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. 2018;48(2):753-764.
doi: 10.1159/000491904. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Activation of Cyclooxygenase-2 by ATF4 During Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Regulates Kidney Podocyte Autophagy Induced by Lupus Nephritis

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Activation of Cyclooxygenase-2 by ATF4 During Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Regulates Kidney Podocyte Autophagy Induced by Lupus Nephritis

Juan Jin et al. Cell Physiol Biochem. .
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Abstract

Background/aims: Autophagy plays an essential role in lupus nephritis (LN)-induced kidney injury, although the mechanism of action remains obscure. We investigated the role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and the ATF4 endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathway in LN-induced podocyte autophagy.

Methods: We evaluated podocyte autophagy in a mouse model of LN. Protein levels of COX-2 and ATF4, and markers of autophagy, were evaluated by immunofluorescence and western blotting. To evaluate apoptosis, levels of PGE2 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: LN induced kidney damage and dysfunction, which was associated with podocyte autophagy. COX-2 and the ATF4 ER stress pathway were induced by LN in cultured podocytes. Inhibition of COX-2 inhibited LN-induced autophagy in podocytes. In addition, blocking ER stress with 4-phenylbutyrate or RNAi partially counteracted COX-2 overexpression and LN-induced autophagy, suggesting that ER stress is required for LN-induced kidney autophagy. Furthermore, LN activated ATF4 and induced its nuclear translocation. Knockdown of ATF4 inhibited LN-induced COX-2 overexpression.

Conclusions: Our study suggests a novel molecular mechanism by which COX2 overexpression, induced by the ATF4 ER stress pathway, contributes to LN-induced kidney autophagy and injury. These data demonstrate that COX-2 may be a potential therapeutic target against LN-induced nephropathy.

Keywords: ATF4; Autophagy; COX-2; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Lupus Nephritis.

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