA-2 and GATA-3 that are required to halt the cells at the undifferentiated stage. However, we unexpectedly found that K-7174, a GATA-specific inhibitor, did not induce but rather inhibited differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. It was associated with lack of lipid accumulation, blunted expression of adipocyte markers including adiponectin and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), and sustained expression of a preadipocyte marker monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1). Subsequent experiments revealed that K-7174 had the potential to induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress evidenced by induction of GRP78 and CHOP. Other inducers of ER stress completely reproduced the effects of K-7174 including suppression of lipid accumulation, blockade of induction of adiponection and PPARgamma and maintenance of MCP-1 expression. These results indicated a possibility that ER stress suppresses adipocyte differentiation and that GATA inhibitor K-7174 has the potential for interfering with adipogenesis through induction of ER stress.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2007; 363(2):355-60. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA), an antiulcer agent, has the ability to induce 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) in various cell types and to protect cells from apoptogenic insults. However, little is known about effects of GGA on other HSP families of molecules. We found that, at concentrations >/=100 microM, GGA caused selective expression of 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), an HSP70 family member inducible by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, without affecting the level of HSP70 in various cell types. Induction of ER stress by GGA was also evidenced by expression of another endogenous marker, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP); decreased activity of ER stress-responsive alkaline phosphatase; and unfolded protein response (UPR), including activation of the activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) pathway and the inositol-requiring ER-to-nucleus signal kinase 1-X-box-binding protein 1 (IRE1-XBP1) pathway. Incubation of mesangial cells with GGA caused significant apoptosis, which was attenuated by transfection with inhibitors of caspase-12 (i.e., a dominant-negative mutant of caspase-12 and MAGE-3). Dominant-negative suppression of IRE1 or XBP1 significantly attenuated apoptosis without affecting the levels of CHOP and GRP78. Inhibition of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, the molecule downstream of IRE1, by 1,9-pyrazoloanthrone (SP600125) did not improve cell survival. Blockade of ATF6 by 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride enhanced apoptosis by GGA, and it was correlated with attenuated induction of both GRP78 and CHOP. Overexpression of GRP78 or dominant-negative inhibition of CHOP significantly attenuated GGA-induced apoptosis. These results suggested that GGA triggers both proapoptotic (IRE1-XBP1, ATF6-CHOP) and antiapoptotic (ATF6-GRP78) UPR and thereby coordinates cellular fate even without induction of HSP70.
    Molecular Pharmacology 11/2007; 72(5):1337-48. · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: K-7174, a GATA-specific inhibitor, is a putative anti-inflammatory agent that attenuates effects of inflammatory cytokines in certain cell types. However, molecular mechanisms involved have not been elucidated. We found that, in glomerular podocytes, induction of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) by TNF-alpha was abrogated by K-7174. It was correlated with unexpected induction of unfolded protein response (UPR) evidenced by: (1) induction of endogenous indicators 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein, and (2) suppression of an exogenous indicator, endoplasmic reticulum stress-repressive alkaline phosphatase. In podocytes, induction of UPR by either tunicamycin, thapsigargin, A23187 or AB5 subtilase cytotoxin completely reproduced the suppressive effect of K-7174. Furthermore, K-7174-elicited UPR abrogated induction of MCP-1 and iNOS not only by TNF-alpha but also by medium conditioned by activated macrophages. These results suggested a novel, UPR-dependent mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory potential of K-7174.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2007; 360(2):470-5. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-responsive alkaline phosphatase (ES-TRAP) serves as a sensitive indicator for ER stress. In response to heavy metals including cadmium, nickel and cobalt, hepatocytes and renal tubular cells expressing ES-TRAP exhibited ER stress and decreased ES-TRAP activity. In ES-TRAP transgenic mice, acute exposure to cadmium showed rapid, transient decreases in the activity of serum ES-TRAP. It was inversely correlated with the induction of endogenous ER stress markers in the liver and kidney. Our result provides first evidence for the acute, reversible induction of ER stress in vivo after exposure to heavy metal.
    FEBS Letters 06/2007; 581(10):2055-9. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of nephrin, a crucial component of the glomerular slit diaphragm, is downregulated in patients with proteinuric glomerular diseases. Using conditionally immortalized reporter podocytes, we found that bystander macrophages as well as macrophage-derived cytokines IL-1beta and TNF-alpha markedly suppressed activity of the nephrin gene promoter in podocytes. The cytokine-initiated repression was reversible, observed on both basal and inducible expression, independent of Wilms' tumor suppressor WT1, and caused in part via activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathway. These results indicated a novel mechanism by which activated macrophages participate in the induction of proteinuria in glomerular diseases.
    FEBS Letters 03/2007; 581(3):421-6. · 3.58 Impact Factor