Experimental and molecular pathology

Vacuolar protein sorting 4B regulates apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells via p38 MAPK in Crohn's disease.

PMID 25533544


Vacuolar protein sorting 4B (VPS4B), a member of ATPase family proteins, reportedly possesses multiple biological functions, such as regulating the development of breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer, participating in Parkinson's disease, and modulating neuronal apoptosis after cerebral ischemia. However, its expression and potential functions in Crohn's disease (CD) has not been understood. In this study, we reported for the first time that VPS4B was over-expressed in intestinal epithelial cell (IECs) of patients with CD. In TNBS-induced mouse colitis models, we observed the up-regulation of VPS4B was accompanied with the elevated levels of IEC apoptotic markers (active caspase-3 and cleaved PARP) and phosphorylated p38 in colitis IECs. Co-localization of VPS4B and active caspase-3 in IECs of the TNBS group further indicated the possible involvement of VPS4B in IEC apoptosis. Employing the TNF-α-treated HT29 cells as an in vitro IEC apoptosis model, we confirmed the positive correlation of VPS4B with caspase-dependent cellular apoptosis. Knocking VPS4B down by siRNA significantly alleviated TNF-α-induced p38 phosphorylation and cellular apoptosis in HT29 cells. Taken together, our findings suggested that VPS4B may facilitate the IEC apoptosis in CD via p38 MAPK signaling pathway.