Sigma-1 Receptor Agonists Acting on Aquaporin-Mediated H2O2 Permeability: New Tools for Counteracting Oxidative Stress

Pellavio, G., Rossino, G., Gastaldi, G., Rossi, D., Linciano, P., Collina, S., Laforenza, U.

(2021) International Journal of Molecular Science, 22(18), 9790.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms22189790

ABSTRACT: Sigma1 Receptor (S1R) is involved in oxidative stress, since its activation is triggered by oxidative or endoplasmic reticulum stress. Since specific aquaporins (AQP), called peroxiporins, play a relevant role in controlling H2O2 permeability and ensure reactive oxygen species wasted during oxidative stress, we studied the effect of S1R modulators on AQP-dependent water and hydrogen peroxide permeability in the presence and in the absence of oxidative stress. Applying stopped-flow light scattering and fluorescent probe methods, water and hydrogen peroxide permeability in HeLa cells have been studied. Results evidenced that S1R agonists can restore water permeability in heat-stressed cells and the co-administration with a S1R antagonist totally counteracted the ability to restore the water permeability. Moreover, compounds were able to counteract the oxidative stress of HeLa cells specifically knocked down for S1R. Taken together these results support the hypothesis that the antioxidant mechanism is mediated by both S1R and AQP-mediated H2O2 permeability. The finding that small molecules can act on both S1R and AQP-mediated H2O2 permeability opens a new direction toward the identification of innovative drugs able to regulate cell survival during oxidative stress in pathologic conditions, such as cancer and degenerative diseases.