Hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α regulate endoplasmic reticulum stress in nucleus pulposus cells: implications of endoplasmic reticulum stress for extracellular matrix secretion

Emanuel J. Novais, Hyowon Choi, Vedavathi Madhu, Kaori Suyama, Sandra I. Anjo, Bruno Manadas, Irving M. Shapiro, António J. Salgado, Makarand V. Risbud*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is shown to promote nucleus pulposus (NP) cell apoptosis and intervertebral disc degeneration. However, little is known about ER stress regulation by the hypoxic disc microenvironment and its contribution to extracellular matrix homeostasis. NP cells were cultured under hypoxia (1% partial pressure of oxygen) to assess ER stress status, and gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches were used to assess the role of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α in this pathway. In addition, the contribution of ER stress induction on the NP cell secretome was assessed by a nontargeted quantitative proteomic analysis by sequential windowed data independent acquisition of the total high-resolution mass spectra–mass spectrometry. NP cells exhibited a lower ER stress burden under hypoxia. Knockdown of HIF-1α increased C/EBP homologous protein, protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) levels, whereas HIF-1α stabilization decreased the expression of ER stress markers Ddit3, Hsp5a, Atf6, and Eif2a. Interestingly, ER stress inducers tunicamycin and thapsigargin induced HIF-1α activity under hypoxia while promoting the unfolded protein response. NP cell secretome analysis demonstrated an impact of ER stress induction on extracellular matrix secretion, with decreases in collagens and cell adhesion–related proteins. Moreover, analysis of transcriptomic data of NP tissues from aged mice and degenerated human discs showed higher levels of unfolded protein response markers and decreased levels of matrix components. Our study shows, for the first time, that hypoxia and HIF-1α attenuate ER stress responses in NP cells, and ER stress promotes inefficient extracellular matrix secretion under hypoxia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-502
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume191
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

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