Objective. The aim of the present investigation was to study the impact of glucose and gluta-mine deprivations on the expression of genes encoding EDN1 (endothelin-1), its cognate receptors (EDNRA and EDNRB), and ECE1 (endothelin converting enzyme 1) in U87 glioma cells in response to knockdown of ERN1 (endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling 1), a major signaling pathway of endoplasmic reticulum stress, for evaluation of their possible implication in the control of glioma growth through ERN1 and nutrient limitations.

Methods. The expression level of EDN1, its receptors and converting enzyme 1 in control U87 glioma cells and cells with knockdown of ERN1 treated by glucose or glutamine deprivation by quantitative polymerase chain reaction was studied.

Results. We showed that the expression level of EDN1 and ECE1 genes was significantly up-regulated in control U87 glioma cells exposure under glucose deprivation condition in comparison with the glioma cells, growing in regular glucose containing medium. We also observed up-regulation of ECE1 gene expression in U87 glioma cells exposure under glutamine deprivation as well as down-regulation of the expression of EDN1 and EDNRA mRNA, being more significant for EDN1. Furthermore, the knockdown of ERN1 signaling enzyme function significantly modified the response of most studied gene expressions to glucose and glutamine deprivation conditions. Thus, the ERN1 knockdown led to a strong suppression of EDN1 gene expression under glucose deprivation, but did not change the effect of glutamine deprivation on its expression. At the same time, the knockdown of ERN1 signaling introduced the sensitivity of EDNRB gene to both glucose and glutamine deprivations as well as completely removed the impact of glucose deprivation on the expression of ECE1 gene.

Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrated that the expression of endothelin-1, its receptors, and ECE1 genes is preferentially sensitive to glucose and glutamine deprivations in gene specific manner and that knockdown of ERN1 significantly modified the expression of EDN1, EDNRB, and ECE1 genes in U87 glioma cells. It is possible that the observed changes in the expression of studied genes under nutrient deprivation may contribute to the suppressive effect of ERN1 knockdown on glioma cell proliferation and invasiveness.