Reduced secretion of LCN2 (lipocalin 2) from reactive astrocytes through autophagic and proteasomal regulation alleviates inflammatory stress and neuronal damage

Byung Kwon Jung, Yujin Park, Boran Yoon, Jin Sil Bae, Seung Woo Han, Ji Eun Heo, Dong Eun Kim, Kwon Yul Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

LCN2/neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin/24p3 (lipocalin 2) is a secretory protein that acts as a mammalian bacteriostatic molecule. Under neuroinflammatory stress conditions, LCN2 is produced and secreted by activated microglia and reactive astrocytes, resulting in neuronal apoptosis. However, it remains largely unknown whether inflammatory stress and neuronal loss can be minimized by modulating LCN2 production and secretion. Here, we first demonstrated that LCN2 was secreted from reactive astrocytes, which were stimulated by treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as an inflammatory stressor. Notably, we found two effective conditions that led to the reduction of induced LCN2 levels in reactive astrocytes: proteasome inhibition and macroautophagic/autophagic flux activation. Mechanistically, proteasome inhibition suppresses NFKB/NF-κB activation through NFKBIA/IκBα stabilization in primary astrocytes, even under inflammatory stress conditions, resulting in the downregulation of Lcn2 expression. In contrast, autophagic flux activation via MTOR inhibition reduced the intracellular levels of LCN2 through its pre-secretory degradation. In addition, we demonstrated that the N-terminal signal peptide of LCN2 is critical for its secretion and degradation, suggesting that these two pathways may be mechanistically coupled. Finally, we observed that LPS-induced and secreted LCN2 levels were reduced in the astrocyte-cultured medium under the above-mentioned conditions, resulting in increased neuronal viability, even under inflammatory stress. Abbreviations: ACM, astrocyte-conditioned medium; ALP, autophagy-lysosome pathway; BAF, bafilomycin A1; BTZ, bortezomib; CHX, cycloheximide; CNS, central nervous system; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; GFAP, glial fibrillary acidic protein; GFP, green fluorescent protein; JAK, Janus kinase; KD, knockdown; LCN2, lipocalin 2; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; MACS, magnetic-activated cell sorting; MAP1LC3/LC3, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MTOR, mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NFKB/NF-κB, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells 1, p105; NFKBIA/IκBα, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells inhibitor, alpha; OVEX, overexpression; SLC22A17, solute carrier family 22 member 17; SP, signal peptide; SQSTM1, sequestosome 1; STAT3, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3; TNF/TNF-α, tumor necrosis factor; TUBA, tubulin, alpha; TUBB3/β3-TUB, tubulin, beta 3 class III; UB, ubiquitin; UPS, ubiquitin-proteasome system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2296-2317
Number of pages22
JournalAutophagy
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • lipocalin 2 (LCN2)
  • proteasome
  • protein degradation
  • reactive astrocyte
  • secretory protein

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