Activation of Akt-mediated signaling pathways is crucial for survival and regeneration of injured neurons. In this study, we attempted to identify novel Akt substrates by using an antibody that recognized a consensus motif phosphorylated by Akt. PC12 cells that overexpressed constitutively active Akt were used. Using two-dimensional PAGE, we identified protein spots that exhibited increased immunostaining of the antibody. Mass spectrometry revealed several major spots as the neuronal intermediate filament protein, peripherin. Using several peripherin fragments, the phosphorylation site was determined as Ser(66) in its head domain in vitro. Furthermore, a co-immunoprecipitation experiment revealed that Akt interacted with the head domain of peripherin in HEK 293T cells. An antibody against phosphorylated peripherin was raised, and induction of phosphorylated peripherin was observed not only in Akt-activated cultured cells but also in nerve-injured hypoglossal motor neurons. These results suggest that peripherin is a novel substrate for Akt in vivo and that its phosphorylation may play a role in motor nerve regeneration.
"However, most of nuclear Akt substrates or binding partners are also ubiquitously expressed in various cell types other than neurons, and perhaps involves other cell survival signaling. Neuron-specific substrates of Akt are also identified, such as the intermediate filament protein peripherin , but yet we do not know how Akt phosphorylation could affect their functions. Thus, identification of additional neuron-specific targets or binding proteins of nuclear Akt may provide a better understanding of the neuroprotection mechanism that is modulated by Akt signaling in the nucleus. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Akt is one of the central kinases that perform a pivotal function in mediating survival signaling in a wide range of neuronal cell types in response to growth factor stimulation. The recent findings of a number of targets for Akt suggest that it prohibits neuronal death by both impinging on the cytoplasmic cell death machinery and by regulating nuclear proteins. The presence of active Akt in the nuclei of mammalian cells is no longer debatable, and this has been corroborated by the finding of multiple targets in the nucleus of PC12 cells. However, it is also clear that the nuclear Akt signaling exists independent of the cytosolic Akt signaling, thereby showing a distinctive feature of nuclear Akt signaling as opposed to its cytosolic counterpart. The principal objective of this review is to summarize our current state of knowledge regarding nuclear Akt signaling in neuronal survival, and to introduce current theories regarding the roles of nuclear Akt in neuron.
"ILs and PLs were obtained from NCS and 5dCS rats (n = 8 each), and lysed in a buffer containing 8 M urea and 2% 3-[(3-Cholamido- propyl dimethylammonio)] propanesulfonate (CHAPS), as described previously (Konishi et al., 2007). The supernatants, containing 27 lg protein, were loaded onto SuperSep™ Ace 5–20% gradient gels (Wako Pure Chemicals, Osaka, Japan) and blots were Fig. 1 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged exposure to stress elicits profound effects on homeostasis that may lead to cryptogenic disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome. To investigate the pathophysiology associated with the syndrome, we used a rat continuous stress (CS) model where the pituitary represents one of the most affected organs. Here we found that mRNA for VGF (non-acronymic), a member of the granin family, was induced specifically in the intermediate lobe (IL). This was matched by a concomitant increase at the peptide/protein level assessed by C-terminal antibody. Furthermore, the upregulation of VGF was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in a subset of melanotrophs. VGF expression was altered in the IL of rats receivingthe dopamine D2 receptor agonist bromocriptine or the antagonist sulpiride. In vitro, dopamine dose-dependently decreased the mRNA levels in cultured melanotrophs. These findings suggest that VGF expression under CS is negatively regulated by dopaminergic neurons projecting from the hypothalamus.
"In fact, as with other intermediate filament proteins, peripherin is structured as a central coiled-coil α-helical rod domain flanked by a head and a tail domain. Head and tail domains of intermediate filament proteins are phosphorylated at several Ser/Thr sites and this has also been demonstrated for peripherin [3, 51, 55, 59]. Phosphorylation at certain sites has been shown to induce filament disassembly . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2B (CMT2B) is a peripheral ulcero-mutilating neuropathy caused by four missense mutations in the rab7a gene. CMT2B is clinically characterized by prominent sensory loss, distal muscle weakness leading to muscle atrophy, high frequency of foot ulcers and infections that often results in toe amputations. RAB7A is a ubiquitous small GTPase, which controls transport to late endocytic compartments. Although the biochemical and functional properties of disease-causing RAB7A mutant proteins have been investigated, it is not yet clear how the disease originates. To understand how mutations in a ubiquitous protein specifically affect peripheral neurons, we performed a two-hybrid screen using a dorsal root ganglia cDNA library with the purpose of identifying RAB7A interactors specific for these cells. We identified peripherin, an intermediate filament protein expressed primarily in peripheral neurons, as a putative RAB7A interacting protein. The interaction was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down experiments, and established that the interaction is direct using recombinant proteins. Silencing or overexpression of wild type RAB7A changed the soluble/insoluble rate of peripherin indicating that RAB7A is important for peripherin organization and function. In addition, disease-causing RAB7A mutant proteins bind more strongly to peripherin and their expression causes a significant increase in the amount of soluble peripherin. Since peripherin plays a role not only in neurite outgrowth during development but also in axonal regeneration after injury, these data suggest that the altered interaction between disease-causing RAB7A mutants and peripherin could play an important role in CMT2B neuropathy.
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