Eliezer Masliah

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (821)5311.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between primary age-related tauopathy (PART) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently a matter of discussion. Recently the term PART was referred to cases characterized by mainly allocortical neurofibrillary (NF) pathology (Braak stages 0-IV) with only few or no amyloid (Aβ) deposits (Thal Aβ phases 0-2) [49]. In addition, no elevated soluble Aβ was detected in this disorder [9, 46]. PART cases that lack any Aβ do not meet formal criteria for sporadic AD according to the NIA-AA guidelines [35]. These neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)+/Aβ-brains are commonly observed in extreme old age [9, 15, 19]. When associated with a high density of NFTs in the same distribution and some cognitive deficits, the disorder has been referred to as tangle-predominant senile dementia (TPSD) [27] or “tangle-only dementia” [55].The new neuropathologic criteria recommend subdividing PART cases into “definite” (Braak stage ≤IV, Thal Aβ phase 0) and “possible” (Braak stage ≤IV, Thal Aβ phase 1-2) ...
    Acta Neuropathologica 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00401-015-1407-2 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of more effective antiretroviral therapies has reduced the frequency of HIV dementia, however the prevalence of milder HIV associated neurocognitive disorders [HAND] is actually rising. Neurodegenerative mechanisms in HAND might include toxicity by secreted HIV-1 proteins such as Tat, gp120 and Nef that could activate neuro-inflammatory pathways, block autophagy, promote excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and dysregulation of signaling pathways. Recent studies have shown that Tat could interfere with several signal transduction mechanisms involved in cytoskeletal regulation, cell survival and cell cycle re-entry. Among them, Tat has been shown to hyper-activate cyclin-dependent kinase [CDK] 5, a member of the Ser/Thr CDKs involved in cell migration, angiogenesis, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. CDK5 is activated by binding to its regulatory subunit, p35 or p39. For this manuscript we review evidence showing that Tat, via calcium dysregulation, promotes calpain-1 cleavage of p35 to p25, which in turn hyper-activates CDK5 resulting in abnormal phosphorylation of downstream targets such as Tau, collapsin response mediator protein-2 [CRMP2], doublecoutin [DCX] and MEF2. We also present new data showing that Tat interferes with the trafficking of CDK5 between the nucleus and cytoplasm. This results in prolonged presence of CDK5 in the cytoplasm leading to accumulation of aberrantly phosphorylated cytoplasmic targets [eg: Tau, CRMP2, DCX] that impair neuronal function and eventually lead to cell death. Novel therapeutic approaches with compounds that block Tat mediated hyper-activation of CDK5 might be of value in the management of HAND.
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    ABSTRACT: Cyanide is a life threatening, bioterrorist agent, preventing cellular respiration by inhibiting cytochrome c oxidase, resulting in cardiopulmonary failure, hypoxic brain injury, and death within minutes. However, even after treatment with various antidotes to protect cytochrome oxidase, cyanide intoxication in humans can induce a delayed-onset neurological syndrome that includes symptoms of Parkinsonism. Additional mechanisms are thought to underlie cyanide-induced neuronal damage, including generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This may account for the fact that antioxidants prevent some aspects of cyanide-induced neuronal damage. Here, as a potential preemptive countermeasure against a bioterrorist attack with cyanide, we tested the CNS protective effect of carnosic acid (CA), a pro-electrophilic compound found in the herb rosemary. CA crosses the blood-brain-barrier to upregulate endogenous antioxidant enzymes via activation of the Nrf2 transcriptional pathway. We demonstrate that CA exerts neuroprotective effects on cyanide-induced brain damage in cultured rodent and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons in vitro, and in vivo in various brain areas of a non-Swiss albino (NSA) mouse model of cyanide poisoning that simulates damage observed in the human brain. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/jnc.13074 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aging is the principal demographic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder. Klotho is a key modulator of the aging process and, when overexpressed, extends mammalian lifespan, increases synaptic plasticity, and enhances cognition. Whether klotho can counteract deficits related to neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD, is unknown. Here we show that elevating klotho expression decreases premature mortality and network dysfunction in human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) transgenic mice, which simulate key aspects of AD. Increasing klotho levels prevented depletion of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) subunits in the hippocampus and enhanced spatial learning and memory in hAPP mice. Klotho elevation in hAPP mice increased the abundance of the GluN2B subunit of NMDAR in postsynaptic densities and NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation, which is critical for learning and memory. Thus, increasing wild-type klotho levels or activities improves synaptic and cognitive functions, and may be of therapeutic benefit in AD and other cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/352358-14$15.00/0.
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    ABSTRACT: Although α-synuclein (α-syn) phosphorylation has been considered as a hallmark of sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease (PD), little is known about the effect of PD-linked mutations on α-syn phosphorylation. In this study, we investigated the effect of the A30P, E46K, and A53T PD-linked mutations on α-syn phosphorylation at residues S87 and S129. Whereas the A30P and A53T mutants slightly affected pS129 levels compared to WT α-syn, the E46K mutation significantly enhanced S129 phosphorylation in yeast and mammalian cell lines. This effect was not due to the E46K mutant being a better kinase substrate, nor due to alterations in endogenous kinase levels, but mostly linked with enhanced nuclear and ER accumulation. Importantly, lentiviral mediated overexpression in mice also showed enhanced pS129 phosphorylation of the E46K mutant compared to WT α-syn, thus providing in vivo validation of our findings. Altogether, our findings suggest that the different PD-linked mutations may contribute to PD pathogenesis via different mechanisms. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2015; DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.610774 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral therapy has increased the life span of HIV+ individuals; however, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) occurrence is increasing in aging HIV patients. Previous studies suggest HIV infection alters autophagy function in the aging CNS and HIV-1 proteins affect autophagy in monocyte-derived cells. Despite these findings, the mechanisms leading to dysregulated autophagy in the CNS remain unclear. Here we sought to determine how HIV Tat dysregulates autophagy in neurons. Tat caused a dose-dependent decrease in autophagosome markers, microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain β II (LC3II), and sequestosome 1(SQSTM1), in a membrane-enriched fraction, suggesting Tat increases autophagic degradation. Bafilomycin A1 increased autophagosome number, LC3II, and SQSTM1 accumulation; Tat cotreatment diminished this effect. Tat had no effect when 3-methyladenine or knockdown of beclin 1 blocked early stages of autophagy. Tat increased numbers of LC3 puncta and resulted in the formation of abnormal autophagosomes in vitro. Likewise, in vivo studies in GFAP-Tat tg mice showed increased autophagosome accumulation in neurons, altered LC3II levels, and neurodegeneration. These effects were reversed by rapamycin treatment. Tat colocalized with autophagosome and lysosomal markers and enhanced the colocalization of autophagosome with lysosome markers. Furthermore, co-IP studies showed that Tat interacts with lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2A (LAMP2A) in vitro and in vivo, and LAMP2A overexpression reduces Tat-induced neurotoxicity. Hence, Tat protein may induce autophagosome and lysosome fusion through interaction with LAMP2A leading to abnormal neuronal autophagy function and dysregulated degradation of critical intracellular components. Therapies targeting Tat-mediated autophagy alterations may decrease neurodegeneration in aging patients with HAND.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2015; 35(5). DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3207-14.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of virally suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) on cortical neurodegeneration and associated neurocognitive impairment. Retrospective, postmortem observational study. Clinical neuropsychological and postmortem neuropathology data were analyzed in 90 HIV-infected volunteers from the general community who had never undergone ART (n = 7, 'naive') or who had undergone ART and whose plasma viral load was detectable (n = 64 'unsuppressed') or undetectable (n = 19, 'suppressed') at the last clinical visit before death. Individuals were predominately men (74/90, 82%) with a mean age of 44.7 years (SD 9.8). Cortical neurodegeneration was quantified by measuring microtubule-associated protein (MAP2) and synaptophysin (SYP) density in midfrontal cortex tissue sections. The suppressed group had higher SYP density than the naive group (P = 0.007) and higher MAP2 density than the unsuppressed group (P = 0.04). The suppressed group had lower odds of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders than naive [odds ratio (OR) 0.07, P = 0.03]. Higher SYP was associated with lower likelihood of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in univariable (OR 0.8, P = 0.03) and multivariable models after controlling for ART and brain HIV p24 protein levels (OR 0.72, P = 0.01). We conclude that virally suppressive ART protects against cortical neurodegeneration. Further, we find evidence supporting the causal chain from treatment-mediated peripheral and central nervous system viral load suppression to reduced neurodegeneration and improved neurocognitive outcomes.
    AIDS (London, England) 01/2015; 29(3):323-30. DOI:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000553 · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Astrocytes express a variety of G protein-coupled receptors and might influence cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. However, the roles of astrocytic Gs-coupled receptors in cognitive function are not known. We found that humans with Alzheimer's disease (AD) had increased levels of the Gs-coupled adenosine receptor A2A in astrocytes. Conditional genetic removal of these receptors enhanced long-term memory in young and aging mice and increased the levels of Arc (also known as Arg3.1), an immediate-early gene that is required for long-term memory. Chemogenetic activation of astrocytic Gs-coupled signaling reduced long-term memory in mice without affecting learning. Like humans with AD, aging mice expressing human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) showed increased levels of astrocytic A2A receptors. Conditional genetic removal of these receptors enhanced memory in aging hAPP mice. Together, these findings establish a regulatory role for astrocytic Gs-coupled receptors in memory and suggest that AD-linked increases in astrocytic A2A receptor levels contribute to memory loss.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may exhibit deficits in "Theory of Mind", the ability to read others' mental states and react appropriately, a prerequisite for successful social interaction. Alpha-synuclein overexpression is widely distributed in the brain of patients with sporadic PD, suggesting that it may contribute to the non-motor deficits observed in PD patients. Mice over-expressing human wild-type alpha-synuclein under the Thy1 promoter (Thy1-aSyn mice) have synaptic deficits in the frontostriatal pathway, low cortical acetylcholine, and high level of expression of mGluR5 receptors, which have all been implicated in social recognition deficits. Objective: To determine whether Thy1-aSyn mice present alterations in their response to social stimuli. Methods: We have submitted Thy1-aSyn mice to tests adapted from autism models. Results: At 7-8 month of age Thy1-aSyn mice explored their conspecifics significantly less than did wild-type littermates, without differences in exploration of inanimate objects, and pairs of Thy1-aSyn mice were involved in reciprocal interactions for a shorter duration than wild-type mice at this age. These deficits persisted when the test animal was enclosed in a beaker and were not present at 3-4 months of age despite the presence of olfactory deficits at that age, indicating that they were not solely caused by impairment in olfaction. Conclusion: Thy1-aSyn mice present progressive deficits in social recognition, supporting an association between alpha-synuclein overexpression and Theory of Mind deficits in PD and providing a useful model for identifying mechanisms and testing novel treatments for these deficits which impact patients and caretakers quality of life.
    Journal of Parkinson's Disease 01/2015; DOI:10.3233/JPD-140503 · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with the formation of toxic α-synuclein oligomers that can penetrate the cell membrane. Familial forms of PD are caused by the point mutations A53T, A30P, E46K, and H50Q. Artificial point mutations E35K and E57K also increase oligomerization and pore formation. We generated structural conformations of α-synuclein and the abovementioned mutants using molecular dynamics. We elucidated four main regions in these conformers contacting the membrane and found that the region including residues 39-45 (Zone2) may have maximum membrane penetration. E57K mutant had the highest rate of interaction with the membrane, followed by A53T, E46K, E35K mutants, and wild type (wt) α-synuclein. The mutant A30P had the smallest percentage of conformers that contact the membrane by Zone 2 than all other mutants and wt α-synuclein. These results were confirmed experimentally in vitro. We identified the key amino acids that can interact with the membrane (Y38, E62, and N65 (1st hydrophilic layer); E104, E105, and D115 (2nd hydrophilic layer), and V15 and V26 (central hydrophobic layer)) and the residues that are involved in the interprotein contacts (L38, V48, V49, Q62, and T64). Understanding the molecular interactions of α-synuclein mutants is important for the design of compounds blocking the formation of toxic oligomers.
    ACS Chemical Neuroscience 01/2015; DOI:10.1021/cn500332w · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, a rare variant in the amyloid precursor protein gene (APP) was described in a population from Iceland. This variant, in which alanine is replaced by threonine at position 673 (A673T), appears to protect against late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). We evaluated the frequency of this variant in AD cases and cognitively normal controls to determine whether this variant will significantly contribute to risk assessment in individuals in the United States. To determine the frequency of the APP A673T variant in a large group of elderly cognitively normal controls and AD cases from the United States and in 2 case-control cohorts from Sweden. Case-control association analysis of variant APP A673T in US and Swedish white individuals comparing AD cases with cognitively intact elderly controls. Participants were ascertained at multiple university-associated medical centers and clinics across the United States and Sweden by study-specific sampling methods. They were from case-control studies, community-based prospective cohort studies, and studies that ascertained multiplex families from multiple sources. Genotypes for the APP A673T variant were determined using the Infinium HumanExome V1 Beadchip (Illumina, Inc) and by TaqMan genotyping (Life Technologies). The A673T variant genotypes were evaluated in 8943 US AD cases, 10 480 US cognitively normal controls, 862 Swedish AD cases, and 707 Swedish cognitively normal controls. We identified 3 US individuals heterozygous for A673T, including 1 AD case (age at onset, 89 years) and 2 controls (age at last examination, 82 and 77 years). The remaining US samples were homozygous for the alanine (A673) allele. In the Swedish samples, 3 controls were heterozygous for A673T and all AD cases were homozygous for the A673 allele. We also genotyped a US family previously reported to harbor the A673T variant and found a mother-daughter pair, both cognitively normal at ages 72 and 84 years, respectively, who were both heterozygous for A673T; however, all individuals with AD in the family were homozygous for A673. The A673T variant is extremely rare in US cohorts and does not play a substantial role in risk for AD in this population. This variant may be primarily restricted to Icelandic and Scandinavian populations.
    JAMA Neurology 12/2014; DOI:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.2157 · 7.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder. Functional interactions between some PD genes, like PINK1 and parkin, have been identified, but whether other ones interact remains elusive. Here we report an unexpected genetic interaction between two PD genes, VPS35 and EIF4G1. We provide evidence that EIF4G1 upregulation causes defects associated with protein misfolding. Expression of a sortilin protein rescues these defects, downstream of VPS35, suggesting a potential role for sortilins in PD. We also show interactions between VPS35, EIF4G1, and α-synuclein, a protein with a key role in PD. We extend our findings from yeast to an animal model and show that these interactions are conserved in neurons and in transgenic mice. Our studies reveal unexpected genetic and functional interactions between two seemingly unrelated PD genes and functionally connect them to α-synuclein pathobiology in yeast, worms, and mouse. Finally, we provide a resource of candidate PD genes for future interrogation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Neuron 12/2014; 85(3). DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.11.027 · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis is a debilitating, often fatal, systemic amyloid disease associated with chronic inflammation and persistently elevated serum amyloid A (SAA). Elevated SAA is necessary but not sufficient to cause disease and the risk factors for AA amyloidosis remain poorly understood. Here we identify an extraordinarily high prevalence of AA amyloidosis (34%) in a genetically isolated population of island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) with concurrent chronic inflammatory diseases. Amyloid deposits were most common in kidney (76%), spleen (58%), oral cavity (45%), and vasculature (44%) and were composed of unbranching, 10 nm in diameter fibrils. Peptide sequencing by mass spectrometry revealed that SAA peptides were dominant in amyloid-laden kidney, together with high levels of apolipoprotein E, apolipoprotein A-IV, fibrinogen-α chain, and complement C3 and C4 (false discovery rate ≤0.05). Reassembled peptide sequences showed island fox SAA as an 111 amino acid protein, most similar to dog and artic fox, with 5 unique amino acid variants among carnivores. SAA peptides extended to the last two C-terminal amino acids in 5 of 9 samples, indicating that near full length SAA was often present in amyloid aggregates. These studies define a remarkably prevalent AA amyloidosis in island foxes with widespread systemic amyloid deposition, a unique SAA sequence, and the co-occurrence of AA with apolipoproteins.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e113765. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0113765 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathologic amyloid accumulates in the CNS or in peripheral organs, yet the mechanism underlying the targeting of systemic amyloid deposits is unclear. Serum amyloid A (SAA) 1 and 2 are produced predominantly by the liver and form amyloid most commonly in the spleen, liver, and kidney. In contrast, SAA3 is produced primarily extrahepatically and has no causal link to amyloid formation. Here, we identified 8 amyloidosis cases with amyloid composed of SAA3 expanding the uterine wall of goats with near-term fetuses. Uterine amyloid accumulated in the endometrium, only at the site of placental attachment, compromising maternal-fetal gas and nutrient exchange and leading to fetal ischemia and death. No other organ contained amyloid. SAA3 mRNA levels in the uterine endometrium were as high as SAA2 in the liver, yet mass spectrometry of the insoluble uterine peptides identified SAA3 as the predominant protein, and not SAA1 or SAA2. These findings suggest that high local SAA3 production led to deposition at this unusual site. Although amyloid A (AA) amyloid deposits typically consist of an N-terminal fragment of SAA1 or SAA2, here, abundant C-terminal peptides indicated that the uterine amyloid was largely composed of full-length SAA3. The exclusive deposition of SAA3 amyloid in the uterus, together with elevated uterine SAA3 transcripts, suggests that the uterine amyloid deposits were due to locally produced SAA3. This is the first report of SAA3 as a cause of amyloidosis and of AA amyloid deposited exclusively in the uterus.-Gaffney, P. M., Barr, B., Rowe, J. D., Bett, C., Drygiannakis, I., Giannitti, F., Trejo, M., Ghassemian, M., Martin, P., Masliah, E., Sigurdson, C. J. Protein profiling of isolated uterine AA amyloidosis causing fetal death in goats. © FASEB.
    The FASEB Journal 11/2014; DOI:10.1096/fj.14-256081 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mice overexpressing human alpha-synuclein in oligodendrocytes (MBP1-α-syn) recapitulate some key functional and neuropathological features of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Whether or not these mice develop severe autonomic failure, which is a key feature of human MSA, remains unknown. We explored cardiovascular autonomic regulation using long-term blood pressure (BP) radiotelemetry and pharmacological testing. We instrumented 12 MBP1-α-syn mice and 11 wild-type mice aged 9 months for radiotelemetry. Animals were tested with atropine, metoprolol, clonidine, and trimethaphan at 9 and 12 months age. We applied spectral and cross-spectral analysis to assess heart rate (HR) and BP variability. At 9 months of age daytime BP (transgenic: 101 ± 2 vs. wild type: 99 ± 2 mmHg) and HR (497 ± 11 vs. 505 ± 16 beats/min) were similar. Circadian BP and HR rhythms were maintained. Nighttime BP (109 ± 2 vs. 108 ± 2 mmHg) and HR (575 ± 15 vs. 569 ± 14 beats/min), mean arterial BP responses to trimethaphan (-21 ± 8 vs. -10 ± 5 mmHg, P = 0.240) and to clonidine (-8 ± 3 vs. -5 ± 2 mmHg, P = 0.314) were similar. HR responses to atropine (+159 ± 24 vs. +146 ± 22 beats/min), and to clonidine (-188 ± 21 vs. -163 ± 33 beats/min) did not differ between strains. Baroreflex sensitivity (4 ± 1 vs. 4 ± 1 msec/mmHg) and HR variability (total power, 84 ± 17 vs. 65 ± 21 msec²) were similar under resting conditions and during pharmacological testing. Repeated measurements at 12 months of age provided similar results. In mice, moderate overexpression of human alpha-synuclein in oligodendrocytes is not sufficient to induce overt autonomic failure. Additional mechanisms may be required to express the autonomic failure phenotype including higher levels of expression or more advanced age. © 2014 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.
    11/2014; 2(11). DOI:10.14814/phy2.12209
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    ABSTRACT: SNCA/alpha-synuclein aggregation plays a crucial role in synucleinopathies such as Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Aggregating and non-aggregating SNCA species are degraded by the autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP). Previously, we have shown that the ALP is not only responsible for SNCA degradation but is also involved in the intracellular aggregation process of SNCA. An additional role of extracellular SNCA in the pathology of synucleinopathies substantiating a prion-like propagation hypothesis has been suggested since released SNCA species and spreading of SNCA pathology throughout neural cells have been observed. However, the molecular interplay between intracellular pathways, SNCA aggregation, release, and response of the local microenvironment remains unknown. Here, we attributed SNCA-induced toxicity mainly to secreted species in a cell culture model of SNCA aggregation and in SNCA transgenic mice: We showed that ALP inhibition by BafilomycinA1 reduced intracellular SNCA aggregation but increased secretion of smaller oligomers that exacerbated microenvironmental response including uptake, inflammation and cellular damage. Low-aggregated SNCA was predominantly released by exosomes and RAB11A-associated pathways whereas high-aggregated SNCA was secreted by membrane shedding. In summary, our study revealed a novel role of the ALP by linking protein degradation to non-classical secretion for toxic SNCA species. Thus, impaired ALP in the diseased brain not only limits intracellular degradation of misfolded proteins, but also leads to a detrimental microenvironmental response due to enhanced SNCA secretion. These findings suggest that the major toxic role of SNCA is related to its extracellular species and further supports a protective role of intracellular SNCA aggregation.
    Autophagy 10/2014; 10(12):e36436. DOI:10.4161/auto.36436 · 11.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recommend a new term, "primary age-related tauopathy" (PART), to describe a pathology that is commonly observed in the brains of aged individuals. Many autopsy studies have reported brains with neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) that are indistinguishable from those of Alzheimer's disease (AD), in the absence of amyloid (Aβ) plaques. For these "NFT+/Aβ-" brains, for which formal criteria for AD neuropathologic changes are not met, the NFTs are mostly restricted to structures in the medial temporal lobe, basal forebrain, brainstem, and olfactory areas (bulb and cortex). Symptoms in persons with PART usually range from normal to amnestic cognitive changes, with only a minority exhibiting profound impairment. Because cognitive impairment is often mild, existing clinicopathologic designations, such as "tangle-only dementia" and "tangle-predominant senile dementia", are imprecise and not appropriate for most subjects. PART is almost universally detectable at autopsy among elderly individuals, yet this pathological process cannot be specifically identified pre-mortem at the present time. Improved biomarkers and tau imaging may enable diagnosis of PART in clinical settings in the future. Indeed, recent studies have identified a common biomarker profile consisting of temporal lobe atrophy and tauopathy without evidence of Aβ accumulation. For both researchers and clinicians, a revised nomenclature will raise awareness of this extremely common pathologic change while providing a conceptual foundation for future studies. Prior reports that have elucidated features of the pathologic entity we refer to as PART are discussed, and working neuropathological diagnostic criteria are proposed.
    Acta Neuropathologica 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1349-0 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurogranin is a calmodulin binding protein that has been implicated in learning and memory, long-term potentiation and synaptic plasticity. Neurons expressing neurogranin in the cortex degenerate in late stages of Parkinson's Disease with widespread α-synuclein pathology. While analyzing neurogranin gene expression levels through rtPCR in brains of mouse models overexpressing human α-synuclein, we found levels were elevated 2.5 times when compared to nontransgenic animals. Immunohistochemistry in the cortex revealed colocalization between α-synuclein and neurogranin in mouse transgenics when compared to control mice. Coimmunoprecipitation studies in the superior temporal cortex in humans confirmed interaction between α-synuclein and neurogranin, and decreased interaction between α-synuclein and neurogranin was noticed in patients diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when compared to normal control brains. Additionally, phosphorylated neurogranin levels were also decreased in the human superior temporal cortex in patients diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and patients diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Here, we show for the first time that neurogranin binds to α-synuclein in the human cortex, and this interaction decreases in Parkinson's Disease along with the phosphorylation of neurogranin, a molecular process thought to be involved in learning and memory.
