Heqing Huang

Sun Yat-Sen University, Shengcheng, Guangdong, China

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Publications (54)160.91 Total impact

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    Yu Wang · Jiantao Ye · Jie Li · Cheng Chen · Junying Huang · Peiqing Liu · Heqing Huang

    Preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Cardiovascular Diabetology
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic alcohol exposure increased hepatic receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIP) 3 expression and necroptosis in the liver but its mechanisms are unclear. In the present study, we demonstrated that chronic alcohol feeding plus binge (Gao-binge) increased RIP3 but not RIP1 protein levels in mouse livers. RIP3 knockout mice had decreased serum alanine amino transferase activity and hepatic steatosis but had no effect on hepatic neutrophil infiltration compared with wild type mice after Gao-binge alcohol treatment. The hepatic mRNA levels of RIP3 did not change between Gao-binge and control mice, suggesting that alcohol-induced hepatic RIP3 proteins are regulated at the posttranslational level. We found that Gao-binge treatment decreased the levels of proteasome subunit alpha type-2 (PSMA2) and proteasome 26S subunit, ATPase 1 (PSMC1) and impaired hepatic proteasome function. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of proteasome resulted in the accumulation of RIP3 in mouse livers. More importantly, human alcoholics had decreased expression of PSMA2 and PSMC1 but increased protein levels of RIP3 compared with healthy human livers. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of RIP1 decreased Gao-binge-induced hepatic inflammation, neutrophil infiltration and NF-κB subunit (p65) nuclear translocation but failed to protect against steatosis and liver injury induced by Gao-binge alcohol. In conclusion, results from this study suggest that impaired hepatic proteasome function by alcohol exposure may contribute to hepatic accumulation of RIP3 resulting in necroptosis and steatosis while RIP1 kinase activity is important for alcohol-induced inflammation.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: It is commonly believed that diabetes is an important contributor to heart failure (HF) development. However, the detail effect of diabetogenesis on HF is controversy: both beneficial and harmful roles were reported. In the present study, we aim to explore the unambiguous action of diabetes on chronic HF progression and the underlying mechanism. Diabetes and myocardial infarction (MI) were induced by streptozotocin (STZ) injection and left-sided thoracotomy and left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation, respectively. Pyridoxamine was used as the antagonist of advancedglycation endproducts (AGEs). Adult male SD rats were assigned to 5 groups: Sham; MI; Diabetes (D); Diabetes + MI (DMI) and DMI + pyridoxamine (DMI + P). Animals were sacrificed at the end of 12 weeks. The comparison of LV myocardium was made between border zone from MI or DMI animals and control LV tissues from sham-operated animals. Cardiomyocytes and dendritic cells were prepared from the Sprague-Dawley rats and coculturedin the presence or absence of AGEs. DMI group showed highest level of AGEs and inflammatory markers, which were significantly reduced in the presence of pyridoxamine. In vitro experiment disclosed AGEs could stimulate DCs differentiation and promote cytokines production, finally upregulated hypertrophy-related genes expression in cardiocytes. Intervention DCs differentiation was sufficient to improve cardiocytes morphology. Our results clearly demonstrate that diabetes would promote chronic HF progression at least in part through stimulating DCs differentiation and series downstream inflammatory responses induced by AGEs. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic alcohol causes liver hypoxia and steatosis, which eventually develops into alcoholic liver disease (ALD). While it has been known that alcohol consumption activates hepatic hypoxia inducing factor-1α (HIF-1α), conflicting results regarding the role of HIF-1α in alcohol-induced liver injury and steatosis in mice have been reported. In the present study, we aimed to use hepatocyte-specific HIF-1β knockout mice to eliminate the possible compensatory effects of the single knockout of the 1α subunit of HIF to study the role of HIFs in ALD. C57BL/6 wild type mice were treated with acute ethanol to mimic human binge drinking. Matched wild-type and hepatocyte specific HIF-1β knockout mice were also subjected to a recently established Gao-binge alcohol model to mimic chronic plus binge conditions, which is quite common in human alcoholics. We found that acute alcohol treatment increased BNIP3 and BNIP3L/NIX expression in primary cultured hepatocytes and in mouse livers, suggesting that HIF may be activated in these models. We further found that hepatocyte-specific HIF-1β knockout mice developed less steatosis and liver injury following the Gao-binge model or acute ethanol treatment compared with their matched wild type mice. Mechanistically, protection against Gao-binge treatment-induced steatosis and liver injury was likely associated with increased FoxO3a activation and subsequent induction of autophagy in hepatocyte-specific HIF-1β knockout mice.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Sirt1 and nuclear factor-E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2)-anti-oxidant response element (ARE) anti-oxidative pathway play important regulatory roles in the pathological progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN) induced by advanced glycation-end products (AGEs). Polydatin (PD), a glucoside of resveratrol, has been shown to possess strong anti-oxidative bioactivity. Our previous study demonstrated that PD markedly resists the progression of diabetic renal fibrosis and thus, inhibits the development of DN. Whereas, whether the resistant effects of PD on DN is correlated with regulating Sirt1 and consequently promoting Nrf2-ARE pathway needs further investigation. Here, we found that concomitant with decreasing RAGE (the specific receptor for AGEs) expression, PD significantly reversed the downregulation of Sirt1 in terms of protein expression and deacetylase activity and attenuated FN and TGF-β1 expression in GMCs exposed to AGEs. Under AGEs-treatment condition, PD could decrease Keap1 expression and promote the nuclear content, ARE-binding ability, and transcriptional activity of Nrf2. In addition, PD increased the protein levels of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and superoxide dismutase (SOD1), two target genes of Nrf2. The activation of Nrf2-ARE pathway by PD eventually led to the quenching of ROS overproduction sharply boosted by AGEs. Depletion of Sirt1 blocked Nrf2-ARE pathway activation and reversed FN and TGF-β1 downregulation induced by PD in GMCs challenged with AGEs. Along with reducing HO-1 and SOD1 expression, silencing of Nrf2 increased FN and TGF-β1 levels. PD treatment elevated Sirt1 and Nrf2 levels in the kidney tissues of diabetic rats, then improved the anti-oxidative capacity and renal dysfunction of diabetic models, and finally reversed the upregulation of FN and TGF-β1. Taken together, the resistance of PD on upregulated FN and TGF-β1 induced by AGEs via oxidative stress in GMCs is closely associated with its activation of Sirt1-Nrf2-ARE pathway.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, the effect of polydatin on lipid regulation has gained considerable attention. And previous study has demonstrated that polydatin has hypoglycemic effect on experimental diabetic rats. Repressed Akt pathway contributes to glucose and lipid disorders in diabetes. Thus, whether polydatin regulates glucose and lipid metabolism in experimental diabetic models through the Akt pathway arouses interest. The purpose was to explore the regulatory mechanism of polydain on glucose and lipid through Akt pathway. We used a diabetic rat model induced by high-fat and -sugar diet with low-dose of streptozocin and an insulin resistant HepG2 cell model induced by palmitic acid to clarify the role of polydatin on glucose and lipid metabolism. Here, we found that polydatin significantly attenuated fasting blood-glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, glycosylated serum protein, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in diabetic rats. Furthermore, polydatin significantly increased glucose uptake and consumption and decreased lipid accumulation in insulin resistant HepG2 cells. Polydatin markedly increased serum insulin levels in diabetic rats, and obviously activated the Akt signaling pathway in diabetic rat livers and insulin resistant HepG2 cells. Polydatin markedly increased phosphorylated GSK-3β, decreased the protein levels of G6Pase and SREBP-1c, and increased protein levels of GCK, LDLR, and phosphorylated IRS in livers and HepG2 cells. Overall, the results indicate that polydatin regulates glucose and lipid metabolism in experimental diabetic models, the underlying mechanism is probably associated with regulating the Akt pathway. The effect of polydatin on increased Akt phosphorylation is independent of prompting insulin secretion, but dependent of increasing IRS phosphorylation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · European Journal of Pharmacology
  • Yanhui Deng · Tian Lan · Juan Huang · Heqing Huang
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the major cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide and its prevalence continues to increase. Currently, therapies for DN provide only partial renoprotection; hence new targets for therapeutic intervention need to be identified. In this review, we summarized the new target, sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1/S1P) pathway, explored its potential therapeutic role in the prevention and treatment of DN. Data sources Most relevant articles were mainly identified by searching PubMed in English. Study selection Mainly original articles and critical review articles by major pioneer investigators in this field were selected to be reviewed. Results SphK1/S1P pathway can be activated by hyperglycemia, advanced glycation end products, and many proinflammatory cytokines, which leads to fibronectin, transforming growth factor-β1 up-regulation and AP-1 activation. And then it could promote glomerular mesangial cells proliferation and extracellular matrix accumulation, mediating the initiation and progression of diabetic renal fibrosis. Conclusions SphK1/S1P pathway is closely correlated with the pathogenesis of DN. The results suggest that SphK1/ S1P pathway as a new target for clinically improving DN in future is of great prospect.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Chinese medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) signaling has been suggested to be involved in diabetic nephropathy (DN) pathogenesis. Altered expression of connexin43 (Cx43) has been found in kidneys of diabetic animals. Both of them have been found to regulate nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) activation in high glucose-treated glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between RhoA/ROCK signaling and Cx43 in the DN pathogenesis. We found that upregulation of Cx43 expression inhibited NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation induced by RhoA/ROCK signaling in GMCs. Inhibition of RhoA/ROCK signaling attenuated the high glucose-induced decrease in Cx43. F-actin accumulation and an enhanced interaction between zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Cx43 were observed in high glucose-treated GMCs. ZO-1 depletion or disruption of F-actin formation also inhibited the reduction in Cx43 protein levels induced by high glucose. In conclusion, activated RhoA/ROCK signaling induces Cx43 degradation in GMCs cultured in high glucose, depending on F-actin regulation. Increased F-actin induced by RhoA/ROCK signaling promotes the association between ZO-1 and Cx43, which possibly triggered Cx43 endocytosis, a mechanism of NF-κB activation in high glucose-treated GMCs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Experimental Cell Research
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    Yuan Li · Shaogui Wang · Hong-Min Ni · Heqing Huang · Wen-Xing Ding
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a genetically programmed, evolutionarily conserved intracellular degradation pathway involved in the trafficking of long-lived proteins and cellular organelles to the lysosome for degradation to maintain cellular homeostasis. Alcohol consumption leads to injury in various tissues and organs including liver, pancreas, heart, brain, and muscle. Emerging evidence suggests that autophagy is involved in alcohol-induced tissue injury. Autophagy serves as a cellular protective mechanism against alcohol-induced tissue injury in most tissues but could be detrimental in heart and muscle. This review summarizes current knowledge about the role of autophagy in alcohol-induced injury in different tissues/organs and its potential molecular mechanisms as well as possible therapeutic targets based on modulation of autophagy.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BioMed Research International

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · International journal of cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Berberine has been shown to have renoprotective effects on diabetes through attenuating TGF-β1 and fibronectin (FN) expression. However, how berberine regulates TGF- β1 and FN is not fully clear. Here we investigated whether berberine inhibited TGF- β1 and FN expression in high glucose-cultured mesangial cells. Berberine significantly inhibited mesangial cell proliferation and hypertrophy by increasing the cell population in G1-phase and reducing that in S-phase. In addition, berberine reversed high glucose-induced down-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(Waf1)/(Cip1) and p27(Kip1). Berberine inhibited p65 translocation to the nucleus and c-jun phosphorylation induced by high glucose. Furthermore, berberine attenuated high glucose-induced expression of TGF- β1 and FN. Using a luciferase reporter assay, we found that high glucose-induced transcription activity of NF-κB and AP-1 was blocked by berberine. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that high glucose increased that NF-κB and AP-1 DNA binding activity. These data indicate that berberine inhibited mesangial cell proliferation and hypertrophy by modulating cell cycle progress. In addition, berberine suppressed high glucose-induced TGF- β1 and FN expression by blocking NF-κB/AP-1 pathways. Abbreviations: TGF-β1, transforming growth factor-β; ECM, extracellular matrix; FN, fibronectin; HG, high glucose.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies have confirmed that the sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1)- sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway in the kidney under diabetic conditions is closely correlated with the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). The activation of SphK1-S1P pathway by high glucose (HG) can increase the expression of fibronectin (FN), an important fibrotic component, in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) by promoting the DNA-binding activity of the transcription factor AP-1. However, the mechanism responsible for the sustained activation of SphK1-S1P pathway remains unclear. Given the binding motifs for AP-1 within the first intron of the SphK1 gene, we speculated that the activated AP-1 in the kidney under HG condition possibly regulates SphK1 expression in a positive feedback manner, thereby promoting the sustained activation of SphK1-S1P pathway and mediating the pathological progression of DN. Here, we observed the effect of AP-1 on SphK1 expression in GMCs and explored the molecular mechanism involved in the sustained activation of SphK1-S1P pathway. We found two consensus binding motifs for AP-1 in the promoter sequences and non-coding region downstream of the transcriptional initiation of the rat SphK1 gene by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. The treatment of GMCs with both HG and S1P significantly increased the protein expression of c-Jun and c-Fos, and obviously enhanced the phosphorylation of c-Jun at Ser63 and Ser73, and c-Fos at Ser32. Knowdown of c-Jun and c-Fos with siRNAs substantially inhibited the expression of SphK1 and FN, whereas overexpression of c-Jun and c-Fos significantly increased the expression of SphK1 and FN. Curcumin treatment greatly decreased the levels of c-Jun, c-Fos, SphK1, and FN in the kidney tissues of diabetic rats. SiRNAs targeting SphK1 and S1P2 receptor respectively inhibited the phosphorylation of c-Jun (ser63 and ser73) and c-Fos (ser32), as well as FN expression under both normal and HG conditions. Our data demonstrate that the activated SphK1-S1P signaling pathway in GMCs under diabetic conditions is closely associated with AP-1 to form a positive feedback loop. This positive feedback loop functions as an important molecular basis for the sustained activation of the SphK1-S1P pathway and increased FN expression that lead to the initiation and progression of DN.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Cellular Signalling
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    ABSTRACT: GABAA receptors (GABAARs) mediate the majority of fast synaptic inhibition. Trafficking regulation and protein-protein interactions that maintain the appropriate number of GABAARs at the cell surface are considered to be important mechanisms for controlling the strength of synaptic inhibition. Here, we report that BIG1, a brefeldin A (BFA)-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange factor (GEF) which has a known role in vesicle trafficking, is a new binding partner of GABAARs. Treatment of neurons with BFA, an uncompetitive inhibitor of BIG1 GEF activity, or depletion of BIG1 by small RNA interference (siRNA) significantly decreased GABAARs at the neuronal surface and suppressed GABA-gated influx of chloride ions. Over-expression of HA-tagged BIG1-E793K, a dominant-negative mutant, also significantly decreased GABAARs at the neuronal surface, but had no effect on the total amount of GABAARs. Inhibition of GABAAR endocytosis by muscimol increased both GABAARs and BIG1 at the neuronal surface in a time-dependent fashion, and this increase could be abolished by bicuculline. Finally, depletion of BIG1 by siRNA inhibited the muscimol-stimulated increase of GABAARs. Those data suggest an important function of BIG1 in trafficking of GABAARs to the cell surface through its GEF activity. Thus, we identify an important role of BIG1 in modulating GABA-gated Cl(-) influx through the regulation of cell surface expression of GABAARs.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Molecular Neurobiology
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    ABSTRACT: The accumulation of glomerular extracellular matrix proteins, especially fibronectin (FN), is a critical pathological characteristic of diabetic renal fibrosis. Inflammation mediated by nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). RhoA/ROCK signaling is responsible for FN accumulation and NF-κB activation. Berberine (BBR) treatment significantly inhibited renal inflammation and thus improved renal damage in diabetes. Here, we study whether BBR inhibits FN accumulation and NF-κB activation by inhibiting RhoA/ROCK signaling and the underlying mechanisms involved. Results showed that BBR effectively inhibited RhoA/ROCK signaling activation in diabetic rat kidneys and high glucose-induced glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) and simultaneously down-regulated NF-κB activity, which was accompanied by reduced intercellular adhesionmolecule-1, transforming growth factor-beta 1 and FN overproduction. Furthermore, we observed that BBR abrogated high glucose-mediated reactive oxygen species generation in GMCs. BBR and N-acetylcysteine inhibited RhoA/ROCK signaling activation in high glucose-exposed GMCs. Collectively, our data suggest that the renoprotective effect of BBR on DN partly depends on RhoA/ROCK inhibition. The anti-oxidative stress effect of BBR is responsible for RhoA/ROCK inhibition in DN.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) boosts the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs), and thereby plays important roles in diabetic nephropathy (DN). Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), a protein deacetylase, is known to markedly protect cells from oxidative stress (OSS) injury. Based on the critical involvements of AGEs and Sirt1 in OSS, Sirt1 is postulated to resist AGEs- induced diabetic renal fibrosis through its anti-oxidative effects. The current study was designed to explore the inhibitory effect of Sirt1 on the expressions of fibronectin (FN) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) induced by AGEs in GMCs. The molecular mechanism by which Sirt1 promoted the activation of the anti-oxidative pathway was further investigated. The following findings were obtained: (1) the treatment of GMCs with AGEs decreased Sirt1 levels in terms of protein expression and activity but increased FN and TGF-β1 levels in a dose- and time-dependent manner; (2) Resveratrol or Sirt1 overexpression markedly increased Sirt1 levels and reduced FN and TGF-β1 expressions; (3) inhibition of Sirt1 activity further induced the productions of FN and TGF-β1; (4) Sirt1 promoted the nuclear accumulation, DNA binding, and transcriptional activities of Nrf2 and upregulated the expressions of Nrf2 downstream genes, heme oxygenase-1, and superoxide dismutase 1; ROS levels induced by AGEs eventually reduced in a deacetylase-dependent manner; and (5) with the deposition of AGEs in the kidneys, the diabetic rats suffered severe renal dysfunction and high OSS levels; Resveratrol treatment evidently diminished the OSS levels, ameliorated renal injury, and prevented the expressions of FN and TGF-β1 in the kidneys of diabetic rats. This work supported the negative role of Sirt1 in AGEs- induced overproductions of FN and TGF-β1. The molecular mechanism that underlay the beneficial effects of Sirt1 on DN correlated well with the activation of Nrf2/ARE anti-oxidative pathway.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background Nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signalling plays an important role in diabetic nephropathy. Altered expression of connexin43 (Cx43) has been found in kidneys of diabetic animals. The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of Cx43 in the activation of NF-κB induced by high glucose in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) and to determine whether c-Src is involved in this process. Results We found that downregulation of Cx43 expression induced by high glucose activated NF-κB in GMCs. Orverexpression of Cx43 attenuated NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation induced by high glucose. High glucose inhibited the interaction between Cx43 and c-Src, and enhanced the interaction between c-Src and IκB-α. PP2, a c-Src inhibitor, also inhibited the tyrosine phosphorylation of IκB-α and NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation induced by high glucose. Furthermore, overexpression of Cx43 or inhibition of c-Src attenuated the upregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and fibronectin (FN) expression induced by high glucose. Conclusions In conclusion, downregulation of Cx43 in GMCs induced by high glucose activates c-Src, which in turn promotes interaction between c-Src and IκB-α and contributes to NF-κB activation in GMCs, leading to renal inflammation.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Cell Communication and Signaling
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    ABSTRACT: Both RhoA/ROCK and NF-κB signaling pathways play important roles in the pathogenesis of Diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, it remains unknown whether and how RhoA/ROCK regulates NF-κB signaling in diabetic kidneys. In cultured glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs), the high glucose-activated NF-κB nuclear translocation and DNA binding activity were attenuated by ROCK inhibitor Y27632 or dominant-negative RhoA mutant, indicating that RhoA/ROCK signaling regulates high glucose-activated NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, NF-κB-regulated inflammatory factors ICAM-1 and TGF-β1 were markedly increased in high glucose-treated GMCs, leading to accumulation of fibronectin (FN), an important component of extracellular matrix (ECM), This effect was also effectively attenuated by Y27632 or dominant-negative RhoA mutant. In STZ-induced diabetic rats, treatment with ROCK inhibitor fasudil suppressed the RhoA/ROCK activation and NF-κB nuclear translocation, and significantly reduced the renal FN, ICAM-1 and TGF-β1 protein levels. Thus, the RhoA/ROCK pathway may regulate NF-κB to upregulate inflammatory genes and mediate the development of DN.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Cell-surface localization and intracellular trafficking are essential for the function of ATP-binding cassette transporter A-1 (ABCA1). However, regulation of these activities is still largely unknown. Brefeldin A, an uncompetitive inhibitor of brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange proteins (BIGs), disturbs the intracellular distribution of ABCA1, and thus inhibits cholesterol efflux. This study aimed to define the possible roles of BIGs in regulating ABCA1 trafficking and cholesterol efflux, and further to explore the potential mechanism. Methods and results: By vesicle immunoprecipitation, we found that BIG1 was associated with ABCA1 in vesicles preparation from rat liver. BIG1 depletion reduced surface ABCA1 on HepG2 cells, and inhibited by 60% cholesterol release. In contrast, BIG1 overexpression increased surface ABCA1 and cholesterol secretion. With partial restoration of BIG1 through overexpression in BIG1-depleted cells, surface ABCA1 was also restored. Biotinylation and glutathione cleavage revealed that BIG1 small interfering RNA dramatically decreased the internalization and recycling of ABCA1. This novel function of BIG1 was dependent on the guanine nucleotide-exchange activity and achieved through activation of ADP-ribosylation factor 1. Conclusions: BIG1, through its ability to activate ADP-ribosylation factor 1, regulates cell-surface levels and function of ABCA1, indicating a transcription-independent mechanism for controlling ABCA1 action.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Curcumin, a major polyphenol from the golden spice Curcuma longa commonly known as turmeric, has been recently discovered to have renoprotective effects on diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that the sphingosine kinase 1-sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1-S1P) signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of DN. This study aims to investigate whether the renoprotective effects of curcumin on DN are associated with its inhibitory effects on the SphK1-S1P signaling pathway. Our results demonstrated that the expression and activity of SphK1 and the production of S1P were significantly down-regulated by curcumin in diabetic rat kidneys and glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) exposed to high glucose (HG). Simultaneously, SphK1-S1P-mediated FN and TGF-β1 overproduction were inhibited. In addition, curcumin dose dependently reduced SphK1 expression and activity in GMCs transfected with SphK(WT) and significantly suppressed the increase in SphK1-mediated FN levels. Furthermore, curcumin inhibited the DNA-binding activity of AP-1, and c-Jun siRNA reversed the HG-induced up-regulation of SphK1. These findings suggested that down-regulation of the SphK1-S1P pathway is probably a novel mechanism by which curcumin improves the progression of DN. Inhibiting AP-1 activation is one of the therapeutic targets of curcumin to modulate the SphK1-S1P signaling pathway, thereby preventing diabetic renal fibrosis.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The accumulation of glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) is one of the critical pathological characteristics of diabetic renal fibrosis. Fibronectin (FN) is an important constituent of ECM. Our previous studies indicate that the activation of the sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1)-sphingosine 1- phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway plays a key regulatory role in FN production in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) under diabetic condition. Among the five S1P receptors, the activation of S1P2 receptor is the most abundant. Berberine (BBR) treatment also effectively inhibits SphK1 activity and S1P production in the kidneys of diabetic models, thus improving renal injury. Based on these data, we further explored whether BBR could prevent FN production in GMCs under diabetic condition via the S1P2 receptor. Here, we showed that BBR significantly down-regulated the expression of S1P2 receptor in diabetic rat kidneys and GMCs exposed to high glucose (HG) and simultaneously inhibited S1P2 receptor-mediated FN overproduction. Further, BBR also obviously suppressed the activation of NF-κB induced by HG, which was accompanied by reduced S1P2 receptor and FN expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that BBR reduces FN expression by acting on the S1P2 receptor in the mesangium under diabetic condition. The role of BBR in S1P2 receptor expression regulation could closely associate with its inhibitory effect on NF-κB activation.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · PLoS ONE