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Sestrin2 is a member of a family of stress responsive proteins, which controls cell viability via antioxidant activity and regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin protein kinase (mTOR). Sestrin2 is induced by different stress insults, which diminish ATP production and induce energetic stress in the cells. Glucose is a critical substrate for ATP production utilized via glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration as well as for glycosylation of newly synthesized proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi. Thus, glucose starvation causes both energy deficiency and activation of ER stress followed by the unfolding protein response (UPR). Here, we show that UPR induces Sestrin2 via ATF4 and NRF2 transcription factors and demonstrate that Sestrin2 protects cells from glucose starvation-induced cell death. Sestrin2 inactivation sensitizes cells to necroptotic cell death that is associated with a decline in ATP levels and can be suppressed by Necrostatin 7. We propose that Sestrin2 protects cells from glucose starvation-induced cell death via regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis.
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VCU Human and Molecular Genetics Publications