[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoxia is an environmental stress at high altitude and underground conditions but it is also present in many chronic age-related diseases, where blood flow into tissues is impaired. The oxygen-sensing system stimulates gene expression protecting tissues against hypoxic insults. Hypoxia stabilizes the expression of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (HIF-1α), which controls the expression of hundreds of survival genes related to e.g. enhanced energy metabolism and autophagy. Moreover, many stress-related signaling mechanisms, such as oxidative stress and energy metabolic disturbances, as well as the signaling cascades via ceramide, mTOR, NF-κB, and TGF-β pathways, can also induce the expression of HIF-1α protein to facilitate cell survival in normoxia. Hypoxia is linked to prominent epigenetic changes in chromatin landscape. Screening studies have indicated that the stabilization of HIF-1α increases the expression of distinct histone lysine demethylases (KDM). HIF-1α stimulates the expression of KDM3A, KDM4B, KDM4C, and KDM6B, which enhance gene transcription by demethylating H3K9 and H3K27 sites (repressive epigenetic marks). In addition, HIF-1α induces the expression of KDM2B and KDM5B, which repress transcription by demethylating H3K4me2,3 sites (activating marks). Hypoxia-inducible KDMs support locally the gene transcription induced by HIF-1α, although they can also control genome-wide chromatin landscape, especially KDMs which demethylate H3K9 and H3K27 sites. These epigenetic marks have important role in the control of heterochromatin segments and 3D folding of chromosomes, as well as the genetic loci regulating cell type commitment, proliferation, and cellular senescence, e.g. the INK4 box. A chronic stimulation of HIF-1α can provoke tissue fibrosis and cellular senescence, which both are increasingly present with aging and age-related diseases. We will review the regulation of HIF-1α-dependent induction of KDMs and clarify their role in pathological processes emphasizing that long-term stress-related insults can impair the maintenance of chromatin landscape and provoke cellular senescence and tissue fibrosis associated with aging and age-related diseases.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2016 · Aging and Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously observed that the conversion of mild cognitive impairment to definitive Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with a significant increase in the serum level of 2,4-dihydroxybutyrate (2,4-DHBA). The metabolic generation of 2,4-DHBA is linked to the activation of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shunt, an alternative energy production pathway activated during cellular stress, when the function of Krebs cycle is compromised. The GABA shunt can be triggered by local hypoperfusion and subsequent hypoxia in AD brains caused by cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) is a key enzyme in the GABA shunt, converting succinic semialdehyde (SSA) into succinate, a Krebs cycle intermediate. A deficiency of SSADH activity stimulates the conversion of SSA into γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), an alternative route from the GABA shunt. GHB can exert not only acute neuroprotective activities but unfortunately also chronic detrimental effects which may lead to cognitive impairment. Subsequently, GHB can be metabolized to 2,4-DHBA and secreted from the brain. Thus, the activation of the GABA shunt and the generation of GHB and 2,4-DHBA can have an important role in the early phase of AD pathogenesis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurochemistry International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Control of histone acetylation is a part of the epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene expression and chromatin architecture. The members of the bromodomain and extra terminal domain (BET) protein family are a group of epigenetic readers that recognize histone acetylation, whereas histone deacetyl- ases such as sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) function as epigenetic erasers. We observed that BET inhibition by the specific inhibitor JQ1 upregulated SIRT1 expression and activated SIRT1. Moreover, we observed that BET inhibition functionally reversed the pro-inflammatory effect of SIRT1 inhibition in a cellular lung disease model. SIRT1 activation is desirable in many age-related, metabolic and inflammatory diseases; our results suggest that BET protein inhibition would be beneficial in treatment of those conditions. Most importantly, our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism of SIRT1 activation by inhibition of the BET proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed that the members of an ancient family of nonheme Fe(2+)/2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-OGDO) are involved in the functions associated with the aging process. 2-Oxoglutarate and O2 are the obligatory substrates and Fe(2+) a cofactor in the activation of 2-OGDO enzymes, which can induce the hydroxylation of distinct proteins and the demethylation of DNA and histones. For instance, ten-eleven translocation 1-3 (TET1-3) are the demethylases of DNA, whereas Jumonji C domain-containing histone lysine demethylases (KDM2-7) are the major epigenetic regulators of chromatin landscape, known to be altered with aging. The functions of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylases (PHD1-3) as well as those of collagen hydroxylases are associated with age-related degeneration. Moreover, the ribosomal hydroxylase OGFOD1 controls mRNA translation, which is known to decline with aging. 2-OGDO enzymes are the sensors of energy metabolism, since the Krebs cycle intermediate 2-oxoglutarate is an activator whereas succinate and fumarate are the potent inhibitors of 2-OGDO enzymes. In addition, O2 availability and iron redox homeostasis control the activities of 2-OGDO enzymes in tissues. We will briefly elucidate the catalytic mechanisms of 2-OGDO enzymes and then review the potential functions of the above-mentioned 2-OGDO enzymes in the control of the aging process.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Processing of misfolded proteins is important in order for the cell to maintain its normal functioning and homeostasis. Three systems control the quality of proteins: chaperone-mediated refolding, proteasomal degradation of ubiquitinated proteins, and finally, when the two others fail, aggrephagy, as selective form of autophagy, degrades ubiquitin-labelled aggregated cargos. In this route misfolded proteins gradually form larger aggregates, aggresomes and they eventually become double membrane-wrapped organelles called autophagosomes, which become degraded when they fuse to lysosomes, for reuse by the cell. The stages, the main molecules participating in the process, and the regulation of aggrephagy are discussed here, as is the role of protein aggregation in protein accumulation diseases. In particular, we emphasize that both Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration, two of the most common pathologies in the aged, are characterized by altered protein clearance and deposits. Based on the hypothesis that manipulations of autophagy may be potentially useful in these and other aggregation-related diseases, we will discuss some promising therapeutic strategies to counteract protein aggregates-induced cellular toxicity.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Ageing Research Reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays a major role in the maintenance of photoreceptors, and degeneration of RPE results in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Accumulation of intracellular protein aggregates, increased oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation are all factors damaging the functionality of aged RPE cells. Here, we report that inhibition of proteasomal degradation with MG-132 and autophagy with bafilomycin A1 resulted in the release of IL-1β but not that of IL-18 in human ARPE-19 cells. NLRP3 receptor became upregulated, and caspase-1, the functional component of an inflammasome complex, was activated. In addition to accumulating intracellular protein aggregates, inhibition of degradation systems induced oxidative stress which was demonstrated by elevated amounts of intracellular 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE)-protein adducts. Along with IL-1β, exposure to MG-132 and bafilomycin A1 resulted in the secretion of IL-8. A low concentration (1pg/ml) of IL-1β was capable of triggering significant IL-8 production which also became attenuated by treatment with a specific caspase-1 inhibitor. These results suggest that decline in intracellular degradation systems results not only in increased amounts of intracellular protein aggregates and oxidative stress but also in the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes, arisen as a result of elevated production of biologically active IL-1β.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose Endocannabinoid receptors have been suggested to be a possible therapeutical target in age-related diseases. Particularly CB2, the receptor primarily responsible for the immune modulatory effects of cannabinoids, might be a valuable target in diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, where inflammation is known to be a key player. In this study, we have evaluated the effects of CB2 activation on the viability and inflammatory response of retinal pigment epithelial cells.Methods We cultured ARPE-19 cells until confluent and treated the cells with the selective CB2 agonist JWH-133. To assess the effect of CB2 activation on oxidatively stressed cells we treated some cells with the lipid peroxidation end product 4-Hydroxynonenal (HNE) after the JWH-133 stimulation. The effects of the treatments on cell viability were assessed and inflammatory cytokine expression and signaling protein activation were measured by ELISA.Results Our results show that 10µM JWH-133 robustly increased the production of interleukin (IL) 6 and IL-8 in both HNE-treated and untreated cells. Investigation of the MAPK signaling pathway showed that JWH-133 at this concentration increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2.Conclusion Our results show that JWH-133, a selective agonist of the cannabinoid receptor CB2, stimulates an inflammatory response in ARPE-19 cells. The release of inflammatory cytokines seems to be mediated by the increased activity of the MAPKinase ERK1/2. Taken together, our results suggest that CB2’s role as a potential therapeutical target in retinal pigment epithelium should be more carefully analyzed in future studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) are present in Alzheimer´s disease (AD) brains in addition to neuronal loss, Amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau-protein neurofibrillary tangles. Previously we showed that levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-18 (IL-18), are elevated in post-mortem AD brains. IL-18 can modulate the tau kinases, Cdk5 and GSK3β, as well as Aβ-production. IL-18 levels are also increased in AD risk diseases, including type-2 diabetes and obesity. Here, we explored other IL-18 regulated proteins in neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells. Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells, incubated with IL-18 for 24, 48 or 72h, were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). Specific altered protein spots were chosen and identified with mass spectrometry and verified by western immunoblotting. IL-18 had time-dependent effects on the SH-SY5Y proteome, modulating numerous protein levels/modifications. We concentrated on those related to OS (DDAH2, peroxiredoxins 2, 3 and 6, DJ-1, BLVRA), Aβ-degradation (MMP14, TIMP2), Aβ-aggregation (Septin-2) and modifications of axon growth and guidance associated, collapsing response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). IL-18 significantly increased antioxidative enzymes, indicative of OS, and altered levels of glycolytic α- and γ-enolase and multifunctional 14-3-3γ and -ε, commonly affected in neurodegenerative diseases. MMP14, TIMP2, α-enolase and 14-3-3ε, indirectly involved in Aβ metabolism, as well as Septin-2 showed changes that increase Aβ levels. Increased 14-3-3γ may contribute to GSK3β driven tau hyperphosphorylation and CRMP2 Thr514 and Ser522 phosphorylation with the Thr555-site, a target for Rho kinase, showing time-dependent changes. IL-18 also increased caspase-1 levels and vacuolization of the cells. Although our SH-SY5Y cells were not aged, as neurons in AD, our work suggests that heightened or prolonged IL-18 levels can drive protein changes of known relevance to AD pathogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone methylation is involved in the epigenetic control of immune responses and cellular senescence. Jumonji domain-containing protein 3 (JMJD3), also called lysine-specific demethylase 6B (KDM6b), is an inducible histone demethylase which enhances immune responses and can trigger cellular senescence. JMJD3 potentiates gene expression by demethylating repressive H3K27me3 epigenetic marks in promoters and gene bodies. Moreover, JMJD3 also stimulates transcription in a demethylase-independent manner by mediating interactions between chromatin modifiers. JMJD3 can enhance both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by targeting distinct transcription factors in a context-dependent manner in gene promoters. For instance, JMJD3 can induce macrophage M2 polarization via STAT6 signaling. JMJD3 also interacts with T-bet factor and induces Th1 differentiation of CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, JMJD3 can activate TGF-β signaling through the SMAD3 pathway. Conversely, JMJD3 displaces polycomb complexes from the INK4 box, which induces the expression of INK4a and triggers cellular senescence. JMJD3 can also enhance the nuclear localization of p53 and thus regulate its function. The control of INK4 box and p53 is closely related to the regulation of the aging process. We will briefly review the inducible properties of JMJD3 expression and then focus on the role of JMJD3 in the regulation of inflammation and senescence through different signaling pathways. We emphasize that an inflammatory milieu and cellular stress can enhance immune responses and provoke cellular senescence via epigenetic regulation through JMJD3 activation.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial eye disease that is associated with aging, family history, smoking, obesity, cataract surgery, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and unhealthy diet. Gender has commonly been classified as a weak or inconsistent risk factor for AMD. This disease is characterized by degeneration of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, Bruch's membrane, and choriocapillaris, which secondarily lead to damage and death of photoreceptor cells and central visual loss. Pathogenesis of AMD involves constant oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and increased accumulation of lipofuscin and drusen. Estrogen has both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory capacity and it regulates signaling pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this review, we discuss potential cellular signaling targets of estrogen in retinal cells and AMD pathology.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Current Eye Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many aging theories have proposed that mitochondria and energy metabolism have a major role in the aging process. There are recent studies indicating that Krebs cycle intermediates can shape the epigenetic landscape of chromatin by regulating DNA and histone methylation. A growing evidence indicates that epigenetics plays an important role in the regulation of healthspan but also is involved in the aging process. 2-Oxoglutarate (α-ketoglutarate) is a key metabolite in the Krebs cycle but it is also an obligatory substrate for 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-OGDO). The 2-OGDO enzyme family includes the major enzymes of DNA and histone demethylation, i.e. Ten-Eleven Translocation (TETs) and Jumonji C domain containing (JmjC) demethylases. In addition, 2-OGDO members can regulate collagen synthesis and hypoxic responses in a non-epigenetical manner. Interestingly, succinate and fumarate, also Krebs cycle intermediates, are potent inhibitors of 2-OGDO enzymes, i.e. the balance of Krebs cycle reactions can affect the level of DNA and histone methylation and thus control gene expression. We will review the epigenetic mechanisms through which Krebs cycle intermediates control the DNA and histone methylation. We propose that age-related disturbances in the Krebs cycle function induce stochastic epigenetic changes in chromatin structures which in turn promote the aging process.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Ageing Research Reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there is a substantial literature that mitochondria have a crucial role in the aging process, the mechanism has remained elusive. The role of reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial DNA injuries, and a decline in mitochondrial quality control has been proposed. Emerging studies have demonstrated that Krebs cycle intermediates, 2-oxoglutarate (also known as α-ketoglutarate), succinate and fumarate, can regulate the level of DNA and histone methylation. Moreover, citrate, also a Krebs cycle metabolite, can enhance histone acetylation. Genome-wide screening studies have revealed that the aging process is linked to significant epigenetic changes in the chromatin landscape, e.g. global demethylation of DNA and histones and increase in histone acetylation. Interestingly, recent studies have revealed that the demethylases of DNA (TET1-3) and histone lysines (KDM2-7) are members of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-OGDO). The 2-OGDO enzymes are activated by oxygen, iron and the major Krebs cycle intermediate, 2-oxoglutarate, whereas they are inhibited by succinate and fumarate. Considering the endosymbiont origin of mitochondria, it is not surprising that Krebs cycle metabolites can control the gene expression of host cell by modifying the epigenetic landscape of chromatin. It seems that age-related disturbances in mitochondrial metabolism can induce epigenetic reprogramming, which promotes the appearance of senescent phenotype and degenerative diseases.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Cellular Signalling
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The modulation of protein deacetylase SIRT1 has a vast therapeutic potential in treatment of several aging-associated diseases. Active regulator of SIRT1 (AROS) is a small endogenous protein which was originally reported to activate SIRT1 through a direct interaction in cancer cells. We show that the interaction between the two proteins is weak and does not alter the activity of SIRT1 in non-cancerous human cells. The results of different in vitro SIRT1 activity assays disclosed AROS as an inhibitor of SIRT1. The functional relationship between AROS and SIRT1 proved to be dependent on the biological context and experimental setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The plant Cannabis sativa containing psychoactive chemical compounds known as cannabinoids has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of different diseases and adverse conditions. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids were deciphered experimentally a long time before the discovery of mammalian endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid-sensing receptors CB1 and CB2. Psychoactive effects of cannabinoids are commonly associated with the CB1 receptors, whereas the CB2 receptors primarily mediate anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Cannabinoid receptors become upregulated in various pathological conditions and in many cases, their activation results in the alleviation of adverse effects. In this article, we will review the signaling of CB2 receptors with particular emphasis been placed on the associations with inflammation and autophagy. Increased inflammation and decreased autophagy are hallmarks of various age-related diseases which could potentially be treated by modulating the activity of the CB2 receptors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized primarily by degeneration of the macular retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that secondarily leads to cell death of photoreceptors and impaired central vision. Hallmarks of AMD are accumulation of lysosomal lipofuscin and extracellular drusen, which indicate impaired proteolysis in RPE cells. Cellular proteostasis is strongly regulated by molecular chaperones such as Hsp70 and proteasomal and autophagic clearance systems. We have recently shown that autophagy receptor SQSTM1/p62 binds irreversibly to proteasome inhibitor-induced perinuclear protein aggregates and undergoes autophagic clearance in RPE cell cultures. Revealing decreased autophagy, SQSTM1/p62 accumulates in macular area of donor AMD patient samples. In this study, we show that Hsp70 binds reversibly to proteasome inhibitor-induced perinuclear protein aggregates and does not become degraded by autophagy in ARPE-19 cells. Our observation reveals new opportunities to use a cytoprotective Hsp70 as a therapy target in the prevention of RPE cell degeneration and development of AMD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a major mechanism of acute brain injury and chronic neurodegeneration. This neuroinflammation is known to be substantially regulated by the transcription factor NF-κB, which is predominantly found in the form of heterodimer of p65 (RelA) and p50 subunit, with p50/p50 homodimers being also common. The p65 subunit has a transactivation domain, whereas p50 is chiefly involved in DNA binding. Binding of the p65/p50 heterodimers are thought to induce expression of numerous proinflammatory genes in microglia. Here we show that cultured microglia deficient for the gene (Nfkb1) encoding p50 subunit show reduced induction of proinflammatory mediators, increased expression of anti-inflammatory genes, and increased expression of CD45, an immunoregulatory molecule, in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure, but increased capacity to take up β-amyloid (Aβ) which is associated with enhanced release of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). However, Nfkb1 deficiency strongly increases leukocyte infiltration and the expression of proinflammatory genes in response to intrahippocampal administration of LPS. Also, when crossing Nfkb1 deficient mice with APdE9 transgenic mice the expression of proinflammatory genes was strongly enhanced, whereas Aβ burden was slightly but significantly reduced. These alterations in expression of inflammatory mediators in Nfkb1 deficient mice were associated with reduced expression of CD45. Our data demonstrates a crucial and complex role p50 subunit of NF-κB in brain inflammation, especially in regulating the phenotype of microglia after acute and chronic inflammatory insults relevant to clinical conditions, contributing to both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses of microglia, infiltration of leukocytes, and clearance of Aβ in Alzheimer's disease.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Neurobiology of Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cloning studies have revealed that the apoptosis-associated speck-like protein possessing a caspase-recruiting domain (ASC) and the target of methylation-induced silencing-1 (TMS) are identical proteins. ASC/TMS1 is a bipartite adaptor protein containing the N-terminal pyrin domain and the C-terminal caspase-recruitment domain. There is abundant literature on ASC/TMS1, mostly under the name TMS1, in the epigenetic regulation of apoptosis and carcinogenesis, whereas the abbreviation ASC has been adopted from studies on the assembly of inflammasomes and stimulation of inflammation. There is substantial literature emphasizing that there are common aspects in the regulation of apoptosis and inflammation, which may be related to the function of ASC/TMS1. The region of the transcription start site of ASC/TMS1 gene contains a 600-bp-long CpG island that is highly methylated and the transcription of ASC/TMS1 is repressed in several cancers. However, it is not known whether the ASC/TMS1-dependent epigenetic regulation controls the inflammasome functions and moreover whether this regulation has any role in the inflammation-mediated carcinogenesis or in the pathogenesis of age-related degenerative diseases. We will examine the mechanisms involved in the epigenetic regulation of ASC/TMS1 as well as their significance in the coordination of apoptosis and inflammasome functions. We will also review the role of aberrant methylation of ASC/TMS1 promoter in the function of inflammasomes, a major host defense system, in cellular housekeeping and carcinogenesis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS