Oxidative stress and apoptosis are two key pathophysiological mechanisms underlying dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recently, we identified that proteolytic activation of protein kinase C-delta (PKCδ), a member of the novel PKC family, contributes to oxidative stress-induced dopaminergic degeneration and that phosphorylation of tyrosine residue 311 (tyr311) on PKCδ is a key event preceding the PKCδ proteolytic activation during oxidative damage. Herein, we report that a non-receptor tyrosine kinase Fyn is significantly expressed in a dopaminergic neuronal N27 cell model. Exposure of N27 cells to the dopaminergic toxicant dieldrin (60 μM) rapidly activated Fyn kinase, PKCδ-tyr311 phosphorylation and proteolytic cleavage. Fyn kinase activation precedes the caspase-3-mediated proteolytic activation of PKCδ. Co-treatment with p60-tyrosine-specific kinase inhibitor (TSKI) almost completely attenuated dieldrin-induced phosphorylation of PKCδ-tyr311 and its proteolytic activation. Additionally, TSKI almost completely blocked dieldrin-induced apoptotic cell death. To further confirm Fyn’s role in the pro-apoptotic function of PKCδ, we adopted the RNAi approach. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Fyn kinase also effectively attenuated dieldrin-induced phosphorylation of PKCδ-tyr311, caspase-3-mediated PKCδ proteolytic cleavage, and DNA fragmentation, suggesting that Fyn kinase regulates the pro-apoptotic function of PKCδ. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time that Fyn kinase is a pro-apoptotic kinase that regulates upstream signaling of the PKCδ-mediated apoptotic cell death pathway in neurotoxicity models of pesticide exposure.
pesticides; oxidative stress; kinases; apoptosis; neurodegeneration
We recently demonstrated that PKCδ, an important member of the novel PKC family, is a key oxidative stress-sensitive kinase that can be activated by caspase-3-dependent proteolytic cleavage to induce dopaminergic neuronal cell death. We now report a novel association between α-synuclein (αsyn), a protein associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s diseases (PD), and PKCδ, in which αsyn negatively modulates the p300 and NFκB dependent transactivation to down-regulate proapoptotic kinase PKCδ expression and thereby protects against apoptosis in dopaminergic neuronal cells. Stable-expression human wild-type αsyn at physiological levels in dopaminergic neuronal cells resulted in an isoform-dependent transcriptional suppression of PKCδ expression without changes in the stability of mRNA and protein or DNA methylation. The reduction in PKCδ transcription was mediated, in part, through the suppression of constitutive NFκB activity targeted at two proximal PKCδ promoter κB sites. This occurred independently of NFκB/IκBα nuclear translocation, but was associated with decreased NFκB-p65 acetylation. Also, αsyn reduced p300 levels and its histone acetyl-transferase (HAT) activity, thereby contributing to diminished PKCδ transactivation. Importantly, reduced PKCδ and p300 expression also were observed within nigral dopaminergic neurons in αsyn transgenic mice. These findings expand the role of αsyn in neuroprotection by modulating the expression of the key proapoptotic kinase PKCδ in dopaminergic neurons.
α-synuclein; PKCδ; apoptosis; Parkinson’s disease; p300; NFκB
Mitochondria continuously undergo two opposing processes, fission and fusion. The disruption of this dynamic equilibrium may herald cell injury or death and may contribute to developmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Nitric oxide functions as a signaling molecule, but in excess it mediates neuronal injury, in part via mitochondrial fission or fragmentation. However, the underlying mechanism for nitric oxide–induced pathological fission remains unclear. We found that nitric oxide produced in response to β-amyloid protein, thought to be a key mediator of Alzheimer’s disease, triggered mitochondrial fission, synaptic loss, and neuronal damage, in part via S-nitrosylation of dynamin-related protein 1 (forming SNO-Drp1). Preventing nitrosylation of Drp1 by cysteine mutation abrogated these neurotoxic events. SNO-Drp1 is increased in brains of human Alzheimer’s disease patients and may thus contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration.
