[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Typically, most nephropathies can be categorized as complex human diseases in which the cumulative effect of multiple minor genes, combined with environmental and lifestyle factors, determines the disease phenotype. Thus, multi-target drugs would be more likely to facilitate comprehensive renoprotection than single-target agents. In this study, functional chemical-protein association analysis was performed to retrieve multi-target drugs of high pathway wideness from the STITCH 3.1 database. Pathway wideness of a drug evaluated the efficiency of regulation of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways in quantity. We identified nine experimentally validated renoprotectants that exerted remarkable impact on KEGG pathways by targeting a limited number of proteins. We selected curcumin as an illustrative compound to display the advantage of multi-pathway drugs on renoprotection. We compared curcumin with hemin, an agonist of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which significantly affects only one KEGG pathway, porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism (adjusted p = 1.5×10-5). At the same concentration (10 µM), both curcumin and hemin equivalently mitigated oxidative stress in H2O2-treated glomerular mesangial cells. The benefit of using hemin was derived from its agonistic effect on HO-1, providing relief from oxidative stress. Selective inhibition of HO-1 completely blocked the action of hemin but not that of curcumin, suggesting simultaneous multi-pathway intervention by curcumin. Curcumin also increased cellular autophagy levels, enhancing its protective effect; however, hemin had no effects. Based on the fact that the dysregulation of multiple pathways is implicated in the etiology of complex diseases, we proposed a feasible method for identifying multi-pathway drugs from compounds with validated targets. Our efforts will help identify multi-pathway agents capable of providing comprehensive protection against renal injuries.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e97906. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has been demonstrated to be present in several tissues and cells unrelated to systemic calcium homeostasis, where it regulates a series of diverse cellular functions. A previous study indicated that CaSR is expressed in mouse glomerular mesangial cells (MCs), and stimulation of CaSR induces cell proliferation. However, the signaling cascades initiated by CaSR activation in MCs are currently unknown. In this study, our data demonstrate that CaSR mRNA and protein are expressed in a human mesangial cell line. Activating CaSR with high extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o) or spermine induces a phospholipase C (PLC)-dependent increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Interestingly, the CaSR activation-induced increase in [Ca2+]i results not only from intracellular Ca2+ release from internal stores but also from canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC)-dependent Ca2+ influx. This increase in Ca2+ was attenuated by treatment with a nonselective TRPC channel blocker but not by treatment with a voltage-gated calcium blocker or Na+/Ca2+ exchanger inhibitor. Furthermore, stimulation of CaSR by high [Ca2+]o enhanced the expression of TRPC3 and TRPC6 but not TRPC1 and TRPC4, and siRNA targeting TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuated the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Further experiments indicate that 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a known activator of receptor-operated calcium channels, significantly enhances the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Moreover, under conditions in which intracellular stores were already depleted with thapsigargin (TG), CaSR agonists also induced an increase in [Ca2+]i, suggesting that calcium influx stimulated by CaSR agonists does not require the release of calcium stores. Finally, our data indicate that pharmacological inhibition and knock down of TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuates the CaSR activation-induced cell proliferation in human MCs. With these data, we conclude that CaSR activation mediates Ca2+ influx and cell proliferation via TRPC3 and TRPC6 in human MCs.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e98777. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence indicates that podocyte apoptosis is a key event in the development of diabetic nephrology. However, the underlying mechanism of this apoptosis remains poorly understood. In this study, we report that high levels of glucose enhanced the expression of TRPC6 and TRPC6-dependent Ca(2+) influx, but glucose levels did not affect TRPC1 and TRPC5 expression. TRPC6 knockdown by siRNA interference attenuated the observed increase in glucose-induced podocyte apoptosis. High glucose levels also increased the generation of ROS; inhibition of ROS activity by N-acetyl-L-cysteine attenuated the high glucose-induced increase in TRPC6 expression and Ca(2+) influx. Exogenous treatment with H2O2 mimicked the high glucose response, resulting in an increase in TRPC6 expression and Ca(2+) influx. Taken together, these data suggest that high glucose levels induce ROS, thereby mediating TRPC6 expression and Ca(2+) influx. Because RhoA activity is increased following TRPC6 activation, we investigated whether TRPC6 is involved in high glucose-induced apoptosis via the RhoA/ROCK pathway. We report that high glucose levels produced an increase in RhoA activity, and this effect was abolished by the knockdown of TRPC6. Moreover, inhibition of the RhoA/ROCK pathway by a ROCK inhibitor, Y27632, also attenuated high glucose-induced apoptosis. We conclude that TRPC6 is involved in high glucose-induced podocyte apoptosis through the RhoA/ROCK pathway.