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Cell Death Dis. 2013 Mar 28;4:e563. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2013.94.

Netrin-1 protects hypoxia-induced mitochondrial apoptosis through HSP27 expression via DCC- and integrin α6β4-dependent Akt, GSK-3β, and HSF-1 in mesenchymal stem cells.

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Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine and Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Netrin (Ntn) has the potential to be successfully applied as an anti-apoptotic agent with a high affinity for tissue, for therapeutic strategies of umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSC), although the mechanism by which Ntn-1 protects hypoxic injury has yet to be identified. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of Ntn-1 on hypoxia-induced UCB-MSC apoptosis, as well as the potential underlying mechanisms of its protective effect. Hypoxia (72 h) reduced cell viability (MTT reduction, and [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation) and cell number, and induced apoptosis (annexin and/or PI positive), which were reversed by Ntn-1 (10 ng/ml). Moreover, Ntn-1 decreased the increase of hypoxia-induced Bax, cleaved caspase-9, and -3, but blocked the decrease of hypoxia-reduced Bcl-2. Next, in order to examine the Ntn-1-related signaling cascade in the protection of hypoxic injury, we analyzed six Ntn receptors in UCB-MSC. We identified deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) and integrin (IN) α6β4, except uncoordinated family member (UNC) 5A-C, and neogenin. Among them, IN α6β4 only was detected in lipid raft fractions. In addition, Ntn-1 induced the dissociation of DCC and APPL-1 complex, thereby stimulating the formation of APPL-1 and Akt2 complex. Ntn-1 also reversed the hypoxia-induced decrease of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation, which is involved in heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1) expression. Ntn-1-induced phospho-Akt and -GSK-3β were inhibited by DCC function-blocking antibody, IN a6b4 function-blocking antibody, and the Akt inhibitor. Hypoxia and/or Ntn-1 stimulated heat shock protein (HSP)27 expression, which was blocked by HSF-1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). Furthermore, HSP27-specific siRNA reversed the Ntn-1-induced increase of phospho-Akt. Additionally, HSP27-specific siRNA attenuated the Ntn-1-reduced loss of mitochondrial membrane injury via the inhibition of cytochrome c (cyt c) release and formation of cyt c and HSP27 complex. Moreover, the inhibition of each signaling protein attenuated Ntn-1-induced blockage of apoptosis. In conclusion, Ntn-1-induced HSP27 protected hypoxic injury-related UCB-MSC apoptosis through DCC- and IN α6β4-dependent Akt, GSK-3β, and HSF-1 signaling pathways.

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