Article

Molecular Profiling Reveals Diversity of Stress Signal Transduction Cascades in Highly Penetrant Alzheimer's Disease Human Skin Fibroblasts

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Program in Molecular Cell Biology, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Washington University, St.Louis, Missouri, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2009; 4(2):e4655. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004655
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The serious and growing impact of the neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) as an individual and societal burden raises a number of key questions: Can a blanket test for Alzheimer's disease be devised forecasting long-term risk for acquiring this disorder? Can a unified therapy be devised to forestall the development of AD as well as improve the lot of present sufferers? Inflammatory and oxidative stresses are associated with enhanced risk for AD. Can an AD molecular signature be identified in signaling pathways for communication within and among cells during inflammatory and oxidative stress, suggesting possible biomarkers and therapeutic avenues? We postulated a unique molecular signature of dysfunctional activity profiles in AD-relevant signaling pathways in peripheral tissues, based on a gain of function in G-protein-coupled bradykinin B2 receptor (BKB2R) inflammatory stress signaling in skin fibroblasts from AD patients that results in tau protein Ser hyperphosphorylation. Such a signaling profile, routed through both phosphorylation and proteolytic cascades activated by inflammatory and oxidative stresses in highly penetrant familial monogenic forms of AD, could be informative for pathogenesis of the complex multigenic sporadic form of AD. Comparing stimulus-specific cascades of signal transduction revealed a striking diversity of molecular signaling profiles in AD human skin fibroblasts that express endogenous levels of mutant presenilins PS-1 or PS-2 or the Trisomy 21 proteome. AD fibroblasts bearing the PS-1 M146L mutation associated with highly aggressive AD displayed persistent BKB2R signaling plus decreased ERK activation by BK, correctible by gamma-secretase inhibitor Compound E. Lack of these effects in the homologous PS-2 mutant cells indicates specificity of presenilin gamma-secretase catalytic components in BK signaling biology directed toward MAPK activation. Oxidative stress revealed a JNK-dependent survival pathway in normal fibroblasts lost in PS-1 M146L fibroblasts. Complex molecular profiles of signaling dysfunction in the most putatively straightforward human cellular models of AD suggest that risk ascertainment and therapeutic interventions in AD as a whole will likely demand complex solutions.

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