UCHL1 is associated with Parkinson's disease: a case-unaffected sibling and case-unrelated control study.

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.06). 06/2005; 381(1-2):131-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.02.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To avoid the possible confounding effect of population stratification, we employed a discordant sibling study design and a liberalization of the sibling transmission disequilibrium test to confirm the association of the S18Y variant of the ubiquitin carboxi-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) gene with Parkinson's disease (PD). The study included 497 case-control pairs (427 case-unaffected sibling pairs and 70 case-unrelated control pairs). Analyses confirmed a significant inverse association of the UCHL1 S18Y polymorphism with PD overall (OR=0.18, 95% CI=0.05-0.64, p=0.002, recessive model) and in several strata.

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    ABSTRACT: AimLevels of ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) are robustly increased in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patient fibroblasts and mouse models. We therefore wanted to establish whether changes in UCHL1 contribute directly to disease pathogenesis, and to assess whether pharmacological inhibition of UCHL1 represents a viable therapeutic option for SMA.MethodsSMA mice and control littermates received a pharmacological UCHL1 inhibitor (LDN-57444) or DMSO vehicle. Survival and weight were monitored daily, a righting test of motor performance was performed, and motor neuron loss, muscle fibre atrophy and neuromuscular junction pathology were all quantified. Ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 (Uba1) was then pharmacologically inhibited in neurons in vitro to examine the relationship between Uba1 levels and UCHL1 in SMA.ResultsPharmacological inhibition of UCHL1 failed to improve survival, motor symptoms, or neuromuscular pathology in SMA mice and actually precipitated the onset of weight loss. LDN-57444 treatment significantly decreased spinal cord mono-ubiquitin levels, further exacerbating ubiquitination defects in SMA mice. Pharmacological inhibition of Uba1, levels of which are robustly reduced in SMA, was sufficient to induce accumulation of UCHL1 in primary neuronal cultures.Conclusion Pharmacological inhibition of UCHL1 exacerbates rather than ameliorates disease symptoms in a mouse model of SMA. Thus, pharmacological inhibition of UCHL1 is not a viable therapeutic target for SMA. Moreover, increased levels of UCHL1 in SMA likely represent a downstream consequence of decreased Uba1 levels, indicative of an attempted supportive compensatory response to defects in ubiquitin homeostasis caused by low levels of SMN protein.
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative disorders arises in association with the misfolding and accumulation of a wide variety of proteins. Much emphasis has been placed on understanding the nature of these protein accumulations, including their composition, the process by which they are formed and the physiological impact they impose at cellular and, ultimately, organismal levels. Alpha-synuclein (ASYN) is the major component of protein inclusions known as Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are the typical pathological hallmarks in disorders referred to as synucleinopathies. In addition, mutations or multiplications in the gene encoding for ASYN have also been shown to cause familial cases of PD, the most common synucleinopathy. Although the precise function of ASYN remains unclear, it appears to be involved in a vast array of cellular processes. Here, we review, in depth, a spectrum of cellular and molecular mechanisms that have been implicated in synucleinopathies. Importantly, detailed understanding of the biology/pathobiology of ASYN may enable the development of novel avenues for diagnosis and/or therapeutic intervention in synucleinopathies.
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