PloS one

Finding ATF4/p75NTR/IL-8 signal pathway in endothelial-mesenchymal transition by safrole oxide.

PMID 24905361


Targeting the endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) may be a novel therapeutic strategy for cancer and various diseases induced by fibrosis. We aimed to identify a small chemical molecule as an inducer of EndoMT and find a new signal pathway by using the inducer. Safrole oxide (SFO), 50 µg/ml, could most effectively induce EndoMT within 12 h. To understand the underlying molecular mechanism, we performed microarray, quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analysis to find key factors involved in SFO-induced EndoMT and demonstrated the involvement of the factors by RNAi. The expression of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), and interleukin 8 (IL-8) was greatly increased in SFO-induced EndoMT. Knockdown of ATF4 inhibited the SFO-induced EndoMT completely, and knockdown of p75NTR or IL-8 partially inhibited the EndoMT, which suggests that all three factors were involved in the process. Furthermore, knockdown of p75NTR inhibited the SFO-increased IL-8 expression and secretion, and knockdown of ATF4 inhibited SFO-increased p75NTR level significantly. The ATF4/p75NTR/IL-8 signal pathway may have an important role in EndoMT induced by SFO. Our findings support potential novel targets for the therapeutics of cancer and fibrosis disease.

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