Glutamine's protection against cellular injury is dependent on heat shock factor-1.
Glutamine (GLN) has been shown to protect cells, tissues, and whole organisms from stress and injury. Enhanced expression of heat shock protein (HSP) has been hypothesized to be responsible for this protection. To date, there are no clear mechanistic data confirming this relationship. This study tested the hypothesis that GLN-mediated activation of the HSP pathway via heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1) is responsible for cellular protection. Wild-type HSF-1 (HSF-1(+/+)) and knockout (HSF-1(-/-)) mouse fibroblasts were used in all experiments. Cells were treated with GLN concentrations ranging from 0 to 16 mM and exposed to heat stress injury in a concurrent treatment model. Cell viability was assayed with phenazine methosulfate plus tetrazolium salt, HSP-70, HSP-25, and nuclear HSF-1 expression via Western blot analysis, and HSF-1/heat shock element (HSE) binding via EMSA. GLN significantly attenuated heat-stress induced cell death in HSF-1(+/+) cells in a dose-dependent manner; however, the survival benefit of GLN was lost in HSF-1(-/-) cells. GLN led to a dose-dependent increase in HSP-70 and HSP-25 expression after heat stress. No inducible HSP expression was observed in HSF-1(-/-) cells. GLN increased unphosphorylated HSF-1 in the nucleus before heat stress. This was accompanied by a GLN-mediated increase in HSF-1/HSE binding and nuclear content of phosphorylated HSF-1 after heat stress. This is the first demonstration that GLN-mediated cellular protection after heat-stress injury is related to HSF-1 expression and cellular capacity to activate an HSP response. Furthermore, the mechanism of GLN-mediated protection against injury appears to involve an increase in nuclear HSF-1 content before stress and increased HSF-1 promoter binding and phosphorylation.
Morrison, AL; Dinges, M; Singleton, KD; Odoms, K; Wong, HR; Wischmeyer, PE
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