Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease resulting from an abnormal expansion of polyglutamine in huntingtin (Htt). Compromised oxidative stress defense systems have emerged as a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of HD. Indeed activation of the Nrf2 pathway, which plays a prominent role in mediating antioxidant responses, has been considered as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of HD. Given the fact that there is an interrelationship between impairments in mitochondrial dynamics and increased oxidative stress, in this present study we examined the effect of mutant Htt (mHtt) on these two parameters. STHdhQ111/Q111 cells, striatal cells expressing mHtt, display more fragmented mitochondria compared to STHdhQ7/Q7 cells, striatal cells expressing wild type Htt, concurrent with alterations in the expression levels of Drp1 and Opa1, key regulators of mitochondrial fission and fusion, respectively. Studies of mitochondrial dynamics using cell fusion and mitochondrial targeted photo-switchable Dendra revealed that mitochondrial fusion is significantly decreased in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells. Oxidative stress leads to dramatic increases in the number of STHdhQ111/Q111 cells containing swollen mitochondria, while STHdhQ7/Q7 cells just show increases in the number of fragmented mitochondria. mHtt expression results in reduced activity of Nrf2, and activation of the Nrf2 pathway by the oxidant tBHQ is significantly impaired in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells. Nrf2 expression does not differ between the two cell types, but STHdhQ111/Q111 cells show reduced expression of Keap1 and p62, key modulators of Nrf2 signaling. In addition, STHdhQ111/Q111 cells exhibit increases in autophagy, whereas the basal level of autophagy activation is low in STHdhQ7/Q7 cells. These results suggest that mHtt disrupts Nrf2 signaling which contributes to impaired mitochondrial dynamics and may enhance susceptibility to oxidative stress in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells.
Achieving a prolonged neuroprotective state following transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) is likely to effectively reduce the brain damage and neurological dysfunction associated with recurrent stroke. HPC is a phenomenon in which advanced exposure to mild hypoxia reduces the stroke volume produced by a subsequent TIA. However, this neuroprotection is not long-lasting, with the effects reaching a peak after 3 days. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the use of multiple episodes of hypoxic exposure at different time intervals to induce longer-term protection in a mouse stroke model. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to different hypoxic preconditioning protocols: a single episode of HPC or five identical episodes at intervals of 3 days (E3d HPC) or 6 days (E6d HPC). Three days after the last hypoxic exposure, temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was induced. The effects of these HPC protocols on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) regulated gene mRNA expression were measured by quantitative PCR. Changes in extracellular adenosine concentrations, known to exert neuroprotective effects, were also measured using in vivo microdialysis and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Neuroprotection was provided by E6d HPC but not E3d HPC. HIF-regulated target gene expression increased significantly following all HPC protocols. However, E3d HPC significantly decreased extracellular adenosine and reduced cerebral blood flow in the ischemic region with upregulated expression of the adenosine transporter, equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1). An ENT1 inhibitor, propentofylline increased the cerebral blood flow and re-established neuroprotection in E3d HPC. Adenosine receptor specific antagonists showed that adenosine mainly through A1 receptor mediates HPC induced neuroprotection. Our data indicate that cooperation of HIF-regulated genes and extracellular adenosine is necessary for HPC-induced neuroprotection.
Most of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-linked mutations in amyloid precursor protein (APP), which cause abnormal production of β-amyloid (Aβ), are localized at the major β-secretase- and γ-secretase cleavage sites. In this study, using an APP-knockout mouse neuronal cell line, our data demonstrated that at the P2-P1 positions of the ε-cleavage site at Aβ49 and the ζ-cleavage site at Aβ46, aromatic amino acids caused a strong reduction in total Aβ. On the other hand, residues with a long side chain caused a decrease in Aβ40 and a concomitant increase in Aβ42 and Aβ38. These findings indicate that the structures of the substituting residues at these key positions strongly determine the efficiency and preference of γ-secretase-mediated APP processing, which determines the ratio of different secreted Aβ species, a crucial factor in the disease development. Our findings provide new insight into the mechanisms of γ-secretase-mediated APP processing and, specifically, into why most AD-linked APP mutations are localized at major γ-secretase cleavage sites. This information may contribute to the development of methods of prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease aimed at modulating γ-secretase activity.
