[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (MiRNAs) can regulate the expression of genes that are involved in multiple cellular pathways but their targets and action mechanisms associated with the autophagy pathway are not fully investigated yet. EWSR1 (EWS RNA-Binding Protein 1/Ewing Sarcoma Break Point Region 1) gene encodes a RNA/DNA binding protein that is ubiquitously expressed and plays roles in numerous cellular processes. Recently, our group has shown that EWSR1 deficiency leads to developmental failure and accelerated senescence via processing of miRNAs but its role in the regulation of autophagy remains elusive. In this context, our group has further investigated and found that EWSR1 deficiency triggers the activation of the DROSHA-mediated microprocessor complex and increases the level of Mir125a and Mir351, which directly target Uvrag. Interestingly, the Mir125a- and Mir351-targeted reduction of Uvrag led to the inhibition of autophagy in both ewsr1 knockout (KO) MEFs and ewsr1 KO mice. Together, our study demonstrates that EWSR1 is associated with the posttranscriptional regulation of Uvrag via miRNA processing. The regulation of autophagy pathway in miRNAs-Uvrag-dependent manner provides a novel mechanism of EWSR1 deficiency-related cellular dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant glutathione or Ca(2+) homeostasis due to oxidative stress is associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. The Ca(2+)-permeable transient receptor potential cation (TRPC) channel is predominantly expressed in the brain, which is sensitive to oxidative stress. However, the role of the TRPC channel in neurodegeneration is not known. Here, we report a mechanism of TRPC5 activation by oxidants and the effect of glutathionylated TRPC5 on striatal neurons in Huntington's disease. Intracellular oxidized glutathione leads to TRPC5 activation via TRPC5 S-glutathionylation at Cys176/Cys178 residues. The oxidized glutathione-activated TRPC5-like current results in a sustained increase in cytosolic Ca(2+), activated calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and the calpain-caspase pathway, ultimately inducing striatal neuronal cell death. We observed an abnormal glutathione pool indicative of an oxidized state in the striatum of Huntington's disease transgenic (YAC128) mice. Increased levels of endogenous TRPC5 S-glutathionylation were observed in the striatum in both transgenic mice and patients with Huntington's disease. Both knockdown and inhibition of TRPC5 significantly attenuated oxidation-induced striatal neuronal cell death. Moreover, a TRPC5 blocker improved rearing behaviour in Huntington's disease transgenic mice and motor behavioural symptoms in littermate control mice by increasing striatal neuron survival. Notably, low levels of TRPC1 increased the formation of TRPC5 homotetramer, a highly Ca(2+)-permeable channel, and stimulated Ca(2+)-dependent apoptosis in Huntington's disease cells (STHdh(Q111/111)). Taken together, these novel findings indicate that increased TRPC5 S-glutathionylation by oxidative stress and decreased TRPC1 expression contribute to neuronal damage in the striatum and may underlie neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a movement disorder characterized by the early selective degeneration of striatum. For motor control, the striatum receives excitatory inputs from multiple brain regions and projects the information to other basal ganglia nuclei. Despite the pathological importance of the striatal degeneration in HD, there are little anatomical data that show impaired striatal connectivity in HD. For the anatomical mapping of the striatum, we injected here a neurotracer DiD to the dorsal striatum of HD mouse model (YAC128). Compared with littermate controls, the number of the traced inputs to the striatum was reduced dramatically in YAC128 mice at 12 months of age suggesting massive destruction of the striatal connections. Basal ganglia inputs were significantly damaged in HD mice by showing 61 % decrease in substantia nigra pars compacta, 85 % decrease in thalamic centromedian nucleus, and 55 % decrease in thalamic parafascicular nucleus. Cortical inputs were also greatly decreased by 43 % in motor cortex, 48 % in somatosensory cortex, and 72 % in visual cortex. Besides the known striatal connections, the neurotracer DiD also traced inputs from amygdala and the amygdala inputs were decreased by 68 % in YAC128 mice. Considering the role of amygdala in emotion processing, the impairment in amygdalostriatal connectivity strongly suggests that emotional disturbances could occur in HD mice. Indeed, open-field tests further indicated that YAC128 mice exhibited changes in emotional behaviors related to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although onset of HD is clinically determined on the basis of motor abnormality, emotional deficits are also common features of the disease. Therefore, our anatomical connectivity mapping of the striatum provides a new insight to interpret brain dysfunction in HD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The EWSR1 (EWS RNA-Binding Protein 1/Ewing Sarcoma Break Point Region 1) gene encodes a RNA/DNA binding protein that is ubiquitously expressed and involved in various cellular processes. EWSR1 deficiency leads to impairment of development and accelerated senescence but the mechanism is not known. Herein, we found that EWSR1 modulates the Uvrag (UV radiation resistance associated) gene at the posttranscription level. Interestingly, EWSR1 deficiency led to the activation of the DROSHA-mediated microprocessor complex and increased the level of Mir125a and Mir351, which directly target Uvrag. Moreover, the Mir125a- and Mir351-mediated reduction of Uvrag was associated with the inhibition of autophagy that was confirmed in ewsr1 knockout (KO) MEFs and ewsr1 KO mice. Taken together, our data indicate that EWSR1 is involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of Uvrag via a miRNA-dependent pathway, resulting in the deregulation of autophagy inhibition. The mechanism of Uvrag and autophagy regulation by EWSR1 provides new insights into the role of EWSR1 deficiency-related cellular dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction, often characterized by massive fission and other morphological abnormalities, is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). One causative mechanism underlying AD-associated mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be amyloid-β (Aβ), yet the pathways between Aβ and mitochondrial dysfunction remain elusive. In this study, we report that CR6-interacting factor 1 (Crif1), a mitochondrial inner membrane protein, is a key player in Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Specifically, we found that Crif1 levels were downregulated in the pathological regions of Tg6799 mice brains, wherein overexpressed Aβ undergoes self-aggregation. Downregulation of Crif1 was similarly observed in human AD brains as well as in SH-SY5Y cells treated with Aβ. In addition, knockdown of Crif1, using RNA interference, induced mitochondrial dysfunction with phenotypes similar to those observed in Aβ-treated cells. Conversely, Crif1 overexpression prevented Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. Finally, we show that Aβ-induced downregulation of Crif1 is mediated by enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS-dependent sumoylation of the transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1). These results identify the ROS-Sp1-Crif1 pathway to be a new mechanism underlying Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and suggest that ROS-mediated downregulation of Crif1 is a crucial event in AD pathology. We propose that Crif1 may serve as a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of AD.
Cell Death and Differentiation 11/2014; 22(6). DOI:10.1038/cdd.2014.184 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An unresolved issue in genotoxic stress response is identification of induced regulatory proteins and how these activate tumor suppressor p53 to determine appropriate cell responses. Transcription factor KAISO was previously described to repress transcription following binding to methylated DNA. In this study, we show that KAISO is induced by DNA damage in p53-expressing cells and then interacts with the p53-p300 complex to increase acetylation of p53 K320 and K382 residues, although decreasing K381 acetylation. Moreover, the p53 with this particular acetylation pattern shows increased DNA binding and potently induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by activating transcription of CDKN1A (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1) and various apoptotic genes. Analogously, in Kaiso KO mouse embryonic fibroblast cells, p53-to-promoter binding and up-regulation of p21 and apoptosis gene expression is significantly compromised. KAISO may therefore be a critical regulator of p53-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in response to various genotoxic stresses in mammalian cells.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2014; 111(42). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1318780111 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset motor neuron disease characterized by degeneration of motor neuron and glial activation followed by the progressive muscle loss and paralysis. Numerous distinct therapeutic interventions have been examined but currently ALS does not have a cure or an efficacious treatment for the disorder. Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, protein aggregation, transcription deregulation, and epigenetic modifications are associated with the pathogenesis of ALS and known to be therapeutic targets in ALS. In this review, we discuss translational pharmacological studies targeting epigenetic components to ameliorate ALS. Understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms will provide novel insights that will further identify potential biological markers and therapeutic approaches for treating ALS. A combination of treatments that modulate epigenetic components and multiple targets may prove to be the most effective therapy for ALS.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 07/2014; 21(31). DOI:10.2174/0929867321666140706131825 · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Alzheimer's disease (AD), memory impairment is the most prominent feature that afflicts patients and their families. Although reactive astrocytes have been observed around amyloid plaques since the disease was first described, their role in memory impairment has been poorly understood. Here, we show that reactive astrocytes aberrantly and abundantly produce the inhibitory gliotransmitter GABA by monoamine oxidase-B (Maob) and abnormally release GABA through the bestrophin 1 channel. In the dentate gyrus of mouse models of AD, the released GABA reduces spike probability of granule cells by acting on presynaptic GABA receptors. Suppressing GABA production or release from reactive astrocytes fully restores the impaired spike probability, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory in the mice. In the postmortem brain of individuals with AD, astrocytic GABA and MAOB are significantly upregulated. We propose that selective inhibition of astrocytic GABA synthesis or release may serve as an effective therapeutic strategy for treating memory impairment in AD.
Nature Medicine 06/2014; 20(8). DOI:10.1038/nm.3639 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung resection surgery has been associated with numerous postoperative complications. Seventy-eight patients scheduled for elective video-assisted thoracoscopic lung resection were randomly assigned to receive standard postoperative care with incentive spirometry or standard care plus positive vibratory expiratory pressure treatment using the Acapella(®) device. There was no significant difference between incentive spirometry and the Acapella device in the primary outcome, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, on the third postoperative day, mean (SD) 53% (16%) vs 59% (18%) respectively, p = 0.113. Patients treated with both devices simultaneously found incentive spirometry to be less comfortable compared with the Acapella device, using a numeric rating scale from 1 to 5 with lower scores indicating higher comfort, median (IQR [range]) 3 (2-3 [2-4]) vs 1 (1-2 [1-3]) respectively, p < 0.001. In addition, 37/39 patients (95%) stated a clear preference for the Acapella device. Postoperative treatment with the Acapella device did not improve pulmonary function after thoracoscopic lung resection surgery compared with incentive spirometry, but it may be more comfortable to use.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is an incurable genetic disorder with combination of mental retardation and physical features including broad thumbs and toes, craniofacial abnormalities, and growth deficiency. While the autosomal dominant mode of transmission is limitedly known, the majority of cases are attributable to de novo mutations in RTS. The first identified gene associated with RTS is CREB-binding protein (CREBBP/CBP). Alterations of the epigenetic 'histone code' due to dysfunction of the CBP histone acetyltransferase activity deregulate gene transcriptions that are prominently linked to RTS pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss how CBP mutation contributes to modifications of histone and how histone deacetylase inhibitors are therapeutically applicable to epigenetic conditioning in RTS. Since most genetic mutations are irreversible and therapeutic approaches are limited, therapeutic targeting of reversible epigenetic components altered in RTS may be an ideal strategy. Expeditious further study on the role of the epigenetic mechanisms in RTS is encouraged to identify novel epigenetic markers and therapeutic targets to treat RTS.
Neuromolecular medicine 03/2014; 16(1). DOI:10.1007/s12017-013-8285-3 · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The remodeling of chromatin in the nucleolus is important for the control of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription and ribosome biogenesis. Herein, we found that upstream binding factor (UBF) interacts with ESET, a histone H3K9 methyltransferase and is trimethylated at Lys (K) 232/254 by ESET. UBF trimethylation leads to nucleolar chromatin condensation and decreased rDNA transcriptional activity. UBF mutations at K232/254A and K232/254R restored rDNA transcriptional activity in response to ESET. Both ESET-ΔSET mutant and knockdown of ESET by short hairpin RNA reduced trimethylation of UBF and resulted in the restoration of rDNA transcription. Atomic force microscopy confirmed that UBF trimethylated by ESET modulates the plasticity of nucleolar chromatin. We further demonstrated that UBF trimethylation at K232/254 by ESET deregulates rDNA transcription in a cell model of Huntington's disease. Together, our findings show that a novel epigenetic modification of UBF is linked to impaired rDNA transcription and nucleolar chromatin remodeling, which may play key roles in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration.
Nucleic Acids Research 11/2013; 42(3). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt1041 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: EWS (Ewing's Sarcoma) gene encodes an RNA/DNA-binding protein that is ubiquitously expressed and involved in various cellular processes. EWS deficiency leads to impaired development and early senescence through unknown mechanisms. We found that EWS regulates the expression of Drosha and microRNAs (miRNAs). EWS deficiency resulted in increased expression of Drosha, a well-known microprocessor, and increased levels of miR-29b and miR-18b. Importantly, miR-29b and miR-18b were directly involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of collagen IV alpha 1 (Col4a1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in EWS knock-out (KO) mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. The upregulation of Drosha, miR-29b and miR-18b and the sequential downregulation of Col4a1 and CTGF contributed to the deregulation of dermal development in EWS KO mice. Otherwise, knockdown of Drosha rescued miRNA-dependent downregulation of Col4a1 and CTGF proteins. Taken together, our data indicate that EWS is involved in post-transcriptional regulation of Col4a1 and CTGF via a Drosha-miRNA-dependent pathway. This finding suggests that EWS has a novel role in dermal morphogenesis through the modulation of miRNA biogenesis.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 1 November 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.144.
Cell death and differentiation 11/2013; 21(1). DOI:10.1038/cdd.2013.144 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder characterized by triad clinical symptoms of chorea, emotional distress, and cognitive decline. Genetic mutation in HD is identified by an expansion of CAG repeats coding for glutamine (Q) in exon 1 of the huntingtin (htt) gene. The exact mechanism on how mutant htt leads to the selective loss of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum is still unknown. Recent studies suggest that nucleolar stress and dysfunction is linked to the pathogenesis of HD. Alterations of the nucleolar activity and integrity contributes to deregulation of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription in HD pathogenesis. Furthermore, epigenetic modifications in the nucleolus are associated with neuronal damage in HD. In this review, we discuss about how post-translational modifications of upstream binding factor (UBF) are affected by histone acetyltransferase and histone methyltransferase and involved in the transcriptional regulation of rDNA in HD. The understanding of epigenetic modulation of UBF-dependent rDNA transcription in the nucleolus may lead to the identification of novel pathological markers and new therapeutic targets to treat HD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Role of the Nucleolus in Human Disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is an incurable and fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disorder of mid-life onset characterized by chorea, emotional distress, and progressive cognitive decline. HD is caused by an expansion of CAG repeats coding for glutamine (Q) in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene. Recent studies suggest that epigenetic modifications may play a key role in HD pathogenesis. Alterations of the epigenetic "histone code" lead to chromatin remodeling and deregulation of neuronal gene transcription that are prominently linked to HD pathogenesis. Furthermore, specific noncoding RNAs and microRNAs are associated with neuronal damage in HD. In this review, we discuss how DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histone, and noncoding RNA function are affected and involved in HD pathogenesis. In addition, we summarize the therapeutic effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors and DNA binding drugs on epigenetic modifications and neuropathological sequelae in HD. Our understanding of the role of these epigenetic mechanisms may lead to the identification of novel biological markers and new therapeutic targets to treat HD.
Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics 09/2013; 10(4). DOI:10.1007/s13311-013-0206-5 · 5.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons. Dominant mutations in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) give rise to familial ALS by an unknown mechanism. Here we show that genetic deficiency of mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST1) delays disease onset and extends survival in mice expressing the ALS-associated G93A mutant of human SOD1. SOD1(G93A) induces dissociation of MST1 from a redox protein thioredoxin-1 and promotes MST1 activation in spinal cord neurons in a reactive oxygen species-dependent manner. Moreover, MST1 was found to mediate SOD1(G93A)-induced activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and caspases as well as impairment of autophagy in spinal cord motoneurons of SOD1(G93A) mice. Our findings implicate MST1 as a key determinant of neurodegeneration in ALS.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2013; 110(29). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1300894110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by an expanded trinucleotide CAG repeat in the gene coding for huntingtin. Deregulation of chromatin remodeling is linked to the pathogenesis of HD but the mechanism remains elusive. To identify what genes are deregulated by trimethylated histone H3K9 (H3K9me3)-dependent heterochromatin, we performed H3K9me3-ChIP genome-wide sequencing combined with RNA sequencing followed by platform integration analysis in stable striatal HD cell lines (STHdhQ7/7 and STHdhQ111/111) cells. We found that genes involving neuronal synaptic transmission including cholinergic receptor M1 (CHRM1), cell motility, and neuronal differentiation pathways are downregulated while their promoter regions are highly occupied with H3K9me3 in HD. Moreover, we found that repression of CHRM1 gene expression by H3K9me3 impairs Ca2+-dependent neuronal signal transduction in stable cell lines expressing mutant HD protein. Thus, our data indicate that the epigenetic modifications, such as aberrant H3K9me3-dependent heterochromatin plasticity, directly contribute to the pathogenesis of HD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic damage are critical early features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) associated with amyloid β (Aβ) and τ. We previously reported that the scaffolding protein RanBP9, which is overall increased in AD, simultaneously promotes Aβ generation and focal adhesion disruption by accelerating the endocytosis of APP and β1-integrin, respectively. Moreover, RanBP9 induces neurodegeneration in vitro and in vivo and mediates Aβ-induced neurotoxicity. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms underlying such neurotoxic processes. Here, we show that RanBP9 induces the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in mitochondrial superoxides associated with decrease in Bcl-2, increase in Bax protein and oligomerization, fragmentation of mitochondria, and cytochrome c release. RanBP9-induced neurotoxic changes are significantly prevented by the mitochondrial fission inhibitor Mdivi-1 and by classical inhibitors of the mitochondrial apoptosis, XIAP, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xl. RanBP9 physically interacts with the tumor suppressor p73 and increases endogenous p73α levels at both transcriptional and post-translational levels;moreover, the knockdown of endogenous p73 by siRNA effectively blocks RanBP9 and Aβ1-42-induced mitochondria-mediated cell death. Conversely, siRNA knockdown of endogenous RanBP9 also suppresses p73-induced apoptosis, suggesting that RanBP9 and p73 have cooperative roles in inducing cell death. Taken together, these finding implicate the RanBP9/p73 complex in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in addition to its role in enhancing Aβ generation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) is a major component of macromolecular multiprotein complexes called PML nuclear-bodies (PML-NBs). These PML-NBs recruit numerous proteins including CBP, p53 and HIPK2 in response to DNA damage, senescence and apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of presenilin (PS), the main component of the γ-secretase complex, in PML/p53 expression and downstream consequences during DNA damage-induced cell death using camptothecin (CPT). We found that the loss of PS in PS knockout (KO) MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts) results in severely blunted PML expression and attenuated cell death upon CPT exposure, a phenotype that is fully reversed by re-expression of PS1 in PS KO cells and recapitulated by γ-secretase inhibitors in hPS1 MEFs. Interestingly, the γ-secretase cleavage product, APP intracellular domain (AICD), together with Fe65-induced PML expression at the protein and transcriptional levels in PS KO cells. PML and p53 reciprocally positively regulated each other during CPT-induced DNA damage, both of which were dependent on PS. Finally, elevated levels of PML-NB, PML protein and PML mRNA were detected in the brain tissues from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, where γ-secretase activity is essential for pathogenesis. Our data provide for the first time, a critical role of the PS/AICD-PML/p53 pathway in DNA damage-induced apoptosis, and implicate this pathway in AD pathogenesis.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 11 January 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2012.162.
Cell death and differentiation 01/2013; 20(4). DOI:10.1038/cdd.2012.162 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by progressive paralysis caused by the degeneration of motor neurons throughout the central nervous system. Mutations of the free radical scavenging enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are a cause of familial ALS. In the present study, we demonstrated an age-dependent increase in taurine transporter (TauT) immunoreactivity in spinal cord motor neurons of ALS transgenic mice (mutant SOD1 (G93A)) and a similar increase in TauT in spinal motor neurons of patients with ALS. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis verified that heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) preferentially occupies the HSF1 binding element in the promoter of TauT under oxidative stress conditions. Knockdown of HSF1 by small interfering RNA reduced the transcriptional activity of TauT. Using [(3)H] taurine, we confirmed that an elevated expression of TauT directly contributes to increased taurine uptake in ALS motor neurons. In addition, we showed that taurine plays an antioxidant role and may prevent motor neuron loss due to oxidative stress in ALS. Our findings suggest that HSF1-induced TauT expression partially protects motor neurons by compensating for constitutive oxidative stress, which is thought to be a key mechanism contributing to the pathogenesis of ALS. Taken together, our results suggest that TauT is a novel pathological marker for stressed motor neurons in ALS and that modulation of TauT and taurine may slow neuronal degeneration in ALS.