Impaired regulation of mitochondrial dynamics, which shifts the balance towards fission, is associated with neuronal death in age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. A role for mitochondrial dynamics in acute brain injury, however, has not been elucidated to date. Here, we investigated the role of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), one of the key regulators of mitochondrial fission, in neuronal cell death induced by glutamate toxicity or oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD) in vitro, and after ischemic brain damage in vivo. Drp1 siRNA and small molecule inhibitors of Drp1 prevented mitochondrial fission, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and cell death induced by glutamate or tBid overexpression in immortalized hippocampal HT-22 neuronal cells. Further, Drp1 inhibitors protected primary neurons against glutamate excitotoxicity and OGD, and reduced the infarct volume in a mouse model of transient focal ischemia. Our data indicate that Drp1 translocation and associated mitochondrial fission are key features preceding the loss of MMP and neuronal cell death. Thus, inhibition of Drp1 is proposed as an efficient strategy of neuroprotection against glutamate toxicity and OGD in vitro and ischemic brain damage in vivo.
neuronal cell death; oxidative stress; Drp1; mitochondrial fusion and fission; cerebral ischemia
We recently reported increased mitochondrial fission and decreased fusion, increased amyloid beta (Aβ) interaction with the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1, increased mitochondrial fragmentation, impaired axonal transport of mitochondria and synaptic degeneration in neurons affected by AD. In the present study, we extended our previous investigations to determine whether phosphorylated tau interacts with Drp1 and to elucidate mitochondrial damage in the progression of AD. We also investigated GTPase activity, which is critical for mitochondrial fragmentation, in postmortem brain tissues from patients with AD and brain tissues from APP, APP/PS1 and 3XTg.AD mice. Using co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence analyses, for the first time, we demonstrated the physical interaction between phosphorylated tau and Drp1. Mitochondrial fission-linked GTPase activity was significantly elevated in the postmortem frontal cortex tissues from AD patients and cortical tissues from APP, APP/PS1 and 3XTg.AD mice. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that Drp1 interacts with Aβ and phosphorylated tau, likely leading to excessive mitochondrial fragmentation, and mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies, ultimately possibly leading to neuronal damage and cognitive decline. Treatment designed to reduce the expression of Drp1, Aβ and/or phosphorylated tau may decrease the interaction between Drp1 and phosphorylated tau and the interaction between Drp1 and Aβ, conferring protection to neurons from toxic insults of excessive Drp1, Aβ and/or phosphorylated tau.
Mitochondria are the essential eukaryotic organelles that produce most cellular energy. The energy production and supply by mitochondria appear closely associated with the continuous shape change of mitochondria mediated by fission and fusion, as evidenced not only by the hereditary diseases caused by mutations in fission/fusion genes but also by aberrant mitochondrial morphologies associated with numerous pathologic insults. However, how morphological change of mitochondria is linked to their energy-producing activity is poorly understood. In this study, we found that perturbation of mitochondrial fission induces a unique mitochondrial uncoupling phenomenon through a large-scale fluctuation of a mitochondrial inner membrane potential. Furthermore, by genetically controlling mitochondrial fission and thereby inducing mild proton leak in mice, we were able to relieve these mice from oxidative stress in a hyperglycemic model. These findings provide mechanistic insight into how mitochondrial fission participates in regulating mitochondrial activity. In addition, these results suggest a potential application of mitochondrial fission to control mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress in many human diseases.
PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin act in a common pathway to regulate mitochondrial dynamics, the involvement of which in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is increasingly being appreciated. However, how the PINK1/Parkin pathway influences mitochondrial function is not well understood, and the exact role of this pathway in controlling mitochondrial dynamics remains controversial. Here we used mammalian primary neurons to examine the function of the PINK1/Parkin pathway in regulating mitochondrial dynamics and function. In rat hippocampal neurons, PINK1 or Parkin overexpression resulted in increased mitochondrial number, smaller mitochondrial size and reduced mitochondrial occupancy of neuronal processes, suggesting that the balance of mitochondrial fission/fusion dynamics is tipped toward more fission. Conversely, inactivation of PINK1 resulted in elongated mitochondria, indicating that the balance of mitochondrial fission/fusion dynamics is tipped toward more fusion. Furthermore, overexpression of the fission protein Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1) or knocking down of the fusion protein OPA1 (optical atrophy 1) suppressed PINK1 RNAi-induced mitochondrial morphological defect, and overexpression of PINK1 or Parkin suppressed the elongated mitochondria phenotype caused by Drp1 RNAi. Functionally, PINK1 knockdown and overexpression had opposite effects on dendritic spine formation and neuronal vulnerability to excitotoxicity. Finally, we found that PINK1/Parkin similarly influenced mitochondrial dynamics in rat midbrain dopaminergic neurons. These results, together with previous findings in Drosophila dopaminergic neurons, indicate that the PINK1/Parkin pathway plays conserved roles in regulating neuronal mitochondrial dynamics and function.
Mitochondrial dynamics play a crucial role in the pathobiology underlying Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although a complete scientific understanding of these devastating conditions has yet to be realized, alterations in mitochondrial fission and fusion, and in the protein complexes that orchestrate mitochondrial fission and fusion, have been well established in AD- and PD-related neurodegeneration. Whether fission/fusion disruption in the brain is a causal agent in neuronal demise or a product of some other upstream disturbance is still a matter of debate; however, in both AD and PD, the potential for successful therapeutic amelioration of degeneration via mitochondrial protection is high. We here discuss the role of mitochondrial dynamics in AD and PD and assess the need for their therapeutic exploitation.
Alzheimer’s disease; DLP-1; Drp-1; Fis1; fission; fusion; Mfn1; Mfn2; mitochondrial dynamics; neurodegeneration; Parkinson’s disease; therapeutics
Mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are recognized as two critical processes underlying mitochondrial homeostasis. Morphological and bioenergetic characterization of the life cycle of an individual mitochondrion reveals several points where fusion, fission, and mitophagy interact. Mitochondrial fission can produce an impaired daughter unit that will be targeted by the autophagic machinery. Mitochondrial fusion, on the other hand, may serve to dilute impaired respiratory components and thereby prevent their removal. The inverse dependency of fusion and mitophagy on membrane potential allows them to act as complementary rather than competitive fates of the daughter mitochondrion after a fission event. We discuss the interplay between mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy in different tissues and in different disease models under both stress-induced and steady-state conditions. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1939–1951.
Excessive nitrosative and oxidative stress is thought to trigger cellular signaling pathways leading to neurodegenerative conditions. Such redox dysregulation can result from many cellular events, including hyperactivation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptor, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cellular aging. Recently, we and our colleagues have shown that excessive generation of free radicals and related molecules, in particular nitric oxide species (NO), can trigger pathological production of misfolded proteins, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics (comprised of mitochondrial fission and fusion events), and apoptotic pathways in neuronal cells. Emerging evidence suggests that excessive NO production can contribute to these pathological processes, specifically by S-nitrosylation of specific target proteins. Here, we highlight examples of S-nitrosylated proteins that regulate misfolded protein accumulation and mitochondrial dynamics. For instance, in models of Parkinson's disease, these S-nitrosylation targets include parkin, a ubiquitin E3 ligase and neuroprotective molecule, and protein-disulfide isomerase, a chaperone enzyme for nascent protein folding. S-Nitrosylation of protein-disulfide isomerase may also be associated with mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Additionally, in models of Alzheimer's disease, excessive NO generation leads to the formation of S-nitrosylated dynamin-related protein 1 (forming SNO-Drp1), which contributes to abnormal mitochondrial fragmentation and resultant synaptic damage. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1479–1492.
The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine/threonine kinases regulates diverse cellular function, including cell death, proliferation and survival. In particular, PKCδ governs the cellular homeostatic response against hypoxic stress. Autophagy, a lysosome-dependent degradative pathway, and apoptosis are two fundamental cellular pathways that respond to stress conditions, such as hypoxia, oxidative stress, and nutrient starvation. Recently, we uncovered a novel role for PKCδ in the early stage of hypoxic response where PKCδ activates autophagy by promoting JNK1-mediated Bcl-2 phosphorylation and dissociation of the Bcl-2/Beclin 1 complex. Whereas acute hypoxic stress promotes autophagy, we have previously reported that prolonged hypoxic stress caused the cleavage of PKCδ by caspase-3, resulting in the nuclear translocation of a constitutively active catalytic fragment of PKCδ, PKCδ-CF. Moreover, PKCδ-CF also serves a feed-forward function for the reciprocal PKCδ and caspase-3 proteolytic activation. Here, we discussed the requirement for PKCδ and JNK1 for hypoxia-induced autophagy, and the kinetic relationship among Bcl-2/Beclin 1 interaction, caspase-3 activation and the steady-state level of Beclin 1 during hypoxic exposure. Based on these results, we propose a model for understanding the PKCδ-dependent crosstalk mechanisms between autophagy and apoptosis, both induced by hypoxic stress. These findings collectively support a pivotal role for PKCδ in regulating hypoxic stress with hitherto unappreciated significance.
PKCδ; JNK1; Bcl-2; Beclin 1; caspase-3; hypoxia; autophagy; apoptosis
Maintaining proper mitochondrial length is essential for normal mitochondrial function in neurons. Mitochondrial fragmentation has been associated with neuronal cell death caused by a variety of experimental toxic stressors. Despite the fact that oxidative stress is a hallmark of neurodegenerative conditions and aging and the resulting activation of p53 is believed to contribute to the neuropathology, little is still known regarding changes in mitochondrial morphology in p53-dependent neuronal death. Therefore, we specifically addressed the relationship between genotoxic stress, p53 activation and the regulation of mitochondrial morphology in neurons. In cultured postnatal mouse cortical neurons, treatment with the DNA damaging agent camptothecin (CPT) resulted in elongated mitochondria, in contrast to fragmented mitochondria observed upon staurosporine and glutamate treatment. In fibroblasts, however, CPT resulted in fragmented mitochondria. CPT treatment in neurons suppressed expression of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin. The presence of elongated mitochondria and the declines in Drp1 and parkin expression occurred prior to the commitment point for apoptosis. The CPT-induced changes in Drp1 and parkin were not observed in p53-deficient neurons, while p53 overexpression alone was sufficient to reduce the expression of the two proteins. Elevating Drp1 and parkin expression prior to CPT treatment enhanced neuronal viability and restored a normal pattern of mitochondrial morphology. The present findings demonstrate that genotoxic stress in neurons results in elongated mitochondria in contrast to fission induced by other forms of stress, and p53-dependent declines in Drp1 and parkin levels contribute to altered mitochondrial morphology and cell death.
Aberrant activation of Cdk5 has been implicated in the process of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). We recently reported that S-nitrosylation of Cdk5 (forming SNO-Cdk5) at specific cysteine residues results in excessive activation of Cdk5, contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic damage, and neuronal cell death in models of AD. Furthermore, SNO-Cdk5 acts as a nascent S-nitrosylase, transnitrosylating the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 and enhancing excessive mitochondrial fission in dendritic spines. However, a molecular mechanism that leads to the formation of SNO-Cdk5 in neuronal cells remained obscure. Here, we demonstrate that neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1) interacts with Cdk5 and that the close proximity of the two proteins facilitates the formation of SNO-Cdk5. Interestingly, as a negative feedback mechanism, Cdk5 phosphorylates and suppresses NOS1 activity. Thus, together with our previous report, these findings delineate an S-nitrosylation pathway wherein Cdk5/NOS1 interaction enhances SNO-Cdk5 formation, mediating mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic loss during the etiology of AD.
nitrosative stress; Cyclin-dependent kinase 5; nitric oxide; neuronal NO synthase; transnitrosylation
High fat diet-induced hyperglycemia and palmitate-stimulated apoptosis was prevented by specific inhibition of protein kinase C delta (PKCδ) in β-cells. To understand the role of PKCδ in more detail the impact of changes in PKCδ activity on proliferation and survival of insulin-secreting cells was analyzed under stress-free conditions.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, the effect of reduced and increased PKCδ activity on proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle regulation of insulin secreting cells was examined. Proteins were analyzed by Western blotting and by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Increased expression of wild type PKCδ (PKCδWT) significantly stimulated proliferation of INS-1E cells with concomitant reduced expression and cytosolic retraction of the cell cycle inhibitor p21Cip1/WAF1. This nuclear extrusion was mediated by PKCδ-dependent phosphorylation of p21Cip1/WAF1 at Ser146. In kinase dead PKCδ (PKCδKN) overexpressing cells and after inhibition of endogenous PKCδ activity by rottlerin or RNA interference phosphorylation of p21Cip1/WAF1 was reduced, which favored its nuclear accumulation and apoptotic cell death of INS-1E cells. Human and mouse islet cells express p21Cip1/WAF1 with strong nuclear accumulation, while in islet cells of PKCδWT transgenic mice the inhibitor resides cytosolic.
Conclusions and Significance
These observations disclose PKCδ as negative regulator of p21Cip1/WAF1, which facilitates proliferation of insulin secreting cells under stress-free conditions and suggest that additional stress-induced changes push PKCδ into its known pro-apoptotic role.
The mitochondrial signaling complex PKA/AKAP1 protects neurons against
mitochondrial fragmentation and cell death by phosphorylating and inactivating
the mitochondrial fission enzyme Drp1.
Mitochondrial shape is determined by fission and fusion reactions catalyzed by
large GTPases of the dynamin family, mutation of which can cause neurological
dysfunction. While fission-inducing protein phosphatases have been identified,
the identity of opposing kinase signaling complexes has remained elusive. We
report here that in both neurons and non-neuronal cells, cAMP elevation and
expression of an outer-mitochondrial membrane (OMM) targeted form of the protein
kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunit reshapes mitochondria into an interconnected
network. Conversely, OMM-targeting of the PKA inhibitor PKI promotes
mitochondrial fragmentation upstream of neuronal death. RNAi and overexpression
approaches identify mitochondria-localized A kinase anchoring protein 1 (AKAP1)
as a neuroprotective and mitochondria-stabilizing factor in vitro and in vivo.
According to epistasis studies with phosphorylation site-mutant dynamin-related
protein 1 (Drp1), inhibition of the mitochondrial fission enzyme through a
conserved PKA site is the principal mechanism by which cAMP and PKA/AKAP1
promote both mitochondrial elongation and neuronal survival. Phenocopied by a
mutation that slows GTP hydrolysis, Drp1 phosphorylation inhibits the
disassembly step of its catalytic cycle, accumulating large, slowly recycling
Drp1 oligomers at the OMM. Unopposed fusion then promotes formation of a
mitochondrial reticulum, which protects neurons from diverse insults.
Mitochondria, the cellular powerhouse, are highly dynamic organelles shaped by
opposing fission and fusion events. Research over the past decade has identified
many components of the mitochondrial fission/fusion machinery and led to the
discovery that mutations in genes coding for these proteins can cause human
neurological diseases. While it is well established that mitochondrial shape
changes are intimately involved in cellular responses to environmental
stressors, we know very little about the mechanisms by which cells dynamically
adjust mitochondrial form and function. In this report, we show that the
scaffold protein AKAP1 brings the cAMP-dependent protein kinase PKA to the outer
mitochondrial membrane to protect neurons from injury. The PKA/AKAP1 complex
functions by inhibiting Drp1, an enzyme that mechanically constricts and
eventually severs mitochondria. Whereas active, dephosphorylated Drp1 rapidly
cycles between cytosol and mitochondria, phosphorylated Drp1 builds up in
inactive mitochondrial complexes, allowing mitochondria to fuse into a
neuroprotective reticulum. Our results suggest that altering the balance of
kinase and phosphatase activities at the outer mitochondrial membrane may
provide the basis for novel neuroprotective therapies.
Mitochondrial abnormalities have been documented in Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, but the causal relationship between mitochondrial changes and neurodegeneration, as well as the specific mechanisms promoting mitochondrial dysfunction, are not clear. Here we find that expression of human tau results in elongation of mitochondria in both Drosophila and mouse neurons. Elongation is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction and cell cycle-mediated cell death, which can be rescued in vivo by genetically restoring the proper balance of mitochondrial fission and fusion. We have previously demonstrated that stabilization of actin by tau is critical for neurotoxicity of the protein. Here we demonstrate a conserved role for actin and myosin in regulating mitochondrial fission, and show that excess actin stabilization inhibits association of the fission protein DRP1 with mitochondria leading to mitochondrial elongation and subsequent neurotoxicity. Our results thus identify actin-mediated disruption of mitochondrial dynamics as a direct mechanism of tau toxicity in neurons in vivo.
Proteolytic cleavage and subsequent activation of protein kinase C (PKC) δ is required for apoptosis induced by a variety of genotoxic agent, including UV radiation. In addition, overexpression of the constitutively active PKCδ catalytic fragment (PKCδ-cat) is sufficient to trigger Bax activation, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis. While PKCδ is a key apoptotic effector, the downstream target(s) responsible for the mitochondrial apoptotic cascade are not known. We found that expression of the active PKCδ-cat in HaCaT cells triggers a reduction in the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1, similar to UV radiation. The down-regulation of Mcl-1 induced by PKCδ-cat was not at the mRNA level but was due to decreased protein half-life. Overexpression of Mcl-1 protected HaCaT cells from both UV and PKCδ-cat-induced apoptosis and blocked the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria, indicating that Mcl-1 down-regulation was required for apoptosis signaling. Indeed, down-regulation of Mcl-1 with siRNA slightly increased the basal apoptotic rate of HaCaT cells and dramatically sensitized them to UV or PKCδ-cat-induced apoptosis. HaCaT cells with down-regulated Mcl-1 had higher activated Bax protein, as measured by Bax cross-linking, indicating that Mcl-1 down-regulation is sufficient for Bax activation. Finally, recombinant PKCδ could phosphorylate Mcl-1 in vitro, identifying Mcl-1 as a direct target for PKCδ. Overall our results identify Mcl-1 as an important target for PKCδ-cat that can mediate its pro-apoptotic effects on mitochondria to amplify the apoptotic signaling induced by a wide range of apoptotic stimuli.
Manganese (Mn) exposure causes Manganism, a neurological disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease. However, the cellular mechanism by which Mn induces dopaminergic neuronal cell death remains unclear. In the present study, we sought to investigate the key downstream apoptotic cell signaling events that contribute to Mn-induced cell death in mesencephalic dopaminergic neuronal (N27) cells. Mn exposure induced a dose-dependent increase in neuronal cell death in N27 cells. The cell death was accompanied by sequential activation of mitochondrial-dependent proapoptotic events including cytochrome c release, caspase-3 activation, and DNA fragmentation, but not caspase-8 activation, indicating that the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic cascade primarily triggers Mn-induced apoptosis. Notably, Mn treatment proteolytically activated protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ), a member of a novel class of protein kinase C. The caspase-3 specific inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK significantly blocked PKCδ cleavage and its kinase activity, indicating that caspase-3 mediates the proteolytic activation. Co-treatment with the PKCδ inhibitor rottlerin or the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK almost completely blocked Mn-induced DNA fragmentation. Additionally, N27 cells expressing a catalytically inactive PKCδK376R protein (PKCδ dominant negative mutant) or a caspase cleavage resistant PKCδD327A protein (PKCδ cleavage resistant mutant) were found to be resistant to Mn-induced apoptosis. To further establish the proapoptotic role of PKCδ, RNAi-mediated gene knockdown was performed. siRNA suppression of PKCδ expression protected N27 cells from Mn-induced apoptotic cell death. Collectively, these results suggest that caspase-3-dependent proteolytic activation of PKCδ plays a key role in Mn-induced apoptotic cell death.
During atherogenesis, excess amounts of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) accumulate in the subendothelial space where they undergo oxidative modifications. Oxidized LDL (oxLDL) alter the fragile balance between survival and death of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) thereby leading to plaque instability and finally to atherothrombotic events. As protein kinase C δ (PKCδ) is pro-apoptotic in many cell types, we investigated its potential role in the regulation of VSMC apoptosis induced by oxLDL. We found that human VSMC silenced for PKCδ exhibited a protection towards oxLDL-induced apoptosis. OxLDL triggered the activation of PKCδ as shown by its phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. PKCδ activation was dependent on the reactive oxygen species generated by oxLDL. Moreover, we demonstrated that PKCδ participates in oxLDL-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-dependent apoptotic signaling mainly through the IRE1α/JNK pathway. Finally, the role of PKCδ in the development of atherosclerosis was supported by immunohistological analyses showing the colocalization of activated PKCδ with ER stress and lipid peroxidation markers in human atherosclerotic lesions. These findings highlight a role for PKCδ as a key regulator of oxLDL-induced ER stress-mediated apoptosis in VSMC, which may contribute to atherosclerotic plaque instability and rupture.
PKCδ; oxidized low-density lipoproteins; apoptosis; ER stress; vascular smooth muscle cells
One of the main causes of cardiovascular complications in diabetes is the hyperglycemia-induced cell injury, and mitochondrial fission has been implicated in the apoptotic process. We investigated the role of mitochondrial fission in high glucoseinduced cardiovascular cell injury.
We used several types of cultured mouse, rat, and bovine cells from the cardiovascular system, and evaluated mitochondrial morphology, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and apoptotic parameters in sustained high glucose incubation. Adenoviral infection was used for the inhibition of the fission protein DLP1.
We found that mitochondria were short and fragmented in cells incubated in sustained high glucose conditions. Under the same conditions, cellular ROS levels were high and cell death was increased. We demonstrated that the increased level of ROS causes mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), phosphatidylserine exposure, cytochrome c release, and caspase activation in prolonged high glucose conditions. Importantly, maintaining tubular mitochondria by inhibiting mitochondrial fission in sustained high glucose conditions normalized cellular ROS levels and prevented the MPT and subsequent cell death. These results demonstrate that mitochondrial fragmentation is an upstream factor for ROS overproduction and cell death in prolonged high glucose conditions.
These findings indicate that the fission-mediated fragmentation of mitochondrial tubules is causally associated with enhanced production of mitochondrial ROS and cardiovascular cell injury in hyperglycemic conditions.
Glutamate-induced cytotoxicity is partially mediated by enhanced oxidative stress. The objectives of the present study are to determine the effects of glutamate on mitochondrial membrane potential, oxygen consumption, mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy regulating factors and to explore the protective effects of selenium against glutamate cytotoxicity in murine neuronal HT22 cells. Our results demonstrated that glutamate resulted in cell death in a dose-dependent manner and supplementation of 100 nM sodium selenite prevented the detrimental effects of glutamate on cell survival. The glutamate induced cytotoxicity was associated with mitochondrial hyperpolarization, increased ROS production and enhanced oxygen consumption. Selenium reversed these alterations. Furthermore, glutamate increased the levels of mitochondrial fission protein markers pDrp1 and Fis1 and caused increase in mitochondrial fragmentation. Selenium corrected the glutamate-caused mitochondrial dynamic imbalance and reduced the number of cells with fragmented mitochondria. Finally, glutamate activated autophagy markers Beclin 1 and LC3-II, while selenium prevented the activation. These results suggest that glutamate targets the mitochondria and selenium supplementation within physiological concentration is capable of preventing the detrimental effects of glutamate on the mitochondria. Therefore, adequate selenium supplementation may be an efficient strategy to prevent the detrimental glutamate toxicity and further studies are warranted to define the therapeutic potentials of selenium in animal disease models and in human.
