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Cheng L.-B.,Li yang City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen C.-M.,Li yang City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Zhong H.,Li yang City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Zhu L.-J.,Li yang City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell apoptosis is attributed to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) pathogenesis. FLZ, a novel synthetic squamosamide derivative from a Chinese herb, Annona glabra, has displayed significant cyto-protective activity. In the current study, we explored the pro-survival effect of FLZ in oxidative stressed-RPE cells and studied the underlying signaling mechanisms. Our results showed that FLZ attenuated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced viability decrease and apoptosis in the RPE cell line (ARPE-19 cells) and in primary mouse RPE cells. Western blotting results showed that FLZ activated AKT signaling in RPE cells. The AKT-specific inhibitor, MK-2206, the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pan inhibitor, wortmannin, and AKT1-shRNA (short hairpin RNA) depletion almost abolished FLZ-mediated pro-survival/anti-apoptosis activity. We discovered that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) trans-activation mediated FLZ-induced AKT activation and the pro-survival effect in RPE cells, and the anti-apoptosis effect of FLZ against H2O2 was inhibited by the EGFR inhibitor, PD153035, or by EGFR shRNA-knockdown. In conclusion, FLZ protects RPE cells from oxidative stress through activation of EGFR-AKT signaling, and our results suggest that FLZ might have therapeutic values for AMD. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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