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Electronegative Low-Density Lipoprotein L5 Impairs Viability and NGF-Induced Neuronal Differentiation of PC12 Cells via LOX-1

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      There have been striking associations of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis) and hypercholesterolemia with increased risk of neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a cardiovascular risk factor, plays a crucial role in AD pathogenesis; further, L5, a human plasma LDL fraction with high electronegativity, may be a factor contributing to AD-type dementia. Although L5 contributing to atherosclerosis progression has been studied, its role in inducing neurodegeneration remains unclear. Here, PC12 cell culture was used for treatments with human LDLs (L1, L5, or oxLDL), and subsequently cell viability and nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced neuronal differentiation were assessed. We identified L5 as a neurotoxic LDL, as demonstrated by decreased cell viability in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Contrarily, L1 had no such effect. L5 caused cell damage by inducing ATM/H2AX-associated DNA breakage as well as by activating apoptosis via lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) signaling to p53 and ensuring cleavage of caspase-3. Additionally, sublethal L5 long-termly inhibited neurite outgrowth in NGF-treated PC12 cells, as evidenced by downregulation of early growth response factor-1 and neurofilament-M. This inhibitory effect was mediated via an interaction between L5 and LOX-1 to suppress NGF-induced activation of PI3k/Akt cascade, but not NGF receptor TrkA and downstream MAPK pathways. Together, our data suggest that L5 creates a neurotoxic stress via LOX-1 in PC12 cells, thereby leading to impairment of viability and NGF-induced differentiation. Atherogenic L5 likely contributes to neurodegenerative disorders.

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      ATM phosphorylates histone H2AX in response to DNA double-strand breaks.

      A very early step in the response of mammalian cells to DNA double-strand breaks is the phosphorylation of histone H2AX at serine 139 at the sites of DNA damage. Although the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases, DNA-PK (DNA-dependent protein kinase), ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), and ATR (ATM and Rad3-related), have all been implicated in H2AX phosphorylation, the specific kinase involved has not yet been identified. To definitively identify the specific kinase(s) that phosphorylates H2AX in vivo, we have utilized DNA-PKcs-/- and Atm-/- cell lines and mouse embryonic fibroblasts. We find that H2AX phosphorylation and nuclear focus formation are normal in DNA-PKcs-/- cells and severely compromised in Atm-/- cells. We also find that ATM can phosphorylate H2AX in vitro and that ectopic expression of ATM in Atm-/- fibroblasts restores H2AX phosphorylation in vivo. The minimal H2AX phosphorylation in Atm-/- fibroblasts can be abolished by low concentrations of wortmannin suggesting that DNA-PK, rather than ATR, is responsible for low levels of H2AX phosphorylation in the absence of ATM. Our results clearly establish ATM as the major kinase involved in the phosphorylation of H2AX and suggest that ATM is one of the earliest kinases to be activated in the cellular response to double-strand breaks.
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        DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of p53 alleviates inhibition by MDM2.

        DNA-damaging agents signal to p53 through as yet unidentified posttranscriptional mechanisms. Here we show that phosphorylation of human p53 at serine 15 occurs after DNA damage and that this leads to reduced interaction of p53 with its negative regulator, the oncoprotein MDM2, in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, using purified DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), we demonstrate that phosphorylation of p53 at serines 15 and 37 impairs the ability of MDM2 to inhibit p53-dependent transactivation. We present evidence that these effects are most likely due to a conformational change induced upon phosphorylation of p53. Our studies provide a plausible mechanism by which the induction of p53 can be modulated by DNA-PK (or other protein kinases with similar specificity) in response to DNA damage.
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          DNA damage-induced cell death by apoptosis.

          Following the induction of DNA damage, a prominent route of cell inactivation is apoptosis. During the last ten years, specific DNA lesions that trigger apoptosis have been identified. These include O6-methylguanine, base N-alkylations, bulky DNA adducts, DNA cross-links and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Repair of these lesions are important in preventing apoptosis. An exception is O6-methylguanine-thymine lesions, which require mismatch repair for triggering apoptosis. Apoptosis induced by many chemical genotoxins is the consequence of blockage of DNA replication, which leads to collapse of replication forks and DSB formation. These DSBs are thought to be crucial downstream apoptosis-triggering lesions. DSBs are detected by ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) and ATR (ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related) proteins, which signal downstream to CHK1, CHK2 (checkpoint kinases) and p53. p53 induces transcriptional activation of pro-apoptotic factors such as FAS, PUMA and BAX. Many tumors harbor mutations in p53. There are p53 backup systems that involve CHK1 and/or CHK2-driven E2F1 activation and p73 upregulation, which in turn transcribes BAX, PUMA and NOXA. Another trigger of apoptosis upon DNA damage is the inhibition of RNA synthesis, which leads to a decline in the level of critical gene products such as MKP1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase). This causes sustained activation of JNK (Jun kinase) and, finally, AP-1, which stimulates death-receptor activation. DNA damage-triggered signaling and execution of apoptosis is cell-type- and genotoxin-specific depending on the p53 (p63 and p73) status, death-receptor responsiveness, MAP-kinase activation and, most importantly, DNA repair capacity. Because most clinical anti-cancer drugs target DNA, increasing knowledge on DNA damage-triggered signaling leading to cell death is expected to provide new strategies for therapeutic interventions.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan; k00511882@
            [2 ]Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
            [3 ]Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan; cllai@
            [4 ]Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80756, Taiwan
            [5 ]Department of Nursing, Hsin-Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, Taoyuan 32544, Taiwan; chingtien1213@
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: jizyuhwang@ ; Tel.: +886-7-3121101 (ext. 5092#432)
            Int J Mol Sci
            Int J Mol Sci
            International Journal of Molecular Sciences
            11 August 2017
            August 2017
            : 18
            : 8
            28800073 5578134 10.3390/ijms18081744 ijms-18-01744
            © 2017 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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