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The regulatory roles of DDIT4 in TDCIPP-induced autophagy and apoptosis in PC12 cells

Li Li, Lingyi Xi, Jin Wu, Zunquan Zhao, Youliang Chen, Weili Liu, Zhihui Pan, Mingzhu Liu, Danfeng Yang, Zhaoli Chen, Yanjun Fang
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2023 v.125 pp. 823-830
DNA, Western blotting, apoptosis, autophagy, flame retardants, flow cytometry, humans, neurons, neurotoxicity, phosphates, phosphorylation, protective effect, rats, China
Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) is a commonly used organophosphate-based flame retardant and can bio-accumulate in human tissues and organs. As its structure is similar to that of neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides, the neurotoxicity of TDCIPP has raised widespread concerns. TDCIPP can increase neuronal apoptosis and induce autophagy. However, its regulatory mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we found that the expression upregulation of the DNA Damage-Inducible Transcript 4 (DDIT4) protein, which might play essential roles in TDCIPP-induced neuronal autophagy and apoptosis, was observed in TDCIPP-treated differentiated rat PC12 cells. Furthermore, we determined the protective effect of the DDIT4 suppression on the autophagy and apoptosis induced by TDCIPP using Western blot (WB) and Flow cytometry (FACS) analysis. We observed that TDCIPP treatment increased the DDIT4, the autophagy marker Beclin-1, and the microtubule-associated protein light chain 3-II (LC3II) expressions and decreased the mTOR phosphorylation levels. Conversely, the suppression of DDIT4 expression increased the p-mTOR expression and decreased cell autophagy and apoptosis. Collectively, our results revealed the function of DDIT4 in cell death mechanisms triggered by TDCIPP through the mTOR signaling axis in differentiated PC12 cells. Thus, this study provided vital evidence necessary to explain the mechanism of TDCIPP-induced neurotoxicity in differentiated PC12 cells.