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Cell Biol Int. 2019 Mar;43(3):313-322. doi: 10.1002/cbin.11103. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

ER stress differentially affects pro-inflammatory changes induced by mitochondrial dysfunction in the human monocytic leukemia cell line, THP-1.

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School of Life Sciences, BK21 Plus KNU Creative BioResearch Group, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 41566, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, Brain Science & Engineering Institute, BK21 Plus KNU Biomedical Convergence Program, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, 41944, Republic of Korea.


The functional and physical interaction between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been the subject of intense study. To test the effect of this interaction on macrophage inflammatory activation, the human macrophage-like monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 was treated with oligomycin, rotenone, or sodium azide, which induce mitochondrial dysfunction (MD) by blocking the electron transport chain (ETC). MD induced by these agents triggered activation of various sensors and markers of ER stress. This linkage affected macrophage function since LPS-induced expression of IL-23 was enhanced by the MD inducers, and this enhancing effect was abolished by inhibition of pancreatic endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) activity. This MD-mediated ER stress may be universal since it was observed in human embryonic kidney HEK293 cells and colon cancer SW480 cells. On the other hand, MD regulated LPS-induced activation of the AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin pathway in a manner not affected by inhibition of PERK or inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) activities. These results indicate that the occurrence of MD can lead to ER stress and these two events, separately or in combination, can affect various cellular processes.


ER stress; inflammation; macrophage; mitochondrial dysfunction

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