Tumor suppressor ataxia telangiectasia mutated functions downstream of TGF-β1 in orchestrating profibrotic responses.

Overstreet JM, Samarakoon R, Cardona-Grau D, Goldschmeding R, Higgins PJ
FASEB J. 2015 29 (4): 1258-68

PMID: 25480384 · PMCID: PMC4396616 · DOI:10.1096/fj.14-262527

Effective therapy to prevent organ fibrosis, which is associated with more than half of all mortalities, remains elusive. Involvement of tumor suppressor ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) in the TGF-β1 pathway related to renal fibrosis is largely unknown. ATM activation (pATM(Ser1981)) increased 4-fold in the tubulointerstitial region of the unilateral ureteral obstruction-injured kidney in mice correlating with SMAD3 and p53(Ser15) phosphorylation and elevated levels of p22(phox) subunit of the NADPH oxidases (NOXs), and fibrotic markers, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and fibronectin, when compared to contralateral (contra) or sham controls. In fact, ATM is rapidly phosphorylated at Ser(1981) by TGF-β1 stimulation. Stable silencing and pharmacologic inhibition of ATM ablated TGF-β1-induced p53 activation (>95%) and subsequent PAI-1, fibronectin, connective tissue growth factor, and p21 expression in human kidney 2 (HK-2) tubular epithelial cells and normal rat kidney-49 fibroblasts (NRK-49F). ATM or p53 depletion in HK-2 cells, moreover, bypassed TGF-β1-mediated cytostasis evident in control short hairpin RNA-expressing HK-2 cells. Interestingly, stable silencing of NOX subunits, p22(phox) and p47(phox), in HK-2 cells blocked TGF-β1-induced pATM(Ser1981) (>90%) and target gene induction via p53-dependent mechanisms. Furthermore, NRK-49F fibroblast proliferation triggered by conditioned media from TGF-β1-stimulated, control vector-transfected HK-2 cells decreased (∼ 50%) when exposed to conditioned media from ATM-deficient, TGF-β1-treated HK-2 cells. Thus, TGF-β1 promotes NOX-dependent ATM activation leading to p53-mediated fibrotic gene reprogramming and growth arrest in HK-2 cells. Furthermore, TGF-β1/ATM-initiated paracrine factor secretion by dysfunctional renal epithelium promotes interstitial fibroblast growth, suggesting a role of tubular ATM in mediating epithelial-mesenchymal cross-talk highlighting the translational benefit of targeting the NOX/ATM/p53 axis in renal fibrosis.


MeSH Terms (18)

Animals Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins Cell Line Epithelial Cells Fibrosis Gene Expression Regulation Gene Knockdown Techniques Humans Kidney Mice Models, Biological NADPH Oxidases Phosphorylation Rats Signal Transduction Smad3 Protein Transforming Growth Factor beta1 Tumor Suppressor Protein p53

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