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      Lipocalin-2 Promotes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Proliferation by Augmenting Intracellular Iron in Human Pulmonary Arterial Smooth Muscle Cells


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          Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, a feature of many conditions associated with pulmonary hypertension (PH), is increasingly recognized as a common response to promote proliferation in the walls of pulmonary arteries. Increased expression of Lipocalin-2 in PH led us to test the hypothesis that Lipocalin-2, a protein known to sequester iron and regulate it intracellularly, might facilitate the ER stress and proliferation in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). In this study, we observed greatly increased Lcn2 expression accompanied with increased ATF6 cleavage in a standard rat model of pulmonary hypertension induced by monocrotaline. In cultured human PASMCs, Lcn2 significantly promoted ER stress (determined by augmented cleavage and nuclear localization of ATF6, up-regulated transcription of GRP78 and NOGO, increased expression of SOD2, and mild augmented mitochondrial membrane potential) and proliferation (assessed by Ki67 staining and BrdU incorporation). Lcn2 promoted ER stress accompanied with augmented intracellular iron levels in human PASMCs. Treatment human PASMCs with FeSO4 induced the similar ER stress and proliferation response and iron chelator (deferoxamine) abrogated the ER stress and proliferation induced by Lcn2 in cultured human PASMCs. In conclusion, Lcn2 significantly promoted human PASMC ER stress and proliferation by augmenting intracellular iron. The up-regulation of Lcn2 probably involved in the pathogenesis and progression of PH.

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          Most cited references 33

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          The neutrophil lipocalin NGAL is a bacteriostatic agent that interferes with siderophore-mediated iron acquisition.

          First identified as a neutrophil granule component, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL; also called human neutrophil lipocalin, 24p3, uterocalin, or neu-related lipocalin) is a member of the lipocalin family of binding proteins. Putative NGAL ligands, including neutrophil chemotactic agents such as N-formylated tripeptides, have all been refuted by recent biochemical and structural results. NGAL has subsequently been implicated in diverse cellular processes, but without a characterized ligand, the molecular basis of these functions remained mysterious. Here we report that NGAL tightly binds bacterial catecholate-type ferric siderophores through a cyclically permuted, hybrid electrostatic/cation-pi interaction and is a potent bacteriostatic agent in iron-limiting conditions. We therefore propose that NGAL participates in the antibacterial iron depletion strategy of the innate immune system.
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            Lipocalin-2 is an inflammatory marker closely associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia in humans.

            Lipocalin-2, a 25-kDa secreted glycoprotein, is a useful biomarker for early detection of various renal injuries. Because lipocalin-2 is abundantly expressed in adipose tissue and liver, we investigated its relevance to obesity-related pathologies. We used real-time PCR and in-house immunoassays to quantify the mRNA and serum concentrations of lipocalin-2 in C57BL/KsJ db/db obese mice and their age- and sex-matched lean littermates. We analyzed the association between serum lipocalin-2 concentrations and various metabolic and inflammatory variables in 229 persons (121 men and 108 women) recruited from a previous cross-sectional study, and we evaluated the effect of the insulin-sensitizing drug rosiglitazone on serum lipocalin-2 concentrations in 32 diabetic patients (21 men and 11 women). Compared with the lean littermates, lipocalin-2 mRNA expression in adipose tissue and liver and its circulating concentrations were significantly increased in db/db diabetic/obese mice (P <0.001). These changes were normalized after rosiglitazone treatment. In humans, circulating lipocalin-2 concentrations were positively correlated (P <0.005) with adiposity, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, and the insulin resistance index, but negatively correlated (P = 0.002) with HDL cholesterol. There was also a strong positive association between lipocalin-2 concentrations and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), independent of age, sex, and adiposity (P = 0.007). Furthermore, rosiglitazone-mediated decreases in lipocalin-2 concentrations correlated significantly with increases in insulin sensitivity (r = 0.527; P = 0.002) and decreases in hs-CRP concentrations (r = 0.509; P = 0.003). Lipocalin-2 is an inflammatory marker closely related to obesity and its metabolic complications. Measurement of serum lipocalin-2 might be useful for evaluating the outcomes of various clinical interventions for obesity-related metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
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              The multifaceted roles of neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) in inflammation and cancer.

              Neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL), also known as oncogene 24p3, uterocalin, siderocalin or lipocalin 2, is a 24kDa secreted glycoprotein originally purified from a culture of mouse kidney cells infected with simian virus 40 (SV-40). Subsequent investigations have revealed that it is a member of the lipocalin family of proteins that transport small, hydrophobic ligands. Since then, NGAL expression has been reported in several normal tissues where it serves to provide protection against bacterial infection and modulate oxidative stress. Its expression is also dysregulated in several benign and malignant diseases. Its small size, secreted nature and relative stability have led to it being investigated as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in numerous diseases including inflammation and cancer. Functional studies, conducted primarily on lipocalin 2 (Lcn2), the mouse homologue of human NGAL have revealed that Lcn2 has a strong affinity for iron complexed to both bacterial siderophores (iron-binding proteins) and certain human proteins like norepinephrine. By sequestering iron-laden siderophores, Lcn2 deprives bacteria of a vital nutrient and thus inhibits their growth (bacteriostatic effect). In malignant cells, its proposed functions range from inhibiting apoptosis (in thyroid cancer cells), invasion and angiogenesis (in pancreatic cancer) to increasing proliferation and metastasis (in breast and colon cancer). Ectopic expression of Lcn2 also promotes BCR-ABL induced chronic myelogenous leukemia in murine models. By transporting iron into and out of the cell, NGAL also regulates iron responsive genes. Further, it stabilizes the proteolytic enzyme matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) by forming a complex with it, and thereby prevents its autodegradation. The factors regulating NGAL expression are numerous and range from pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukins, tumor necrosis factor-α and interferons to vitamins like retinoic acid. The purpose of this review article is to examine the expression, structure, regulation and biological role of NGAL and critically assess its potential as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker in both benign and malignant human diseases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Int J Biol Sci
                Int. J. Biol. Sci
                International Journal of Biological Sciences
                Ivyspring International Publisher (Sydney )
                15 January 2017
                : 13
                : 2
                : 135-144
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
                [2 ]Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
                Author notes
                ✉ Corresponding authors: Yingjie Wei, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100037, People's Republic of China. Tel: 86-10-60866393. E-mail: weiyingjie@ 123456fuwaihospital.org . Ning Ma, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100045, People's Republic of China. Tel: 86-10-59616736. E-mail: echo_mn@ 123456163.com .

                Conflict of interest: None.

                © Ivyspring International Publisher

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.

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