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The Transcriptome Profile of Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Müller Cell Lines Protected by Risuteganib Against Hydrogen Peroxide Stress

  • Shao, Zixuan
  • Chwa, Marilyn
  • Atilano, Shari R
  • Park, John
  • Karageozian, Hampar
  • Karageozian, Vicken
  • Kenney, M Cristina
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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Purpose: Oxidative stress contributes to the pathogenesis of vision-impairing diseases. In the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Müller cells support neuronal homeostasis, but also contribute to pathological development under stressed conditions. Recent studies found that the investigational drug risuteganib (RSG) has a good safety profile, provided protection in experimental models, and improved visual acuity in patients. The present in vitro study evaluated the effects of RSG in RPE and Müller cell lines stressed with the oxidant hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Methods: Human RPE (ARPE-19) and Müller (MIO-M1) cell lines were treated with various combinations of RSG and H2O2. Trypan blue assay was used to investigate the effect of compounds on cell viability. Gene expression was measured using RNA sequencing to identify regulated genes and the biological processes and pathways involved. Results: Trypan blue assay found RSG pre-treatment significantly protected against H2O2-induced cell death in ARPE-19 and MIO-M1 cells. Transcriptome analysis found H2O2 regulated genes in several disease-relevant biological processes, including cell adhesion, migration, death, and proliferation; ECM organization; angiogenesis; metabolism; and immune system processes. RSG pre-treatment modulated these gene expression profiles in the opposite direction of H2O2. Pathway analysis found genes in integrin, AP-1, and syndecan signaling pathways were regulated. Expression of selected RSG-regulated genes was validated using qRT-PCR. Conclusions: RSG protected cultured human RPE and Müller cell lines against H2O2-induced cell death and mitigated the associated transcriptome changes in biological processes and pathways relevant to the pathogenesis of retinal diseases. These results demonstrate RSG reduced oxidative stress-induced toxicity in two retinal cell lines with potential relevance to the treatment of human diseases.

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