Title: Homocysteine stimulates antioxidant response element-mediated expression of glutamate-cysteine ligase in mouse macrophages.
Authors: Bea, Florian; Hudson, Francesca N; Neff-Laford, Haley; White, Collin C; Kavanagh, Terrance J; Kreuzer, Jorg; Preusch, Michael R; Blessing, Erwin; Katus, Hugo A; Rosenfeld, Michael E
Published In Atherosclerosis, (2009 Mar)
Abstract: Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Uptake of homocysteine induces oxidative stress in macrophages. Antioxidant response elements (AREs) are regulatory elements within promoters of genes, which protect cells against oxidative stress. The current study investigated whether homocysteine induces transcription of glutamate-cysteine ligase (Gcl), via ARE driven gene expression in mouse macrophages. Gcl is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of glutathione, an important endogenous antioxidant. Gcl is heterodimeric and the genes encoding the subunits of Gcl contain several AREs within their 5'-promoter regions. Treatment of mouse macrophages with d-/l-homocysteine (50microM) induced depletion of intracellular glutathione and a compensatory increase in Gcl activity. Electro mobiliy shift assays demonstrated increased binding of nuclear proteins to ARE-containing oligonucleotides. Real-time RT-PCR revealed increased mRNA-expression of the catalytic subunit of Gcl (Gclc) after treatment with homocysteine, and this occurred via increased transcription as demonstrated with luciferase promoter reporter constructs for Gclc. Additional site directed mutagenesis demonstrated that ARE4 plays a direct role in mediating induction of Gclc by homocysteine. Supershift analysis and Western blotting revealed that Nrf2 signalling is critical in homocysteine-induced activation of ARE4. Inhibition of MAP kinase activity reduced binding of nuclear proteins to the AREs, nuclear expression of Nrf2 and mRNA expression of Gclc. Western blotting demonstrated phosporylation of ERK1/2 in homocysteine treated macrophages. These data suggest that ARE-driven gene expression of Gclc via a MEK/Nrf2 pathway could help to protect macrophages from oxidative stress due to hyperhomocysteinemia.
PubMed ID: 18691715
MeSH Terms: Animals; Antioxidants/metabolism*; Catalysis; Cell Line; Cell Nucleus/metabolism; Gene Expression Regulation*; Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase/metabolism*; Glutathione/metabolism; Homocysteine/metabolism*; Macrophages/metabolism*; Mice; Models, Biological; Oxidative Stress; Promoter Regions, Genetic; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction