Apoptosis-inducing factor is a key factor in neuronal cell death propagated by BAX-dependent and BAX-independent mechanisms
ABSTRACT Mitochondria release proteins that propagate both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent cell death pathways. AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor) is an important caspase-independent death regulator in multiple neuronal injury pathways. Presently, there is considerable controversy as to whether AIF is neuroprotective or proapoptotic in neuronal injury, such as oxidative stress or excitotoxicity. To evaluate the role of AIF in BAX-dependent (DNA damage induced) and BAX-independent (excitotoxic) neuronal death, we used Harlequin (Hq) mice, which are hypomorphic for AIF. Neurons carrying double mutations for Hq/Apaf1-/- (apoptosis proteases-activating factor) are impaired in both caspase-dependent and AIF-mediated mitochondrial cell death pathways. These mutant cells exhibit extended neuroprotection against DNA damage, as well as glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Specifically, AIF is involved in NMDA- and kainic acid- but not AMPA-induced excitotoxicity. In vivo excitotoxic studies using kainic acid-induced seizure showed that Hq mice had significantly less hippocampal damage than wild-type littermates. Our results demonstrate an important role for AIF in both BAX-dependent and BAX-independent mechanisms of neuronal injury.
- SourceAvailable from: Vanessa Nicolin[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Functional as well as structural alterations in mitochondria size, shape and distribution are precipitating, early events in progression of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We reported that a 20–22 kDa NH2-tau fragment (aka NH2htau), mapping between 26 and 230 amino acids of the longest human tau isoform, is detected in cellular and animal AD models and is neurotoxic in hippocampal neurons. The NH2htau –but not the physiological full-length protein– interacts with Aβ at human AD synapses and cooperates with it in inhibiting the mitochondrial ANT-1-dependent ADP/ATP exchange. Here we show that the NH2htau also adversely affects the interplay between the mitochondria dynamics and their selective autophagic clearance. Fragmentation and perinuclear mislocalization of mitochondria with smaller size and density are early found in dying NH2htau-expressing neurons. The specific effect of NH2htau on quality control of mitochondria is accompanied by (i) net reduction in their mass in correlation with a general Parkin-mediated remodeling of membrane proteome; (ii) their extensive association with LC3 and LAMP1 autophagic markers; (iii) bioenergetic deficits and (iv) in vitro synaptic pathology. These results suggest that NH2htau can compromise the mitochondrial biology thereby contributing to AD synaptic deficits not only by ANT-1 inactivation but also, indirectly, by impairing the quality control mechanism of these organelles.Neurobiology of Disease 02/2014; 62:489–507. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2013.10.018 · 5.20 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The neurotoxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ) involves caspase-dependent and -independent programmed cell death. The latter is mediated by the nuclear translocation of the mitochondrial flavoprotein apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). Nicotine has been shown to decrease Aβ neurotoxicity via inhibition of caspase-dependent apoptosis, but it is unknown if its neuroprotection is mediated through caspase-independent pathways. In the present study, pre-treatment with nicotine in rat cortical neuronal culture markedly reduced Aβ(1-42) induced neuronal death. This effect was accompanied by a significant reduction of mitochondrial AIF release and its subsequent nuclear translocation as well as significant inhibition of cytochrome c release and caspase 3 activation. Pre-treatment with selective α7nicotinic acetylcholine receptor(nAChR) antagonist (methyllycaconitine), but not the α4 nAChR antagonist (dihydro-β-erythroidine), could prevent the neuroprotective effect of nicotine on AIF release/translocation, suggesting that nicotine inhibits the caspase-independent death pathway in a α7 nAChR-dependent fashion. Furthermore, the neuroprotective action of nicotine on AIF release/translocation was suppressed by LY294002, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor. Pre-treatment with nicotine significantly restored Akt phosphorylation, an effector of PI3K, in Aβ(1-42) -treated neurons. These findings indicate that the α7 nAChR activation and PI3K/Akt transduction signaling contribute to the neuroprotective effects of nicotine against Aβ-induced cell death by modulating caspase-independent death pathways.Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2011; 119(4):848-58. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2011.07466.x · 4.24 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Bcl-2 homology (BH) domain 3-only proteins are a proapoptotic subgroup of the Bcl-2 gene family, which regulate cell death via effects on mitochondria. The BH3-only proteins react to various cell stressors and promote cell death by binding and inactivating antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and direct activation of proapoptotic multi-BH domain proteins such as Bax. Here, we review the in vivo evidence for their involvement in the pathophysiology of status epilepticus and contrast it to ischemia and traumatic brain injury. Seizures in rodents activate three potent proapoptotic BH3-only proteins: Bid, Bim, and Puma. Analysis of damage after seizures in mice singly deficient for each BH3-only protein supports a causal role for Puma and to a lesser extent Bim but, surprisingly, not Bid. In ischemia and trauma, where core aspects of the pathophysiology of cell death overlap, multiple BH3-only proteins are also activated and Bid has been shown to be required for neuronal death. The findings suggest that while each neurologic insult activates multiple BH3-only proteins, there may be specificity in their functional contribution. Future challenges include evaluating the remaining BH3-only proteins, explaining different causal contributions, and, if possible, exploring neurologic outcomes in mouse models deficient for multiple BH3-only proteins.Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2011; 31(5):1196-210. DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2011.26 · 5.34 Impact Factor