Overexpression of lemur tyrosine kinase-2 protects neurons from oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation-induced injury through reinforcement of Nrf2 signaling by modulating GSK-3β phosphorylation.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 01 22; 521(4):964-970.BB
Lemur tyrosine kinase-2 (LMTK2), a newly identified serine/threonine kinase, is a potential regulator of cell survival and apoptosis. However, little is known about its role in regulating neuronal survival during cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. The present study aimed to explore the potential function of LMTK2 in regulating neuronal survival using an in vitro model of oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R)-induced injury. Herein, we found that LMTK2 expression was markedly decreased in neurons following OGD/R exposure. Gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that LMTK2 overexpression significantly improved the viability and reduced apoptosis of neurons with OGD/R-induced injury. Moreover, LMTK2 overexpression reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in OGD/R-exposed neurons. Notably, our results elucidated that LMTK2 overexpression reinforced the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) antioxidant signaling associated with increased glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation. GSK-3β inhibition by its specific inhibitor significantly reversed LMTK2-inhibition-linked apoptosis and ROS production. Additionally, silencing Nrf2 partially reversed the LMTK2-overexpression-mediated neuroprotective effect in OGD/R-injured neurons. Taken together, our results demonstrated that LMTK2 overexpression alleviated OGD/R-induced neuronal apoptosis and oxidative damage by enhancing Nrf2/ARE antioxidant signaling via modulation of GSK-3β phosphorylation. Our study suggests LMTK2 is a potential target for neuroprotection during cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.