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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18225-33. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.132142. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Ischemia/reperfusion reduces transcription factor Sp1-mediated cystathionine beta-synthase expression in the kidney.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, St Boniface Hospital Research Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 2A6, Canada.


Cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step for homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism via the trans-sulfuration pathway and is also responsible for the production of H(2)S through the desulfhydration reaction. Our recent studies demonstrate that renal ischemia/reperfusion decreased the CBS activity leading to Hcy accumulation and H(2)S reduction in the kidney, which in turn contributed to kidney injury. Both Hcy and H(2)S play important roles in physiological and pathological processes. In this study we investigated the molecular mechanism by which CBS activity was regulated in the kidney. The left kidney of Sprague-Dawley rat was subjected to 45 min of ischemia followed by 6 h of reperfusion. Ischemia/reperfusion caused a significant decrease in CBS mRNA and protein levels in the kidney. As a consequence, there was a marked reduction in the CBS enzyme activity. Transfection of kidney proximal tubular cells with transcription factor (Sp1) small interfering RNA caused a marked reduction in CBS mRNA, indicating a pivotal role for Sp1 in regulating CBS expression in kidney cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay detected a lower Sp1 activity in kidneys subjected to ischemia/reperfusion as compared with that in a sham-operated group. ERK-mediated phosphorylation of Sp1 was responsible for a decreased transcriptional activity of Sp1 in the kidney upon ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest that reduced kidney CBS gene expression during ischemia/reperfusion is mediated via a decrease in Sp1 transcriptional activity. Regulation of CBS-mediated Hcy and H(2)S homeostasis may offer a renal protective effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury.

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