NGFI-B redox sensitivity and regulation of mitochondrial bioenergetics
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Changes in intracellular redox homeostasis are implicated in both normal cell signaling and as pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to a variety of age-related diseases, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative conditions, and cancer. Though a variety of well described mechanisms exist to counterbalance the overproduction of cellular oxidants and maintain optimal intracellular redox poise, the understanding of the mechanism(s) through which cellular redox homeostasis regulates cell signaling functions is less well understood. Here, we demonstrate that signaling by the immediate early gene / orphan nuclear hormone receptor NGFI-B (Nur77, TR3), which functions pleiotropically in the regulation of cell growth, metabolism, differentiation and death in diverse tissues, is redox-regulated at both the level of induction and NGFI-B-dependent gene transcription. Using co-immunoprecipitation experiments in cells, we also identified a novel interaction between NGFI-B and the cytoplasmic thiol-reducing catalyst thioredoxin1 (Trx1), that, similar to DTT, blocks NGFI-B-dependent gene expression in a manner that depends on the Trx1 active site cysteines. Together these observations add NGFI-B-dependent gene expression to a growing portfolio of transcription factor pathways that are redox-regulated. NGFI-B, in addition, appears to regulate the mitochondrial membrane potential in L6 skeletal myoblasts. NGFI-B is indispensible for T-cell receptor-mediated apoptosis and induces cell death in a variety of cell types in response to diverse pro-apoptotic stimuli. Like p53, translocation of NGFI-B from the nucleus to the mitochondria may be a critical aspect of its pro-apoptotic function. Interestingly, we found that enforced NGFI-B expression in L6 skeletal muscle myoblasts led to a significant decrease of MMP that peaked 48hr after transfection and did not require a cell death-inducing stimulus. Moreover, NGFI-B transfected cells had no increase in mitochondrial cytochrome C release despite loss of MMP at 48 hr. Combined, these data suggest that loss of MMP in muscle cells may be an early event in the apoptotic process regulated by NGFI-B. This, along with the redox regulation of NGFI-B, provides unique evidence of a relationship between the mitochondria, mitochondrial by-products, ROS, and the regulation of and by the transcription factor NGFI-B.