Ophthalmic research

Expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers GRP78 and CHOP induced by oxidative stress in blue light-mediated damage of A2E-containing retinal pigment epithelium cells.

PMID 25402962


Age-related lipofuscin N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine (A2E) accumulated in human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells confers susceptibility to blue light-mediated damage, which represents one pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. This study investigated the expression of 2 best-characterized endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers, glucose-related protein 78 (GRP78) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), as well as their regulation by oxidative stress after blue light-mediated damage of A2E-containing RPE cells. ARPE-19 cells were incubated with A2E (10, 25, 50 μM) for 2 h and exposed to blue light for 20 min. A2E distributions in RPE cells were assessed via laser scanning confocal microscope and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cell viability was measured by a Cell Titer 96 Aqueous One Solution cell proliferation assay. The quantity of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was detected by dihydroethidium fluorescence using flow cytometry. Expressions of GRP78 and CHOP were measured at both mRNA and protein levels. To examine the role of oxidative stress in regulating GRP78 and CHOP expression, RPE cells were pretreated with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for 2 h. RNA interference of GRP78 performed by short hairpin RNA was used to evaluate the effect of GRP78 in blue light-mediated damage of RPE cells. After blue light exposure, A2E-treated RPE cells showed a gradual decrease in cell viability and a particular increase in ROS levels. Meanwhile, the expressions of GRP78 and CHOP in A2E-treated RPE cells were significantly increased at different time points after illumination. Pretreatment with NAC attenuated the expression of 2 ER stress markers, especially CHOP in A2E and blue light-treated RPE cells. Silencing of GRP78 by RNA interference upregulated CHOP and caspase-12 expression as well as aggravated the blue light-mediated damage of A2E-laden RPE cells. RPE cells exhibited ROS accumulation and subsequent elevation of GRP78 and CHOP expression after A2E and blue light-induced damage. The ROS scavenger NAC diminished ER stress protein expression, suggesting a connection between ER and oxidative stress in blue light-mediated damage of A2E-containing RPE cells. Besides, GRP78 may play a protective role in it.

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