Protein kinase B (AKT) upregulation and Thy-1-alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-induced phosphorylation of Connexin43 by activated AKT in astrogliosis

Perez-Nunez, Ramon; Chamorro, Alejandro; Fernanda Gonzalez, Maria; Contreras, Pamela; Artigas, Rocio; Corvalan, Alejandro H.; van Zundert, Brigitte; Reyes, Christopher; Moya, Pablo R.; Avalos, Ana Maria; Schneider, Pascal; Quest, Andrew F. G.; Leyton, Lisette


Background In response to brain injury or inflammation, astrocytes undergo hypertrophy, proliferate, and migrate to the damaged zone. These changes, collectively known as "astrogliosis ", initially protect the brain; however, astrogliosis can also cause neuronal dysfunction. Additionally, these astrocytes undergo intracellular changes involving alterations in the expression and localization of many proteins, including alpha(v)beta(3) integrin. Our previous reports indicate that Thy-1, a neuronal glycoprotein, binds to this integrin inducing Connexin43 (Cx43) hemichannel (HC) opening, ATP release, and astrocyte migration. Despite such insight, important links and molecular events leading to astrogliosis remain to be defined.Methods Using bioinformatics approaches, we analyzed different Gene Expression Omnibus datasets to identify changes occurring in reactive astrocytes as compared to astrocytes from the normal mouse brain. In silico analysis was validated by both qRT-PCR and immunoblotting using reactive astrocyte cultures from the normal rat brain treated with TNF and from the brain of a hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mouse model. We evaluated the phosphorylation of Cx43 serine residue 373 (S373) by AKT and ATP release as a functional assay for HC opening. In vivo experiments were also performed with an AKT inhibitor (AKTi).Results The bioinformatics analysis revealed that genes of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway were among the most significantly altered in reactive astrocytes. mRNA and protein levels of PI3K, AKT, as well as Cx43, were elevated in reactive astrocytes from normal rats and from hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mice, as compared to controls. In vitro, reactive astrocytes stimulated with Thy-1 responded by activating AKT, which phosphorylated S373Cx43. Increased pS373Cx43 augmented the release of ATP to the extracellular medium and AKTi inhibited these Thy-1-induced responses. Furthermore, in an in vivo model of inflammation (brain damage), AKTi decreased the levels of astrocyte reactivity markers and S373Cx43 phosphorylation.Conclusions Here, we identify changes in the PI3K/AKT molecular signaling network and show how they participate in astrogliosis by regulating the HC protein Cx43. Moreover, because HC opening and ATP release are important in astrocyte reactivity, the phosphorylation of Cx43 by AKT and the associated increase in ATP release identify a potential therapeutic window of opportunity to limit the adverse effects of astrogliosis.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000909694400001 Not found in local WOS DB
Volumen: 20
Número: 1
Editorial: BMC
Fecha de publicación: 2023


Notas: ISI