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Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2018 Dec;1864(12):3668-3678. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.09.031. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Senescence marker protein 30 protects intestinal epithelial cells against inflammation-induced cell death by enhancing Nrf2 activity.

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College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea.
Molecular Regulation of Aging, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan.
College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30) is a calcium-binding protein whose expression decreases during senescence. SMP30 deficiency increases susceptibility to cytokine-induced apoptosis in the liver and to radiation-induced apoptosis in the small intestine. Furthermore, colonic epithelial cell death is associated with the severity of colitis. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the function of SMP30 during intestinal inflammation. In SMP30 deficient mice, colitis was significantly exacerbated as demonstrated by increased mortality (p = 0.001), body weight loss (p = 0.0105 at day 8), rectal bleeding (p = 0.0047 at day 8) and diarrhea (p = 0.0030 at day 8), histological scores (ulcers, p = 0.0002; edema, p = 0.0125; leukocyte infiltration, p = 0.0016) and productions of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, p = 0.0452; IL-6, p = 0.0074; G-CSF, p = 0.0036). In addition, greater proportions of apoptotic cells and lower levels of anti-apoptotic marker proteins (total PARP-1 and Bcl-2) were observed in the inflamed intestines of SMP30 deficient mice than in wild type controls. In vitro experiments on colonic epithelial cells showed that stable SMP30 expression inhibited but that SMP30 siRNA expression increased TNF-α-induced apoptosis. SMP30 inhibition decreased Nrf2 mRNA expression levels (p < 0.0001), but SMP30 overexpression increased Nrf2 mRNA expression levels (p = 0.0495). The underlying mechanism by which SMP30 protected cells appeared to be by inhibiting Nrf2 ubiquitination and Keap1 expression, and thus enhancing Nrf2 activity. Moreover, SMP30 deficiency increased the incidence of colitis-associated colon cancer as determined by increased mortality (p = 0.0572) and average polyp number (p = 0.0277). Collectively, these findings suggest that SMP30 protects intestinal epithelial cells from apoptosis and this can contribute to amelioration of colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer.


Colitis-associated colon cancer; Inflammatory bowel disease; Keap1; Nrf2; SMP30

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