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2013; · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that mesangial cells are important targets of chronic hypoxia injury. Impaired Ca(2+) signaling has been found in mesangial cells (MCs) subjected to chronic hypoxia. However, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon have not yet been defined. In the present study, we found that chronic hypoxia enhanced the expression of TRPC6 and TRPC6-dependent Ca(2+) entry, and TRPC6 knockdown inhibited the chronic hypoxia-induced increase in [Ca(2+)]i, suggesting that TRPC6-mediated Ca(2+) entry is responsible for the elevated [Ca(2+)]i induced by chronic hypoxia in MCs. In addition, TRPC6 knockdown attenuated chronic hypoxia-induced actin assembly and actin reorganization. We concluded that the upregulation of TRPC6 is involved in the Ca(2+) signaling and actin assembly in human MCs after chronic hypoxia. These findings provide new insight into the mechanisms underlying the cellular response of MCs to hypoxia.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2012; 421(4):750-6. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that podocyte hypoxia is an alternative mechanism for the pathogenesis of renal diseases. Functional, large-conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels (BK(Ca) channels) are expressed in podocytes as mechanosensitive channels; however, whether BK(Ca) channels are involved in the podocyte response to chronic hypoxia and the possible underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we use the patch clamp technique to show that the exposure of human podocytes to 2% O(2) for 24 h causes a significant reduction in BK(Ca) channel currents. Molecular biology experiments showed that chronic hypoxia increased BK(Ca) channel β4-subunit mRNA and protein expression, but not the expression of the BK(Ca) pore-forming α- or β3-subunits. Furthermore, chronic hypoxia shifted the channel activation range toward more depolarized voltages and slowed its activation kinetics, which are similar to the properties conferred by the β4-subunit. We conclude that BK(Ca) channels are involved in the response of podocytes to chronic hypoxia via the upregulation of the β4-subunit. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism underlying the cellular responses of podocytes to hypoxia.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2012; 420(3):505-10. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in a variety of basic biological and pathological processes and the association of miRNA signatures with human diseases. Circulating miRNAs have been proposed as sensitive and informative biomarkers for multiple cancers diagnosis. We have previously documented aberrant up-regulation of miR-1 expression in ischemic myocardium and the consequent slowing of cardiac conduction. However, whether miR-1 could be a biomarker for predicting acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is unclear. In the present study, we recruited 159 patients with or without AMI for quantification of miR-1 level in plasma using real-time RT-PCR method. We performed Wilcoxon rank sum and signed rank tests for comparison. Univariable linear regression and logistics regression analyses were performed to assess the potential correlation between miR-1 and known AMI markers. We also conducted receiver–operator characteristic curve (ROC) analysis to evaluate the diagnostic ability of miR-1. We found that: miR-1 level was significantly higher in plasma from AMI patients compared with non-AMI subjects and the level was dropped to normal on discharge following medication. Increased circulating miR-1 was not associated with age, gender, blood pressure, diabetes mellitus or the established biomarkers for AMI. However, miR-1 level was well correlated with QRS by both univariable linear and logistics regression analyses. The area under ROC curve (AUC) was 0.7740 for separation between non-AMI and AMI patients and 0.8522 for separation AMI patients under hospitalization and discharge. Collectively, our results revealed that circulating miR-1 may be a novel, independent biomarker for diagnosis of AMI.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2009; · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channels in the heart are critical regulators of cellular excitability and action potentials during ischaemia. However, little is known about subcellular localization of these channels and their regulation. The present study was designed to explore the potential role of caveolae in the regulation of K(ATP) channels in cardiac ventricular myocytes.