Alzheimer’s disease; β-amyloid; γ-secretase; APP; Intramembrane processing
Presenilin-associated protein (PSAP) was originally identified as a PS1-associated, PDZ domain protein. In a subsequent study, PSAP was found to be a mitochondrial apoptotic molecule. In this study, we cloned the PSAP gene and found that it is composed of 12 exons and localizes on chromosome 6. To better understand the structure and function of PSAP, we have generated a series of antibodies that recognize different regions of PSAP. Using these antibodies, we found that PSAP is expressed in four isoforms as a result of differential splicing of exon 8 in addition to the use of either the first or the second ATG codon as the start condon. We also found that all these isoforms are localized in the mitochondria and are pro-apoptotic. Furthermore, our data revealed that the PDZ domain and N-terminal fragment are required for the pro-apoptotic activity of PSAP.
Prostate cancer cell migration is an essential event both in the progression of prostate cancer and in the steps leading to metastasis. We report here that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a potent bioactive phospholipid, induces prostate cancer PC3 cell migration via the activation of the LPA1 receptor, which is linked to a PTX-sensitive activation mechanism of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). Our results demonstrate that parallel activation of ERK1/2 and p38, but not JNK, is responsible for LPA-stimulated PC3 cell migration. Furthermore, using small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology, and overexpressing dominant-negative mutants of p38 MAPK isotypes of α, β, γ and δ, we have identified that the activation of ERK2 (p42) and p38α, but not of ERK1 and the other isoforms of p38 MAPK, is required for LPA-induced migration. Our study provides the first evidence for a functional role of p42 and p38α in LPA-induced mammalian cell migration, and also demonstrates, for the first time, that the receptor LPA1 mediates prostate cancer cell migration. The results of the present study suggest that LPA, the receptor LPA1, ERK2 and p38α are important regulators for prostate cancer cell invasion and thus could play a significant role in the development of metastasis.
Lysophosphatidic acid; Receptors; Cell migration; Protein kinases and prostate cancer cells
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) has been found to accumulate in high concentrations in atherosclerotic lesions. LPA is a bioactive phospholipid produced by activated platelets and formed during the oxidation of LDL. Accumulating evidence suggests that this lipid mediator may serve as an important risk factor for development of atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The role of LPA in atherogenesis is supported by the evidence that LPA: stimulates endothelial cells to produce adhesion molecules and chemoattractants; induces smooth muscle cells to produce inflammatory cytokines; stimulates smooth muscle cell dedifferentiation, proliferation, and migration; increases monocyte migration and decreases monocyte-derived cell emigration from the vessel wall; induces hypertension and vascular neointimal formation in vivo; and promotes plaque progression in a mouse atherosclerosis model. The role of LPA in thrombogenesis is supported by the evidence that LPA markedly induces the aggregation of platelets and the expression of tissue factor, which is the principal initiator of blood coagulation. Recent experimental data indicate that LPA is produced by specific enzymes and that LPA binds to and activates multiple G-protein-coupled receptors, leading to intracellular signaling. Therapeutics targeting LPA biosynthesis, metabolism and signaling pathways could be viable for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
atherosclerosis; lysophosphatidic acid; lysophosphatidic acid receptor; lysophospholipase D; thrombosis; vascular disease and therapeutics; vascular lesion
A variety of steroids, including pregnenolone sulfate (PREGS) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) are synthesized by specific brain cells, and are then delivered to their target sites, where they exert potent effects on neuronal excitability. The present results demonstrate that [3H]DHEAS and [3H]PREGS are relatively high affinity substrates for the organic solute transporter, OSTα–OSTβ, and that the two proteins that constitute this transporter are selectively localized to steroidogenic cells in the cerebellum and hippocampus, namely the Purkinje cells and cells in the CA region in both mouse and human brain. Analysis of Ostα and Ostβ mRNA levels in mouse Purkinje and hippocampal cells isolated via laser capture microdissection supported these findings. In addition, Ostα-deficient mice exhibited changes in serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEAS levels, and in tissue distribution of administered [3H]DHEAS. OSTα and OSTβ proteins were also localized to the zona reticularis of human adrenal gland, the major region for DHEAS production in the periphery. These results demonstrate that OSTα-OSTβ is localized to steroidogenic cells of the brain and adrenal gland, and that it modulates DHEA/DHEAS homeostasis, suggesting that it may contribute to neurosteroid action.
Organic solute transporter; neurosteroid transport; pregnenolone sulfate; dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; Purkinje cells; CA region of the hippocampus
Reliable detection of large deletions from cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in maternal plasma is challenging, especially when both parents have the same deletion owing to a lack of specific markers for fetal genotyping. In order to evaluate the efficacy of a non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) test to exclude α-thalassemia major that uses SNPs linked to the normal paternal α-globin allele, we established a novel protocol to reliably detect paternal SNPs within the (−−SEA) breakpoints and performed evaluation of the diagnostic potential of the protocol in a total of 67 pregnancies, in whom plasma samples were collected prior to invasive obstetrics procedures in southern China. A group of nine SNPs identified within the deletion breakpoints were scanned to select the informative SNPs in each of the 67 couples DNA by multiplex PCR based mini-sequencing technique. The paternally inherited SNP allele from cffDNA was detected by allele specific real-time PCR. A protocol for reliable detection of paternal SNPs within the (−−SEA) breakpoints was established and evaluation of the diagnostic potential of the protocol was performed in a total of 67 pregnancies. In 97% of the couples one or more different SNPs within the deletion breakpoint occurred between paternal and maternal alleles. Homozygosity for the (−−SEA) deletion was accurately excluded in 33 out of 67 (49.3%, 95% CI, 25.4–78.6%) pregnancies through the implementation of the protocol. Protocol was completely concordant with the traditional reference methods, except for two cases that exhibited uncertain results due to sample hemolysis. This method could be used as a routine NIPD test to exclude gross fetal deletions in α-thalassemia major, and could further be employed to test for other diseases due to gene deletion.
Monocyte activation and migration are crucial events in the development of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. This study examined the role of protein kinase D (PKD) in monocyte migration.
Method and Results
PKD2 is the predominant isoform of PKD expressed in monocytic THP-1 cells and primary human monocytes. Lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC), a prominent component of oxidized low density lipoprotein, induces rapid and marked PKD activation in these cells. Using multiple approaches, including dominant-negative mutants and small interfering RNA knock-down, we found that lysoPC-induced PKD2 activation was required for the activation of both ERK and p38 MAPK. p38 MAPK mediation of lysoPC-induced monocytic cell migration was reported previously; our results reveal that the lysoPC-induced PKD2-p38 pathway controls monocyte migration.
This study provides the first evidence that 1) lysoPC activates PKD, 2) PKD2 has a novel role in p38 activation, and 3) the PKD2-activated p38 pathway is responsible for lysoPC-induced migration of THP-1 cells and human monocytes. Thus, PKD is a novel and functional intracellular regulator in both lysoPC signaling and monocyte migration. These results suggest a new role for PKD2 in the development of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.
protein kinase; signaling pathway; lysophosphatidylcholine; monocyte migration
Ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury is a major cause of hepatic failure after liver surgery, but no method could monitor or predict it real-time during surgery. We measured bioelectrical impedance (BEI) and cell viability to assess the usefulness of BEI during I/R in rat liver. A 70% partial liver ischemia model was used. BEI was measured at various frequencies. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content, and palmitic acid oxidation rate were measured, and histological changes were observed in order to quantify liver cell viability. BEI changed significantly during ischemia at low frequency. In the ischemia group, BEI increased gradually during 60 min of ischemia and had a tendency to plateau thereafter. The ATP content decreased below 20% of the baseline level. In the I/R group, BEI recovered to near baseline level. After 24 hr of reperfusion, the ATP contents decreased to below 50% in 30, 60 and 120 min of ischemia and the palmitic acid metabolic rates decreased to 91%, 78%, and 74%, respectively, compared with normal liver. BEI may be a good tool for monitoring I/R during liver surgery. The liver is relatively tolerant to ischemia, however after reperfusion, liver cells may be damaged depending upon the duration of ischemia.
Bioelectrical Impedance; Cell Survival; Ischemia; Reperfusion; ATP