Selective neuroprotective effects of the S18Y polymorphic variant of UCH-L1 in the dopaminergic system.

Division of Basic Neurosciences, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 7.69). 11/2011; 21(4):874-89. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddr521
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Genetic studies have implicated the neuronal ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH) protein UCH-L1 in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Moreover, the function of UCH-L1 may be lost in the brains of PD and Alzheimer's disease patients. We have previously reported that the UCH-L1 polymorphic variant S18Y, potentially protective against PD in population studies, demonstrates specific antioxidant functions in cell culture. Albeit genetic, biochemical and neuropathological data support an association between UCH-L1, PD, synaptic degeneration and oxidative stress, the relationship between the dopaminergic system and UCH-L1 status remains obscure. In the current study, we have examined the dopaminergic system of mice lacking endogenous UCH-L1 protein (gracile axonal dystrophy mice). Our findings show that the lack of wild-type (WT) UCH-L1 does not influence to any significant degree the dopaminergic system at baseline or following injections of the neurotoxin methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Furthermore, using a novel intrastriatal adenoviral injection protocol, we have found that mouse nigral neurons retrogradely transduced with S18Y UCH-L1, but not the WT protein, are significantly protected against MPTP toxicity. Overall, these data provide evidence for an antioxidant and neuroprotective effect of the S18Y variant of UCH-L1, but not of the WT protein, in the dopaminergic system, and may have implications for the pathogenesis of PD or related neurodegenerative conditions, in which oxidative stress might play a role.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the role of the main intracellular energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), in the in vitro neurotoxicity of α-synuclein (ASYN), one of the key culprits in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The loss of viability in retinoic acid-differentiated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells inducibly overexpressing wild-type ASYN was associated with the reduced activation of AMPK and its activator LKB1, as well as AMPK target Raptor. ASYN-overexpressing rat primary neurons also displayed lower activity of LKB1/AMPK/Raptor pathway. Restoration of AMPK activity by metformin or AICAR reduced the in vitro neurotoxicity of ASYN overexpression, acting independently of the prosurvival kinase Akt or the induction of autophagic response. The conditioned medium from ASYN-overexpressing cells, containing secreted ASYN, as well as dopamine-modified or nitrated recombinant ASYN oligomers, all inhibited AMPK activation in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and reduced their viability, but not in the presence of metformin or AICAR. The RNA interference-mediated knockdown of AMPK increased the sensitivity of SH-SY5Y cells to the harmful effects of secreted ASYN. AMPK-dependent protection from extracellular ASYN was also observed in rat neuron-like pheochromocytoma cell line PC12. These data demonstrate the protective role of AMPK against the toxicity of both intracellular and extracellular ASYN, suggesting that modulation of AMPK activity may be a promising therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease.
    Neurobiology of Disease 11/2013; · 5.62 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Significance: Impairment of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The most significant risk factor for the development of these disorders is ageing, which is associated with a progressive decline in UPS activity and the accumulation of oxidatively modified proteins. To date, no therapies have been developed which can specifically upregulate this system. Recent advances: In the neurodegenerative brain, dysfunction of the UPS has been associated with the deposition of ubiquitinated protein aggregates and widespread disruption of the proteostasis network. Recent research has identified further evidence of impairment in substrate ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation which could contribute to the loss of cellular proteostasis in neurodegenerative disease. Novel strategies for activation of the UPS by genetic manipulation and treatment with synthetic compounds have also recently been identified. Critical issues: Here we discuss the specific roles of the UPS in the healthy central nervous system and establish how dysfunctional components can contribute to neurotoxicity in the context of disease. Future directions: Knowledge of the UPS components specifically or preferentially involved in neurodegenerative disease will be critical in the development of targeted therapies which aim to limit accumulation of misfolded proteins without gross disturbance of this major proteolytic pathway.
    Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 01/2014; · 8.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) was discovered in two steps. Initially, APF-1 (ATPdependent proteolytic Factor 1) later identified as ubiquitin (Ub), a hitherto known protein of unknown function, was found to covalently modify proteins. This modification led to degradation of the tagged protein by an unknown protease. This was followed later by the identification of the 26S proteasome complex which is composed of a previously identified Multi Catalytic Protease (MCP) and an additional regulatory complex, as the protease that degrades Ub-tagged proteins. While Ub conjugation and proteasomal degradation are viewed as a continued process responsible for most of the regulated proteolysis in the cell, the two processes have also independent roles. In parallel and in the years that followed, the hallmark signal that links the substrate to the proteasome was identified as an internal Lys48-based polyUb chain. However, since these initial findings were described, our understanding of both ends of the process (i.e. Ub-conjugation to proteins, and their recognition and degradation), have advanced significantly. This enabled us to start bridging the ends of this continuous process which suffered until lately from limited structural data regarding the 26S proteasomal architecture and the structure and diversity of Ub chains. These missing pieces are of great importance because the link between ubiquitination and proteasomal processing is subject to numerous regulatory steps and are found to function improperly in several pathologies. Recently, the molecular architecture of the 26S proteasome was resolved in great detail, enabling us to address mechanistic questions regarding the various molecular events that polyubiquitinated (polyUb) substrates undergo during binding and processing by the 26S proteasome. In addition, advancement in analytical and synthetic methods enables us to better understand the structure and diversity of the degradation signal. The review summarizes these recent findings and addresses the extrapolated meanings in light of previous reports. Finally, it addresses some of the still remaining questions to be solved in order to obtain a continuous mechanistic view of the events that a substrate undergoes from its initial ubiquitination to proteasomal degradation.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor