Biochimica et biophysica acta

A novel compound derived from danshensu inhibits apoptosis via upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 expression in SH-SY5Y cells.

PMID 23328493


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has potential anti-apoptotic properties. A novel compound [4-(2-acetoxy-3-((R)-3-(benzylthio)-1-methoxy-1-oxopropan-2- ylamino)-3-oxopropyl)-1,2-phenylene diacetate (DSC)] was synthesized by joining danshensu and cysteine through an appropriate linker. This study investigated if the cytoprotective properties of DSC involved the induction of HO-1. We evaluated the cytoprotective effects of DSC on H2O2-induced cell damage, apoptosis, intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) loss, and apoptosis-related proteins expression and its underlying mechanisms. DSC concentration-dependently attenuated cell death, lactate dehydrogenase release, intracellular and mitochondrial ROS production, and ΔΨm collapse, modulated apoptosis-related proteins (Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-3, p53, and cleaved PARP) expression, and inhibited phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in SH-SY5Y cells induced by H2O2. In addition, DSC concentration-dependently induced HO-1 expression associated with nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf-2), while the effect of DSC was inhibited by a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. Furthermore, the protective effect of DSC on H2O2-induced cell death was abolished by HO-1 inhibitor ZnPP, but was mimicked by carbon monoxide-releasing moiety CORM-3 or HO-1 by-product bilirubin. Finally, DSC inhibited H2O2-induced changes of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 expression, and all of these effects were reversed by HO-1 silencing. Induction of HO-1 may be, at least in part, responsible for the anti-apoptotic property of DSC, an effect that involved the activation of PI3K/Akt/Nrf-2 axis. DSC might have the potential for beneficial therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases.

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