[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cellular generation of toxic metabolites and subsequent detoxification failure can cause the uncontrolled accumulation of these metabolites in cells, leading to cellular dysfunction. Amyloid-beta protein (Abeta), a normal metabolite of neurons, tends to form toxic oligomeric structures that cause neurodegeneration. It is unclear how healthy neurons control the levels of intracellular oligomeric Abeta in order to avoid neurodegeneration. Using immunochemical and biochemical studies, we show that the Abeta-binding serine protease Omi is a stress-relieving heat-shock protein that protects neurons against neurotoxic oligomeric Abeta. Through its PDZ domain, Omi binds preferentially to neurotoxic oligomeric forms of Abeta rather than non-toxic monomeric forms to detoxify oligomeric Abeta by disaggregation. This specific interaction leads not only to mutual detoxification of the pro-apoptotic activity of Omi and Abeta-induced neurotoxicity, but also to a reduction of neurotoxic-Abeta accumulation. The neuroprotective role of Omi is further supported by its upregulation during normal neurogenesis and neuronal maturation in mice, which could be in response to the increase in the generation of oligomeric Abeta during these processes. These findings provide novel and important insights into the detoxification pathway of intraneuronal oligomeric Abeta in mammals and the protective roles of Omi in neurodegeneration, suggesting a novel therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of HtrA2/Omi, a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial serine protease with a proapoptosis function, under H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative stress in human RPE, in the Ccl2(-)(/)(-)Cx3cr1(-)(/)(-) double-knockout (DKO) mouse retina, and the HtrA2/Omi-deficient mice.
Oxidative stress was induced in ARPE-19 cells by 1 mM H(2)O(2) for 2 hours. HtrA2/Omi and caspase-3 expression was evaluated using RQ-PCR, immunohistochemistry, or Western blot. Cell viability was detected by MTT assay. HtrA2/Omi expression in the subcellular components and activated caspase-3 were measured. These processes were also evaluated in cells treated with UCF-101, an HtrA2/Omi inhibitor or in cells subjected to RNAi against HtrA2/Omi. Oxidative stress was assayed and compared in retinas of DKO and wild-type (WT) mice by determining serum NADPH oxidase subunits and nitrite levels. Transmission electron microscopy was used to view the retinal ultrastructure of the HtrA2/Omi-deficient mice.
H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative damage resulted in HtrA2/Omi translocation from mitochondria to cytosol, leading to RPE cell apoptosis via a caspase-mediated pathway. Treatment of RPE cells with UCF-101 reduced the cytosolic translocation of HtrA2/Omi, attenuated caspase-3 activation, and decreased apoptosis. After specific HtrA2 downregulation, increased cell viability was measured in H(2)O(2)-treated ARPE-19 cells. Retina of DKO mice exhibit increased oxidative stress and upregulation of HtrA2/Omi. Fewer and abnormal mitochondria were found in HtrA2/Omi(-)(/)(-) photoreceptors and RPE.
These findings suggest that HtrA2/Omi is related to RPE apoptosis due to oxidative stress, which may play an important role in the integrity of mitochondria and the pathogenesis of AMD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in PINK1 cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease. PINK1 is a mitochondrial kinase of unknown function. We investigated calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial function in PINK1-deficient mammalian neurons. We demonstrate physiologically that PINK1 regulates calcium efflux from the mitochondria via the mitochondrial Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger. PINK1 deficiency causes mitochondrial accumulation of calcium, resulting in mitochondrial calcium overload. We show that calcium overload stimulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production via NADPH oxidase. ROS production inhibits the glucose transporter, reducing substrate delivery and causing impaired respiration. We demonstrate that impaired respiration may be restored by provision of mitochondrial complex I and II substrates. Taken together, reduced mitochondrial calcium capacity and increased ROS lower the threshold of opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) such that physiological calcium stimuli become sufficient to induce mPTP opening in PINK1-deficient cells. Our findings propose a mechanism by which PINK1 dysfunction renders neurons vulnerable to cell death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular stress responses can be activated following functional defects in organelles such as mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by loss of the serine protease HtrA2 leads to a progressive movement disorder in mice and has been linked to parkinsonian neurodegeneration in humans. Here, we demonstrate that loss of HtrA2 results in transcriptional upregulation of nuclear genes characteristic of the integrated stress response, including the transcription factor CHOP, selectively in the brain. We also show that loss of HtrA2 results in the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the mitochondria, defective mitochondrial respiration and enhanced production of reactive oxygen species that contribute to the induction of CHOP expression and to neuronal cell death. CHOP expression is also significantly increased in Parkinson's disease patients' brain tissue. We therefore propose that this brain-specific transcriptional response to stress may be important in the advance of neurodegenerative diseases.
Cell death and differentiation 12/2008; 16(3):449-64. DOI:10.1038/cdd.2008.166 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(6):e2455. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0002455 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mice, targeted deletion of the serine protease HtrA2 (also known as Omi) causes mitochondrial dysfunction leading to a neurodegenerative disorder with parkinsonian features. In humans, point mutations in HtrA2 are a susceptibility factor for Parkinson's disease (PARK13 locus). Mutations in PINK1, a putative mitochondrial protein kinase, are associated with the PARK6 autosomal recessive locus for susceptibility to early-onset Parkinson's disease. Here we determine that HtrA2 interacts with PINK1 and that both are components of the same stress-sensing pathway. HtrA2 is phosphorylated on activation of the p38 pathway, occurring in a PINK1-dependent manner at a residue adjacent to a position found mutated in patients with Parkinson's disease. HtrA2 phosphorylation is decreased in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease carrying mutations in PINK1. We suggest that PINK1-dependent phosphorylation of HtrA2 might modulate its proteolytic activity, thereby contributing to an increased resistance of cells to mitochondrial stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The serine protease HtrA2/Omi is released from the mitochondrial intermembrane space following apoptotic stimuli. Once in the cytosol, HtrA2/Omi has been implicated in promoting cell death by binding to inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) via its amino-terminal Reaper-related motif, thus inducing caspase activity, and also in mediating caspase-independent death through its own protease activity. We report here the phenotype of mice entirely lacking expression of HtrA2/Omi due to targeted deletion of its gene, Prss25. These animals, or cells derived from them, show no evidence of reduced rates of cell death but on the contrary suffer loss of a population of neurons in the striatum, resulting in a neurodegenerative disorder with a parkinsonian phenotype that leads to death of the mice around 30 days after birth. The phenotype of these mice suggests that it is the protease function of this protein and not its IAP binding motif that is critical. This conclusion is reinforced by the finding that simultaneous deletion of the other major IAP binding protein, Smac/DIABLO, does not obviously alter the phenotype of HtrA2/Omi knockout mice or cells derived from them. Mammalian HtrA2/Omi is therefore likely to function in vivo in a manner similar to that of its bacterial homologues DegS and DegP, which are involved in protection against cell stress, and not like the proapoptotic Reaper family proteins in Drosophila melanogaster.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is the authors' final draft of the version published as Nature Cell Biology, 2007, 9 (11), pp.1243-52. The final published version is available online at http://www.nature.com/ncb/journal/v9/n11/full/ncb1644.html