SH-SY5Y cells transfected with the enzymatically inactive Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase mutant H46R were more resistant to S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO)-induced apoptosis. Cytochrome c release from mitochondria, caspase 3 activation, p53 up-regulation, p21 cleavage and Bcl-2 modulation, all involved in the apoptotic process, were significantly less altered with respect to untransfected cells. The H46R resistance to NO was associated with a higher content of reduced glutathione (GSH) and was abolished by blockage of glutathione synthesis. On the other hand, H46R cells were as sensitive as SH-SY5Y cells to puromycin-induced apoptosis; furthermore, they were more susceptible to apoptosis elicited by the superoxide-generating drug paraquat and to cell necrosis provoked by t-butyl hydroperoxide. These results confirm that the level of superoxide dismutase activity is fundamental for protecting cells against oxygen free radical challenge. Its impairment is not detrimental to cells exposed to NO, as long as the overall reducing power represented by GSH is assured. These results are relevant to explain a milder progression of the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease when associated with the H46R mutation.
- Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase
- Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Nitric oxide
- p53/p21 pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience