Proteasomal and autophagic degradative activities in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.
ABSTRACT Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA or Kennedy's disease) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the bulbar region of the brain and in the anterior horns of the spinal cord. The disease has been associated to an expansion of a CAG triplet repeat present in the first coding exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA was the first identified member of a large class of neurodegenerative diseases now known as CAG-related diseases, which includes Huntington's disease (HD), several types of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCAs), and dentatorubral and pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA). The expanded CAG tract is translated to an aberrantly long polyglutamine tract (ARpolyQ) in the N-terminal region of the AR protein. The elongated polyQ tract seems to confer a neurotoxic gain-of-function to the mutant AR, possibly via the generation of aberrant conformations (misfolding). Protein misfolding is thought to be a trigger of neurotoxicity, since it perturbs a wide variety of motor neuronal functions. The first event is the accumulation of the ARpolyQ into ubiquitinated aggregates in a ligand (testosterone) dependent manner. The mutant ARpolyQ also impairs proteasome functions. The autophagic pathway may be activated to compensate these aberrant events by clearing the mutant ARpolyQ from motor neuronal cells. This review illustrates the mechanisms at the basis of ARpolyQ degradation via the proteasomal and autophagic systems.
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motoneuron disease characterized by misfolded proteins aggregation in affected motoneurons. In mutant SOD1 (mutSOD1) ALS models, aggregation correlates to impaired functions of proteasome and/or autophagy, both essential for the intracellular chaperone-mediated protein quality control (PQC), and to a reduced mutSOD1 clearance from motoneurons. Skeletal muscle cells are also sensitive to mutSOD1 toxicity, but no mutSOD1 aggregates are formed in these cells, that might better manage mutSOD1 than motoneurons. Thus, we analyzed in spinal cord and in muscle of transgenic (tg) G93A-SOD1 mice at presymptomatic (PS, 8 weeks) and symptomatic (S, 16 weeks) stages, and in age-matched control mice, whether mutSOD1 differentially modulates relevant PQC players, such as HSPB8, BAG3, and BAG1. Possible sex differences were also considered. No changes of HSPB8, BAG3, and BAG1 at PS stage (8 weeks) were seen in all tissues examined in tg G93A-SOD1 and control mice. At S stage (16 weeks), HSPB8 dramatically increased in skeletal muscle of tg G93A-SOD1 mice, while a minor increase occurred in spinal cord of male, but not female tg G93A-SOD1 mice. BAG3 expression increased both in muscle and spinal cord of tg G93A-SOD1 mice at S stage, BAG1 expression increased only in muscle of the same mice. Since, HSPB8-BAG3 complex assists mutSOD1 autophagic removal, we analyzed two well-known autophagic markers, LC3 and p62. Both LC3 and p62 mRNAs were significantly up-regulated in skeletal muscle of tg G93A-SOD1 mice at S stage (16 weeks). This suggests that mutSOD1 expression induces a robust autophagic response specifically in muscle. Together these results demonstrate that, in muscle mutSOD1-induced autophagic response is much higher than in spinal cord. In addition, if mutSOD1 exerts toxicity in muscle, this may not be mediated by misfolded proteins accumulation. It remains unclear whether in muscle mutSOD1 toxicity is related to aberrant autophagy activation.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:234. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Monomelic amyotrophy (MA), also known as Hirayama disease, occurs mainly in young men and manifests as weakness and wasting of the muscles of the distal upper limbs. Here, we sought to identify a genetic basis for MA. Given the predominance of MA in males, we focused on candidate neurological disease genes located on the X chromosome, selecting two X-linked candidate genes, androgen receptor (AR ) and ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 (UBA1). Screening for genetic variants using patients' genomic DNA revealed three known genetic variants in the coding region of the AR gene: one nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs78686797) encoding Leu57Gln, and two variants of polymorphic trinucleotide repeat segments that encode polyglutamine (CAG repeat; rs5902610) and polyglycine (GGC repeat; rs3138869) tracts. Notably, the Leu57Gln polymorphism was found in two patients with MA from 24 MA patients, whereas no variants were found in 142 healthy male controls. However, the numbers of CAG and GGC repeats in the AR gene were within the normal range. These data suggest that the Leu57Gln polymorphism encoded by the X-linked AR gene may contribute to the development of MA.Genomics & Informatics. 01/2011; 9(2).
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ABSTRACT: Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA) is a X-linked motoneuron disease due to a CAG triplet repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene, which is translated into an elongated polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in AR protein (ARpolyQ). ARpolyQ toxicity is activated by the AR ligand testosterone (or dihydrotestosterone), and the polyQ triggers ARpolyQ misfolding and aggregation in spinal cord motoneurons and muscle cells. In motoneurons, testosterone triggers nuclear toxicity by inducing AR nuclear translocation. Thus, i) prevention of ARpolyQ nuclear localization, combined with ii) an increased ARpolyQ cytoplasmic clearance should reduce its detrimental activity. Using the antiandrogen Bicalutamide (Casodex®), which slows down AR activation and nuclear translocation, and the disaccharide trehalose, an autophagy activator, we found that in motoneurons the two compounds together reduced ARpolyQ insoluble forms with higher efficiency than that obtained with single treatments. The ARpolyQ clearance was mediated by trehalose-induced autophagy combined with the longer cytoplasmic retention of ARpolyQ bound to Bicalutamide. This allows an increased recognition of misfolded species by the autophagic system prior to their migration into the nuclei. Interestingly, the combinatory use of trehalose and Bicalutamide was also efficient in the removal of insoluble species of AR with a very long polyQ (Q112) tract, which typically aggregates into the cell nuclei. Collectively, these data suggest that the combinatory use of Bicalutamide and trehalose is a novel approach to facilitate ARpolyQ clearance, that has to be tested in other cell types target of SBMA (i.e. muscle cells) and in vivo in animal models of SBMA.Human Molecular Genetics 08/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor