Palmitic acid induces human osteoblast-like Saos-2 cell apoptosis via endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy
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Palmitic acid (PA) is the most common saturated long-chain fatty acid in food that causes cell apoptosis. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of PA toxicity. In this study, we explore the effects of PA on proliferation and apoptosis in human osteoblast-like Saos-2 cells and uncover the signaling pathways involved in the process. Our study showed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy are involved in PA-induced Saos-2 cell apoptosis. We found that PA inhibited the viability of Saos-2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. At the same time, PA induced the expression of ER stress marker genes (glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP)), altered autophagy-related gene expression (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3), ATG5, p62, and Beclin), promoted apoptosis-related gene expression (Caspase 3 and BAX), and affected autophagic flux. Inhibiting ER stress with 4-PBA diminished the PA-induced cell apoptosis, activated autophagy, and increased the expression of Caspase 3 and BAX. Inhibiting autophagy with 3-MA attenuated the PA and ER stress-induced cell apoptosis and the apoptosis-related gene expression (Caspase 3 and BAX), but seemed to have no obvious effects on ER stress, although the CHOP expression was downregulated. Taken together, our results suggest that PA-induced Saos-2 cell apoptosis is activated via ER stress and autophagy, and the activation of autophagy depends on the ER stress during this process.
KeywordsPalmitic acid Endoplasmic reticulum stress Autophagy Saos-2 cells
This research study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81660152) and Doctoral Research Start-Up Foundation of Jiujiang University (No. 8879522).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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