Amyloid-β oligomers induce synaptic damage via Tau-dependent microtubule severing by TTLL6 and spastin.
ABSTRACT Mislocalization and aggregation of Aβ and Tau combined with loss of synapses and microtubules (MTs) are hallmarks of Alzheimer disease. We exposed mature primary neurons to Aβ oligomers and analysed changes in the Tau/MT system. MT breakdown occurs in dendrites invaded by Tau (Tau missorting) and is mediated by spastin, an MT-severing enzyme. Spastin is recruited by MT polyglutamylation, induced by Tau missorting triggered translocalization of TTLL6 (Tubulin-Tyrosine-Ligase-Like-6) into dendrites. Consequences are spine loss and mitochondria and neurofilament mislocalization. Missorted Tau is not axonally derived, as shown by axonal retention of photoconvertible Dendra2-Tau, but newly synthesized. Recovery from Aβ insult occurs after Aβ oligomers lose their toxicity and requires the kinase MARK (Microtubule-Affinity-Regulating-Kinase). In neurons derived from Tau-knockout mice, MTs and synapses are resistant to Aβ toxicity because TTLL6 mislocalization and MT polyglutamylation are prevented; hence no spastin recruitment and no MT breakdown occur, enabling faster recovery. Reintroduction of Tau re-establishes Aβ-induced toxicity in TauKO neurons, which requires phosphorylation of Tau's KXGS motifs. Transgenic mice overexpressing Tau show TTLL6 translocalization into dendrites and decreased MT stability. The results provide a rationale for MT stabilization as a therapeutic approach.
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ABSTRACT: One of the shared hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases is the accumulation of misfolded proteins. Therefore, it is suspected that normal proteostasis is crucial for neuronal survival in the brain and that the malfunction of this mechanism may be the underlying cause of neurodegenerative diseases. The accumulation of amyloid plaques (APs) composed of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) aggregates and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) composed of misfolded Tau proteins are the defining pathological markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The accumulation of these proteins indicates a faulty protein quality control in the AD brain. An impaired ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) could lead to negative consequences for protein regulation, including loss of function. Another pivotal mechanism for the prevention of misfolded protein accumulation is the utilization of molecular chaperones. Molecular chaperones, such as heat shock proteins (HSPs) and FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs), are highly involved in protein regulation to ensure proper folding and normal function. In this review, we elaborate on the molecular basis of AD pathophysiology using recent data, with a particular focus on the role of the UPS and molecular chaperones as the defensive mechanism against misfolded proteins that have prion-like properties. In addition, we propose a rational therapy approach based on this mechanism.Molecular Neurobiology 01/2015; · 5.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Synaptic dysfunction and loss caused by age-dependent accumulation of synaptotoxic beta amyloid (Abeta) 1-42 oligomers is proposed to underlie cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Alterations in membrane trafficking induced by Abeta oligomers mediates reduction in neuronal surface receptor expression that is the basis for inhibition of electrophysiological measures of synaptic plasticity and thus learning and memory. We have utilized phenotypic screens in mature, in vitro cultures of rat brain cells to identify small molecules which block or prevent the binding and effects of Abeta oligomers. Synthetic Abeta oligomers bind saturably to a single site on neuronal synapses and induce deficits in membrane trafficking in neuronal cultures with an EC50 that corresponds to its binding affinity. The therapeutic lead compounds we have found are pharmacological antagonists of Abeta oligomers, reducing the binding of Abeta oligomers to neurons in vitro, preventing spine loss in neurons and preventing and treating oligomer-induced deficits in membrane trafficking. These molecules are highly brain penetrant and prevent and restore cognitive deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Counter-screening these compounds against a broad panel of potential CNS targets revealed they are highly potent and specific ligands of the sigma-2/PGRMC1 receptor. Brain concentrations of the compounds corresponding to greater than 80% receptor occupancy at the sigma-2/PGRMC1 receptor restore cognitive function in transgenic hAPP Swe/Ldn mice. These studies demonstrate that synthetic and human-derived Abeta oligomers act as pharmacologically-behaved ligands at neuronal receptors - i.e. they exhibit saturable binding to a target, they exert a functional effect related to their binding and their displacement by small molecule antagonists blocks their functional effect. The first-in-class small molecule receptor antagonists described here restore memory to normal in multiple AD models and sustain improvement long-term, representing a novel mechanism of action for disease-modifying Alzheimer's therapeutics.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e111898. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Because reduction of the microtubule-associated protein Tau has beneficial effects in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, we wanted to determine whether this strategy can also improve the outcome of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). We adapted a mild frontal impact model of TBI for wildtype C57Bl/6J mice and characterized the behavioral deficits it causes in these animals. The Barnes maze, Y maze, contextual and cued fear conditioning, elevated plus maze, open field, balance beam, and forced swim test were used to assess different behavioral functions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 7 Tesla) and histological analysis of brain sections were used to look for neuropathological alterations. We also compared the functional effects of this TBI model and of controlled cortical impact in mice with two, one or no Tau alleles. Repeated (2-hit), but not single (1-hit), mild frontal impact impaired spatial learning and memory in wildtype mice as determined by testing of mice in the Barnes maze one month after the injury. Locomotor activity, anxiety, depression and fear related behaviors did not differ between injured and sham-injured mice. MRI imaging did not reveal focal injury or mass lesions shortly after the injury. Complete ablation or partial reduction of tau prevented deficits in spatial learning and memory after repeated mild frontal impact. Complete tau ablation also showed a trend towards protection after a single controlled cortical impact. Complete or partial reduction of tau also reduced the level of axonopathy in the corpus callosum after repeated mild frontal impact. Tau promotes or enables the development of learning and memory deficits and of axonopathy after mild TBI, and tau reduction counteracts these adverse effects.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115765. · 3.53 Impact Factor