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Tiantian Qi, Ruihua Jing, Bo Ma, Conghui Hu, Chan Wen, Yongping Shao, Cheng Pei; The E3 Ligase RNF157 Inhibits Lens Epithelial Cell Apoptosis by Negatively Regulating p53 in Age-Related Cataracts. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(4):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.4.11.
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Age-related cataract (ARC) is a major cause of vision impairment worldwide. The E3 ubiquitin ligase RING finger protein 157 (RNF157) is involved in regulating cell survival and downregulated in human cataractous lens samples. However, the function of RNF157 in cataracts remains unclear. This study aimed to determine the role of RNF157 in ARC.
Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting were used to analyze the expression of RNF157 in clinical lens capsules, rat cataract models, and oxidative stress cell models. Western blot analysis and flow cytometry were used to evaluate cell apoptosis. Co-IP assay, protein stability assay, and ubiquitination assay were used to detect the interaction between RNF157 and its substrate p53.
The expression of RNF157 was downregulated in human cataract samples, UVB-induced rat cataract model, and H2O2-treated human lens epithelial cells (LECs). Ectopic expression of RNF157 protected LECs from H2O2-induced apoptosis. In contrast, knockdown of RNF157 enhanced oxidative stress-induced apoptotic cell death. Moreover, silence of RNF157 in the rat ex vivo lens model exacerbated lens opacity. Mechanistically, RNF157 causes ubiquitination and degradation of the tumor antigen p53. Overexpression of p53 eliminated the antiapoptotic effects of RNF157, whereas p53 knockdown rescued RNF157 silencing-induced cell death.
Our findings revealed that reduced RNF157 expression promoted LEC apoptosis by upregulating p53 in cataracts, suggesting that the regulation of RNF157 expression may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for cataracts.
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