Activation of the MAPK/Akt/Nrf2-Egr1/HO-1-GCLc axis protects MG-63 osteosarcoma cells against 15d-PGJ2-mediated cell death


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Abstract

Graphical abstractHighlights15d-PGJ2, a stable dehydration product of PGD2, promotes cell-survival in MG-63 OS cells.15d-PGJ2 activates the MAPK/Akt/Nrf2-Egr1/HO-1-GCLc axis in MG-63 cells.Genetic/pharmacological interference at specific steps of this pathway increased caspase-3/PARP cleavage and cell death.The observed cellular signalling is independent of PGD2 receptors (DP1 and DP2) and PPARγThe α,β-unsaturated carbonyl group is a prerequisite for 15d-PGJ2 to induce cellular signalling.Despite considerable efforts to improve treatment modalities for osteosarcoma (OS), patient survival remains poor mainly due to pro-survival pathways in OS cells. Among others, prostaglandins (PGs) are the potent regulators of bone homoeostasis and OS pathophysiology. Therefore, the present study aimed to elucidate the impact of 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-PGJ2 (15d-PGJ2, a stable PGD2 degradation product) on cell death/cell survival pathways in p53-deficient MG-63 OS cells. Our findings show that 15d-PGJ2 induces generation of reactive oxygen species that promote p38 MAPK activation and subsequent Akt phosphorylation. This pathway induced nuclear expression of Nrf2 and Egr1, and increased transcription of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and the catalytic subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase (GCLc), catalysing the first step in GSH synthesis. Silencing of Nrf2, Egr1 and HO-1 significantly elevated 15d-PGJ2-mediated reduction of cellular metabolic activity. Activation of cell survival genes including HO-1 and GCLc inhibited 15d-PGJ2-induced cleavage of pro-caspase-3 and PARP. Annexin V/propidium iodide staining showed an increase in early/late apoptotic cells in response to 15d-PGJ2. The observed 15d-PGJ2-mediated signalling events are independent of PGD2 receptors (DP1 and DP2) and PPARγ. In addition, the electrophilic carbon atom C9 is a prerequisite for the observed activity of 15d-PGJ2. The present data show that the intracellular redox imbalance acted as a node and triggered both death and survival pathways in response to 15d-PGJ2. Pharmacological or genetic interference of the pro-survival pathway, the p38 MAPK/Akt/Nrf2-Egr1/HO-1-GCLc axis, sensitizes MG-63 cells towards 15d-PGJ2-mediated apoptosis.

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