Serum- and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase 1 (SGK1) is regulated by store-operated Ca2+ entry and mediates cytoprotection against necrotic cell death

Deanna R. Brickley, Abena S. Agyeman, Richard F. Kopp, Ben A. Hall, Mark C. Harbeck, Larissa Belova, Paul A. Volden, Wei Wu, Michael W. Roe, Suzanne D. Conzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) encodes a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent serine/threonine kinase that is rapidly induced in response to cellular stressors and is an important cell survival signal. Previous studies have suggested that an increase in cytoplasmic Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) is required for increased SGK1 expression, but the subcellular source of Ca2+ regulating SGK1 transcription remains uncertain. Activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) with thapsigargin (TG) increased SGK1 mRNA and protein expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. Intracellular Ca2+ imaging revealed that store-operated Ca2+ entry played a prominent role in SGK1 induction by TG. Neither ERS nor release of Ca2+ from the ER was sufficient to activate SGK1. Prolonged elevation of intracellular Ca2+ levels, however, triggered cell death with a much greater proportion of the cells undergoing necrosis rather than apoptosis. A relative increase in the percentage of cells undergoing necrosis was observed in cells expressing a short hairpin RNA targeted to the SGK1 gene. Necrotic cell death evoked by cytoplasmic Ca 2+ overloading was associated with persistent hyperpolarization of the inner mitochondrial membrane and a modest increase in calpain activation, but did not involve detectable caspase 3 or caspase 7 activation. The effects of cytoplasmic Ca2+ overloading on mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly reduced in cells expressing SGK1 compared with SGK1-depleted cells. Our findings indicate that store-operated Ca2+ entry regulates SGK1 expression in epithelial cells and suggest that SGK1-dependent cytoprotective signaling involves effects on maintaining mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32708-32719
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 8 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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