Mitochondrial fission and fusion are linked to synaptic activity in healthy neurons and are implicated in the regulation of apoptotic cell death in many cell types. We developed fluorescence microscopy and computational strategies to directly measure mitochondrial fission and fusion frequencies and their effects on mitochondrial morphology in cultured neurons. We found that the rate of fission exceeds the rate of fusion in healthy neuronal processes, and, therefore, the fission/fusion ratio alone is insufficient to explain mitochondrial morphology at steady state. This imbalance between fission and fusion is compensated by growth of mitochondrial organelles. Bcl-xL increases the rates of both fusion and fission, but more important for explaining the longer organelle morphology induced by Bcl-xL is its ability to increase mitochondrial biomass. Deficits in these Bcl-xL–dependent mechanisms may be critical in neuronal dysfunction during the earliest phases of neurodegeneration, long before commitment to cell death.
In vitro models suggest that free fatty acid–induced apoptotic β-cell death is mediated through protein kinase C (PKC)δ. To examine the role of PKCδ signaling in vivo, transgenic mice overexpressing a kinase-negative PKCδ (PKCδKN) selectively in β-cells were generated and analyzed for glucose homeostasis and β-cell survival.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Mice were fed a standard or high-fat diet (HFD). Blood glucose and insulin levels were determined after glucose loads. Islet size, cleaved caspase-3, and PKCδ expression were estimated by immunohistochemistry. In isolated islet cells apoptosis was assessed with TUNEL/TO-PRO3 DNA staining and the mitochondrial potential by rhodamine-123 staining. Changes in phosphorylation and subcellular distribution of forkhead box class O1 (FOXO1) were analyzed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry.
PKCδKN mice were protected from HFD-induced glucose intolerance. This was accompanied by increased insulin levels in vivo, by an increased islet size, and by a reduced staining of β-cells for cleaved caspase-3 compared with wild-type littermates. In accordance, long-term treatment with palmitate increased apoptotic cell death of isolated islet cells from wild-type but not from PKCδKN mice. PKCδKN overexpression protected islet cells from palmitate-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibited nuclear accumulation of FOXO1 in mouse islet and INS-1E cells. The inhibition of nuclear accumulation of FOXO1 by PKCδKN was accompanied by an increased phosphorylation of FOXO1 at Ser256 and a significant reduction of FOXO1 protein.
Overexpression of PKCδKN in β-cells protects from HFD-induced β-cell failure in vivo by a mechanism that involves inhibition of fatty acid–mediated apoptosis, inhibition of mitochondrial dysfunction, and inhibition of FOXO1 activation.
Neurons are known to use large amounts of energy for their normal function and activity. In order to meet this demand, mitochondrial fission, fusion, and movement events (mitochondrial dynamics) control mitochondrial morphology, facilitating biogenesis and proper distribution of mitochondria within neurons. In contrast, dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics results in reduced cell bioenergetics and thus contributes to neuronal injury and death in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. We recently reported that amyloid-β peptide, thought to be a key mediator of AD pathogenesis, engenders S-nitrosylation and thus hyperactivation of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1. This activation leads to excessive mitochondrial fragmentation, bioenergetic compromise, and synaptic damage in models of AD. Here, we provide an extended commentary on our findings of nitric oxide-mediated abnormal mitochondrial dynamics.
S-Nitrosylation; Dynamin-related protein 1; Alzheimers’s disease; Mitochondrial fission
Voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) has been suggested to be a mediator of mitochondrial-dependent cell death induced by Ca2+ overload, oxidative stress and Bax-Bid activation. To confirm this hypothesis in vivo, we generated and characterized Drosophila VDAC (porin) mutants and found that Porin is not required for mitochondrial apoptosis, which is consistent with the previous mouse studies. We also reported a novel physiological role of Porin. Loss of porin resulted in locomotive defects and male sterility. Intriguingly, porin mutants exhibited elongated mitochondria in indirect flight muscle, whereas Porin overexpression produced fragmented mitochondria. Through genetic analysis with the components of mitochondrial fission and fusion, we found that the elongated mitochondria phenotype in porin mutants were suppressed by increased mitochondrial fission, but enhanced by increased mitochondrial fusion. Furthermore, increased mitochondrial fission by Drp1 expression suppressed the flight defects in the porin mutants. Collectively, our study showed that loss of Drosophila Porin results in mitochondrial morphological defects and suggested that the defective mitochondrial function by Porin deficiency affects the mitochondrial remodeling process.