Author(s): Pedruzzi E, Guichard C, Ollivier V, Driss F, Fay M,
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Abstract The mechanisms involved in the cytotoxic action of oxysterols in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis still remain poorly understood. Among the major oxysterols present in oxidized low-density lipoprotein, we show here that 7-ketocholesterol (7-Kchol) induces oxidative stress and/or apoptotic events in human aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs). This specific effect of 7-Kchol is mediated by a robust upregulation (threefold from the basal level) of Nox-4, a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating NAD(P)H oxidase homologue. This effect was highlighted by silencing Nox-4 expression with a specific small interfering RNA, which significantly reduced the 7-Kchol-induced production of ROS and abolished apoptotic events. Furthermore, the 7-Kchol activating pathway included an early triggering of endoplasmic reticulum stress, as assessed by transient intracellular Ca(2+) oscillations, and the induction of the expression of the cell death effector CHOP and of GRP78/Bip chaperone via the activation of IRE-1, all hallmarks of the unfolded protein response (UPR). We also showed that 7-Kchol activated the IRE-1/Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK)/AP-1 signaling pathway to promote Nox-4 expression. Silencing of IRE-1 and JNK inhibition downregulated Nox-4 expression and subsequently prevented the UPR-dependent cell death induced by 7-Kchol. These findings demonstrate that Nox-4 plays a key role in 7-Kchol-induced SMC death, which is consistent with the hypothesis that Nox-4/oxysterols are involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Mol Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism