In Alzheimer disease (AD), amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomer is suggested to play a critical role in imitating neurodegeneration, although its pathogenic mechanism remains to be determined. Recently, the cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been reported to be an essential co-factor in mediating the neurotoxic effect of Aβ oligomer. However, these previous studies focused on the synaptic plasticity in either the presence or the absence of PrPC and no study to date has reported whether PrPC is required for the neuronal cell death, the most critical element of neurodegeneration in AD. Here, we show that Prnp−/− mice are resistant to the neurotoxic effect of Aβ oligomer in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, application of an anti-PrPC antibody or PrPC peptide prevents Aβ oligomer-induced neurotoxicity. These findings are the first to demonstrate that PrPC is required for Aβ oligomer-induced neuronal cell death, the pathology essential to cognitive loss.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) exhibits a complex etiology that simultaneously manifests as a complex cellular, neurobiological, molecular, anatomic–physiological and clinical entity. Other significant psychiatric conditions, such as depression and schizophrenia, may also present with complex and concurrent clinical and/or molecular phenotypes. These neuropsychiatric pathologies also originate from both environmental and genetic factors. We analyzed the molecular phenotypes of AD and discuss them with respect to the classical theories, which we integrated into mechanisms that share molecular and/or anatomical connections. Based on these mechanisms, we propose an interaction model and discuss the model in light of studies that refute or support it. Given the spectrum of AD phenotypes, we limit the scope of our discussion to a few, which facilitates concrete analysis. In addition, the study of specific, individual pathogenic phenotypes may be critical to defining the complex mechanisms leading to AD, thereby improving strategies for developing novel therapies.
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; apolipoprotein E; neurofibrillary tangles; Parkinson’s disease; reactive oxygen species
Nanobodies (or variable domain of the heavy chain of the heavy-chain antibodies, VHHs) are single-domain antigen-binding fragments derived from camelid heavy chain antibodies. Their comparatively small size, monomeric behavior, high stability, high solubility, and ability to bind epitopes inaccessible to conventional antibodies make them especially suitable for many therapeutic and biotechnological applications. In this paper, for the first time, we created the immunized Camelus Bactrianus VHH yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) library according to the Clontech Mate & Plate library construction system. The transformation efficiency and titer of the VHH Y2H library were 7.26×106 cfu/3 µg and 2×109 cfu/ml, which met the demand for Y2H library screening. Using as an example the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) Cap protein as bait, we screened 21 positive Cap-specific VHH sequences. Among these sequences, 7 of 9 randomly selected clones were strongly positive as indicated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, either using PCV2 viral lysis or purified Cap protein as coated antigen. Additionally, the immunocytochemistry results further indicated that the screened VHHs could specifically detected PCV2 in the infected cells. All this suggests the feasibility of in vivo VHH throughput screening based on Y2H strategy.
A recently developed bivalent ligand BMAOI 14 (7) has been evaluated for its capability to label and detect aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide as a fluorescent probe. This probe contains curcumin as the Aβ recognition moiety and cholesterol as an anchorage to the neuronal cell membrane/lipid rafts. The results demonstrate that 7 binds to the monomers, oligomers as well as fibrils of Aβ42 with low micromolar to submicromolar binding affinities. This chemical probe also has many of the required optical properties for use in imaging and can rapidly cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo. Furthermore, 7 specifically binds to Aβ plaques in both AD human patients and APP transgenic mouse brain tissues. Collectively, these results suggest that 7 is a strong candidate as an Aβ-imaging agent and encourage further optimization of 7 as a new lead to develop the next generation of Aβ-imaging probes.
Bivalent ligands; fluorescent probes; Aβ plaques; Alzheimer's disease
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. Our prior studies demonstrated reduced mitochondrial number in susceptible hippocampal neurons in the brain from AD patients and in M17 cells overexpressing FAD-causing APP mutant (APPswe). In the current study, we investigated whether alterations in mitochondrial biogenesis contribute to mitochondrial abnormalities in AD. Mitochondrial biogenesis is regulated by the PGC-1α-NRF-TFAM pathway. Expression levels of PGC-1α, NRF 1, NRF 2, and TFAM were significantly decreased in both AD hippocampal tissues and APPswe M17 cells, suggesting a reduced mitochondrial biogenesis. Indeed, APPswe M17 cells demonstrated decreased mitochondrial DNA/nuclear DNA ratio, correlated with reduced ATP content, and decreased cytochrome C oxidase activity. Importantly, overexpression of PGC-1α could completely rescue while knockdown of PGC-1α could exacerbate impaired mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial deficits in APPswe M17 cells, suggesting reduced mitochondrial biogenesis is likely involved in APPswe-induced mitochondrial deficits. We further demonstrated that reduced expression of p-CREB and PGC-1α in APPswe M17 cells could be rescued by cAMP in a dose-dependent manner, which could be inhibited by PKA inhibitor H89, suggesting that the PKA/CREB pathway plays a critical role in the regulation of PGC-1α expression in APPswe M17 cells. Overall, our study demonstrated that impaired mitochondrial biogenesis likely contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction in AD.
Alzheimer's disease; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM); nuclear respiratory factors (NRF); proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1a)
Selective degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson disease (PD) can be modeled by the administration of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). Since abnormal mitochondrial dynamics are increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of PD, in this study, we investigated the effect of MPP+ on mitochondrial dynamics and assessed temporal and causal relationship with other toxic effects induced by MPP+ in neuronal cells. In SH-SY5Y cells, MPP+ causes a rapid increase in mitochondrial fragmentation followed by a second wave of increase in mitochondrial fragmentation, along with increased DLP1 expression and mitochondrial translocation. Genetic inactivation of DLP1 completely blocks MPP+-induced mitochondrial fragmentation. Notably, this approach partially rescues MPP+-induced decline in ATP levels and ATP/ADP ratio and increased [Ca2+]i and almost completely prevents increased reactive oxygen species production, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, enhanced autophagy and cell death, suggesting that mitochondria fragmentation is an upstream event that mediates MPP+-induced toxicity. On the other hand, thiol antioxidant NAC or glutamate receptor antagonist D-AP5 also partially alleviate MPP+-induced mitochondrial fragmentation, suggesting a vicious spiral of events contributes to MPP+-induced toxicity. We further validated our findings in primary rat midbrain dopaminergic neurons that 0.5 μM MPP+ induced mitochondrial fragmentation only in TH-positive dopaminergic neurons in a similar pattern to that in SH-SY5Y cells but had no effects on these mitochondrial parameters in TH-negative neurons. Overall, these findings suggest that DLP1-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation plays a crucial role in mediating MPP+-induced mitochondria abnormalities and cellular dysfunction and may represent a novel therapeutic target for PD.
MPP+; mitochondrial dynamics; Parkinson disease; DLP1/Drp1; mitochondrial fragmentation; neurotoxicity
Post-mitotic neurons are typically terminally differentiated and in a quiescent status. However, in Alzheimer disease (AD), many neurons display ectopic re-expression of cell cycle-related proteins. Cyclin-dependent kinase 11 (CDK11) mRNA produces a 110-kDa protein (CDK11p110) throughout the cell cycle, a 58-kDa protein (CDK11p58) that is specifically translated from an internal ribosome entry site and expressed only in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, and a 46-kDa protein (CDK11p46) that is considered to be apoptosis specific. CDK11 is required for sister chromatid cohesion and the completion of mitosis. In this study, we found that the expression patterns of CDK11 vary such that cytoplasmic CDK11 is increased in AD cellular processes, compared to a pronounced nuclear expression pattern in most controls. We also investigated the effect of amyloid precursor protein (APP) on CDK11 expression in vitro by using M17 cells overexpressing wild-type APP and APP Swedish mutant phenotype and found increased CDK11 expression compared to empty vector. In addition, amyloid-β25-35 resulted in increased CDK11 in M17 cells. These data suggest that CDK11 may play a vital role in cell cycle re-entry in AD neurons in an APP-dependent manner, thus presenting an intriguing novel function of the APP signaling pathway in AD.
Alzheimer disease; APP; CDK11; M17 cells
The phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 (pS6) is associated with the 40S ribosomal subunit in eukaryotes and is thought to play a role in RNA storage, degradation, and re-entry into translation. In this study, we found pS6 localized to granulovacuolar degeneration (GVD) within pyramidal neurons. Immunohistochemical analysis found nearly 20 fold more neurons contain pS6 positive granules in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) hippocampus compared with age-matched controls. Further, pS6-positive granules were more common in neurons not containing neurofibrillary tangles, were never associated with extracellular neurofibrillary tangles or in apoptotic neurons, and contained less RNA than neighboring pyramidal neurons not containing pS6-positive granules. In model systems, pS6 is a specific marker for stress granules, and another stress granule protein, p54/Rck we also found to be a component of GVD in the current study. Stress granules are transient, intracellular, dense aggregations of proteins and RNAs that accumulate as a stress response, protecting cells from apoptosis and inappropriate transcriptional activity, often described as a form of “molecular triage.” The RNA oxidation modification 8-hydroxyguanosine (8OHG) is strikingly increased in AD, yet this study reports that those neurons with pS6 granules display reduced RNA oxidation demonstrated by lower levels of 8OHG. Since chronic oxidative stress is central to AD pathogenesis, and RNA is a specific oxidative stress target and is intimately associated with stress granule biogenesis in model systems, we suggest that GVD in human brain parallel stress granules, and may in fact be more representative of early disease pathogenesis than traditionally believed. This proposed origin for GVD as a neuroprotective response, may represent a morphologic checkpoint between cell death and reversible cellular stress that proceeds in the absence of other inclusions.
Alzheimer’s disease; granulovacuolar degeneration; ribosomal protein pS6; stress granules
While oxidative stress has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, the underlying pathophysiological relationship is unclear. To examine this relationship, we induced oxidative stress through the genetic ablation of one copy of mitochondrial antioxidant superoxide dismutase 2 (Sod2) allele in mutant human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) transgenic mice. The brains of young (5–7 months of age) and old (25–30 months of age) mice with the four genotypes, wild-type (Sod2+/+), hemizygous Sod2 (Sod2+/−), hAPP/wild-type (Sod2+/+), and hAPP/hemizygous (Sod2+/−) were examined to assess levels of oxidative stress markers 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal and heme oxygenase-1. Sod2 reduction in young hAPP mice resulted in significantly increased oxidative stress in the pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus. Interestingly, while differences resulting from hAPP expression or Sod2 reduction were not apparent in the neurons in old mice, oxidative stress was increased in astrocytes in old, but not young hAPP mice with either Sod2+/+ or Sod2+/−. Our study shows the specific changes in oxidative stress and the causal relationship with the pathological progression of these mice. These results suggest that the early neuronal susceptibility to oxidative stress in the hAPP/Sod2+/− mice may contribute to the pathological and behavioral changes seen in this animal model.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which begins with insidious deterioration of higher cognition and progresses to severe dementia. Clinical symptoms typically involve impairment of memory and at least one other cognitive domain. Because of the exponential increase in the incidence of AD with age, the aging population across the world has seen a congruous increase AD, emphasizing the importance of disease altering therapy. Current therapeutics on the market, including cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, provide symptomatic relief but do not alter progression of the disease. Therefore, progress in the areas of prevention and disease modification may be of critical interest. In this review, we summarize novel AD therapeutics that are currently being explored, and also mechanisms of action of specific drugs within the context of current knowledge of AD pathologic pathways.
Alzheimer disease; amyloid; antioxidants; cholinesterase inhibitors; luteinizing hormone; mitochondrial therapy; neurodegenerative drugs; NMDA antagonists; tau
The selection of relevant articles for curation, and linking those articles to experimental techniques confirming the findings became one of the primary subjects of the recent BioCreative III contest. The contest’s Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) task consisted of two sub-tasks: Article Classification Task (ACT) and Interaction Method Task (IMT). ACT aimed to automatically select relevant documents for PPI curation, whereas the goal of IMT was to recognise the methods used in experiments for identifying the interactions in full-text articles.
We proposed and compared several classification-based methods for both tasks, employing rich contextual features as well as features extracted from external knowledge sources. For IMT, a new method that classifies pair-wise relations between every text phrase and candidate interaction method obtained promising results with an F1 score of 64.49%, as tested on the task’s development dataset. We also explored ways to combine this new approach and more conventional, multi-label document classification methods. For ACT, our classifiers exploited automatically detected named entities and other linguistic information. The evaluation results on the BioCreative III PPI test datasets showed that our systems were very competitive: one of our IMT methods yielded the best performance among all participants, as measured by F1 score, Matthew’s Correlation Coefficient and AUC iP/R; whereas for ACT, our best classifier was ranked second as measured by AUC iP/R, and also competitive according to other metrics.
Our novel approach that converts the multi-class, multi-label classification problem to a binary classification problem showed much promise in IMT. Nevertheless, on the test dataset the best performance was achieved by taking the union of the output of this method and that of a multi-class, multi-label document classifier, which indicates that the two types of systems complement each other in terms of recall. For ACT, our system exploited a rich set of features and also obtained encouraging results. We examined the features with respect to their contributions to the classification results, and concluded that contextual words surrounding named entities, as well as the MeSH headings associated with the documents were among the main contributors to the performance.
Determining usefulness of biomedical text mining systems requires realistic task definition and data selection criteria without artificial constraints, measuring performance aspects that go beyond traditional metrics. The BioCreative III Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) tasks were motivated by such considerations, trying to address aspects including how the end user would oversee the generated output, for instance by providing ranked results, textual evidence for human interpretation or measuring time savings by using automated systems. Detecting articles describing complex biological events like PPIs was addressed in the Article Classification Task (ACT), where participants were asked to implement tools for detecting PPI-describing abstracts. Therefore the BCIII-ACT corpus was provided, which includes a training, development and test set of over 12,000 PPI relevant and non-relevant PubMed abstracts labeled manually by domain experts and recording also the human classification times. The Interaction Method Task (IMT) went beyond abstracts and required mining for associations between more than 3,500 full text articles and interaction detection method ontology concepts that had been applied to detect the PPIs reported in them.
A total of 11 teams participated in at least one of the two PPI tasks (10 in ACT and 8 in the IMT) and a total of 62 persons were involved either as participants or in preparing data sets/evaluating these tasks. Per task, each team was allowed to submit five runs offline and another five online via the BioCreative Meta-Server. From the 52 runs submitted for the ACT, the highest Matthew's Correlation Coefficient (MCC) score measured was 0.55 at an accuracy of 89% and the best AUC iP/R was 68%. Most ACT teams explored machine learning methods, some of them also used lexical resources like MeSH terms, PSI-MI concepts or particular lists of verbs and nouns, some integrated NER approaches. For the IMT, a total of 42 runs were evaluated by comparing systems against manually generated annotations done by curators from the BioGRID and MINT databases. The highest AUC iP/R achieved by any run was 53%, the best MCC score 0.55. In case of competitive systems with an acceptable recall (above 35%) the macro-averaged precision ranged between 50% and 80%, with a maximum F-Score of 55%.
The results of the ACT task of BioCreative III indicate that classification of large unbalanced article collections reflecting the real class imbalance is still challenging. Nevertheless, text-mining tools that report ranked lists of relevant articles for manual selection can potentially reduce the time needed to identify half of the relevant articles to less than 1/4 of the time when compared to unranked results. Detecting associations between full text articles and interaction detection method PSI-MI terms (IMT) is more difficult than might be anticipated. This is due to the variability of method term mentions, errors resulting from pre-processing of articles provided as PDF files, and the heterogeneity and different granularity of method term concepts encountered in the ontology. However, combining the sophisticated techniques developed by the participants with supporting evidence strings derived from the articles for human interpretation could result in practical modules for biological annotation workflows.
Motivation: Understanding key biological processes (bioprocesses) and their relationships with constituent biological entities and pharmaceutical agents is crucial for drug design and discovery. One way to harvest such information is searching the literature. However, bioprocesses are difficult to capture because they may occur in text in a variety of textual expressions. Moreover, a bioprocess is often composed of a series of bioevents, where a bioevent denotes changes to one or a group of cells involved in the bioprocess. Such bioevents are often used to refer to bioprocesses in text, which current techniques, relying solely on specialized lexicons, struggle to find.
Results: This article presents a range of methods for finding bioprocess terms and events. To facilitate the study, we built a gold standard corpus in which terms and events related to angiogenesis, a key biological process of the growth of new blood vessels, were annotated. Statistics of the annotated corpus revealed that over 36% of the text expressions that referred to angiogenesis appeared as events. The proposed methods respectively employed domain-specific vocabularies, a manually annotated corpus and unstructured domain-specific documents. Evaluation results showed that, while a supervised machine-learning model yielded the best precision, recall and F1 scores, the other methods achieved reasonable performance and less cost to develop.
Availability: The angiogenesis vocabularies, gold standard corpus, annotation guidelines and software described in this article are available at http://text0.mib.man.ac.uk/~mbassxw2/angiogenesis/
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo continuous fission and fusion, which could affect all aspects of mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been well documented in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the past few years, emerging evidence indicates that an imbalance of mitochondrial dynamics is involved in the pathogenesis of AD. In this review, we discuss in detail the abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in AD and how such abnormal dynamics may impact mitochondrial and neuronal function and contribute to the course of disease. Based on this discussion, we propose that mitochondrial dynamics could be a potential therapeutic target for AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial fission; Mitochondrial fusion; Drug; Dimebon
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia predominantly affecting the elderly. It is believed that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers are involved in the pathogenesis of AD, yet the underlying mechanisms remain elusive.
Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a critical role in Aβ-induced neuronal degeneration. Previously, we demonstrated that Aβ-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs) induce reduced mitochondrial density in neurites, and we suspect that an impaired mitochondrial trafficking might be involved, which is tested in this study.
Using live cell imaging, anterograde and retrograde transport of mitochondria in primary hippocampal neurons treated with sub-lethal doses of ADDLs was measured.
We found that ADDLs induced significant impairment in both anterograde and retrograde transport of mitochondria along axons.
These results suggest that an impaired mitochondrial transport likely contributes to ADDL-induced abnormal mitochondrial distribution and dysfunction and also reinforce the idea that axonal transport is likely involved in AD pathogenesis.
Aβ-derived diffusible ligands; Mitochondria; Axonal transport; Alzheimer's disease
The complexities that underlie the cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration characteristic of Alzheimer's disease have yet to be completely understood, although many factors in disease pathogenesis have been identified. Particularly important in disease development seem to be mitochondrial disturbances. As pivotal role players in cellular metabolism, mitochondria are pertinent to cell survival and thus any deviation from their operation is certainly fatal. In this review, we describe how the dynamic balance of mitochondrial fission and fusion in particular is a necessary aspect of cell proliferation and that, as the cell ages, such balance is inevitably compromised to yield a destructive environment in which the cell cannot exist. Evidence for such disturbance is abundant in Alzheimer disease. That is, the dynamic balance of fission and fusion in AD is greatly shifted toward fission, and, as a result, affected neurons contain abnormal mitochondria that are unable to meet the metabolic demands of the cell. Moreover, mitochondrial distribution in AD cells is perinuclear, with few metabolic organelles in the distal processes where they are normally distributed in healthey cells and where they are needed for exocytosis, ion channel pumps, and synaptic function, among other things. AD neurons are thus characterized by increases in reactive oxidative species and decreases in metabolic capability, and notably, these changes are evident very early in AD progression. We therefore believe that oxidative stress and altered mitochondrial dynamics contribute to the precipitation of AD pathology and thus cognitive decline. These implications provide a window for therapeutic intervention (i.e., mitochondrial protection) that has the potential to significantly deter AD progression if adequately developed. Current treatment strategies under investigation are herein described.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of various neurodegenerative diseases. A deeper understanding of the remarkably dynamic nature of mitochondria, characterized by a delicate balance of fission and fusion, has helped to fertilize a recent wave of new studies demonstrating abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This review highlights mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease and discusses how these abnormal mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics represents a key common pathway that mediates or amplifies mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal dysfunction during the course of neurodegeneration.
Mitochondrial Dynamics; Mitochondrial Dysfunction; Mitochondrial Distribution; Synaptic Dysfunction; DLP1; Alzheimer Disease; Parkinson's disease
Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been associated with neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, mitochondrial protective agents represent a unique direction for the development of drug candidates that can modify the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. This review discusses evidence showing that mitochondrial dysfunction has a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We also debate the potential therapeutic efficacy of metabolic antioxidants, mitochondria-directed antioxidants and Szeto-Schiller (SS) peptides. Since these compounds preferentially target mitochondria, a major source of oxidative damage, they are promising therapeutic candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, we will briefly discuss the novel action of the antihistamine drug Dimebon on mitochondria.
metabolic antioxidants; mitochondria; mitochondria-directed antioxidants; neurodegeneration; SS peptides
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which begins with insidious deterioration of higher cognition and progresses to severe dementia. Clinical symptoms typically involve impairment of memory and at least one other cognitive domain. Owing to the exponential increase in the incidence of AD with age, the aging population across the world has seen a congruous increase in AD, emphasizing the importance of disease-altering therapy. Current therapeutics on the market, including cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, provide symptomatic relief but do not alter progression of the disease. Therefore, progress in the areas of prevention and disease modification may be of critical interest. In this review, we summarize novel AD therapeutics that are currently being explored, and also mechanisms of action of specific drugs within the context of current knowledge of AD pathologic pathways.
Alzheimer's disease; amyloid; antioxidants; cholinesterase inhibitors; luteinizing hormone; mitochondrial therapy; neurodegenerative drugs; NMDA antagonists; tau
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in the elderly, can have a late-onset sporadic or an early-onset familial origin. In both cases, the neuropathological hallmarks are the same: senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Despite AD having a proteinopathic nature, there is strong evidence for an organelle dysfunction-related neuropathology, namely dysfunctional mitochondria. In this regard, dysfunctional mitochondria and associated exacerbated generation of reactive oxygen species are among the earliest events in the progression of the disease. Since the maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial pool is essential given the central role of this organelle in several determinant cellular processes, mitochondrial dysfunction in AD would be predicted to have profound pluripotent deleterious consequences. Mechanistically, recent reports suggest that mitochondrial fission/fusion and mitophagy are altered in AD and in in vitro models of disease, and since both processes are reported to be protective, this review will discuss the role of mitochondrial fission/fusion and mitophagy in the pathogenesis of AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; fission; fusion; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitophagy
Therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer disease (AD) have yet to offer a disease-modifying effect to stop the debilitating progression of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. Rather, treatments thus far are limited to agents that slow disease progression without halting it, and although much work towards a cure is underway, a greater understanding of disease etiology is certainly necessary for any such achievement. Mitochondria, as the centers of cellular metabolic activity and the primary generators of reactive oxidative species in the cell, received particular attention especially given that mitochondrial defects are known to contribute to cellular damage. Furthermore, as oxidative stress has come to the forefront of AD as a causal theory, and as mitochondrial damage is known to precede much of the hallmark pathologies of AD, it seems increasingly apparent that this metabolic organelle is ultimately responsible for much, if not all of disease pathogenesis. In this review, we review the role of neuronal mitochondria in the pathogenesis of AD and critically assess treatment strategies that utilize this upstream access point as a method for disease prevention. We suspect that, with a revived focus on mitochondrial repair and protection, an effective and realistic therapeutic agent can be successfully developed.
Alzheimer disease; antioxidant; coenzyme Q; Dimebon; fission; fusion; mitochondria; mitochondrial drugs; mitochondrial permeability transition pore; oxidative stress
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, either assuming a sporadic, age-associated, late-onset form, or a familial form, with early onset, in a smaller fraction of the cases. Whereas in the familial cases several mutations have been identified in genes encoding proteins related with the pathogenesis of the disease, for the sporadic form several causes have been proposed and are currently under debate. Mitochondrial dysfunction has surfaced as one of the most discussed hypotheses acting as a trigger for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Mitochondria assume central functions in the cell, including ATP production, calcium homeostasis, reactive oxygen species generation, and apoptotic signaling. Although their role as the cause of the disease may be controversial, there is no doubt that mitochondrial dysfunction, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and degradation by mitophagy occur during the disease process, contributing to its onset and progression.
Alzheimer's disease; mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial dynamics
It is now established that oxidative stress is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, change that occurs in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consistent with this, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the clinical precursor of AD, is also characterized by elevations in oxidative stress. Since such stress does not operate in vacuo, in this study we sought to determine whether redox-active iron, a potent source of free radicals, was elevated in MCI and preclinical AD as compared to cognitively-intact age-matched control patients. Increased iron was found at the highest levels both in the cortex and cerebellum from the pre-clinical AD/MCI cases. Interestingly, glial accumulations of redox-active iron in the cerebellum were also evident in preclinical AD patients and tend to increase as patients became progressively cognitively impaired. Our findings suggests that an imbalance in iron homeostasis is a precursor to the neurodegenerative processes leading to AD and that iron imbalance is not necessarily unique to affected regions. In fact, an understanding of iron deposition in other regions of the brain may provide insights into neuroprotective strategies. Iron deposition at the preclinical stage of AD may be useful as a diagnostic tool, using iron imaging methods, as well as a potential therapeutic target, through metal ion chelators.
Alzheimer's disease; chelator; diagnostic; free radicals; iron; mild cognitive impairment (MCI); oxidative stress; pre-clinical; redox activity
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of Alzheimer disease (AD) neurons. In this study, we explored the involvement of an abnormal mitochondrial dynamics by investigating the changes in the expression of mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins in AD brain and the potential cause and consequence of these changes in neuronal cells. We found that mitochondria were redistributed away from axons in the pyramidal neurons of AD brain. Immunoblot analysis revealed that levels of DLP1 (also referred to as Drp1), OPA1, Mfn1, and Mfn2 were significantly reduced while levels of Fis1 were significantly increased in AD. Despite their differential effects on mitochondrial morphology, manipulations of these mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins in neuronal cells to mimic their expressional changes in AD, caused a similar abnormal mitochondrial distribution pattern, such that mitochondrial density was reduced in the cell periphery of M17 cells or neuronal process of primary neurons and correlated with reduced spine density in the neurite. Interestingly, oligomeric amyloid-β-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs) caused mitochondrial fragmentation and reduced mitochondrial density in neuronal processes. More importantly, ADDL-induced synaptic change (i.e., loss of dendritic spine and PSD-95 puncta) correlated with abnormal mitochondrial distribution. DLP1 overexpression, likely through repopulation of neuronal processes with mitochondria, prevented ADDLs-induced synaptic loss, suggesting that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics plays an important role in ADDLs-induced synaptic abnormalities. Based on these findings, we suggest that an altered balance in mitochondrial fission and fusion is likely an important mechanism leading to mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction in AD brain.
amyloid-β-derived diffusible ligands; Alzheimer disease; DLP1/Drp1; mitochondrial dynamics; synaptic abnormality; Hippocampus
Motivation: Text mining technologies have been shown to reduce the laborious work involved in organizing the vast amount of information hidden in the literature. One challenge in text mining is linking ambiguous word forms to unambiguous biological concepts. This article reports on a comprehensive study on resolving the ambiguity in mentions of biomedical named entities with respect to model organisms and presents an array of approaches, with focus on methods utilizing natural language parsers.
Results: We build a corpus for organism disambiguation where every occurrence of protein/gene entity is manually tagged with a species ID, and evaluate a number of methods on it. Promising results are obtained by training a machine learning model on syntactic parse trees, which is then used to decide whether an entity belongs to the model organism denoted by a neighbouring species-indicating word (e.g. yeast). The parser-based approaches are also compared with a supervised classification method and results indicate that the former are a more favorable choice when domain portability is of concern. The best overall performance is obtained by combining the strengths of syntactic features and supervised classification.
Availability: The corpus and demo are available at http://www.nactem.ac.uk/deca_details/start.cgi, and the software is freely available as U-Compare components (Kano et al., 2009): NaCTeM Species Word Detector and NaCTeM Species Disambiguator. U-Compare is available at http://-compare.org/