Molecular Aspects of Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration: Gene-Environment Interaction in Parkin Dysfunction

Neurochemistry Laboratory, Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, AR 72029, USA.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.06). 12/2011; 8(12):4702-13. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8124702
Source: PubMed


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative movement disorder that is characterized pathologically by a progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and by protein inclusions, designated Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. PD is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, affecting almost 1% of the population over 60 years old. Although the symptoms and neuropathology of PD have been well characterized, the underlying mechanisms and causes of the disease are still not clear. Genetic mutations can provide important clues to disease mechanism, but most PD cases are sporadic rather than familial; environmental factors have long been suspected to contribute to the disease. Although more than 90% of PD cases occur sporadically and are thought to be due, in part, to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, the study of genetic mutations has provided great insight into the molecular mechanisms of PD. Furthermore, rotenone, a widely used pesticide, and paraquat and maneb cause a syndrome in rats and mice that mimics, both behaviorally and neurologically, the symptoms of PD. In the current review, we will discuss various aspects of gene-environment interaction that lead to progressive dopaminergic neurodegenration, mainly focusing on our current finding based on stress-mediated parkin dysfunction.

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Available from: Syed F Ali, Feb 12, 2014
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    • "Parkin functions as a Ub ligase in association with proteasomal degradation (Imai et al., 2000). A subset of the mutations in parkin, but also post-translational modifications of the protein, have been shown to cause a loss of function of the E3 ligase, and have been associated with UPS impairment and abrogation of the neuroprotective effects of parkin (Tsai et al., 2003; Yamamoto et al., 2005; Ali et al., 2011). In addition, Lewy bodies are mainly composed of α-syn and cytoskeletal proteins, but next to these proteins Lewy bodies contain the UPS related proteins parkin and Ub (Shults, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is crucial for intracellular protein homeostasis and for degradation of aberrant and damaged proteins. The accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease, leading to the hypothesis that proteasomal impairment is contributing to these diseases. So far, most research related to the UPS in neurodegenerative diseases has been focused on neurons, while glial cells have been largely disregarded in this respect. However, glial cells are essential for proper neuronal function and adopt a reactive phenotype in neurodegenerative diseases, thereby contributing to an inflammatory response. This process is called reactive gliosis, which in turn affects UPS function in glial cells. In many neurodegenerative diseases, mostly neurons show accumulation and aggregation of ubiquitinated proteins, suggesting that glial cells may be better equipped to maintain proper protein homeostasis. During an inflammatory reaction, the immunoproteasome is induced in glia, which may contribute to a more efficient degradation of disease-related proteins. Here we review the role of the UPS in glial cells in various neurodegenerative diseases, and we discuss how studying glial cell function might provide essential information in unraveling mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 08/2014; 7:73. DOI:10.3389/fnmol.2014.00073 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Growing evidence indicates the role of exosomes in a variety of physiological pathways as conveyors of biological materials from cell-to-cell. However the molecular mechanism(s) of secretion and their interaction with receiving cells are yet unclear. Recently, it is emerging that exosomes are involved in pathological processes as potential carriers in the progression of neurodegenerative pathologies associated with misfolded proteins. In the current review we will discuss some recent findings on the key role of exosomes in the spreading of the aggregated products of α-synuclein from neuron-to-neuron and of inflammatory response propagation from immune cell-to-cell; we will highlight the implication of exosomes in the neurodegeneration and progression of the disease and the their potential interplay with genes related to Parkinson's disease. Increasing our knowledge on the cell-to-cell transmissions might provide new insights into mechanism of disease onset and progression and identify novel strategies for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention in Parkinson and other neurodegenerative diseases.
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    ABSTRACT: The pesticide rotenone stimulates apoptosis and rotenone intoxication has been considered a cause of Parkinson's disease. Rotenone further sensitizes tumor cells to cytotoxic drugs. The apoptotic effect of rotenone is at least partially due to mitochondrial injury. Even though lacking mitochondria and nuclei, erythrocytes may undergo eryptosis, an apoptosis-like suicidal death characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine-exposure at the cell surface. Triggers of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca(2+)-activity ([Ca(2+)](i)) and enhanced ceramide formation. The present study explored, whether rotenone elicits eryptosis. To this end, [Ca(2+)](i) was estimated utilizing Fluo3-fluorescence, cell volume from forward scatter, phosphatidylserine-exposure from annexin-V-binding, ceramide utilizing fluorescence antibodies and hemolysis from hemoglobin release. A 48 h exposure to rotenone significantly increased Fluo3-fluorescence(i) (≥1 μM), increased ceramide abundance (10 μM), decreased forward scatter (≥2.5 μM) and increased annexin-V-binding (≥ 1 μM). Rotenone exposure was further followed by slight but significant hemolysis. Rotenone-induced cell membrane scrambling was significantly blunted, but not completely abrogated by removal of extracellular Ca(2+). The present observations disclose a novel effect of rotenone, i.e. triggering of erythrocyte shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling, an effect paralleled by and partially dependent on Ca(2+)-entry.
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