Activating transcription factor 6 protects against endothelial barrier dysfunction

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BACKGROUND: Endothelial hyperpermeability is associated with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The identification of molecular pathways involved in barrier dysfunction; may reveal promising therapeutic targets to combat ARDS. Unfolded protein response (UPR) is a highly conserved molecular pathway, which ameliorates endoplasmic reticulum stress. The present work focuses on the effects of ATF6, which is a UPR sensor, in lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced endothelial hyperpermeability. METHODS: The in vitro effects of AA147 and Ceapin-A7 in LPS-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction were investigated in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells (BPAEC). Small interfering (si) RNA was utilized to "silence" ATF6, and electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) measured transendothelial resistance. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran assay was utilized to assess paracellular permeability. Protein expression levels were evaluated with Western blotting, and cell viability with MTT assay. RESULTS: We demonstrated that AA147 prevents LPS-induced barrier disruption by counteracting Cofilin and myosin light chain 2 (MLC2) activation, as well as VE-Cadherin phosphorylation. Moreover, this ATF6 inducer opposed LPS-triggered decrease in transendothelial resistance (TEER), as well as LPS-induced paracellular hyperpermeability. On the other hand, ATF6 suppression due to Ceapin-A7 or small interfering RNA exerted the opposite effects, and potentiated LPS-induced endothelial barrier disruption. Moderate concentrations of both ATF6 modulators did not affect cell viability. CONCLUSIONS: ATF6 activation protects against endothelial barrier function, suggesting that this UPR sensor may serve as a therapeutic target for sepsis and ARDS.

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Cellular signalling

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