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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2002 Jan;7(1):23-35.

Overexpression of apolipoprotein J in human fibroblasts protects against cytotoxicity and premature senescence induced by ethanol and tert-butylhydroperoxide.

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Unit of Cellular Biochemistry and Biology, Department of Biology, The University of Namur (FUNDP), Belgium.


Human diploid fibroblasts (HDFs) exposed to subcytotoxic stresses under H2O2, tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BHP), and ethanol (EtOH) undergo stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS) characterized by many biomarkers of HDFs replicative senescence. Among these biomarkers are a growth arrest, an increase in the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity, a senescent morphology, an overexpression of p21waf-1 and the subsequent inability to phosphorylate pRb, the presence of the common 4977-bp mitochondrial deletion, and an increase in the steady-state level of several senescence-associated genes such as apolipoprotein J (apo J). Apo J has been described as a survival gene against cytotoxic stress. In order to study whether apo J would be protective against cytotoxicity SIPS and replicative senescence in human fibroblasts, a full-length complementary deoxyribonucleic acid of apo J was transfected into WI-38 HDFs and SV40-transformed WI-38 HDFs. The overexpression of apo J resulted in an increased cell survival after t-BHP and EtOH stresses at cytotoxic concentrations. In addition, when WI-38 HDFs were exposed to 5 subcytotoxic stresses with EtOH or t-BHP, in conditions that were previously shown to induce SIPS, a lower induction of 2 biomarkers of SIPS was observed in HDFs overexpressing apo J. No effect of apo J overexpression was observed on the proliferative life span of HDFs, even if apo J overexpression triggered osteonectin (SPARC) overexpression, which was shown to decrease the mitogenic potential of platelet-derived growth factor but not of other common growth-inducing conditions. Apo J senescence-related overexpression is proposed to have antiapoptotic rather than antiproliferative effects.

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