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12 October 2016 The Unfolded Protein Response Regulates Uterine Myocyte Antioxidant Responsiveness During Pregnancy
Saiprasad Ramnarayanan, Chandrashekara Kyathanahalli, Judith Ingles, MieJung Park-York, Pancharatnam Jeyasuria, Jennifer C. Condon
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Abstract

There is considerable evidence that implicates oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of human pregnancy complications. However, the role and the mechanism of maintaining an antioxidant prosurvival uterine environment during normal pregnancy is largely unresolved. Herein we report that the highly active uterine unfolded protein response plays a key role in promoting antioxidant activity in the uterine myocyte across gestation. The unfolded protein response (UPR) senses the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and activates a signaling network that consists of the transmembrane protein kinase eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 3/PKR-like-ER kinase (EIF2AK3), which acts to decrease protein translation levels, allowing for a lowered need for protein folding during periods of ER stress. However, independent of its translational regulatory capacity, EIF2AK3-dependent signals elicit the activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid 2-like 2 (NFE2L2) in response to oxidative stress. NFE2L2 binds to antioxidant response elements in the promoters of a variety of antioxidant genes that minimize the opportunities for generation of reactive oxygen intermediates. Our analysis demonstrates that in the absence of EIF2AK3, the uterine myocyte experiences increased levels of reactive oxygen species due to decreased NFE2L2 activation. Elevated levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species were observed in the EIF2AK3 null cells, and this was associated with the onset of apoptotic cell death. These findings confirm the prosurvival and antioxidant role of UPR-mediated EIF2AK3 activation in the context of the human uterine myocyte.

Saiprasad Ramnarayanan, Chandrashekara Kyathanahalli, Judith Ingles, MieJung Park-York, Pancharatnam Jeyasuria, and Jennifer C. Condon "The Unfolded Protein Response Regulates Uterine Myocyte Antioxidant Responsiveness During Pregnancy," Biology of Reproduction 95(6), (12 October 2016). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.116.141804
Received: 16 May 2016; Accepted: 1 September 2016; Published: 12 October 2016
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KEYWORDS
oxidative stress
pregnancy
unfolded protein response
uterus
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