Deficiency in the anti-apoptotic protein DJ-1 promotes intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis and aggravates inflammatory bowel disease via p53

Deficiency in the anti-apoptotic protein DJ-1 promotes intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis and aggravates inflammatory bowel disease via p53

Abstract

Parkinson disease autosomal recessive, early onset 7 (PARK7 or DJ-1) is involved in multiple physiological processes and exerts anti-apoptotic effects on multiple cell types. Increased intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) apoptosis and excessive activation of the p53 signaling pathway is a hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). However, whether DJ-1 plays a role in colitis is unclear. To determine whether DJ-1 deficiency is involved in the p53 activation that results in IEC apoptosis in colitis, here we performed immunostaining, real-time PCR, and immunoblotting analyses to assess DJ-1 expression in human UC and CD samples. In the inflamed intestines of individuals with IBD, DJ-1 expression was decreased and negatively correlated with p53 expression. DJ-1 deficiency significantly aggravated colitis, evidenced by increased intestinal inflammation and exacerbated IEC apoptosis. Moreover, DJ-1 directly interacted with p53, and reduced DJ-1 levels increased p53 levels both in vivo and in vitro and were associated with decreased p53 degradation via the lysosomal pathway. We also induced experimental colitis with dextran sulfate sodium in mice and found that compared with DJ-1-/- mice, DJ-1-/-p53-/- mice have reduced apoptosis and inflammation and increased epithelial barrier integrity. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of p53 relieved inflammation in the DJ-1-/- mice. In conclusion, reduced DJ-1 expression promotes inflammation and IEC apoptosis via p53 in colitis, suggesting that the modulation of DJ-1 expression may be a potential therapeutic strategy for managing colitis.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; DJ-1; Parkinson disease (autosomal recessive, early onset) 7 (PARK7); apoptosis; epithelial cell; inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); intestinal disorder; p53; ulcerative colitis.

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