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Epigenetic memory of oxidative stress: does nephrilin exert its protective effects via Rac1?

Authors Mascarenhas DD, Herndon DN, Arany I

Received 5 March 2017

Accepted for publication 9 May 2017

Published 17 July 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 97—106


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Doris Benbrook

Desmond D Mascarenhas,1,2 David N Herndon,3 Istvan Arany4

1Mayflower Organization for Research & Education, Sunnyvale, CA, 2Transporin, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, 3Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical Branch, and Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston, TX, 4Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

Aim: Nephrilin peptide, a designed inhibitor of Rictor complex (mTORC2), exerts pleiotropic protective effects in metabolic, xenobiotic and traumatic stress models. Stress can generate enduring epigenetic changes in gene function. In this work we examine the possibility that nephrilin treatment protects against acute and enduring global changes in oxidative metabolism, with a focus on the Rictor-complex-mediated activation of Rac1, a subunit of NADPH oxidase (Nox) via PKCs, Prex1 and p66shc.
Methods: Given the wide range of animal models in which nephrilin peptide has previously demonstrated effectiveness in vivo, we chose three different experimental systems for this investigation: dermal fibroblasts, renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (PTECs), and kidney tissue and urine from an animal model of burn trauma in which nephrilin was previously shown to prevent loss of kidney function.
Results: (1) Nephrilin protects dermal fibroblasts from loss of viability and collagen synthesis after ultraviolet A (UV-A) or H2O2 insult. (2) Nephrilin reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation by H2O2–treated (PTECs) with or without nicotine pretreatment. Using RNA arrays and pathway analysis we demonstrate that nicotine and H2O2-treated PTECs specifically induced Rac1 gene networks in these cells. (3) Using kidney tissue and urine from the burn trauma model we demonstrate significant elevations of [a] 8-aminoprostane in urine; [b] kidney tissue histone modification and DNA methylation; and [c] post-transcriptional phosphorylation events consistent with Rac1 activation in kidney tissue.
Conclusion: Nephrilin protects against oxidative stress, possibly by modulating the activation of Rac1.

nephrilin, epigenetic, Rac1, burn injury, Rictor, 8-isoprostane

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