There is emerging evidence implicating a role for the autophagy-lysosome pathway in the pathogenesis of Lewy body disease. We investigated potential neuropathologic and biochemical alterations of autophagy-lysosome pathway-related proteins in the brains of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Alzheimer disease (AD), and control subjects using antibodies against Ras-related protein Rab-7B (Rab7B), lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2), and microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B light chain 3 (LC3). In DLB, but not in control brains, there were large Rab7B-immunoreactive endosomal granules. LC3 immunoreactivity was increased in vulnerable areas of DLB brains relative to that in control brains; computerized cell counting analysis revealed that LC3 levels were greater in the entorhinal cortex and amygdala of DLB brains than in controls. Rab7B levels were increased, and LAMP2 levels were decreased in the entorhinal cortex of DLB brains. In contrast, only a decrease in LAMP2 levels versus controls was found in AD brains. LC3 widely colocalized with several types of Lewy pathology; LAMP2 localized to the periphery or outside of brainstem-type Lewy bodies; Rab7B did not colocalize with Lewy pathology. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated specific accumulation of the autophagosomal LC3-II isoform in detergent-insoluble fractions from DLB brains. These results support apotential role for the autophagy-lysosome pathway in the pathogenesis of DLB.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic, neuropathological and biochemical evidence implicates α-synuclein, a 140 amino acid presynaptic neuronal protein, in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The aggregated protein inclusions mainly containing aberrant α-synuclein are widely accepted as morphological hallmarks of α-synucleinopathies, but their composition and location vary between disorders along with neuronal networks affected. α-Synuclein exists physiologically in both soluble and membran-bound states, in unstructured and α-helical conformations, respectively, while posttranslational modifications due to proteostatic deficits are involved in β-pleated aggregation resulting in formation of typical inclusions. The physiological function of α-synuclein and its role linked to neurodegeneration, however, are incompletely understood. Soluble oligomeric, not fully fibrillar α-synuclein is thought to be neurotoxic, main targets might be the synapse, axons and glia. The effects of aberrant α-synuclein include alterations of calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative and nitric injuries, cytoskeletal effects, and neuroinflammation. Proteasomal dysfunction might be a common mechanism in the pathogenesis of neuronal degeneration in α-synucleinopathies. However, how α-synuclein induces neurodegeneration remains elusive as its physiological function. Genome wide association studies demonstrated the important role for genetic variants of the SNCA gene encoding α-synuclein in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease, possibly through effects on oxidation, mitochondria, autophagy, and lysosomal function. The neuropathology of synucleinopathies and the role of α-synuclein as a potential biomarker are briefly summarized. Although animal models provided new insights into the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and multiple system atrophy, most of them do not adequately reproduce the cardinal features of these disorders. Emerging evidence, in addition to synergistic interactions of α-synuclein with various pathogenic proteins, suggests that prionlike induction and seeding of α-synuclein could lead to the spread of the pathology and disease progression. Intervention in the early aggregation pathway, aberrant cellular effects, or secretion of α-synuclein might be targets for neuroprotection and disease-modifying therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy is a dynamic process whereby cytoplasmic molecules are sequestered within autophagosomes. Based on amino acid similarity, there exist two groups of mammalian autophagy-related gene (Atg) 8 homologues [microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) and γ-aminobutyric-acid type A receptor associated proteins (GABARAPs)], which play essential role in autophagosomal formation. Despite recent progress in studies on LC3, the other Atg8 homologues remain to be poorly understood, especially in pathological condition. In this study, we determined whether Atg8 homologues are affected in Lewy body disease, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Our findings indicated that biochemical and pathological properties of LC3 were altered and that the level of LC3 was increased in an insoluble fraction from the brain of patients with DLB, whereas the level of GABARAPs was decreased in DLB. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining revealed that both LC3 and GABARAPs were localized in Lewy bodies in PD and DLB. These findings suggest that autophagic function is impaired through alteration of Atg8 homologues in Lewy body disease.
Neurobiology of Disease 06/2011; 43(3):690-7. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2011.05.022 · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the ATP13A2 gene (PARK9, OMIM 610513) cause autosomal recessive, juvenile-onset Kufor-Rakeb syndrome and early-onset parkinsonism. ATP13A2 is an uncharacterized protein belonging to the P(5)-type ATPase subfamily that is predicted to regulate the membrane transport of cations. The physiological function of ATP13A2 in the mammalian brain is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that ATP13A2 is localized to intracellular acidic vesicular compartments in cultured neurons. In the human brain, ATP13A2 is localized to pyramidal neurons within the cerebral cortex and dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. ATP13A2 protein levels are increased in nigral dopaminergic and cortical pyramidal neurons of Parkinson's disease brains compared with normal control brains. ATP13A2 levels are increased in cortical neurons bearing Lewy bodies (LBs) compared with neurons without LBs. Using short hairpin RNA-mediated silencing or overexpression to explore the function of ATP13A2, we find that modulating the expression of ATP13A2 reduces the neurite outgrowth of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons. We also find that silencing of ATP13A2 expression in cortical neurons alters the kinetics of intracellular pH in response to cadmium exposure. Furthermore, modulation of ATP13A2 expression leads to reduced intracellular calcium levels in cortical neurons. Finally, we demonstrate that silencing of ATP13A2 expression induces mitochondrial fragmentation in neurons. Oppositely, overexpression of ATP13A2 delays cadmium-induced mitochondrial fragmentation in neurons consistent with a neuroprotective effect. Collectively, this study reveals a number of intriguing neuronal phenotypes due to the loss- or gain-of-function of ATP13A2 that support a role for this protein in regulating intracellular cation homeostasis and neuronal integrity.
Human Molecular Genetics 12/2011; 21(8):1725-43. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddr606 · 6.39 Impact Factor
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