ER Stress in Retinal Degeneration in S334ter Rho Rats

Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of North Texas Health Science Center, North Texas Eye Research Institute, Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 03/2012; 7(3):e33266. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033266
Source: PubMed


The S334ter rhodopsin (Rho) rat (line 4) bears the rhodopsin gene with an early termination codon at residue 334 that is a model for several such mutations found in human patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP). The Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) is implicated in the pathophysiology of several retinal disorders including ADRP in P23H Rho rats. The aim of this study was to examine the onset of UPR gene expression in S334ter Rho retinas to determine if UPR is activated in ADRP animal models and to investigate how the activation of UPR molecules leads to the final demise of S334ter Rho photoreceptors. RT-PCR was performed to evaluate the gene expression profiles for the P10, P12, P15, and P21 stages of the development and progression of ADRP in S334ter Rho photoreceptors. We determined that during the P12-P15 period, ER stress-related genes are strongly upregulated in transgenic retinas, resulting in the activation of the UPR that was confirmed using western blot analysis and RT-PCR. The activation of UPR was associated with the increased expression of JNK, Bik, Bim, Bid, Noxa, and Puma genes and cleavage of caspase-12 that together with activated calpains presumably compromise the integrity of the mitochondrial MPTP, leading to the release of pro-apoptotic AIF1 into the cytosol of S334ter Rho photoreceptor cells. Therefore, two major cross-talking pathways, the UPR and mitochondrial MPTP occur in S334ter-4 Rho retina concomitantly and eventually promote the death of the photoreceptor cells.

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Available from: Marina S Gorbatyuk, Feb 11, 2014
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    • "However, molecular mechanism involved in the loss of vision in Class I and II mutations has not been studied in detail. Previously, we have demonstrated that activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) occurs during retinal degeneration in both the S334ter and P23H RHO rat models [11,17,18]. In the S334ter transgenic retina we have also determined that activation of the UPR is associated with increased expression of the JNK, Bik, Bim, Bid, Noxa, and Puma genes and cleavage of caspase-12 that, together with activated calpains, presumably compromise the integrity of the mitochondrial MPTP in ADRP photoreceptors [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in P23H rhodopsin (RHO) retinas with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP). Knowing that the UPR can trigger Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum and regulate cellular signaling we examined the level of Ca(2+)-regulated proteins. We also looked for changes in the expression of Bcl2 family proteins, autophagy proteins and the mTOR/AKT pathways, as well as for the induction of mitochondria-associated apoptosis in the P23H RHO retina. Our data demonstrated that the elevation of calpain and caspase-12 activity was concomitantly observed with a decrease in the BCL2-XL/BAX ratio and an increase in mTor levels in the P23H-3 RHO retina suggesting a vulnerability of P23H RHO photoreceptors to apoptosis. The translocation of BAX to the mitochondria, as well as the release of cytochrome C and AIF into the cytosol supports this conclusion and indicates the involvement of mitochondria-induced apoptosis in the progression of ADRP. The level of autophagy proteins in general was found to be decreased in the P21-P30 P23H RHO retina. Injections of rapamycin, however, protected the P23H RHO rod photoreceptors from experiencing physiological decline. Despite this fact, the downregulation of mTOR did not alter the level of autophagy proteins. Our results imply that in addition to activation of the UPR during ADRP progression, photoreceptors also experience alterations in major proapoptotic pathways.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Cellular Signalling
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    • "We have also observed the activation of this signaling pathway in adRP transgenic rat retinas expressing the P23H RHO [65], S334ter RHO [66], and mouse retinas expressing T17M RHO [67]. This splicing has been observed in parallel with activation of PERK and ATF6 (P23H and S334ter RHO rats) signaling and has confirmed that ER stress contributes to the mechanism of adRP. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recently published literature has provided evidence that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is involved in the development of retinal degeneration. The scope of these studies encompassed diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, retinal detachment, light-induced retinal degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, and inherited retinal degeneration. Subsequent studies investigating the role of individual UPR markers in retinal pathogenesis and examining the therapeutic potential of reprogramming the UPR as a method for modulating the rate of retinal degeneration have been initiated. Manipulation of UPR markers has been made possible by the use of knockout mice, pharmacological agents, and viral vector-mediated augmentation of gene expression. Future research will aim at identifying specific inhibitors and/or inducers of UPR regulatory markers as well as expand the list of UPR-related animal models. Additionally, adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery is a safe and effective method for modulating gene expression, and thus is a useful research tool for manipulating individual UPR markers in affected retinas and a promising delivery vector for gene therapy in retinal degenerative disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Molecular vision
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    • "The two different mutants show roughly comparable mechanisms of cell death mediated by calpains, AIF, ER stress, PARP, or caspase-3 [3]–[5]. Among these causative factors, the present study inhibited the mitochondrial μ-calpain and AIF pathway using the Tat-µCL, because several studies have demonstrated that the activation of calpains and translocation of AIF from mitochondria occurred in the initial stage of photoreceptor cell death in S334ter and P23H rats [3], [4]. Our results show that intravitreal injection or eye-drop application of the Tat-µCL inhibited photoreceptor cell death in the early stages of degeneration in S334ter and P23H rats (Figures 2, 3 and 5). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial μ-calpain and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF)-dependent photoreceptor cell death has been seen in several rat and mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Previously, we demonstrated that the specific peptide inhibitor of mitochondrial μ-calpain, Tat-µCL, protected against retinal degeneration following intravitreal injection or topical eye-drop application in Mertk gene-mutated Royal College of Surgeons rats, one of the animal models of RP. Because of the high rate of rhodopsin mutations in RP patients, the present study was performed to confirm the protective effects of Tat-µCL against retinal degeneration in rhodopsin transgenic S334ter and P23H rats. We examined the effects of intravitreal injection or topical application of the peptide on retinal degeneration in S334ter and P23H rats by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, electroretinogram (ERG), immunohistochemistry for AIF, and histological staining. In S334ter rats, we found that intravitreal injection or topical application of the peptide prevented photoreceptor cell death from postnatal (PN) 15 to 18 days, the time of early-stage retinal degeneration. Topical application of the peptide also delayed attenuation of ERG responses from PN 28 to 56 days. In P23H rats, topical application of the peptide protected against photoreceptor cell death and nuclear translocation of AIF on PN 30, 40, and 50 days, as the primary stages of degeneration. We observed that topical application of the peptide inhibited the thinning of the outer nuclear layer and delayed ERG attenuations from PN 30 to 90 days. Our results demonstrate that the mitochondrial μ-calpain and AIF pathway is involved in early-stage retinal degeneration in rhodopsin transgenic S334ter and P23H rats, and inhibition of this pathway shows curative potential for rhodopsin mutation-caused RP.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · PLoS ONE
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