Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) inhibition by 4-hydroxynonenal leads to increased Akt activation in hepatocytes

Colin T. Shearn, Rebecca L. Smathers, Benjamin J. Stewart, Kristofer S. Fritz, James J. Galligan, Numsen Hail, Dennis R. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The production of reactive aldehydes such as 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) is proposed to be an important factor in the etiology of alcoholic liver disease. To understand the effects of 4-HNE on homeostatic signaling pathways in hepatocytes, cellular models consisting of the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2) and primary rat hepatocytes were evaluated. Treatment of both HepG2 cells and primary hepatocytes with subcytotoxic concentrations of 4-HNE resulted in the activation of Akt within 30 min as demonstrated by increased phosphorylation of residues Ser473 and Thr308. Quantification and subsequent immunocytochemistry of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P3[rsqb] resulted in a 6-fold increase in total PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and increased immunostaining at the plasma membrane after 4-HNE treatment. Cotreatment of HepG2 cells with 4-HNE and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1- benzopyran-4-one (Ly294002) or the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitor okadaic acid revealed that the mechanism of activation of Akt is PI3K-dependent and PP2A-independent. Using biotin hydrazide detection, it was established that the incubation of HepG2 cells with 4-HNE resulted in increased carbonylation of the lipid phosphatase known as "phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10" (PTEN), a key regulator of Akt activation. Activity assays both in HepG2 cells and recombinant PTEN revealed a decrease in PTEN lipid phosphatase activity after 4-HNE application. Mass spectral analysis of 4-HNE-treated recombinant PTEN detected a single 4-HNE adduct. Subsequent analysis of Akt dependent physiological consequences of 4-HNE in HepG2 cells revealed significant increases in the accumulation of neutral lipids. These results provide a potential mechanism of Akt activation and cellular consequences of 4-HNE in hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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