Selective neuroprotective effects of the S18Y polymorphic variant of UCH-L1 in the dopaminergic system

Division of Basic Neurosciences, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 11/2011; 21(4):874-89. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddr521
Source: PubMed


Genetic studies have implicated the neuronal ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH) protein UCH-L1 in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Moreover, the function of UCH-L1 may be lost in the brains of PD and Alzheimer's disease patients. We have previously reported that the UCH-L1 polymorphic variant S18Y, potentially protective against PD in population studies, demonstrates specific antioxidant functions in cell culture. Albeit genetic, biochemical and neuropathological data support an association between UCH-L1, PD, synaptic degeneration and oxidative stress, the relationship between the dopaminergic system and UCH-L1 status remains obscure. In the current study, we have examined the dopaminergic system of mice lacking endogenous UCH-L1 protein (gracile axonal dystrophy mice). Our findings show that the lack of wild-type (WT) UCH-L1 does not influence to any significant degree the dopaminergic system at baseline or following injections of the neurotoxin methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Furthermore, using a novel intrastriatal adenoviral injection protocol, we have found that mouse nigral neurons retrogradely transduced with S18Y UCH-L1, but not the WT protein, are significantly protected against MPTP toxicity. Overall, these data provide evidence for an antioxidant and neuroprotective effect of the S18Y variant of UCH-L1, but not of the WT protein, in the dopaminergic system, and may have implications for the pathogenesis of PD or related neurodegenerative conditions, in which oxidative stress might play a role.

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    • "The cDNAs encoding wt ASYN and Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP) were cloned into a modified version of the PENTR.GD entry vector and introduced into the pAd/PL-DEST Gateway vector (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA). Second generation E1, E3, and E2a- deleted recombinant human serotype 5 adenoviruses (rAd) were generated as described previously (Xilouri et al., 2012). The following titers were obtained, expressed as viral particles (vp)/μl: 2.8 × 10 8 vp/μl for rAd-ASYN and 1.43 × 10 9 vp/μl for rAd-EGFP. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the role of the main intracellular energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), in the in vitro neurotoxicity of α-synuclein (ASYN), one of the key culprits in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The loss of viability in retinoic acid-differentiated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells inducibly overexpressing wild-type ASYN was associated with the reduced activation of AMPK and its activator LKB1, as well as AMPK target Raptor. ASYN-overexpressing rat primary neurons also displayed lower activity of LKB1/AMPK/Raptor pathway. Restoration of AMPK activity by metformin or AICAR reduced the in vitro neurotoxicity of ASYN overexpression, acting independently of the prosurvival kinase Akt or the induction of autophagic response. The conditioned medium from ASYN-overexpressing cells, containing secreted ASYN, as well as dopamine-modified or nitrated recombinant ASYN oligomers, all inhibited AMPK activation in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and reduced their viability, but not in the presence of metformin or AICAR. The RNA interference-mediated knockdown of AMPK increased the sensitivity of SH-SY5Y cells to the harmful effects of secreted ASYN. AMPK-dependent protection from extracellular ASYN was also observed in rat neuron-like pheochromocytoma cell line PC12. These data demonstrate the protective role of AMPK against the toxicity of both intracellular and extracellular ASYN, suggesting that modulation of AMPK activity may be a promising therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease.
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    • "Analysis of striatal dopamine content was performed as described previously (Pitychoutis et al., 2009; Xilouri et al., 2012), with minor modifications (Ulusoy et al., 2009). Briefly, the two striata (from contraand ipsilateral hemispheres) were individually sonicated in ice-cold Trisacetate-EDTA buffer (20 mM, pH 6.1). "
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    ABSTRACT: The expression of ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase 1 (UCHL1) is deregulated in human cancer cells with tumor inhibiting or promoting functions. Due to less knowledge on the role of UCHL1 in melanoma progression, the expression pattern and function of UCHL1 as well as the deregulated signaling pathways were characterized. A large number of melanoma cell lines, tissue microarrays of melanoma lesions and control tissues were analyzed for UCHL1 expression using PCR, Western blot and/or immunohistochemistry. The analysis revealed that melanocyte cultures, 24 of 331 melanoma lesions, two of 18 short-term cultures and two of 19 melanoma cell lines tested, respectively, heterogeneously expressed UCHL1. The low frequency of UCHL1 expression in melanoma cells was due to gene silencing by promoter DNA hypermethylation. Using different transfection models an enzyme activity-dependent growth promoting function of UCHL1 via the activation of the MAPK signaling pathway was found in melanoma cells. Under oxygen stress a dose-dependent effect of UCHL1 was detected, which was mediated by a dynamic modification of the PI3K-Akt signaling. Thus, the aberrant UCHL1 expression in melanoma cells is linked to dynamic changes in growth properties and signal transduction cascades suggesting that UCHL1 provides a novel marker and/or therapeutic target at least for a subset of melanoma patients. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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