Presence of Tissue Transglutaminase in Granular Endoplasmic Reticulum is Characteristic of Melanized Neurons in Parkinson's Disease Brain

Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands.
Brain Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.35). 03/2011; 21(2):130-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2010.00429.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the accumulation of α-synuclein aggregates and degeneration of melanized neurons. The tissue transglutaminase (tTG) enzyme catalyzes molecular protein cross-linking. In PD brain, tTG-induced cross-links have been identified in α-synuclein monomers, oligomers and α-synuclein aggregates. However, whether tTG and α-synuclein occur together in PD affected neurons remains to be established. Interestingly, using immunohistochemistry, we observed a granular distribution pattern of tTG, characteristic of melanized neurons in PD brain. Apart from tTG, these granules were also positive for typical endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident chaperones, that is, protein disulphide isomerase, ERp57 and calreticulin, suggesting a direct link to the ER. Additionally, we observed the presence of phosphorylated pancreatic ER kinase (pPERK), a classical ER stress marker, in tTG granule positive neurons in PD brain, although no subcellular colocalization of tTG and pPERK was found. Our data therefore suggest that tTG localization to granular ER compartments is specific for stressed melanized neurons in PD brain. Moreover, as also α-synuclein aggregates were observed in tTG granule positive neurons, these results provide a clue to the cellular site of interaction between α-synuclein and tTG.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein is a key pathogenic protein that aggregates in hallmark lesions in Parkinson's disease and other α-synucleinopathies. Prior in vitro studies demonstrated that it is a substrate for cross-linking by transglutaminase 2 (TG2) into higher-order species. Here we investigated whether this increased aggregation occurs in vivo and whether TG2 exacerbates α-synuclein toxicity in Mus musculus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Compared with α-synuclein transgenic (Syn(Tg)) mice, animals double transgenic for human α-synuclein and TG2 (TG2(Tg)/Syn(Tg)) manifested greater high-molecular-weight insoluble species of α-synuclein in brain lysates and developed α-synuclein aggregates in the synaptic vesicle fraction. In addition, larger proteinase K-resistant aggregates developed, along with increased thioflavin-S-positive amyloid fibrils. This correlated with an exaggerated neuroinflammatory response, as seen with more astrocytes and microglia. Further neuronal damage was suggested by greater morphological disruption of nerve fibers and a trend toward decreased c-Fos immunoreactive neurons. Finally, the performance of TG2(Tg)/Syn(Tg) animals on motor behavioral tasks was worse relative to Syn(Tg) mice. Greater toxicity of α-synuclein was also demonstrated in yeast cells coexpressing TG2. Our findings demonstrate that TG2 promotes the aggregation of α-synuclein in vivo and that this is associated with aggravated toxicity of α-synuclein and its downstream neuropathologic consequences.-Grosso, H., Woo, J.-M., Lee, K.-W., Im, J.-Y., Masliah, E., Junn, E., Mouradian, M. M. Transglutaminase 2 exacerbates α-synuclein toxicity in mice and yeast.
    The FASEB Journal 06/2014; 28(10). DOI:10.1096/fj.14-251413 · 5.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein misfolding and the formation of stable insoluble protein complexes by self-interacting proteins, in particular amyloid-β and tau protein, play a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms that trigger the misfolding of self-interacting proteins that eventually results in formation of neurotoxic dimers, oligomers, and aggregates remain unclear. Elucidation of the driving forces of protein complex formation in AD is of crucial importance for the development of disease-modifying therapies. Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) is a calcium-dependent enzyme that induces the formation of covalent ε-(γ-glutamyl)lysine isopeptide bonds, which results in both intra- and intermolecular protein cross-links. These tTG-catalyzed intermolecular cross-links induce stable, rigid, and insoluble protein complexes, whereas intramolecular cross-links change the conformation of proteins. Inhibition of tTG-catalyzed cross-linking counteracts the formation of protein aggregates, as observed in disease-models of other protein misfolding diseases, in particular Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. Although data of tTG activity in AD models is limited, there is compelling evidence from both in vitro and postmortem human brain tissue of AD patients that point toward a crucial role for tTG in the pathogenesis of AD. Here, we review these data on the role of tTG in the initiation and development of protein aggregates in AD, and discuss the possibility to use inhibitors of the cross-linking activity of tTG as a new therapeutic approach for AD.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 03/2014; 42. DOI:10.3233/JAD-132492 · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Neurobiology of Aging 04/2014; 35(4):e3–e4. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.08.022 · 4.85 Impact Factor


Available from
May 21, 2014