[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cells that have evolved to produce large quantities of secreted proteins to serve the integrated functions of complex multicellular organisms are equipped to compensate for protein misfolding. Hepatocytes and plasma cells have well developed chaperone and proteasome systems to ensure that secreted proteins transit the cell efficiently. The number of neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding suggests that neurons are particularly sensitive to the pathogenic effects of aggregates of misfolded molecules because those systems are less well developed in this lineage. Aggregates of the amyloidogenic (Abeta(1-42)) peptide play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), although the precise mechanism is unclear. In genetic studies examining protein-protein interactions that could constitute native mechanisms of neuroprotection in vivo, overexpression of a WT human transthyretin (TTR) transgene was ameliorative in the APP23 transgenic murine model of human AD. Targeted silencing of the endogenous TTR gene accelerated the development of the neuropathologic phenotype. Intraneuronal TTR was seen in the brains of normal humans and mice and in AD patients and APP23 mice. The APP23 brains showed colocalization of extracellular TTR with Abeta in plaques. Using surface plasmon resonance we obtained in vitro evidence of direct protein-protein interaction between TTR and Abeta aggregates. These findings suggest that TTR is protective because of its capacity to bind toxic or pretoxic Abeta aggregates in both the intracellular and extracellular environment in a chaperone-like manner. The interaction may represent a unique normal host defense mechanism, enhancement of which could be therapeutically useful.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2008; 105(7):2681-6. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complex and hybrid N-glycans contain sugar residues that have been implicated in fertilization, compaction of the embryo, and implantation. Inactivation of the Mgat1 gene responsible for their synthesis is embryonic lethal, but homozygous mutant blastocysts are phenotypically normal due to the presence of maternal Mgat1 gene transcripts. To identify roles for complex and hybrid N-glycans in oogenesis and preimplantation development, the Mgat1 gene in oocytes was deleted by using a ZP3Cre recombinase transgene. All mutant oocytes had an altered zona pellucida (ZP) that was thinner than the control ZP, and they did not possess complex N-glycans but contained ZP1, ZP2, and ZP3 glycoproteins. Mutant eggs were fertilized, all embryos implanted, and heterozygotes developed to birth. However, mutant females had decreased fertility, yielded fewer eggs after stimulation with gonadotropins, and produced a reduced number of preimplantation embryos and less progeny than controls. About 25% of embryonic day 3.5 (E3.5) embryos derived from mutant eggs were severely retarded in development, even when they were heterozygous and expressed complex N-glycans. Thus, a proportion of Mgat1(-)(/)(-) oocytes were developmentally compromised. Surprisingly, mutant eggs also gave rise to Mgat1(-)(/)(-) embryos that developed normally, implanted, and progressed to E9.5. Therefore, complex or hybrid N-glycans are required at some stage of oogenesis for the generation of a developmentally competent oocyte, but fertilization, blastogenesis, and implantation may proceed in their absence.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2004; 24(22):9920-9. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structural variations among extracellular N-glycans reflect the activity of glycosyltransferases and glycosidases that operate in the Golgi apparatus. More than other types of vertebrate glycans, N-glycans are highly branched oligosaccharides with multiple antennae linked to an underlying mannose core structure. The branching patterns of N-glycans consist of three types, termed high-mannose, hybrid, and complex. Though most extracellular mammalian N-glycans are of the complex type, some cells variably express hybrid and high-mannose forms. Nevertheless, a requirement for hybrid and complex N-glycan branching exists in embryonic development and postnatal function among mice and humans inheriting defective Mgat1 or Mgat2 alleles. The resulting defects in formation N-glycan branching patterns cause multiple abnormalities, including neurologic defects, and have inferred the presence of distinct functions for hybrid and complex N-glycan branches among different cell lineages. We have further explored N-glycan structure-function relationships in vivo by using Cre-loxP conditional mutagenesis to abolish hybrid and complex N-glycan branching specifically among neuronal cells. Our findings show that hybrid N-glycan branching is an essential posttranslational modification among neurons. Loss of Mgat1 resulted in a unique pattern of neuronal glycoprotein deficiency concurrent with caspase 3 activation and apoptosis. Such animals exhibited severe locomotor deficits, tremors, paralysis, and early postnatal death. Unexpectedly, neuronal Mgat2 deletion resulting in the loss of complex but not hybrid N-glycan branching was well tolerated without phenotypic markers of neuronal or locomotor dysfunction. Structural features associated with hybrid N-glycan branching comprise a requisite posttranslational modification to neuronal glycoproteins that permits normal cellular function and viability.