American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

The unfolded protein response controls ER stress-induced apoptosis of lung epithelial cells through angiotensin generation.

PMID 27638906


Recent work from this laboratory showed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptosis of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) is regulated by the autocrine angiotensin (ANG)II/ANG1-7 system. The proteasome inhibitor MG132 or surfactant protein C (SP-C) BRICHOS domain mutation G100S induced apoptosis in human AECs by activating the proapoptotic cathepsin D and reducing antiapoptotic angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2). This study tested the hypothesis that ER stress-induced apoptosis of human AECs might be mediated by influence of the unfolded protein response (UPR) on the autocrine ANGII/ANG1-7 system. A549 cells were challenged with MG132 or SP-C BRICHOS domain mutant G100S to induce ER stress and activation of UPR pathways. The results showed that either MG132 or G100S SP-C mutation activated all three canonical pathways of the UPR (IRE1/XBP1, ATF6, and PERK/eIF2α), which led to a significant increase in cathepsin D or in TACE (an ACE-2 ectodomain shedding enzyme) and eventually caused AEC apoptosis. However, ER stress-induced AEC apoptosis could be prevented by chemical chaperone or by UPR blockers. It is also suggested that ATF6 and IRE1 pathways might play important role in regulation of angiotensin system. These data demonstrate that ER stress induces apoptosis in human AECs through mediation of UPR pathways, which in turn regulate the autocrine ANGII/ANG1-7 system. They also demonstrated that ER stress-induced AEC apoptosis can be blocked by inhibition of UPR signaling pathways.