Author(s): Gurel Z, Zaro BW, Pratt MR, Sheibani N. Identification of O-GlcNAc modification targets in mouse retinal pericytes: implication of p53 in pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. PLoS One. 2014 May 1;9(5):e95561. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095561. eCollection 2014. PMID 24788674
Journal: Plo S One, Volume 9, Issue 5, 2014
Hyperglycemia is the primary cause of the majority of diabetes complications, including diabetic retinopathy (DR). Hyperglycemic conditions have a detrimental effect on many tissues and cell types, especially the retinal vascular cells including early loss of pericytes (PC). However, the mechanisms behind this selective sensitivity of retinal PC to hyperglycemia are undefined. The O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification is elevated under hyperglycemic condition, and thus, may present an important molecular modification impacting the hyperglycemia-driven complications of diabetes. We have recently demonstrated that the level of O-GlcNAc modification in response to high glucose is variable in various retinal vascular cells. Retinal PC responded with the highest increase in O-GlcNAc modification compared to retinal endothelial cells and astrocytes. Here we show that these differences translated into functional changes, with an increase in apoptosis of retinal PC, not just under high glucose but also under treatment with O-GlcNAc modification inducers, PUGNAc and Thiamet-G. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms involved, we have used click-It chemistry and LC-MS analysis and identified 431 target proteins of O-GlcNAc modification in retinal PC using an alkynyl-modified GlcNAc analog (GlcNAlk). Among the O-GlcNAc target proteins identified here 115 of them were not previously reported to be target of O-GlcNAc modification. We have identified at least 34 of these proteins with important roles in various aspects of cell death processes. Our results indicated that increased O-GlcNAc modification of p53 was associated with an increase in its protein levels in retinal PC. Together our results suggest that post-translational O-GlcNAc modification of p53 and its increased levels may contribute to selective early loss of PC during diabetes. Thus, modulation of O-GlcNAc modification may provide a novel treatment strategy to prevent the initiation and progression of DR.