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Special Issue "Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Masato Matsuoka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hygiene and Public Health 1, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan
Interests: cell survival and death; signal transduction; endoplasmic reticulum stress; cellular stress response; neurotoxicants; toxic metals; fluoride
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes ER stress and induces the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR alleviates stress by inhibiting protein synthesis, and by promoting the expression of molecular chaperones and other factors involved in ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Under cellular stress, the ER activates three branches of the UPR: (i) the protein kinase RNA-activated-like ER kinase–eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (PERK-eIF2α) pathway, (ii) the inositol-requiring enzyme 1–X-box binding protein 1 (IRE1-XBP1) pathway, and (iii) the activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) pathway. However, if ER stress is prolonged and severe, the UPR can result in cell death through the activation of apoptotic pathways. Accumulating evidence indicates that the ER stress is involved in the pathogenesis of not only the protein misfolding disorders such as neurodegenerative disease, but also in the cytotoxicity of drugs, environmental pollutants, and industrial chemicals. Thus, the determination of the modulators that activate or inhibit ER stress signaling pathways is an important field of research. The articles in this special issue will address research aspects related to the inducers or modulators of ER stress in the biological, toxicological, and medical fields.

Prof. Dr. Masato Matsuoka
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • unfolded protein response
  • molecular chaperones
  • signal transduction
  • cell survival and death
  • protein misfolding disorders
  • drugs
  • toxicants

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
C/EBP β Mediates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Regulated Inflammatory Response and Extracellular Matrix Degradation in LPS-Stimulated Human Periodontal Ligament Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 385; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17030385 - 22 Mar 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3680
Abstract
Periodontitis is an oral inflammatory disease that not only affects the integrity of local tooth-supporting tissues but also impacts systemic health. A compositional shift in oral microbiota has been considered as the main cause of periodontitis; however, the potential mechanism has not been [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is an oral inflammatory disease that not only affects the integrity of local tooth-supporting tissues but also impacts systemic health. A compositional shift in oral microbiota has been considered as the main cause of periodontitis; however, the potential mechanism has not been fully defined. Herein, we investigated the role of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBP β), a member of the C/EBP family of transcription factors, in human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLCs) exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) lipopolysaccharide (LPS). RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis showed that the expression of C/EBP β was significantly increased in hPDLCs stimulated with LPS stimuli. Overexpression of C/EBP β by the recombinant adenoviral vector pAd/C/EBP β markedly increased the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-8 and -9 in hPDLCs in response to LPS. Furthermore, the activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was confirmed in LPS-stimulated hPDLCs by measuring the expression of the ER stress marker molecules protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK), eIF2α, GRP78/Bip, and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). The ER stress inhibitor salubrinal repressed, but inducer tunicamycin enhanced, the production of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in hPDLCs. Additionally, ER stress inducer tunicamycin significantly increased the expression level of C/EBP β in hPDLCs. Blocking of C/EBP β by siRNA resulted in a significant decrease in the secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 and expression of MMP-8 and MMP-9 induced by tunicamycin treatment in hPDLCs. Taken together, ER stress appears to play a regulatory role in the inflammatory response and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in hPDLCs in response to LPS stimuli by activating C/EBP β expression. This enhances our understanding of human periodontitis pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Article
Metformin Restores Parkin-Mediated Mitophagy, Suppressed by Cytosolic p53
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17010122 - 16 Jan 2016
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 4779
Abstract
Metformin is known to alleviate hepatosteatosis by inducing 5’ adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-kinase-independent, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)-mediated autophagy. Dysfunctional mitophagy in response to glucolipotoxicities might play an important role in hepatosteatosis. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which metformin induces mitophagy through restoration of the [...] Read more.
Metformin is known to alleviate hepatosteatosis by inducing 5’ adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-kinase-independent, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)-mediated autophagy. Dysfunctional mitophagy in response to glucolipotoxicities might play an important role in hepatosteatosis. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which metformin induces mitophagy through restoration of the suppressed Parkin-mediated mitophagy. To this end, our ob/ob mice were divided into three groups: (1) ad libitum feeding of a standard chow diet; (2) intraperitoneal injections of metformin 300 mg/kg; and (3) 3 g/day caloric restriction (CR). HepG2 cells were treated with palmitate (PA) plus high glucose in the absence or presence of metformin. We detected enhanced mitophagy in ob/ob mice treated with metformin or CR, whereas mitochondrial spheroids were observed in mice fed ad libitum. Metabolically stressed ob/ob mice and PA-treated HepG2 cells showed an increase in expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers and cytosolic p53. Cytosolic p53 inhibited mitophagy by disturbing the mitochondrial translocation of Parkin, as demonstrated by immunoprecipitation. However, metformin decreased ER stress and p53 expression, resulting in induction of Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Furthermore, pifithrin-α, a specific inhibitor of p53, increased mitochondrial incorporation into autophagosomes. Taken together, these results indicate that metformin treatment facilitates Parkin-mediated mitophagy rather than mitochondrial spheroid formation by decreasing the inhibitory interaction with cytosolic p53 and increasing degradation of mitofusins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Article
Critical Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Cognitive Impairment Induced by Microcystin-LR
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28077-28086; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms161226083 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3084
Abstract
Recent studies showed that cyanobacteria-derived microcystin-leucine-arginine (MCLR) can cause hippocampal pathological damage and trigger cognitive impairment; but the underlying mechanisms have not been well understood. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of MCLR-induced cognitive deficit; with a focus [...] Read more.
Recent studies showed that cyanobacteria-derived microcystin-leucine-arginine (MCLR) can cause hippocampal pathological damage and trigger cognitive impairment; but the underlying mechanisms have not been well understood. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of MCLR-induced cognitive deficit; with a focus on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The Morris water maze test and electrophysiological study demonstrated that MCLR caused spatial memory injury in male Wistar rats; which could be inhibited by ER stress blocker; tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA). Meanwhile; real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the expression level of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78); C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and caspase 12 were significantly up-regulated. These effects were rescued by co-administration of TUDCA. In agreement with this; we also observed that treatment of rats with TUDCA blocked the alterations in ER ultrastructure and apoptotic cell death in CA1 neurons from rats exposed to MCLR. Taken together; the present results suggested that ER stress plays an important role in potential memory impairments in rats treated with MCLR; and amelioration of ER stress may serve as a novel strategy to alleviate damaged cognitive function triggered by MCLR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Article
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Cooperates in Zearalenone-Induced Cell Death of RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19780-19795; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms160819780 - 20 Aug 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 3919
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a fungal mycotoxin that causes cell apoptosis and necrosis. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of ZEA toxicity. The objective of this study was to explore the effects of ZEA on the proliferation and apoptosis of RAW 264.7 [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a fungal mycotoxin that causes cell apoptosis and necrosis. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of ZEA toxicity. The objective of this study was to explore the effects of ZEA on the proliferation and apoptosis of RAW 264.7 macrophages and to uncover the signaling pathway underlying the cytotoxicity of ZEA in RAW 264.7 macrophages. This study demonstrates that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathway cooperated in ZEA-induced cell death of the RAW 264.7 macrophages. Our results show that ZEA treatment reduced the viability of RAW 264.7 macrophages in a dose- and time-dependent manner as shown by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay (MTT) and flow cytometry assay. Western blots analysis revealed that ZEA increased the expression of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), two ER stress-related marker genes. Furthermore, treating the cells with the ER stress inhibitors 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PBA) or knocking down CHOP, using lentivirus encoded short hairpin interfering RNAs (shRNAs), significantly diminished the ZEA-induced increases in GRP78 and CHOP, and cell death. In summary, our results suggest that ZEA induces the apoptosis and necrosis of RAW 264.7 macrophages in a dose- and time-dependent manner via the ER stress pathway in which the activation of CHOP plays a critical role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Review

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Review
Relevance of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Cell Signaling in Liver Cold Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17060807 - 25 May 2016
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 5136
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is involved in calcium homeostasis, protein folding and lipid biosynthesis. Perturbations in its normal functions lead to a condition called endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS). This can be triggered by many physiopathological conditions such as alcoholic steatohepatitis, insulin resistance or [...] Read more.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is involved in calcium homeostasis, protein folding and lipid biosynthesis. Perturbations in its normal functions lead to a condition called endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS). This can be triggered by many physiopathological conditions such as alcoholic steatohepatitis, insulin resistance or ischemia-reperfusion injury. The cell reacts to ERS by initiating a defensive process known as the unfolded protein response (UPR), which comprises cellular mechanisms for adaptation and the safeguarding of cell survival or, in cases of excessively severe stress, for the initiation of the cell death program. Recent experimental data suggest the involvement of ERS in ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) of the liver graft, which has been considered as one of major problems influencing outcome after liver transplantation. The purpose of this review is to summarize updated data on the molecular mechanisms of ERS/UPR and the consequences of this pathology, focusing specifically on solid organ preservation and liver transplantation models. We will also discuss the potential role of ERS, beyond the simple adaptive response and the regulation of cell death, in the modification of cell functional properties and phenotypic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Review
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Associated ROS
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 327; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17030327 - 02 Mar 2016
Cited by 337 | Viewed by 10830
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a fascinating network of tubules through which secretory and transmembrane proteins enter unfolded and exit as either folded or misfolded proteins, after which they are directed either toward other organelles or to degradation, respectively. The ER redox environment [...] Read more.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a fascinating network of tubules through which secretory and transmembrane proteins enter unfolded and exit as either folded or misfolded proteins, after which they are directed either toward other organelles or to degradation, respectively. The ER redox environment dictates the fate of entering proteins, and the level of redox signaling mediators modulates the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Accumulating evidence suggests the interrelation of ER stress and ROS with redox signaling mediators such as protein disulfide isomerase (PDI)-endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin (ERO)-1, glutathione (GSH)/glutathione disuphide (GSSG), NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4), NADPH-P450 reductase (NPR), and calcium. Here, we reviewed persistent ER stress and protein misfolding-initiated ROS cascades and their significant roles in the pathogenesis of multiple human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, inflammation, ischemia, and kidney and liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Review
The Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Unfolded Protein Response in Atherosclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17020193 - 01 Feb 2016
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 2866
Abstract
Pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is a complex process involving several metabolic and signalling pathways. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that endoplasmic reticulum stress and associated apoptosis can be induced in the pathological conditions of atherosclerotic lesions and contribute to the disease progression. Notably, they may play [...] Read more.
Pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is a complex process involving several metabolic and signalling pathways. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that endoplasmic reticulum stress and associated apoptosis can be induced in the pathological conditions of atherosclerotic lesions and contribute to the disease progression. Notably, they may play a role in the development of vulnerable plaques that induce thrombosis and are therefore especially dangerous. Endoplasmic reticulum stress response is regulated by several signaling mechanisms that involve protein kinases and transcription factors. Some of these molecules can be regarded as potential therapeutic targets to improve treatment of atherosclerosis. In this review we will discuss the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis in atherosclerosis development in different cell types and summarize the current knowledge on potential therapeutic agents targeting molecules regulating these pathways and their possible use for anti-atherosclerotic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
Review
Pharmacological Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Metabolic Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17020192 - 01 Feb 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5085
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the principal organelle responsible for correct protein folding, a step in protein synthesis that is critical for the functional conformation of proteins. ER stress is a primary feature of secretory cells and is involved in the pathogenesis of [...] Read more.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the principal organelle responsible for correct protein folding, a step in protein synthesis that is critical for the functional conformation of proteins. ER stress is a primary feature of secretory cells and is involved in the pathogenesis of numerous human diseases, such as certain neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic disorders. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a defense mechanism to attenuate ER stress and maintain the homeostasis of the organism. Two major degradation systems, including the proteasome and autophagy, are involved in this defense system. If ER stress overwhelms the capacity of the cell’s defense mechanisms, apoptotic death may result. This review is focused on the various pharmacological modulators that can protect cells from damage induced by ER stress. The possible mechanisms for cytoprotection are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Review
Role for the Unfolded Protein Response in Heart Disease and Cardiac Arrhythmias
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17010052 - 31 Dec 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3046
Abstract
The unfolded protein response (UPR) has been extensively investigated in neurological diseases and diabetes, while its function in heart disease is less well understood. Activated UPR participates in multiple cardiac conditions and can either protect or impair heart function. Recently, the UPR has [...] Read more.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) has been extensively investigated in neurological diseases and diabetes, while its function in heart disease is less well understood. Activated UPR participates in multiple cardiac conditions and can either protect or impair heart function. Recently, the UPR has been found to play a role in arrhythmogenesis during human heart failure by affecting cardiac ion channels expression, and blocking UPR has an antiarrhythmic effect. This review will discuss the rationale for and challenges to targeting UPR in heart disease for treatment of arrhythmias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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Review
Experimental Evidence Shows Salubrinal, an eIF2α Dephosphorylation Inhibitor, Reduces Xenotoxicant-Induced Cellular Damage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16275-16287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms160716275 - 17 Jul 2015
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3506
Abstract
Accumulating evidence indicates that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the subsequent unfolded protein response (UPR) are involved in the pathogenesis of not only the protein misfolding disorders such as certain neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, but also in the cytotoxicity of environmental pollutants, industrial [...] Read more.
Accumulating evidence indicates that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the subsequent unfolded protein response (UPR) are involved in the pathogenesis of not only the protein misfolding disorders such as certain neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, but also in the cytotoxicity of environmental pollutants, industrial chemicals, and drugs. Thus, the modulation of ER stress signaling pathways is an important issue for protection against cellular damage induced by xenotoxicants. The substance salubrinal has been shown to prevent dephosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α). The phosphorylation of eIF2α appears to be cytoprotective during ER stress, because inhibition of the translation initiation activity of eIF2α reduces global protein synthesis. In addition, the expression of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a transcription factor that induces the expression of UPR target genes, is up-regulated through alternative translation. This review shows that salubrinal can protect cells from the damage induced by a wide range of xenotoxicants, including environmental pollutants and drugs. The canonical and other possible mechanisms of cytoprotection by salubrinal from xenotoxicant-induced ER stress are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
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