Strong and sustained activation of the anticipatory unfolded protein response induces necrotic cell death

Mara Livezey, Rui Huang, Paul J. Hergenrother, David J. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The endoplasmic reticulum stress sensor, the unfolded protein response (UPR), regulates intracellular protein homeostasis. While transient activation of the reactive UPR by unfolded protein is protective, prolonged and sustained activation of the reactive UPR triggers CHOP-mediated apoptosis. In the recently characterized, evolutionarily conserved anticipatory UPR, mitogenic hormones and other effectors pre-activate the UPR; how strong and sustained activation of the anticipatory UPR induces cell death was unknown. To characterize this cell death pathway, we used BHPI, a small molecule that activates the anticipatory UPR through estrogen receptor α (ERα) and induces death of ERα+ cancer cells. We show that sustained activation of the anticipatory UPR by BHPI kills cells by inducing depletion of intracellular ATP, resulting in classical necrosis phenotypes, including plasma membrane disruption and leakage of intracellular contents. Unlike reactive UPR activation, BHPI-induced hyperactivation of the anticipatory UPR does not induce apoptosis or sustained autophagy. BHPI does not induce CHOP protein or PARP cleavage, and two pan-caspase inhibitors, or Bcl2 overexpression, have no effect on BHPI-induced cell death. Moreover, BHPI does not increase expression of autophagy markers, or work through recently identified programmed-necrosis pathways, such as necroptosis. Opening of endoplasmic reticulum IP3R calcium channels stimulates cell swelling, cPLA2 activation, and arachidonic acid release. Notably, cPLA2 activation requires ATP depletion. Importantly, blocking rapid cell swelling or production of arachidonic acid does not prevent necrotic cell death. Rapid cell death is upstream of PERK activation and protein synthesis inhibition, and results from strong and sustained activation of early steps in the anticipatory UPR. Supporting a central role for ATP depletion, reversing ATP depletion blocks rapid cell death, and the onset of necrotic cell death is correlated with ATP depletion. Necrotic cell death initiated by strong and sustained activation of the anticipatory UPR is a newly discovered role of the UPR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1796-1807
Number of pages12
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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