The opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is a major cause of cell death in ischemia reperfusion injury. Based on our pilot experiments, plant natural product formononetin enhanced the survival of rat cardiomyocyte H9c2 cells during oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) and reoxygenation. For mechanistic studies, we focused on two major cellular factors, namely, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), in the regulation of mPTP opening. We found that formononetin suppressed the formation of ROS and superoxide in a concentration-dependent manner. Formononetin also rescued OGD/reoxygenation-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane integrity. Further studies suggested that formononetin induced Akt activation and GSK-3β (Ser9) phosphorylation, thereby reducing GSK-3β activity towards mPTP opening. PI3K and PKC inhibitors abolished the effects of formononetin on mPTP opening and GSK-3β phosphorylation. Immunoprecipitation experiments further revealed that formononetin increased the binding of phosphor-GSK-3β to adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) while it disrupted the complex of ANT with cyclophilin D. Moreover, immunofluorescence revealed that phospho-GSK-3β (Ser9) was mainly deposited in the space between mitochondria and cell nucleus. Collectively, these results indicated that formononetin protected cardiomyocytes from OGD/reoxygenation injury via inhibiting ROS formation and promoting GSK-3β phosphorylation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology