Induction of neuronal death by ER stress in Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT Recent studies have suggested that neuronal death in Alzheimer's disease (AD) or ischemia could arise from dysfunction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Inhibition of protein glycosylation, perturbation of calcium homeostasis, and reduction of disulfide bonds provoke accumulation of unfolded protein in the ER, and are called 'ER stress'. Normal cells respond to ER stress by increasing transcription of genes encoding ER-resident chaperones such as GRP78/BiP, to facilitate protein folding or by suppressing the mRNA translation to synthesize proteins. These systems are termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). Familial Alzheimer's disease-linked presenilin-1 (PS1) mutation downregulates the unfolded protein response and leads to vulnerability to ER stress. The mechanisms by which mutant PS1 affects the ER stress response are attributed to the inhibited activation of ER stress transducers such as IRE1, PERK and ATF6. On the other hand, in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (sAD), we found the aberrant splicing isoform (PS2V), generated by exon 5 skipping of the Presenilin-2 (PS2) gene transcript, responsible for induction of high mobility group A1a protein (HMGA1a). The PS2V also downregulates the signaling pathway of the UPR, in a similar fashion to that reported for mutants of PS1 linked to familial AD. It was clarified what molecules related to cell death are activated in the case of AD and we discovered that caspase-4 plays a key role in ER stress-induced apoptosis. Caspase-4 also seems to act upstream of the beta-amyloid-induced ER stress pathway, suggesting that activation of caspase-4 might mediate neuronal cell death in AD.
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ABSTRACT: Aberrant exon 5 skipping of presenilin-2 (PS2) pre-mRNA produces a deleterious protein isoform PS2V, which is almost exclusively observed in the brains of sporadic Alzheimer's disease patients. PS2V over-expression in vivo enhances susceptibility to various endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses and increases production of amyloid-beta peptides. We previously purified and identified high mobility group A protein 1a (HMGA1a) as a trans-acting factor responsible for aberrant exon 5 skipping. Using heterologous pre-mRNAs, here we demonstrate that a specific HMGA1a-binding sequence in exon 5 adjacent to the 5' splice site is necessary for HMGA1a to inactivate the 5' splice site. An aberrant HMGA1a-U1 snRNP complex was detected on the HMGA1a-binding site adjacent to the 5' splice site during the early splicing reaction. A competitor 2'-O-methyl RNA (2'-O-Me RNA) consisting of the HMGA1a-binding sequence markedly repressed exon 5 skipping of PS2 pre-mRNA in vitro and in vivo. Finally, HMGA1a-induced cell death under ER stress was prevented by transfection of the competitor 2'-O-Me RNA. These results provide insights into the molecular basis for PS2V-associated neurodegenerative diseases that are initiated by specific RNA binding of HMGA1a.Genes to Cells 11/2007; 12(10):1179-91. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2443.2007.01123.x · 2.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) causes region selective neuronal loss in the brain; it has been used to model neurodegeneration that accompanies mild impairment of oxidative metabolism. The mechanisms for TD-induced neurodegeneration remain incompletely elucidated. Inhibition of protein glycosylation, perturbation of calcium homeostasis and reduction of disulfide bonds provoke the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and cause ER stress. Recently, ER stress has been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative models. We demonstrated here that TD up-regulated several markers of ER stress, such as glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78, growth arrest and DNA-damage inducible protein or C/EBP-homologus protein (GADD153/Chop), phosphorylation of eIF2alpha and cleavage of caspase-12 in the cerebellum and the thalamus of mice. Furthermore, ultrastructural analysis by electron microscopic study revealed an abnormality in ER structure. To establish an in vitro model of TD in neurons, we treated cultured cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) with amprolium, a potent inhibitor of thiamine transport. Exposure to amprolium caused apoptosis and the generation of reactive oxygen species in CGNs. Similar to the observation in vivo, TD up-regulated markers for ER stress. Treatment of a selective inhibitor of caspase-12 significantly alleviated amprolium-induced death of CGNs. Thus, ER stress may play a role in TD-induced brain damage.Neuroscience 03/2007; 144(3):1045-56. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.10.008 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myocardial ischemia has been shown to induce apoptosis of endothelial cells (EC). However, the mechanism of this endothelial injury is still poorly understood. To analyse the signaling pathway of ischemia-induced EC apoptosis was the aim of the present study. The primary culture of rat coronary EC was exposed to simulated ischemia (glucose-free anoxia at pH(o) 6.4). Apoptosis was defined by staining of nuclei with Hoechst-33342 and TUNEL. Cytosolic Ca2+ and pH were measured with Fura-2 and BCECF, respectively. Apoptosis (29.2+/-1.7% of cells) induced by exposure to simulated ischemia for 2 h was accompanied by cytosolic Ca2+ overload (1090+/-52 nmol/l) and acidosis (pHi = 6.52+/-0.13). Simulated ischemia had no significant effect on caspase-8 cleavage, but induced cleavage of caspase-3 and caspase-12 and led to a slight release of cytochrome C. Prevention of cytosolic acidosis (anoxia at pH(o) 7.4) had no effect on cytochrome C release, but significantly reduced apoptosis, attenuated cytosolic Ca2+ overload, and prevented cleavage of caspase-12. A similar effect was achieved by inhibition of Ca2+ release channels in the endoplasmic reticulum with ryanodine and xestospongin C. Knock-down of caspase-12 with small interfering RNA suppressed caspase-3 activation and reduced apoptotic cell number by about 70%. Acidosis, rather than anoxia, is an important trigger of apoptosis in EC under simulated ischemia. The main pathway of the simulated ischemia-induced apoptosis consists of the Ca2+ leak from the ER followed by activation of caspase-12 and caspase-3.Cardiovascular Research 02/2007; 73(1):172-80. DOI:10.1016/j.cardiores.2006.09.018 · 5.81 Impact Factor