Protective effect of Homer 1a on tumor necrosis factor-α with cycloheximide-induced apoptosis is mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.

Department of Neurosurgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 15 Changle Xi Road, Xian, 710032, People's Republic of China, .
Apoptosis (Impact Factor: 3.61). 06/2012; 17(9):975-88. DOI: 10.1007/s10495-012-0736-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although Homer 1, of the postsynaptic density, regulates apoptosis, the signaling mechanisms are not fully elucidated. In this study, we found that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)/cycloheximide (CHX) treatment transiently increased Homer 1a (the short variant of Homer 1), but did not affect Homer 1b/c (the long variant of Homer 1). Overexpression of Homer 1a blocked TNF-α/CHX-induced apoptotic cell death, whereas inhibition of Homer 1a induction enhanced the pro-apoptotic effect of TNF-α/CHX treatment. Moreover, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, as a potential activator of endogenous Homer 1a, inhibited apoptotic cell death after TNF-α/CHX treatment through induction of Homer 1a. Since three major mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways have important roles in apoptosis, we examined if Homer 1a is involved in the effects of MAPK pathways on apoptosis. It was shown that inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway increased the expression and the protective effect of Homer 1a, but inhibition of the p38 pathway produced the opposite effect. Cross-talk among MAPK pathways was also associated with the regulation of Homer 1a during apoptotic cell death. Blocking the p38 pathway increased the activity in the ERK1/2 pathway, while inhibition of ERK1/2 pathway abolished the effect of p38 inhibitor on Homer 1a. Furthermore, Homer 1a reversely affected the activation of MAPK pathways. These findings suggest that Homer 1a plays an important role in the prevention of apoptotic cell death and contributes to distinct regulatory effects of MAPK pathways on apoptotic cell death.

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    ABSTRACT: Homer protein, a member of the post-synaptic density (PSD) protein family, plays an important role in the neuronal synaptic activity and is extensively involved in neurological disorders. The present study investigates the role of Homer1b/c in modulating neuronal survival by using an in vitro traumatic neuronal injury model, which was achieved by using a punch device that consisted of 28 stainless steel blades joined together and produced 28 parallel cuts. Downregulation of Homer1b/c by specific siRNA significantly (p < 0.05) alleviated the cytoplasmic calcium levels and neuron lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, and ultimately decreased apoptotic rate after traumatic neuronal injury compared with non-targeting siRNA control treatment in cultured rat cortical neurons. Moreover, the expression of mGluR1a was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in the Homer1b/c siRNA transfected neurons after injury. Therefore, Homer1b/c not only modulated the mGluR1a-inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate receptors (IP3R)-Ca(2+) signal transduction pathway, but also regulated the expression of mGluR1a in mechanical neuronal injury. These findings indicate that the suppression of Homer1b/c expression potentially protects neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity after injury and might be an effective intervention target in traumatic brain injury.
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) produces excessive glutamate, leading to excitotoxicity via the activation of glutamate receptors. Postsynaptic density scaffold proteins have crucial roles in mediating signal transduction from glutamate receptors to their downstream mediators. Therefore, studies on the mechanisms underlying regulation of excitotoxicity by scaffold proteins can uncover new treatments for TBI. Here, we demonstrated that the postsynaptic scaffold protein Homer 1a was neuroprotective against TBI in vitro and in vivo, and this neuroprotection was associated with its effects on group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Upon further study, we found that Homer 1a mainly affected neuronal injury induced by mGluR1 activation after TBI and also influenced mGluR5 function when its activity was restored. The ability of Homer 1a to disrupt mGluR-ERK signaling contributed to its ability to regulate the functions of mGluR1 and mGluR5 after traumatic injury. Intracellular Ca(2+) and PKC were two important factors involved in the mediation of mGluR-ERK signaling by Homer 1a. These results define Homer 1a as a novel endogenous neuroprotective agent against TBI.
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May 22, 2014