Both adult and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were used. Subcellular fractionation by density gradient centrifugation, western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy were employed in combination with whole-cell voltage clamp recordings and siRNA gene silencing. We detected that the majority of K(ATP) channels on the plasma membrane of cardiac myocytes were localized in caveolin-3-enriched microdomains by cell fractionation and ultracentrifugation followed by western blotting. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy revealed extensive colocalization of K(ATP) channel pore-forming subunit Kir6.2 and caveolin-3 along the plasma membrane. Co-immunoprecipitation of cardiac myocytes showed significant association of Kir6.2, adenosine A(1) receptors, and caveolin-3. Furthermore, whole-cell voltage clamp studies suggested that adenosine A(1) receptor-mediated activation of K(ATP) channels was largely eliminated by disrupting caveolae with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin or by small interfering RNA, whereas pinacidil-induced K(ATP) activation was not altered.
We demonstrate that K(ATP) channels are localized to caveolin-enriched microdomains. This microdomain association is essential for adenosine receptor-mediated regulation of K(ATP) channels in cardiac myocytes.
Cardiovascular research 02/2009; 82(1):51-8. · 5.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels are critical regulators of arterial tone and, thus, blood flow in response to local metabolic needs. They are important targets for clinically used drugs to treat hypertensive emergency and angina. It is known that protein kinase C (PKC) activation inhibits K(ATP) channels in vascular smooth muscles. However, the mechanism by which PKC inhibits the channel remains unknown. Here we report that caveolin-dependent internalization is involved in PKC-epsilon-mediated inhibition of vascular K(ATP) channels (Kir6.1 and SUR2B) by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate or angiotensin II in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and human dermal vascular smooth muscle cells. We showed that Kir6.1 substantially overlapped with caveolin-1 at the cell surface. Cholesterol depletion with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin significantly reduced, whereas overexpression of caveolin-1 largely enhanced, PKC-induced inhibition of Kir6.1/SUR2B currents. Importantly, we demonstrated that activation of PKC-epsilon caused internalization of K(ATP) channels, the effect that was blocked by depletion of cholesterol with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, expression of dominant-negative dynamin mutant K44E, or knockdown of caveolin-1 with small interfering RNA. Moreover, patch-clamp studies revealed that PKC-epsilon-mediated inhibition of the K(ATP) current induced by PMA or angiotensin II was reduced by a dynamin mutant, as well as small interfering RNA targeting caveolin-1. The reduction in the number of plasma membrane K(ATP) channels by PKC activation was further confirmed by cell surface biotinylation. These studies identify a novel mechanism by which the levels of vascular K(ATP) channels could be rapidly downregulated by internalization. This finding provides a novel mechanistic insight into how K(ATP) channels are regulated in vascular smooth muscle cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plenty of evidence suggests that increased blood levels of homocysteine (Hcy) are an independent risk factor for the development of vascular diseases, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. It is well known that the larger conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (BKCa) play an essential role in vascular function, so the present study was conducted to determine direct effects of Hcy on BKCa channel properties of smooth muscle cells. Whole-cell patch–clamp recordings were made in mesenteric artery smooth muscle cells isolated from normal rat and patients to investigate effects of 5, 50 and 500 μM Hcy on BKCa, the main current mediating vascular responses in these cells. In human artery smooth muscle cells, maximum BKCa density (measured at +60 mV) was inhibited by about 24% (n=6, P
Life Sciences 01/2007; 80(22):2060-2066. · 2.56 Impact Factor