[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence points to the cytotoxicity of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) aggregates as a major contributor to the loss of beta cell mass in type 2 diabetes. Prevention of IAPP amyloid formation represents a potential treatment to increase beta cell survival and function. The IAPP inhibitory peptide, D-ANFLVH, had been previously shown to prevent islet amyloid accumulation in cultured human islets. To assess its activity in vivo, D-ANFLVH was administered by intraperitoneal injection into a human IAPP transgenic mouse model, which replicates type 2 diabetes islet amyloid pathology. The peptide was a potent inhibitor of islet amyloid deposition, resulting in reduced islet cell apoptosis and preservation of beta cell area leading to improved glucose tolerance. These findings provide support for a key role of islet amyloid in beta cell survival and validate the application of anti-amyloid compounds as therapeutic strategies to maintain normal insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes patients.
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Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/dom.12529 · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO1) plays a number of roles in cellular events and recent evidence has given momentum for its contributions to neuronal development and function. Here, we have generated a SUMO1 transgenic mouse model with exclusive overexpression in neurons in an effort to identify in vivo conjugation targets and the functional consequences of their SUMOylation. A high-expressing line was examined which displayed elevated levels of mono-SUMO1 and increased high molecular weight conjugates in all brain regions. Immunoprecipitation of SUMOylated proteins from total brain extract and proteomic analysis revealed ~95 candidate proteins from a variety of functional classes, including a number of synaptic and cytoskeletal proteins. SUMO1 modification of synaptotagmin-1 was found to be elevated as compared to non-transgenic mice. This observation was associated with an age-dependent reduction in basal synaptic transmission and impaired presynaptic function as shown by altered paired pulse facilitation, as well as a decrease in spine density. The changes in neuronal function and morphology were also associated with a specific impairment in learning and memory while other behavioral features remained unchanged. These findings point to a significant contribution of SUMO1 modification on neuronal function which may have implications for mechanisms involved in mental retardation and neurodegeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presenilin genes were first identified as the site of missense mutations causing early onset autosomal dominant familial Alzheimer's disease. Subsequent work has shown that the presenilin proteins are the catalytic subunits of a hetero-tetrameric complex containing APH1, nicastrin and PEN-2. This complex (variously termed presenilin complex or gamma-secretase complex) performs an unusual type of proteolysis in which the transmembrane domains of Type I proteins are cleaved within the hydrophobic compartment of the membrane. This review describes some of the molecular and structural biology of this unusual enzyme complex. The presenilin complex is a bilobed structure. The head domain contains the ectodomain of nicastrin. The base domain contains a central cavity with a lateral cleft that likely provides the route for access of the substrate to the catalytic cavity within the centre of the base domain. There are reciprocal allosteric interactions between various sites in the complex that affect its function. For instance, binding of Compound E, a peptidomimetic inhibitor to the PS1 N-terminus, induces significant conformational changes that reduces substrate binding at the initial substrate docking site, and thus inhibits substrate cleavage. However, there is a reciprocal allosteric interaction between these sites such that prior binding of the substrate to the initial docking site paradoxically increases the binding of the Compound E peptidomimetic inhibitor. Such reciprocal interactions are likely to form the basis of a gating mechanism that underlies access of substrate to the catalytic site. An increasingly detailed understanding of the structural biology of the presenilin complex is an essential step towards rational design of substrate- and/or cleavage site-specific modulators of presenilin complex function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by the aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides leading to deposition of senile plaques and a progressive decline of cognitive functions, which currently remains the main criterion for its diagnosis. Robust biomarkers for AD do not yet exist, although changes in the cerebrospinal fluid levels of tau and Aβ represent promising candidates in addition to brain imaging and genetic risk profiling. Although concentrations of soluble Aβ42 correlate with symptoms of AD, less is known about the biological activities of Aβ peptides which are generated from the amyloid-β protein precursor. An unbiased DNA microarray study showed that Aβ42, at sub-lethal concentrations, specifically increases expression of several genes in neuroblastoma cells, notably the insulin-like growth factor binding proteins 3 and 5 (IGFBP3/5), the transcription regulator inhibitor of DNA binding, and the transcription factor Lim only domain protein 4. Using qRT-PCR, we confirmed that mRNA levels of the identified candidate genes were exclusively increased by the potentially neurotoxic Aβ42 wild-type peptide, as both the less toxic Aβ40 and a non-toxic substitution peptide Aβ42 G33A did not affect mRNA levels. In vivo immunohistochemistry revealed a corresponding increase in both hippocampal and cortical IGFBP5 expression in an AD mouse model. Proteomic analyses of human AD cerebrospinal fluid displayed increased in vivo concentrations of IGFBPs. IGFBPs and transcription factors, as identified here, are modulated by soluble Aβ42 and may represent useful early biomarkers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prions are self-replicating protein aggregates and are the primary causative factor in a number of neurological diseases in
mammals. The prion protein (PrP) undergoes a conformational transformation leading to aggregation into an infectious cellular
pathogen. Prion-like protein spreading and transmission of aggregates between cells have also been demonstrated for other
