Cadmium Disrupted ER Ca2+ Homeostasis by Inhibiting SERCA2 Expression and Activity to Induce Apoptosis in Renal Proximal Tubular Cells

Kongdong Li, Chuanzhi Guo, Jiacheng Ruan, Bo Ning, Chris Kong Chu Wong, Haifeng Shi, JIe Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cadmium (Cd2+) exposure induces chronic kidney disease and renal cancers, which originate from injury and cancerization of renal tubular cells. Previous studies have shown that Cd2+ induced cytotoxicity by disrupting the intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis that is physically regulated by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ store. However, the molecular mechanism of ER Ca2+ homeostasis in Cd2+-induced nephrotoxicity remains unclear. In this study, our results firstly revealed that the activation of calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) by NPS R-467 could protect against Cd2+ exposure-induced cytotoxicity of mouse renal tubular cells (mRTEC) by restoring ER Ca2+ homeostasis through the ER Ca2+ reuptake channel sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA). Cd2+-induced ER stress and cell apoptosis were effectively abrogated by SERCA agonist CDN1163 and SERCA2 overexpression. In addition, in vivo, and in vitro results proved that Cd2+ reduced the expressions of SERCA2 and its activity regulator phosphorylation phospholamban (p-PLB) in renal tubular cells. Cd2+-induced SERCA2 degradation was suppressed by the treatment of proteasome inhibitor MG132, which suggested that Cd2+ reduced SERCA2 protein stability by promoting the proteasomal protein degradation pathway. These results suggested that SERCA2 played pivotal roles in Cd2+-induced ER Ca2+ imbalance and stress to contribute to apoptosis of renal tubular cells, and the proteasomal pathway was involved in regulating SERCA2 stability. Our results proposed a new therapeutic approach targeting SERCA2 and associated proteasome that might protect against Cd2+-induced cytotoxicity and renal injury.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5979
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • Ca2+
  • cadmium
  • ER stress
  • Ca


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