Recombinant asialoerythropoetin protects HL-1 cardiomyocytes from injury via suppression of Mst1 activation
Sane, David C.
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Background: Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhuEPO) and asialoerythropoietin (asialo-rhuEPO) are cardioprotective. However, the protective effects of rhuEPO could not be translated into clinical practice because of its hematopoiesis-associated side effects while non-erythropoietic asialo-rhuEPO is unavailable in large quantities for clinical studies. This study was designed to investigate the cardiomyocyte protective potential of plant-produced asialo-rhuEPO (asialo-rhuEPO P ) against staurosporine (STS)-induced injury in HL-1 murine cardiomyocytes and identify cellular pathway(s) responsible for its cardioprotection. Methods: HL-1 cardiomyocytes were simultaneously treated with STS and asialo-rhuEPO P . Cellular injury, apoptosis, and cell viabilities were measured by LDH assay, Hoechst staining and trypan blue exclusion method, respectively while western blotting was used to study its effects on apoptosis and autophagy hallmarks. Results: Our results showed that 20 IU/ml asialo-rhuEPO P provided 39% protection to cardiomyocytes compared to STS-treated cells, which is 2-fold better than that of mammalian cell-produce rhuEPO (rhuEPO M ). Asialo-rhuEPO P was found to suppress activation of proapoptotic kinase Mst1 (mammalian Sterile-20-like kinase 1) and FOXO3, leading to inhibition of apoptotic pathway and restoration of autophagy as indicated by the reduction of fragmented/condensed nuclei, altered ratios of Bax/Bcl2, p-Bad/Bad, cytosol/mitochondrial cyt c and caspase-3 activation, and the restored levels of autophagy markers Beclin1, p62 and LC3B-II. Additionally, Akt was found to be activated and FOXO3 was phosphorylated on Ser253, suggesting inhibition of FOXO3 transcriptional function. Conclusions: Asialo-rhuEPO P -mediated cardioprotection occurs through activation of PI3K/Akt pathway leading to suppression of Mst1 activation and promoting cardiomyocyte survival. General significance: Asialo-rhuEPO P could be used to modulate Mst1 activity elevated under numerous pathological states. © 2019 The Authors