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Chongqing, China

Cao J.,Chongqing Medical University | Dai D.-L.,Childrens Hospital of Shenzhen | Yao L.,Central Hospital of Jiangjin | Yu H.-H.,Chongqing Medical University | And 6 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Accumulation of saturated fatty acids in the liver can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study investigated saturated fatty acid induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptosis in human liver cells and the underlying causal mechanism. Human liver L02 and HepG2 cell lines were exposed to the saturated fatty acid sodium palmitate. MTT assay was used for cell viability, flow cytometry and Hoechst 33258 staining for apoptosis, RT-PCR for mRNA expression, and Western blot for protein expression. Silence of PRK-like ER kinase (PERK) expression in liver cells was through transient transfection of PERK shRNA. Treatment of L02 and HepG2 cells with sodium palmitate reduced cell viability through induction of apoptosis. Sodium palmitate also induced ER stress in the cells, indicated by upregulation of PERK phosphorylation and expression of BiP, ATF4, and CHOP proteins. Sodium palmitate had little effect on activating XBP-1, a common target of the other two canonical sensors of ER stress, ATF6, and IRE1. Knockdown of PERK gene expression suppressed the PERK/ATF4/CHOP signaling pathway during sodium palmitateinduced ER stress and significantly inhibited sodium palmitate-induced apoptosis in L02 and HepG2 cells. Saturated fatty acid-induced ER stress and apoptosis in these human liver cells were enacted through the PERK/ATF4/CHOP signaling pathway. Future study is warranted to investigate the role of these proteins in mediating saturated fatty acid-induced NAFLD in animal models. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011. Source

Cao J.,Chongqing Medical University | Feng X.-X.,Chongqing Medical University | Yao L.,Central Hospital of Jiangjin | Ning B.,Chongqing Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences | Year: 2014

Background: Elevated serum saturated fatty acid levels and hepatocyte lipoapoptosis are features of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate saturated fatty acid induction of lipoapoptosis in human liver cells and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Human liver L02 and HepG2 cells were treated with sodium palmitate, a saturated fatty acid, for up to 48 h with or without lithium chloride, a glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) inhibitor, or GSK-3β shRNA transfection. Transmission electron microscopy was used to detect morphological changes, flow cytometry was used to detect apoptosis, a colorimetric assay was used to detect caspase-3 activity, and western blot analysis was used to detect protein expression. Results: The data showed that sodium palmitate was able to induce lipoapoptosis in L02 and HepG2 cells. Western blot analysis showed that sodium palmitate activated GSK-3β protein, which was indicated by dephosphorylation of GSK-3β at Ser-9. However, inhibition of GSK-3β activity with lithium chloride treatment or knockdown of GSK-3β expression with shRNA suppressed sodium palmitate-induced lipoapoptosis in L02 and HepG2 cells. On a molecular level, inhibition of GSK-3β expression or activity suppressed sodium palmitate-induced c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and Bax upregulation, whereas GSK-3β inhibition did not affect endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced activation of unfolded protein response. Conclusions: The present data demonstrated that saturated fatty acid sodium palmitate-induced lipoapoptosis in human liver L02 and HepG2 cells was regulated by GSK-3β activation, which led to JNK activation and Bax upregulation. This finding indicates that GSK-3β inhibition may be a potential therapeutic target to control NAFLD. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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