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Rifampicin pre-treatment inhibits the toxicity of rotenone-induced PC12 cells by enhancing sumoylation modification of α-synuclein

Lin, D., Jing, X., Chen, Y., Liang, Y., Lei, M., Peng, S., Zhou, T., Zheng, D., Zeng, Z., Wu, X., Yang, L., Xiao, S., Liu, J., Tao, E.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 v.485 no.1 pp. 23-29
Western blotting, apoptosis, cell viability, cytotoxicity, flow cytometry, genes, post-translational modification, precipitin tests, protective effect, proteins, rifampicin, rotenone, small interfering RNA
Our previous research revealed that rifampicin could protect PC12 (pheochromocytoma 12) cells from rotenone-induced cytotoxicity by reversing the aggregation of α-synuclein. Furthermore, increasing evidence indicated that the misfolded α-synuclein with SUMOylation, an important protein posttranslational modification, was easier to solubilize and was less toxic. Here, we investigated whether rifampicin could stabilize α-synuclein and prevent rotenone-induced PC12 cells from undergoing apoptosis by enhancing SUMOylation of α-synuclein. The expression of SUMO1 and SUMO2/3, the two main proteins responsible for the SUMOylation modification in PC12 cells, were detected by western blotting. Co-immunoprecipitation was performed to compare qualitatively the SUMOylation modification of α-synuclein. The cell viability and apoptosis rate were measured by a CCK-8 assay kit and flow cytometry, respectively. We targeted Ubc9 as a key enzyme in the SUMOylation modification pathway and knocked down the UBC9 gene using a short interfering RNA. Treatment with 150 μmol/L rifampicin, increased the expressions of SUMO1 and SUMO2/3 in cells by 1.5 times compared with the control group; meanwhile, the cell viability of rotenone-induced cells increased from 20 to 80% (P < 0.05). In addition, the increased SUMOylation activity in the cells stimulated by rifampicin was observed 18 h earlier compared with cells treated by rotenone alone. SUMOylation of α-synuclein was more significant in rifampicin-treated cells and Ubc9 upregulated cells. However, the same phenomenon and the protective effect of rifampicin were reversed after UBC9 knockout. In conclusion, rifampicin might reduce the cytotoxicity of rotenone-induced PC12 cells by promoting SUMOylation of α-synuclein.