Jian Wang

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

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Publications (6)27.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein has been studied in numerous cell types often associated with secretory processes. In pancreatic β-cells, α-synuclein might therefore play a similar role by interacting with organelles involved in insulin secretion. We tested for α-synuclein localizing to insulin-secretory granules and characterized its role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Immunohistochemistry and fluorescent sulfonylureas were used to test for α-synuclein localization to insulin granules in β-cells, immunoprecipitation with Western blot analysis for interaction between α-synuclein and K(ATP) channels, and ELISA assays for the effect of altering α-synuclein expression up or down on insulin secretion in INS1 cells or mouse islets, respectively. Differences in cellular phenotype between α-synuclein knockout and wild-type β-cells were found by using confocal microscopy to image the fluorescent insulin biosensor Ins-C-emGFP and by using transmission electron microscopy. The results show that anti-α-synuclein antibodies labeled secretory organelles within β-cells. Anti-α-synuclein antibodies colocalized with K(ATP) channel, anti-insulin, and anti-C-peptide antibodies. α-Synuclein coimmunoprecipitated in complexes with K(ATP) channels. Expression of α-synuclein downregulated insulin secretion at 2.8 mM glucose with little effect following 16.7 mM glucose stimulation. α-Synuclein knockout islets upregulated insulin secretion at 2.8 and 8.4 mM but not 16.7 mM glucose, consistent with the depleted insulin granule density at the β-cell surface membranes observed in these islets. These findings demonstrate that α-synuclein interacts with K(ATP) channels and insulin-secretory granules and functionally acts as a brake on secretion that glucose stimulation can override. α-Synuclein might play similar roles in diabetes as it does in other degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 02/2011; 300(2):E276-86. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein (a-Syn), a protein implicated in Parkinson disease, contributes significantly to dopamine metabolism. a-Syn binding inhibits the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine synthesis. Phosphorylation of TH stimulates its activity, an effect that is reversed by protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). In cells, a-Syn overexpression activates PP2A. Here we demonstrate that a-Syn significantly inhibited TH activity in vitro and in vivo and that phosphorylation of a-Syn serine 129 (Ser-129) modulated this effect. In MN9D cells, a-Syn overexpression reduced TH serine 19 phosphorylation (Ser(P)-19). In dopaminergic tissues from mice overexpressing human a-Syn in catecholamine neurons only, TH-Ser-19 and TH-Ser-40 phosphorylation and activity were also reduced, whereas PP2A was more active. Cerebellum, which lacks excess a-Syn, had PP2A activity identical to controls. Conversely, a-Syn knock-out mice had elevated TH-Ser-19 phosphorylation and activity and less active PP2A in dopaminergic tissues. Using an a-Syn Ser-129 dephosphorylation mimic, with serine mutated to alanine, TH was more inhibited, whereas PP2A was more active in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation of a-Syn Ser-129 by Polo-like-kinase 2 in vitro reduced the ability of a-Syn to inhibit TH or activate PP2A, identifying a novel regulatory role for Ser-129 on a-Syn. These findings extend our understanding of normal a-Syn biology and have implications for the dopamine dysfunction of Parkinson disease.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2010; 285(23):17648-17661. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2010; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-synuclein (a-Syn), a protein implicated in Parkinson disease, contributes significantly to dopamine metabolism. a-Syn binding inhibits the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine synthesis. Phosphorylation of TH stimulates its activity, an effect that is reversed by protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). In cells, a-Syn overexpression activates PP2A. Here we demonstrate that a-Syn significantly inhibited TH activity in vitro and in vivo and that phosphorylation of a-Syn serine 129 (Ser-129) modulated this effect. In MN9D cells, a-Syn overexpression reduced TH serine 19 phosphorylation (Ser(P)-19). In dopaminergic tissues from mice overexpressing human a-Syn in catecholamine neurons only, TH-Ser-19 and TH-Ser-40 phosphorylation and activity were also reduced, whereas PP2A was more active. Cerebellum, which lacks excess a-Syn, had PP2A activity identical to controls. Conversely, a-Syn knock-out mice had elevated TH-Ser-19 phosphorylation and activity and less active PP2A in dopaminergic tissues. Using an a-Syn Ser-129 dephosphorylation mimic, with serine mutated to alanine, TH was more inhibited, whereas PP2A was more active in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation of a-Syn Ser-129 by Polo-like-kinase 2 in vitro reduced the ability of a-Syn to inhibit TH or activate PP2A, identifying a novel regulatory role for Ser-129 on a-Syn. These findings extend our understanding of normal a-Syn biology and have implications for the dopamine dysfunction of Parkinson disease.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(23):17648-61. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 14-3-3 proteins stimulate the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme. To explore if particular endogenous 14-3-3 isoforms specifically affected TH activity and dopamine synthesis, we utilized rodent nigrostriatal tissues and midbrain-derived MN9D dopaminergic cells. Extracts from ventral midbrain and MN9D cells contained similar pools of 14-3-3 mRNAs, with 14-3-3ζ being relatively abundant in both. Protein levels of 14-3-3ζ were also abundant. [32P]Orthophosphate labeling of MN9D cells, followed by co-immunoprecipitation with pan-TH and pan-14-3-3 antibodies brought down similar amounts of phosphorylated TH in each, confirming that 14-3-3-bound phosphorylated TH in our cells. Co-immunoprecipitation of striatal tissues with a pan-TH antibody precipitated 14-3-3ζ but not another potential TH regulatory isoform, 14-3-3η. In whole cell extracts from MN9D cells after 14-3-3 small interfering RNA treatments, we found that 14-3-3ζ knockdown significantly reduced TH activity and dopamine synthesis whereas knockdown of 14-3-3η had no effect. 14-3-3ζ was found co-localized on mitochondria with TH, and its knockdown by small interfering RNA reduced TH phosphorylation and TH activity in the mitochondrial pool. Together the data support a role for 14-3-3ζ as an endogenous activator of TH in midbrain dopaminergic neurons and furthermore, identify mitochondria as a potential novel site for dopamine synthesis, with implications for Parkinson disease.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2009; 284(21):14011-14019. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The 14-3-3 proteins stimulate the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme. To explore if particular endogenous 14-3-3 isoforms specifically affected TH activity and dopamine synthesis, we utilized rodent nigrostriatal tissues and midbrain-derived MN9D dopaminergic cells. Extracts from ventral midbrain and MN9D cells contained similar pools of 14-3-3 mRNAs, with 14-3-3zeta being relatively abundant in both. Protein levels of 14-3-3zeta were also abundant. [(32)P]Orthophosphate labeling of MN9D cells, followed by co-immunoprecipitation with pan-TH and pan-14-3-3 antibodies brought down similar amounts of phosphorylated TH in each, confirming that 14-3-3-bound phosphorylated TH in our cells. Co-immunoprecipitation of striatal tissues with a pan-TH antibody precipitated 14-3-3zeta but not another potential TH regulatory isoform, 14-3-3eta. In whole cell extracts from MN9D cells after 14-3-3 small interfering RNA treatments, we found that 14-3-3zeta knockdown significantly reduced TH activity and dopamine synthesis whereas knockdown of 14-3-3eta had no effect. 14-3-3zeta was found co-localized on mitochondria with TH, and its knockdown by small interfering RNA reduced TH phosphorylation and TH activity in the mitochondrial pool. Together the data support a role for 14-3-3zeta as an endogenous activator of TH in midbrain dopaminergic neurons and furthermore, identify mitochondria as a potential novel site for dopamine synthesis, with implications for Parkinson disease.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2009; 284(21):14011-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor