GPCR/endocytosis/ERK signaling/S2R is involved in the regulation of the internalization, mitochondria-targeting and -activating properties of human salivary histatin 1
"Human salivary histatin 1 (Hst1) exhibits a series of cell-activating properties, such as promoting cell spreading, migration, and metabolic activity. We recently have shown that fluorescently labeled Hst1 (F-Hst1) targets and activates mitochondria, presenting an important molecular mechanism. However, its regulating signaling pathways remain to be elucidated. We investigated the influence of specific inhibitors of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), endocytosis pathways, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling, p38 signaling, mitochondrial respiration and Na+/K+-ATPase activity on the uptake, mitochondria-targeting and -activating properties of F-Hst1. We performed a siRNA knockdown (KD) to assess the effect of Sigma-2 receptor (S2R) /Transmembrane Protein 97 (TMEM97)—a recently identified target protein of Hst1. We also adopted live cell imaging to monitor the whole intracellular trafficking process of F-Hst1. Our results showed that the inhibition of cellular respiration hindered the internalization of F-Hst1. The inhibitors of GPCR, ERK1/2, phagocytosis, and clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) as well as siRNA KD of S2R/TMEM97 significantly reduced the uptake, which was accompanied by the nullification of the promoting effect of F-Hst1 on cell metabolic activity. Only the inhibitor of CME and KD of S2R/TMEM97 significantly compromised the mitochondria-targeting of Hst1. We further showed the intracellular trafficking and targeting process of F-Hst1, in which early endosome plays an important role. Overall, phagocytosis, CME, GPCR, ERK signaling, and S2R/TMEM97 are involved in the internalization of Hst1, while only CME and S2R/TMEM97 are critical for its subcellular targeting. The inhibition of either internalization or mitochondria-targeting of Hst1 could significantly compromise its mitochondria-activating property."