Hikaru Ito

Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (13)75.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mutant ataxin-1 (Atxn1), which causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), binds to and impairs the function of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a crucial nuclear protein that regulates DNA architectural changes essential for DNA damage repair and transcription. In this study, we established that transgenic or virus vector-mediated complementation with HMGB1 ameliorates motor dysfunction and prolongs lifespan in mutant Atxn1 knock-in (Atxn1-KI) mice. We identified mitochondrial DNA damage repair by HMGB1 as a novel molecular basis for this effect, in addition to the mechanisms already associated with HMGB1 function, such as nuclear DNA damage repair and nuclear transcription. The dysfunction and the improvement of mitochondrial DNA damage repair functions are tightly associated with the exacerbation and rescue, respectively, of symptoms, supporting the involvement of mitochondrial DNA quality control by HMGB1 in SCA1 pathology. Moreover, we show that the rescue of Purkinje cell dendrites and dendritic spines by HMGB1 could be downstream effects. Although extracellular HMGB1 triggers inflammation mediated by Toll-like receptor and receptor for advanced glycation end products, upregulation of intracellular HMGB1 does not induce such side effects. Thus, viral delivery of HMGB1 is a candidate approach by which to modify the disease progression of SCA1 even after the onset.
    EMBO Molecular Medicine 12/2014; · 7.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a high-end mass spectrometry, we screened phosphoproteins and phosphopeptides in four types of Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models and human AD postmortem brains. We identified commonly changed phosphoproteins in multiple models and also determined phosphoproteins related to initiation of Aβ deposition in the mouse brain. After confirming these proteins were also changed in and human AD brains, we put the proteins on experimentally verified protein-protein interaction databases. Surprisingly most of the core phosphoproteins were directly connected, and they formed a functional network linked to synaptic spine formation. The change of the core network started at a preclinical stage even before histological Aβ deposition. Systems biology analyses suggested phosphorylation of MARCKS by over-activated kinases including PKCs and CaMKs initiates synapse pathology. Two-photon microscopic observation revealed recovery of abnormal spine formation in the AD model mice by targeting a core protein MARCKS or by inhibiting candidate kinases, supporting our hypothesis formulated based on phosphoproteome analysis.
    Human Molecular Genetics 09/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA damage repair is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases; however, the relative contributions of various DNA repair systems to the pathology of these diseases have not been investigated systematically. In this study, we performed a systematic in vivo screen of all available Drosophila melanogaster homolog DNA repair genes, and we tested the effect of their overexpression on lifespan and developmental viability in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 (SCA1) Drosophila models expressing human mutant Ataxin-1 (Atxn1). We identified genes previously unknown to be involved in CAG-/polyQ-related pathogenesis that function in multiple DNA damage repair systems. Beyond the significance of each repair system, systems biology analyses unraveled the core networks connecting positive genes in the gene screen that could contribute to SCA1 pathology. In particular, RpA1, which had the largest effect on lifespan in the SCA1 fly model, was located at the hub position linked to such core repair systems, including homologous recombination (HR). We revealed that Atxn1 actually interacted with RpA1 and its essential partners BRCA1/2. Furthermore, mutant but not normal Atxn1 impaired the dynamics of RpA1 in the nucleus after DNA damage. Uptake of BrdU by Purkinje cells was observed in mutant Atxn1 knock-in mice, suggesting their abnormal entry to the S-phase. In addition, chemical and genetic inhibitions of Chk1 elongated lifespan and recovered eye degeneration. Collectively, we elucidated core networks for DNA damage repair in SCA1 that might include the aberrant usage of HR.
    Human Molecular Genetics 10/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is hypothesized that a common underlying mechanism links multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (TERA)/ valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 directly binds to multiple polyglutamine disease proteins (huntingtin, ataxin-1, ataxin-7 and androgen receptor) via polyglutamine sequence. Although normal and mutant polyglutamine proteins interact with TERA/VCP/p97, only mutant proteins affect dynamism of TERA/VCP/p97. Among multiple functions of TERA/VCP/p97, we reveal that functional defect of TERA/VCP/p97 in DNA double-stranded break repair is critical for the pathology of neurons in which TERA/VCP/p97 is located dominantly in the nucleus in vivo. Mutant polyglutamine proteins impair accumulation of TERA/VCP/p97 and interaction of related double-stranded break repair proteins, finally causing the increase of unrepaired double-stranded break. Consistently, the recovery of lifespan in polyglutamine disease fly models by TERA/VCP/p97 corresponds well to the improvement of double-stranded break in neurons. Taken together, our results provide a novel common pathomechanism in multiple polyglutamine diseases that is mediated by DNA repair function of TERA/VCP/p97.
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    ABSTRACT: It is hypothesized that a common underlying mechanism links multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (TERA)/valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 directly binds to multiple polyglutamine disease proteins (huntingtin, ataxin-1, ataxin-7 and androgen receptor) via polyglutamine sequence. Although normal and mutant polyglutamine proteins interact with TERA/VCP/p97, only mutant proteins affect dynamism of TERA/VCP/p97. Among multiple functions of TERA/VCP/p97, we reveal that functional defect of TERA/VCP/p97 in DNA double-stranded break repair is critical for the pathology of neurons in which TERA/VCP/p97 is located dominantly in the nucleus in vivo. Mutant polyglutamine proteins impair accumulation of TERA/VCP/p97 and interaction of related double-stranded break repair proteins, finally causing the increase of unrepaired double-stranded break. Consistently, the recovery of lifespan in polyglutamine disease fly models by TERA/VCP/p97 corresponds well to the improvement of double-stranded break in neurons. Taken together, our results provide a novel common pathomechanism in multiple polyglutamine diseases that is mediated by DNA repair function of TERA/VCP/p97.
    Nature Communications 01/2013; 4:1816. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PQBP1 is a nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling protein that is engaged in RNA metabolism and transcription. In mouse embryonic brain, our previous in situ hybridization study revealed that PQBP1 mRNA was dominantly expressed in the periventricular zone region where neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs) are located. Because the expression patterns in NSPCs are related to the symptoms of intellectual disability and microcephaly in PQBP1 gene-mutated patients, we investigated the transcriptional regulation of PQBP1 by NSPC-specific transcription factors. We selected 132 genome sequences that matched the consensus sequence for the binding of Sox2 and POU transcription factors upstream and downstream of the mouse PQBP1 gene. We then screened the binding affinity of these sequences to Sox2-Pax6 or Sox2-Brn2 with gel mobility shift assays and found 18 genome sequences that interacted with the NSPC-specific transcription factors. Some of these sequences had cis-regulatory activities in Luciferase assays and in utero electroporation into NSPCs. Furthermore we found decreased levels of expression of PQBP1 protein in NSPCs of heterozygous Sox2-knockout mice in vivo by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Collectively, these results indicated that Sox2 regulated the transcription of PQBP1 in NSPCs.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68627. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) gene product, Ataxin-7 (ATXN7), localizes to the nucleus and has been shown to function as a component of the TATA-binding protein-free TAF-containing-SPT3-TAF9-GCN5-acetyltransferase transcription complex, although cytoplasmic localization of ATXN7 in affected neurons of human SCA7 patients has also been detected. Here, we define a physiological function for cytoplasmic ATXN7. Live imaging reveals that the intracellular distribution of ATXN7 dynamically changes and that ATXN7 distribution frequently shifts from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation demonstrate that cytoplasmic ATXN7 associates with microtubules (MTs), and expression of ATXN7 stabilizes MTs against nocodazole treatment, while ATXN7 knockdown enhances MT degradation. Interestingly, normal and mutant ATXN7 similarly associate with and equally stabilize MTs. Taken together, these findings provide a novel physiological function of ATXN7 in the regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics, and suggest that abnormal cytoskeletal regulation may contribute to SCA7 disease pathology.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2011; 21(5):1099-110. · 7.69 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research 09/2011; 71. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein phosphorylation is deeply involved in the pathological mechanism of various neurodegenerative disorders. However, in human pathological samples, phosphorylation can be modified during preservation by postmortem factors such as time and temperature. Postmortem changes may also differ among proteins. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive database that could support the analysis of protein phosphorylation in human brain samples from the standpoint of postmortem changes. As a first step toward addressing the issue, we performed phosphoproteome analysis with brain tissue dissected from mouse bodies preserved under different conditions. Quantitative whole proteome mass analysis showed surprisingly diverse postmortem changes in phosphoproteins that were dependent on temperature, time and protein species. Twelve hrs postmortem was a critical time point for preservation at room temperature. At 4°C, after the body was cooled down, most phosphoproteins were stable for 72 hrs. At either temperature, increase greater than 2-fold was exceptional during this interval. We found several standard proteins by which we can calculate the postmortem time at room temperature. The information obtained in this study will be indispensable for evaluating experimental data with human as well as mouse brain samples.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e21405. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA repair defends against naturally occurring or disease-associated DNA damage during the long lifespan of neurons and is implicated in polyglutamine disease pathology. In this study, we report that mutant huntingtin (Htt) expression in neurons causes double-strand breaks (DSBs) of genomic DNA, and Htt further promotes DSBs by impairing DNA repair. We identify Ku70, a component of the DNA damage repair complex, as a mediator of the DNA repair dysfunction in mutant Htt-expressing neurons. Mutant Htt interacts with Ku70, impairs DNA-dependent protein kinase function in nonhomologous end joining, and consequently increases DSB accumulation. Expression of exogenous Ku70 rescues abnormal behavior and pathological phenotypes in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease (HD). These results collectively suggest that Ku70 is a critical regulator of DNA damage in HD pathology.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 05/2010; 189(3):425-43. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PQBP1 (polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1) is a causative gene for a relatively frequent X-linked syndromic and non-syndromic mental retardation (MR). To analyze behavioral abnormalities of these patients from molecular basis, we developed a knock-down (KD) mouse model. The KD mice possess a transgene expressing 498 bp double-strand RNA that is endogenously cleaved to siRNA suppressing PQBP1 efficiently. After confirming that PQBP1 is selectively suppressed to nearly 50% of the control mice, we performed behavioral analyses of PQBP1-KD mice. The KD mice possessed normal ability in ordinary memory tests including water-maze test, whereas they showed abnormal anxiety-related behavior in light/dark exploration test and open-field test and showed obvious declines of anxiety-related cognition in the repetitive elevated plus maze or novel object recognition test. Correspondingly, we found c-fos upregulation and histone H3 acetylation after behavior tests were declined in neurons of amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, we found that 4-phenylbutyric acid, an HDAC inhibitor, efficiently improved expression of these genes and rescued the abnormal phenotypes in adult PQBP1-KD mice. These results suggested that PQBP1 dysfunction in regulating gene expression might underlie the abnormal behavior and cognition of PQBP1-KD mice and that the recovery of expression of such PQBP1 target genes might improve the symptoms in adult patients.
    Human Molecular Genetics 09/2009; 18(22):4239-54. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Selective vulnerability of neurons is a critical feature of neurodegenerative diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. We here report that Omi/HtrA2, a mitochondrial protein regulating survival and apoptosis of cells, decreases selectively in striatal neurons that are most vulnerable to the Huntington's disease (HD) pathology. In microarray analysis, Omi/HtrA2 was decreased under the expression of mutant huntingtin (htt) in striatal neurons but not in cortical or cerebellar neurons. Mutant ataxin-1 (Atx-1) did not affect Omi/HtrA2 in any type of neuron. Western blot analysis of primary neurons expressing mutant htt also confirmed the selective reduction of the Omi/HtrA2 protein. Immunohistochemistry with a mutant htt-transgenic mouse line and human HD brains confirmed reduction of Omi/HtrA2 in striatal neurons. Overexpression of Omi/HtrA2 by adenovirus vector reverted mutant htt-induced cell death in primary neurons. These results collectively suggest that the homeostatic but not proapoptotic function of Omi/HtrA2 is linked to selective vulnerability of striatal neurons in HD pathology.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 08/2008; 28(1):30-40. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HMGB1 is an evolutionarily conserved non-histone chromatin-associated protein with key roles in maintenance of nuclear homeostasis; however, the function of HMGB1 in the brain remains largely unknown. Recently, we found that the reduction of nuclear HMGB1 protein level in the nucleus associates with DNA double-strand break (DDSB)-mediated neuronal damage in Huntington’s disease [M.L. Qi, K. Tagawa, Y. Enokido, N. Yoshimura, Y. Wada, K. Watase, S. Ishiura, I. Kanazawa, J. Botas, M. Saitoe, E.E. Wanker, H. Okazawa, Proteome analysis of soluble nuclear proteins reveals that HMGB1/2 suppress genotoxic stress in polyglutamine diseases, Nat. Cell Biol. 9 (2007) 402–414]. In this study, we analyze the region- and cell type-specific changes of HMGB1 and DDSB accumulation during the aging of mouse brain. HMGB1 is localized in the nuclei of neurons and astrocytes, and the protein level changes in various brain regions age-dependently. HMGB1 reduces in neurons, whereas it increases in astrocytes during aging. In contrast, DDSB remarkably accumulates in neurons, but it does not change significantly in astrocytes during aging. These results indicate that HMGB1 expression during aging is differentially regulated between neurons and astrocytes, and suggest that the reduction of nuclear HMGB1 might be causative for DDSB in neurons of the aged brain.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2008; · 2.28 Impact Factor