ER stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of both acute and chronic kidney diseases. However, the molecular regulation of ER stress in kidney cells and tissues remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined tunicamycin-induced ER stress in renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC). Tunicamycin induced the phosphorylation and activation of PERK and eIF2α within 2 h in RPTC, which was followed by the induction of GRP78 and CHOP. Consistently, tunicamycin also induced apoptosis in RPTC. Interestingly, mTOR was activated rapidly during tunicamycin treatment, as indicated by phosphorylation of both mTOR and p70S6K. Inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin partially suppressed the phosphorylation of PERK and eIF2a and the induction of CHOP and GRP78 induction during tunicamycin treatment. Rapamycin also inhibited apoptosis during tunicamycin treatment and increased cell survival. Collectively, the results suggest that mTOR plays a regulatory role in ER stress, and inhibition of mTOR may have potential therapeutic effects in ER stress-related renal diseases.
- Endoplasmic reticulum stress
- Mammmalian target of rapamycin
- Renal tubular cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas