Voltage-dependent anion channels (VDAC) in the plasma membrane play a critical role in apoptosis in differentiated hippocampal neurons but not in neural stem cells. Cell Cycle 7:3225-3234

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (Impact Factor: 4.57). 11/2008; 7(20):3225-34. DOI: 10.4161/cc.7.20.6831
Source: PubMed


One of the earliest morphological changes occurring in apoptosis is cell shrinkage associated with an increased efflux of K(+) and Cl(-) ions. Block of K(+) or Cl(-) channels prevents cell shrinkage and death. Recently, we found evidences for the activation of a voltage-dependent anion channel in the plasma membrane (pl-VDAC) of a hippocampal cell line undergoing apoptosis. Nothing is known on pl-VDAC in apoptotic cell death of neural cells at different stages of differentiation. We have addressed this issue in primary cultures of differentiated hippocampal neurons and embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs). In control hippocampal neurons, pl-VDAC is closed but acts as an NADH-ferricyanide reductase, while in apoptotic neurons, pl-VDAC is opened and the enzymatic activity is increased. Anti-VDAC antibodies block pl-VDAC and prevent apoptosis, as well as the increase in enzymatic activity. Conversely, in NSCs, pl-VDAC is scarcely seen and there is no NADH-ferricyanide reductase activity. In agreement, anti-VDAC antibodies do not affect the apoptotic process. Instead, we find activation of a Na(+) channel that has low voltage dependency, a conductance of 26 pS, and is blocked by amiloride, which also prevents apoptosis. Thus, it appears that activation of pl-VDAC during apoptosis is a critical event in differentiated neurons, but not in NSCs.

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    • "Although originally characterized as a mitochondrial porin, VDAC present at the plasma membrane appears to play different roles. Thus, this versatile porin has been related to extrinsic apoptotic pathways, cellular ATP release, calcium and metabolite transport, volume control, redox homeostasis and NADH:ferricyanide reductase activity (Akanda et al., 2008; De Pinto et al., 2010; Park et al., 2010). Moreover, in particular in neurons , some studies are starting to reveal the importance of VDAC in the events related to AD pathology. "
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    ABSTRACT: Voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) is a mitochondrial protein abundantly found in neuronal lipid rafts. In these membrane domains, VDAC is associated with a complex of signaling proteins that trigger neuroprotective responses. Loss of lipid raft integrity may result in disruption of multicomplex association and alteration of signaling responses that may ultimately promote VDAC activation. Some data have demonstrated that VDAC at the neuronal membrane may be involved in the mechanisms of amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced neurotoxicity, through yet unknown mechanisms. Aβ is generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP), and is released to the extracellular space where it may undergo self-aggregation. Aβ aggregate deposition in the form of senile plaques may lead to Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology, although other pathological hallmarks (such as hyper-phosphorylated Tau deposition) also participate in this neurodegenerative process. The present study demonstrates that VDAC1 associates with APP and Aβ in lipid rafts of neurons. Interaction of VDAC1 with APP was observed in lipid rafts from the frontal and entorhinal cortex of human brains affected by AD at early stages (I-IV/0-B of Braak and Braak). Furthermore, Aβ exposure enhanced the dephosphorylation of VDAC1 that correlated with cell death. Both effects were reverted in the presence of tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors. VDAC1 dephosphorylation was corroborated in lipid rafts of AD brains. These results demonstrate that Aβ is involved in alterations of the phosphorylation state of VDAC in neuronal lipid rafts. Modulation of this channel may contribute to the development and progression of AD pathology.
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    • "Interestingly, the expression of p53 in NSCs is substantially higher than in the cells in other regions of the brain (23). A recent study provided strong evidence that ion flux may play a causative role in the difference between the cell death mechanisms in NSCs and neurons (51). The authors of the study focused on the apoptosis mediated through an opening of voltage-dependent anion channels in the plasma membrane (pl-VDAC). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian neural stem cells (NSCs) are of particular interest because of their role in brain development and function. Recent findings suggest the intimate involvement of programmed cell death (PCD) in the turnover of NSCs. However, the underlying mechanisms of PCD are largely unknown. Although apoptosis is the best-defined form of PCD, accumulating evidence has revealed a wide spectrum of PCD encompassing apoptosis, autophagic cell death (ACD) and necrosis. This mini-review aims to illustrate a unique regulation of PCD in NSCs. The results of our recent studies on autophagic death of adult hippocampal neural stem (HCN) cells are also discussed. HCN cell death following insulin withdrawal clearly provides a reliable model that can be used to analyze the molecular mechanisms of ACD in the larger context of PCD. More research efforts are needed to increase our understanding of the molecular basis of NSC turnover under degenerating conditions, such as aging, stress and neurological diseases. Efforts aimed at protecting and harnessing endogenous NSCs will offer novel opportunities for the development of new therapeutic strategies for neuropathologies. [BMB Reports 2013; 46(8): 383-390].
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · BMB reports
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    • "These authors measured the ferricyanide reductase activity, which was up-regulated by staurosporine and was brought back to the control level by the anti-VDAC antibodies. A similar result was obtained on differentiated primary cultured neurons, but not with the embryonic neuronal stem cells [18]. Apoptosis-induced maxianion channels had biophysical properties fairly similar to those recorded in normal non-apoptotic cells [63] "
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    ABSTRACT: The maxi-anion channel has been observed in many cell types from the very beginning of the patch-clamp era. The channel is highly conductive for chloride and thus can modulate the resting membrane potential and play a role in fluid secretion/absorption and cell volume regulation. A wide nanoscopic pore of the maxi-anion channel permits passage of excitatory amino acids and nucleotides. The channel-mediated release of these signaling molecules is associated with kidney tubuloglomerular feedback, cardiac ischemia/hypoxia, as well as brain ischemia/hypoxia and excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Despite the ubiquitous expression and physiological/pathophysiological significance, the molecular identity of the maxi-anion channel is still obscure. VDAC is primarily a mitochondrial protein; however several groups detected it on the cellular surface. VDAC in lipid bilayers reproduced the most important biophysical properties of the maxi-anion channel, such as a wide nano-sized pore, closure in response to moderately high voltages, ATP-block and ATP-permeability. However, these similarities turned out to be superficial, and the hypothesis of plasmalemmal VDAC as the maxi-anion channel did not withstand the test by genetic manipulations of VDAC protein expression. VDAC on the cellular surface could also function as a ferricyanide reductase or a receptor for plasminogen kringle 5 and for neuroactive steroids. These ideas, as well as the very presence of VDAC on plasmalemma, remain to be scrutinized by genetic manipulations of the VDAC protein expression. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: VDAC structure, function, and regulation of mitochondrial metabolism.
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