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Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 19;7(1):3831. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03940-1.

Chemical chaperone, TUDCA unlike PBA, mitigates protein aggregation efficiently and resists ER and non-ER stress induced HepG2 cell death.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, 500046, Telangana, India.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, 500046, Telangana, India.


Stress induced BSA (bovine serum albumin) protein aggregation is effectively mitigated in vitro by TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) than by PBA (4- phenylbutyric acid), chemical chaperones approved by FDA for the treatment of biliary cirrhosis and urea cycle disorders respectively. TUDCA, unlike PBA, enhances trypsin mediated digestion of BSA. TUDCA activates PERK, an ER-resident kinase that phosphorylates the alpha-subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor2 (eIF2α) and promotes the expression of activated transcription factor 4 (ATF4) in HepG2 cells. In contrast, PBA induced eIF2α phosphorylation is not mediated by PERK activation and results in low ATF4 expression. Neither chaperones promote expression of BiP, an ER chaperone, and CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein), downstream target of eIF2α-ATF4 pathway. Both chaperones mitigate tunicamycin induced PERK-eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP arm of UPR and expression of BiP. TUDCA, unlike PBA does not decrease cell viability and it also mitigates tunicamycin, UV-irradiation and PBA induced PARP (poly ADP-ribose polymerase) cleavage and cell death. These findings therefore suggest that TUDCA's antiapoptotic activity to protect HepG2 cells and PBA's activity that limits tumor cell progression may be important while considering their therapeutic potential.

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