Human RPE expression of cell survival factors.
PURPOSE: To determine basal and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-regulated expression of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell survival factors and whether regulation is dependent on nuclear transcription factor (NF)-kappaB. METHODS: Cultured human RPE cells were infected with adenovirus encoding either mutant inhibitory (I)-kappaB or beta-galactosidase and treated with TNF-alpha for various times. Freshly prepared RPE/choroid and RPE samples were isolated from human donor eyes. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunocytochemistry were used to determine survival factor gene expression, cellular protein levels, and localization, respectively. RESULTS: Multiple survival factor genes, including cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein (c-IAP1), c-IAP2, TNF receptor-associated factor-1 (TRAF-1), TRAF-2, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-x, A1, and cellular Fas-associated death domain (FADD)-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), were expressed in basal conditions in both cultured RPE cells and RPE cells in situ, whereas survivin was expressed only by cultured cells. TNF-alpha upregulated expression of TRAF-1, TRAF-2, c-IAP1, c-IAP2, c-FLIP, and A1. TRAF-1, c-FLIP, and to a lesser extent c-IAP2 protein levels were increased by TNF-alpha in a time-dependent manner, whereas c-IAP1, survivin, Bcl-x(L), and TRAF-2 protein levels were not influenced by TNF-alpha treatment at any time point tested. In contrast, Bcl-2 and A1 proteins were not detected under basal conditions or after TNF-alpha treatment. Overexpression of mutant IkappaB blocked TNF-alpha-induced TRAF-1, TRAF-2, c-IAP1, c-IAP2, c-FLIP, and A1 gene expression and downregulated TRAF-1 protein levels. TRAF-1 and Bcl-x(L) proteins were localized diffusely in RPE cytoplasm. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple RPE cell survival factors are expressed by human RPE cells. TNF-alpha regulates expression of some of these factors in an NF-kappaB-dependent manner, whereas others are not influenced by NF-kappaB. RPE cell survival factors may protect RPE cells from apoptosis normally and in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR).
Yang, P; Wiser, JL; Peairs, JJ; Ebright, JN; Zavodni, ZJ; Bowes Rickman, C; Jaffe, GJ
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