    Brain Research 10/2014; 1591. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.10.013 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy) is the major pathway by which macromolecules and organelles are degraded. Autophagy is regulated by the mTOR signaling pathway-the focal point for integration of metabolic information, with mTORC1 playing a central role in balancing biosynthesis and catabolism. Of the various inputs to mTORC1, the amino acid sensing pathway is among the most potent. Based upon transcriptome analysis of neurons subjected to nutrient deprivation, we identified let-7 microRNA as capable of promoting neuronal autophagy. We found that let-7 activates autophagy by coordinately downregulating the amino acid sensing pathway to prevent mTORC1 activation. Let-7 induced autophagy in the brain to eliminate protein aggregates, establishing its physiological relevance for in vivo autophagy modulation. Moreover, peripheral delivery of let-7 anti-miR repressed autophagy in muscle and white fat, suggesting that let-7 autophagy regulation extends beyond CNS. Hence, let-7 plays a central role in nutrient homeostasis and proteostasis regulation in higher organisms.
    Cell metabolism 10/2014; 20(4):626-638. DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2014.09.001 · 17.35 Impact Factor
  • Cassia R Overk, Eliezer Masliah
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2014; 111(38). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1414554111 · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

49k Citations
5,311.89 Total Impact Points


  • 1989–2015
    • University of California, San Diego
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Neurosciences
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Biological Chemistry
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
      • Department of Sensory and Motor Systems
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan
    • University of Melbourne
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
      • Department of Neurology
      Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2010–2013
    • Konkuk University
      • School of Medicine
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
    • Elan Pharmaceuticals
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • Georgetown University
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
      • • Department of Neuroscience
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      New York, New York, United States
    • Argonne National Laboratory
      Lemont, Illinois, United States
    • Drexel University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2004–2013
    • Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
      • Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center
      La Jolla, CA, United States
    • VA San Diego Healthcare System
      San Diego, California, United States
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • Azienda Ospedaliera Niguarda Ca' Granda
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2012
    • Cleveland Clinic
      • Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
      Cleveland, OH, United States
    • Loma Linda University
      • Department of Neurology
      Loma Linda, CA, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
      • • Faculté des Sciences de la Vie
      • • Laboratoire de neurobiologie moléculaire et neuroprotéomique
      Lausanne, VD, Switzerland
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
    • Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
      Torrance, California, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Pathology
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Division of Viral Pathogenesis
      Boston, MA, United States
    • University of Florence
      Florens, Tuscany, Italy
    • Tulane University
      New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • 1996–2012
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
      San Francisco, California, United States
    • Whittier College
      • Chemistry
      Whittier, California, United States
  • 2011
    • Victoria University Melbourne
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2010–2011
    • Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla
      • Laboratorio de Neuropsiquiatría
      Puebla, Estado de Baja California, Mexico
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • Tel Aviv University
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Department of Neurobiology
      Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2005–2011
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2002–2011
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Neurology
      Seattle, WA, United States
    • National University (California)
      San Diego, California, United States
    • Kyoto University
      • Institute for Chemical Research
      Kyoto, Kyoto-fu, Japan
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Borough of Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Banner Sun Health Research Institute
      Sun City, Arizona, United States
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Institute
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
    • Fukuoka University
      Hukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 2004–2009
    • Universität Regensburg
      • Lehrstuhl für Neurologie
      Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1994–2009
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioural Sciences
      • • Department of Neurobiology
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Brain Research Institute
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
    • Niigata University
      Niahi-niigata, Niigata, Japan
    • Boston University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán
      Tlalpam, The Federal District, Mexico
  • 2004–2008
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
      Stanford, CA, United States
  • 1993–2007
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      • • Department of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
      • • Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine
      La Jolla, CA, United States
    • New York Medical College
      • Department of Pathology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1997–2006
    • Naval Medical Center San Diego
      • Department of Pathology
      San Diego, California, United States
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2001–2005
    • Salk Institute
      • Laboratory of Genetics
      La Jolla, CA, United States
    • Hannover Medical School
      • Institute for Pathology
      Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • William Penn University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1998–2004
    • University of Bologna
      • • School of Medicine
      • • Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine DIMES
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    • University of San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2000
    • Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo
      Bérgamo, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1999
    • Gyeongsang National University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Shinshū, South Gyeongsang, South Korea
  • 1996–1999
    • Duke University
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 1995
    • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
      • MTA Institute of Experimental Medicine
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary
    • McGill University
      • Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1993–1994
    • The University of Tokyo
      Tōkyō, Japan
  • 1992
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States