Activation of autophagy during glutamate-induced HT22 cell death

Hansoo Kim, Jinsun Choi, Joohyun Ryu, Sung Goo Park, Sayeon Cho, Byoung Chul Park, Do Hee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that autophagy plays a role in oxidative injury-induced cell death. Here we examined whether glutamate-mediated oxidative toxicity induces autophagy in murine hippocampal HT22 cells and if autophagy induction affects the molecular events associated with cell death. Markers for autophagy induction including LC3 conversion, suppression of mTOR pathway, and GFP-LC3 dot formation were enhanced by glutamate treatment. By contrast, autophagy inhibition blocked glutamate-induced LC3 conversion and consequently reduced cell death. Activation of ERK1/2, a hallmark of glutamate-induced cytotoxicity, was also decreased by autophagy inhibition. Interestingly, autophagy inhibition also affected the expression of chaperones including Hsp60 and Hsp70, which are differentially regulated during HT22 cell death. Conversely, knock-down of Hsp60 greatly decreased LC3 conversion. Together these results suggest that glutamate-induced cytotoxicity involves autophagic cell death and chaperones may play a role in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) Grant ( 2006-04325 ) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea. We thank Prof. Young Sang Kim (Chung-Nam National University) for providing the expression vector for GFP-LC3.


  • Autophagy
  • ERK1/2
  • Glutamate toxicity
  • HT22
  • Hsp60
  • Molecular chaperones


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