Erythrocyte mitogen-activated protein kinases mediate hemolytic events under osmotic and oxidative stress and in hemolytic diseases
Hazegh, K., Fang, F., Kelly, K., Sinchar, D., Wang, L., Zuchelkowski, B. E., Ufelle, A. C., Esparza, O., Davizon-Castillo, P., Page, G. P., & Kanias, T. (2022). Erythrocyte mitogen-activated protein kinases mediate hemolytic events under osmotic and oxidative stress and in hemolytic diseases. Cellular Signalling, 99, Article 110450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2022.110450
p38 MAPKs are key regulators of cellular adaptation to various stress stimuli, however, their role in mediating erythrocyte cell death and hemolysis is largely unknown. We hypothesized that activation of erythrocyte p38 MAPK is a common event in the stimulation of hemolysis, and that inhibition of p38 MAPK pathways could mitigate hemolysis in hemoglobinopathies. We exposed human erythrocytes to diamide-induced oxidative stress or to hypoosmotic shock in the presence or absence of p38 MAPK inhibitors (SCIO469, SB203580, CMPD1) and used immunoblotting to determine MAPK activity and to identify possible downstream effectors of p38 MAPK. We also evaluated the impact of p38 MAPK inhibitors on stress-induced hemolysis or hypoxia-induced sickling in erythrocytes from mouse models of sickle cell disease. We found that human erythrocytes express conventional MAPKs (MKK3, p38 MAPK, MAPKAPK2) and identified differential MAPK activation pathways in each stress condition. Specifically, p38 MAPK inhibition in diamide-treated erythrocytes was associated with decreased phosphorylation of Src tyrosine kinases and Band 3 protein. Conversely, hypoosmotic shock induced MAPKAPK2 and RSK2 phosphorylation, which was inhibited by SCIO469 or CMPD1. Relevant to hemoglobinopathies, sickle cell disease was associated with increased erythrocyte MKK3, p38 MAPK, and MAPKAPK2 expression and phosphorylation as compared with erythrocytes from healthy individuals. Furthermore, p38 MAPK inhibition was associated with decreased hemolysis in response to diamide treatments or osmotic shock, and with decreased erythrocyte sickling under experimental hypoxia. These findings provided insights into MAPK-mediated signaling pathways that regulate erythrocyte function and hemolysis in response to extracellular stressors or human diseases.