proteins associated with Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. This protein-only phenomenon may therefore have broader
implications in neurodegenerative disorders. The minireviews in this thematic series highlight the recent advances in prion
biology and the roles these unique proteins play in disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrate a role of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in reducing cerebral soluble and insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. Short-term treatment of two human amyloid precursor protein-expressing models, Tg2576 and TgCRND8 mice, with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], the endogenous active ligand of VDR, resulted in higher brain P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and lower soluble Aβ levels, effects negated with coadministration of elacridar, a P-gp inhibitor. Long-term treatment of TgCRND8 mice with 1,25(OH)2D3 during the period of plaque formation reduced soluble and insoluble plaque-associated Aβ, particularly in the hippocampus in which the VDR is abundant and P-gp induction is greatest after 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment, and this led to improved conditioned fear memory. In mice fed a vitamin D-deficient diet, lower cerebral P-gp expression was observed, but levels were restored on replenishment with VDR ligands. The composite data suggest that the VDR is an important therapeutic target in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 05/2014; 34(21):7091-101. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2711-13.2014 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide play central roles in the pathology and etiology of Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid-induced impairments in neurogenesis have been investigated in several transgenic mouse models but the mechanism of action remains to be conclusively demonstrated. The changes in neurogenesis during this transition of increasing Aβ levels and plaque formation was investigated in the present study. We found that the proliferation of newborn cell in the dentate gyrus was enhanced prior to elevations in soluble Aβ production as well as amyloid deposition in 5 week-old TgCRND8 mice, which are well-established Alzheimer's disease models, compared to non-transgenic (Non-Tg) mice. The number of BrdU-positive cells remained higher in TgCRND8 vs Non-Tg mice for a period of 8 weeks. The numbers of BrdU/NeuN-positive cells were not significantly different in TgCRND8 compared to non-transgenic mice. A significant decrease in BrdU/GFAP but not in BrdU/S100β was found in Tg vs Non-Tg at 6 week-old age. In addition, a unique observation was made using isolated neuroprogenitor cells from TgCRND8 mice which were found to be less viable in culture and produced substantial amounts of secreted Aβ peptides. This suggests that the proliferation of neural progenitors in vivo may be modulated by high levels of APP expression and the resulting Aβ generated directly by the progenitor cells. These findings indicate that cell proliferation is increased prior to Aβ deposition and that cell viability is decreased in TgCRND8 mice over time.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Histopathologically, AD features insoluble aggregates of two proteins in the brain, amyloid-β (Aβ) and the microtubule-associated protein tau, both of which have been linked to the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO).
A large body of research has elucidated many of the molecular and cellular pathways that underlie AD, including those involving the abnormal Aβ and tau aggregates. However, a full understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of the disease has remained elusive. Consequently, there are currently no effective therapeutic options that can modify the disease progression and slow or stop the decline of cognitive functioning. As part of the effort to address this lacking, there needs a better understanding of the signaling pathways that become impaired under AD pathology, including the regulatory mechanisms that normally control those networks. One such mechanism involves SUMOylation, which is a post-translational modification (PTM) that is involved in regulating many aspects of cell biology and has also been found to have several critical neuron-specific roles. Early studies have indicated that the SUMO system is likely altered with AD-type pathology, which may impact Aβ levels and tau aggregation. Although still a relatively unexplored topic, SUMOylation will likely emerge as a significant factor in AD pathogenesis in ways which may be somewhat analogous to other regulatory PTMs such as phosphorylation. Thus, in addition to the upstream effects on tau and Aβ processing, there may also be downstream effects mediated by Aβ aggregates or other AD-related factors on SUMO-regulated signaling pathways. Multiple proteins that have functions relevant to AD pathology have been identified as SUMO substrates, including those involved in synaptic physiology, mitochondrial dynamics, and inflammatory signaling. Ongoing studies will determine how these SUMO-regulated functions in neurons and glial cells may be impacted by Aβ and AD pathology. Here, we present a review of the current literature on the involvement of SUMO in AD, as well as an overview of the SUMOylated proteins and pathways that are potentially dysregulated with AD pathogenesis.
NeuroMolecular Medicine 12/2013; 15(4). DOI:10.1007/s12017-013-8257-7 · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Presenilin-mediated endoproteolysis of transmembrane proteins plays a key role in physiological signaling and in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and some cancers. Numerous inhibitors have been found via library screens, but their structural mechanisms remain unknown. We used several biophysical techniques to investigate the structure of human presenilin complexes and the effects of peptidomimetic γ-secretase inhibitors. The complexes are bilobed. The head contains nicastrin ectodomain. The membrane-embedded base has a central channel and a lateral cleft, which may represent the initial substrate docking site. Inhibitor binding induces widespread structural changes, including rotation of the head and closure of the lateral cleft. These changes block substrate access to the catalytic pocket and inhibit the enzyme. Intriguingly, peptide substrate docking has reciprocal effects on the inhibitor binding site. Similar reciprocal shifts may underlie the mechanisms of other inhibitors and of the "lateral gate" through which substrates access to the catalytic site.