Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) incorporation into intimally resident vascular cells via scavenger receptors marks one of the early steps in atherosclerosis. Cellular apoptotic damage results from two major serial intracellular events: the binding and scavenger receptor-mediated uptake of oxidizable lipoproteins and the intracellular oxidative responses of accumulated lipoproteins. Most molecular approaches to prevent apoptotic damage have focused on singular events within the cascade of lipoprotein trafficking. To identify a multifocal strategy against LDL-induced apoptosis, we evaluated the role of cellular preconditioning by glutathione-ethyl ester (GSH-Et), a native redox regulator, in the prevention of the uptake and apoptotic effects of an oxidizable scavenger receptor-specific ligand, acetylated low-density lipoprotein (Ac-LDL). Our results indicate that GSH-Et-mediated protein kinase C (PKC) pathway modulation regulates Ac-LDL binding and incorporation into GSH-Et preconditioned cells and subsequently delays reactive oxygen intermediate generation and apoptotic conversion. The GSH-Et protective effects on apoptosis and Ac-LDL binding were reversed by calphostin C, a PKC inhibitor, and were accompanied by an increase in PKC phosphorylation. However, the rate of reactive oxygen intermediate accumulation was not increased following calphostin C treatment, suggesting that GSH-Et may play an important nonreactive oxygen-intermediate-based protective role in regulating apoptotic dynamics. Overall, we report on the novel role for GSH-Et preconditioning as a molecular strategy to limit lipoprotein entry into the cells, which presents a proactive modality to prevent cellular apoptosis in contrast with the prevalent antioxidant approaches that treat damage retroactively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Scavenger receptor