American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology

O-GlcNAc signaling attenuates ER stress-induced cardiomyocyte death.

PMID 19734355


We previously demonstrated that the O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) posttranslational modification confers cardioprotection at least partially through mitochondrial-dependent mechanisms, but it remained unclear if O-GlcNAc signaling interfered with other mechanisms of cell death. Because ischemia/hypoxia causes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, we ascertained whether O-GlcNAc signaling could attenuate ER stress-induced cell death per se. Before induction of ER stress (with tunicamycin or brefeldin A), we adenovirally overexpressed O-GlcNAc transferase (AdOGT) or pharmacologically inhibited O-GlcNAcase [via O-(2-acetamido-2-deoxy-d-glucopyranosylidene) amino-N-phenylcarbamate] to augment O-GlcNAc levels or adenovirally overexpressed O-GlcNAcase to reduce O-GlcNAc levels. AdOGT significantly (P < 0.05) attenuated the activation of the maladaptive arm of the unfolded protein response [according to C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) activation] and cardiomyocyte death (reflected by percent propidium iodide positivity). Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of O-GlcNAcase significantly (P < 0.05) mitigated ER stress-induced CHOP activation and cardiac myocyte death. Interestingly, overexpression of GCA did not alter ER stress markers but exacerbated brefeldin A-induced cardiomyocyte death. We conclude that enhanced O-GlcNAc signaling represents a partially proadaptive response to reduce ER stress-induced cell death. These results provide new insights into a possible interaction between O-GlcNAc signaling and ER stress and may partially explain a mechanism of O-GlcNAc-mediated cardioprotection.