Author(s): Takano K, Tabata Y, Kitao Y, Murakami R, Suzuki H,
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Abstract Enhanced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress leads to cell death in various pathophysiological situations. During a search for compounds that regulate ER stress, we identified methoxyflavones, a group of flavonoids, as strong protective agents against ER stress. Analysis in mouse insulinoma MIN6 cells revealed that methoxyflavones mildly activated the eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor pathways, but not the XBP1 pathway, and induced downstream genes, including glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78, a molecular chaperone in the ER. The protective effect of methoxyflavones was enhanced by agents that increase intracellular cAMP levels such as forskolin, dibutyryl-cAMP and IBMX, but suppressed by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H-89, suggesting involvement of the PKA pathway in the regulation of ER stress by methoxyflavones. Consistent with the results in cultured cells, pretreatment of mice with tangeretin, a methoxyflavone, enhanced expression of GRP78 and HO-1 without causing ER stress in renal tubular epithelium and prevented tunicamycin-induced cell death. Furthermore, preadministration of tangeretin in mice enhanced expression of GRP78 in the substantia nigra pars compacta and protected dopaminergic neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, a neurotoxin that induces both oxidative and ER stress. These results suggest that methoxyflavones play an important role in the regulation of ER stress and could be a therapeutic target for the ER stress-related diseases.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Cell Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy