bims-proarb Biomed News
on Proteostasis in Aging and Regenerative Biology
Issue of 2021‒05‒30
27 papers selected by
Rich Giadone
Harvard University

  1. Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2021 ;59 115-143
      Protein aggregation is now a common hallmark of numerous human diseases, most of which involve cytosolic aggregates including Aβ (AD) and ⍺-synuclein (PD) in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, it is also evident that protein aggregation can also occur in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that leads to specific diseases due to loss of protein function or detrimental effects on the host cell, the former is inherited in a recessive manner where the latter are dominantly inherited. However, the mechanisms of protein aggregation, disaggregation and degradation in the ER are not well understood. Here we provide an overview of factors that cause protein aggregation in the ER and how the ER handles aggregated proteins. Protein aggregation in the ER can result from intrinsic properties of the protein (hydrophobic residues in the ER), oxidative stress or nutrient depletion. The ER has quality control mechanisms [chaperone functions, ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) and autophagy] to ensure only correctly folded proteins exit the ER and enter the cis-Golgi compartment. Perturbation of protein folding in the ER activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) that evolved to increase ER protein folding capacity and efficiency and degrade misfolded proteins. Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER to a level that exceeds the ER-chaperone folding capacity is a major factor that exacerbates protein aggregation. The most significant ER resident protein that prevents protein aggregation in the ER is the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) homologue, BiP/GRP78, which is a peptide-dependent ATPase that binds unfolded/misfolded proteins and releases them upon ATP binding. Since exogenous factors can also reduce protein misfolding and aggregation in the ER, such as chemical chaperones and antioxidants, these treatments have potential therapeutic benefit for ER protein aggregation-associated diseases.
    Keywords:  Amyloid; BiP/GRP78; CANX/CALR; CFTR; Clotting factor VIII; Proinsulin; UPR
  2. Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2021 ;59 279-303
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an evolutionarily conserved adaptive regulatory pathway that alleviates protein-folding defects in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Physiological demands, environmental perturbations and pathological conditions can cause accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER and the stress signal is transmitted to the nucleus to turn on a series of genes to respond the challenge. In metazoan, the UPR pathways consisted of IRE1/XBP1, PEK-1 and ATF6, which function in parallel and downstream transcriptional activation triggers the proteostasis networks consisting of molecular chaperones, protein degradation machinery and other stress response pathways ((Labbadia J, Morimoto RI, F1000Prime Rep 6:7, 2014); (Shen X, Ellis RE, Lee K, Annu Rev Biochem 28:893-903, 2014)). The integrated responses act on to resolve the ER stress by increasing protein folding capacity, attenuating ER-loading translation, activating ER-associated proteasomal degradation (ERAD), and regulating IRE1-dependent decay of mRNA (RIDD). Therefore, the effective UPR to internal and external causes is linked to the multiple pathophysiological conditions such as aging, immunity, and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent development in the research of the UPR includes cell-nonautonomous features of the UPR, interplay between the UPR and other stress response pathways, unconventional UPR inducers, and noncanonical UPR independent of the three major branches, originated from multiple cellular and molecular machineries in addition to ER. Caenorhabditis elegans model system has critically contributed to these unprecedented aspects of the ER UPR and broadens the possible therapeutic targets to treat the ER-stress associated human disorders and time-dependent physiological deterioration of aging.
    Keywords:  Aging; Caenorhabditis elegans; ER homeostasis; Proteostasis; Unfolded protein response
  3. Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2021 ;59 239-278
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a prominent cellular alteration of diseases impacting the nervous system that are associated to the accumulation of misfolded and aggregated protein species during aging. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is the main pathway mediating adaptation to ER stress, but it can also trigger deleterious cascades of inflammation and cell death leading to cell dysfunction and neurodegeneration. Genetic and pharmacological studies in experimental models shed light into molecular pathways possibly contributing to ER stress and the UPR activation in human neuropathies. Most of experimental models are, however, based on the overexpression of mutant proteins causing familial forms of these diseases or the administration of neurotoxins that induce pathology in young animals. Whether the mechanisms uncovered in these models are relevant for the etiology of the vast majority of age-related sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases is an open question. Here, we provide a systematic analysis of the current evidence linking ER stress to human pathology and the main mechanisms elucidated in experimental models. Furthermore, we highlight the recent association of metabolic syndrome to increased risk to undergo neurodegeneration, where ER stress arises as a common denominator in the pathogenic crosstalk between peripheral organs and the nervous system.
    Keywords:  Aging; ER stress; Metabolic syndrome; Neurodegenerative diseases; Protein misfolding
  4. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 May 20. pii: S1568-1637(21)00114-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101367
      Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the most common diseases in mankind. Although there are reports of several candidates that cause neurodegenerative diseases, the exact mechanism of pathogenesis is poorly understood. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is an important posttranslational modification for protein degradation and control of homeostasis. Enzymes such as E1, E2, E3 ligases, and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) participating in UPS, regulate disease-inducing proteins by controlling the degree of ubiquitination. Therefore, the development of treatments targeting enzymes for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is emerging as an attractive perspective. In particular, as DUBs are able to regulate one or more degenerative disease-related proteins, the potential as a therapeutic target is even more evident. DUBs influence the regulation of toxic proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases by not only their removal, but also by regulating signals associated with mitophagy, autophagy, and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). In this review, we analyze not only the cellular processes of DUBs, which control neurodegenerative disease-inducing proteins, but also their potentials as a therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Deubiquitination; Huntington’s chorea; Parkinson’s disease; Ubiquitination
  5. Autophagy. 2021 May 24. 1-23
      Parkinson disease (PD)-affected brains show consistent endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mitophagic dysfunctions. The mechanisms underlying these perturbations and how they are directly linked remain a matter of questions. XBP1 is a transcription factor activated upon ER stress after unconventional splicing by the nuclease ERN1/IREα thereby yielding XBP1s, whereas PINK1 is a kinase considered as the sensor of mitochondrial physiology and a master gatekeeper of mitophagy process. We showed that XBP1s transactivates PINK1 in human cells, primary cultured neurons and mice brain, and triggered a pro-mitophagic phenotype that was fully dependent of endogenous PINK1. We also unraveled a PINK1-dependent phosphorylation of XBP1s that conditioned its nuclear localization and thereby, governed its transcriptional activity. PINK1-induced XBP1s phosphorylation occurred at residues reminiscent of, and correlated to, those phosphorylated in substantia nigra of sporadic PD-affected brains. Overall, our study delineated a functional loop between XBP1s and PINK1 governing mitophagy that was disrupted in PD condition.Abbreviations: 6OHDA: 6-hydroxydopamine; baf: bafilomycin A1; BECN1: beclin 1; CALCOCO2/NDP52: calcium binding and coiled-coil domain 2; CASP3: caspase 3; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide chlorophenylhydrazone; COX8A: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 8A; DDIT3/CHOP: DNA damage inducible transcript 3; EGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein; ER: endoplasmic reticulum; ERN1/IRE1α: endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling 1; FACS: fluorescence-activated cell sorting; HSPD1/HSP60: heat shock protein family D (Hsp60) member 1; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MFN2: mitofusin 2; OPTN: optineurin; PD: Parkinson disease; PINK1: PTEN-induced kinase 1; PCR: polymerase chain reaction:; PRKN: parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase; XBP1s [p-S61A]: XBP1s phosphorylated at serine 61; XBP1s [p-T48A]: XBP1s phosphorylated at threonine 48; shRNA: short hairpin RNA, SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TIMM23: translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane 23; TM: tunicamycin; TMRM: tetramethyl rhodamine methylester; TOMM20: translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20; Toy: toyocamycin; TP: thapsigargin; UB: ubiquitin; UB (S65): ubiquitin phosphorylated at serine 65; UPR: unfolded protein response, XBP1: X-box binding protein 1; XBP1s: spliced X-box binding protein 1.
    Keywords:  Mitophagy; PINK1; Parkinson disease; XBP1; phosphorylation; transcription; unfolded protein response
  6. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 5572088
      Background: A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) is a transmembrane protein that is widely expressed in various tissues; it mediates the shedding of many membrane-bound molecules, involving cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. We investigated the role of ADAM17 within mouse cardiac fibroblasts (mCFs) in heart fibrosis.Methods: mCFs were isolated from the hearts of neonatal mice. Effects of ADAM17 on the differentiation of mCFs towards myofibroblasts and their fibrotic behaviors following induction with TGF-β1 were examined. The expression levels of fibrotic proteins, such as collagen I and α-SMA, were assessed by qRT-PCR analysis and western blotting. Cell proliferation and migration were measured using the CCK-8 and wound healing assay. To identify the target gene for ADAM17, the protein levels of the components of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the PINK1/Parkin pathway were assessed following ADAM17 silencing. The effects of ADAM17 silencing or treatment with thapsigargin, a key stimulator of acute ER stress, on mCFs proliferation, migration, and collagen secretion were also examined. In vivo, we used a mouse model of cardiac fibrosis established by left anterior descending artery ligation; the mice were administered oral gavage with a selective ADAM17 inhibitor (TMI-005) for 4 weeks after the operation.
    Results: We found that the ADAM17 expression levels were higher in fibrosis heart tissues and TGF-β1-treated mCFs. The ADAM17-specific siRNAs decreased TGF-β1-induced increase in the collagen secretion, proliferation, and migration of mCFs. Knockdown of ADAM17 reduces the activation of mCFs by inhibiting the ATF6 branch of ER stress and further activating mitophagy. Moreover, decreased ADAM17 expression also ameliorated cardiac fibrosis and improved heart function.
    Conclusions: This study highlights that mCF ADAM17 expression plays a key role in cardiac fibrosis by regulating ER stress and mitophagy, thereby limiting fibrosis and improving heart function. Therefore, ADAM17 downregulation, within the physiological range, could exert protective effects against cardiac fibrosis.
  7. Cancer Sci. 2021 May 25.
      A novel proteasome deubiquitinase inhibitor, VLX1570 has been highlighted as a promising therapeutic agent mainly for lymphoid neoplasms and solid tumors. We examined in vitro effects of VLX1570 on eight myeloid and three lymphoid leukemia cell lines. From cell culture studies, ten out of eleven cell lines except K562 were found to be susceptible to VLX1570 treatment and it inhibited cell growth mainly by apoptosis. Next, to identify the signaling pathways associated with apoptosis, we performed the gene expression profiling using HL-60 with or without 50 nM of VLX1570 for 3 hours and demonstrated that VLX1570 induced the genetic pathway involved in "heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) activation", "HSF1 dependent transactivation" and "Regulation of HSF1 mediated heat shock response". VLX1570 increased the amount of high molecular weight polyubiquitinated proteins and the expression of HSP70 as the result of the suppression of ubiquitine proteasome system, the expression of heme oxygenase-1 and the amount of phosphorylation in JNK and p38 associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced apoptosis and the amount of phosphorylation in eIF2α, inducing the expression of ATF4 and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress dependent apoptosis protein, CHOP and the amount of phosphorylation slightly in IRE1α, leading to increased expression of XBP-1s in leukemia cell lines. In the present study, we demonstrate that VLX1570 induces apoptosis and exerts a potential anti-leukemic effect through the generation of ROS and induction of ER stress in leukemia cell lines.
    Keywords:  VLX1570; acute myeloid leukemia (AML); endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress; proteasome deubiquitinase (DUB); reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  8. Sci Signal. 2021 May 25. pii: eaaz4401. [Epub ahead of print]14(684):
      During cellular stress in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident dual kinase and RNase Ire1 splices an intron from HAC1 mRNA in the cytosol, thereby releasing its translational block. Hac1 protein then activates an adaptive cellular stress response called the unfolded protein response (UPR) that maintains ER homeostasis. The polarity-inducing protein kinases Kin1 and Kin2 contribute to HAC1 mRNA processing. Here, we showed that an RNA-protein complex that included the endocytic proteins Pal1 and Pal2 mediated HAC1 mRNA splicing downstream of Kin1 and Kin2. We found that Pal1 and Pal2 bound to the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of HAC1 mRNA, and a yeast strain lacking both Pal1 and Pal2 was deficient in HAC1 mRNA processing. We also showed that Kin1 and Kin2 directly phosphorylated Pal2, and that a nonphosphorylatable Pal2 mutant could not rescue the UPR defect in a pal1Δ pal2Δ strain. Thus, our work uncovers a Kin1/2-Pal2 signaling pathway that coordinates HAC1 mRNA processing and ER homeostasis.
  9. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2255 13-20
      The unfolded protein response is a cellular adaptive mechanism localized in the endoplasmic reticulum. It involves three phases: the detection of increased presence of unfolded proteins as a result of cellular stressors; the execution of an adaptive cascade of events aimed at the enhancement of proper protein folding and degradation of improperly folded proteins; and finally, when stress is not alleviated, the execution of programmed cell death. The main effectors of the UPR are transcription factors involved in the upregulation of either chaperone proteins or proapoptotic proteins. Two of these transcription factors are CHOP and the spliced variant of XBP-1 (XBP1s). In this chapter, we describe a quantitative PCR method to detect the upregulation of CHOP and XBP1s mRNA during Tunicamycin-induced UPR.
    Keywords:  BiP; CHOP; RT-PCR; Real-time PCR; Spliced  XBP1; UPR
  10. Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2021 ;59 305-327
      Tardigrada (also known as "water bears") are hydrophilous microinvertebrates with a bilaterally symmetrical body and four pairs of legs usually terminating with claws. Water bears are quite complex animals and range from 50 to 1200 μm in length. Their body is divided into a head segment and four trunk segments, each bearing a pair of legs. They inhabit almost all terrestrial and aquatic environments, from the ocean depths to highest mountains ranges. However, one of their best known and unusual features is their capability for cryptobiosis. In this state tardigrades are able to survive extremely low and high temperatures and atmospheric pressures, complete lack of water, high doses of radiation, high concentrations of toxins and even a cosmic vacuum. The cellular mechanisms enabling cryptobiosis are poorly understood, although it appears the synthesis of certain types of molecules (sugars and proteins) enable the prevention of cellular damage at different levels. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a morphologically and functionally diverse organelle able to integrate multiple extracellular and internal signals and generate adaptive cellular responses. However, the ER morphology and activity in the case of tardigrades has been studied rarely and in the context of oogenesis, functioning of the digestive system, and in the role and function of storage cells. Thus, there are no direct studies on the contribution of the ER in the ability of this organism to cope with environmental stress during cryptobiosis. Nevertheless, it is highly probable that the ER has a crucial role in this uncommon process. Since water bears are easy to handle laboratory animals, they may represent an ideal model organism to uncover the important role of the ER in the cell response to extreme environmental stress conditions.
    Keywords:  Anhydrobiosis; Cryptobiosis; Cytoprotective strategies; Endoplasmic reticulum; Environmental stress; Extremophiles; Water bears
  11. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 May 18. pii: S1934-5909(21)00219-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neural stem cells residing in the hippocampal neurogenic niche sustain lifelong neurogenesis in the adult brain. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is functionally linked to mnemonic and cognitive plasticity in humans and rodents. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the process of generating new neurons at the hippocampal neurogenic niche is impeded, yet the mechanisms involved are unknown. Here we identify miR-132, one of the most consistently downregulated microRNAs in AD, as a potent regulator of AHN, exerting cell-autonomous proneurogenic effects in adult neural stem cells and their progeny. Using distinct AD mouse models, cultured human primary and established neural stem cells, and human patient material, we demonstrate that AHN is directly affected by AD pathology. miR-132 replacement in adult mouse AD hippocampus restores AHN and relevant memory deficits. Our findings corroborate the significance of AHN in mouse models of AD and reveal the possible therapeutic potential of targeting miR-132 in neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; adult neurogenesis; dentate gyrus; memory; miR-132; microRNA; neural stem cells; neurodegeneration; neuronal precursors; noncoding RNA
  12. Nat Neurosci. 2021 May 24.
      Single-cell transcriptomics provide a systematic map of gene expression in different human cell types. The next challenge is to systematically understand cell-type-specific gene function. The integration of CRISPR-based functional genomics and stem cell technology enables the scalable interrogation of gene function in differentiated human cells. Here we present the first genome-wide CRISPR interference and CRISPR activation screens in human neurons. We uncover pathways controlling neuronal response to chronic oxidative stress, which is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Unexpectedly, knockdown of the lysosomal protein prosaposin strongly sensitizes neurons, but not other cell types, to oxidative stress by triggering the formation of lipofuscin, a hallmark of aging, which traps iron, generating reactive oxygen species and triggering ferroptosis. We also determine transcriptomic changes in neurons after perturbation of genes linked to neurodegenerative diseases. To enable the systematic comparison of gene function across different human cell types, we establish a data commons named CRISPRbrain.
  13. Nat Commun. 2021 May 28. 12(1): 3239
      The human mitochondrial AAA+ protein LONP1 is a critical quality control protease involved in regulating diverse aspects of mitochondrial biology including proteostasis, electron transport chain activity, and mitochondrial transcription. As such, genetic or aging-associated imbalances in LONP1 activity are implicated in pathologic mitochondrial dysfunction associated with numerous human diseases. Despite this importance, the molecular basis for LONP1-dependent proteolytic activity remains poorly defined. Here, we solved cryo-electron microscopy structures of human LONP1 to reveal the underlying molecular mechanisms governing substrate proteolysis. We show that, like bacterial Lon, human LONP1 adopts both an open and closed spiral staircase orientation dictated by the presence of substrate and nucleotide. Unlike bacterial Lon, human LONP1 contains a second spiral staircase within its ATPase domain that engages substrate as it is translocated toward the proteolytic chamber. Intriguingly, and in contrast to its bacterial ortholog, substrate binding within the central ATPase channel of LONP1 alone is insufficient to induce the activated conformation of the protease domains. To successfully induce the active protease conformation in substrate-bound LONP1, substrate binding within the protease active site is necessary, which we demonstrate by adding bortezomib, a peptidomimetic active site inhibitor of LONP1. These results suggest LONP1 can decouple ATPase and protease activities depending on whether AAA+ or both AAA+ and protease domains bind substrate. Importantly, our structures provide a molecular framework to define the critical importance of LONP1 in regulating mitochondrial proteostasis in health and disease.
  14. Nat Metab. 2021 May;3(5): 682-700
      It is known that β cell proliferation expands the β cell mass during development and under certain hyperglycemic conditions in the adult, a process that may be used for β cell regeneration in diabetes. Here, through a new high-throughput screen using a luminescence ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator (LUCCI) in zebrafish, we identify HG-9-91-01 as a driver of proliferation and confirm this effect in mouse and human β cells. HG-9-91-01 is an inhibitor of salt-inducible kinases (SIKs), and overexpression of Sik1 specifically in β cells blocks the effect of HG-9-91-01 on β cell proliferation. Single-cell transcriptomic analyses of mouse β cells demonstrate that HG-9-91-01 induces a wave of activating transcription factor (ATF)6-dependent unfolded protein response (UPR) before cell cycle entry. Importantly, the UPR wave is not associated with an increase in insulin expression. Additional mechanistic studies indicate that HG-9-91-01 induces multiple signalling effectors downstream of SIK inhibition, including CRTC1, CRTC2, ATF6, IRE1 and mTOR, which integrate to collectively drive β cell proliferation.
  15. Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2021 ;13 683290
      In Alzheimer's disease (AD), Amyloid β (Aβ) impairs synaptic function by inhibiting long-term potentiation (LTP), and by facilitating long-term depression (LTD). There is now evidence from AD models that Aβ provokes this shift toward synaptic depression by triggering the access to and accumulation of PTEN in the postsynaptic terminal of hippocampal neurons. Here we quantified the PTEN in 196,138 individual excitatory dentate gyrus synapses from AD patients at different stages of the disease and from controls with no neuropathological findings. We detected a gradual increase of synaptic PTEN in AD brains as the disease progresses, in conjunction with a significant decrease in synaptic density. The synapses that remain in symptomatic AD patients are more likely to be smaller and exhibit fewer AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Hence, a high Aβ load appears to strongly compromise human hippocampal synapses, as reflected by an increase in PTEN, inducing a loss of AMPARs that may eventually provoke synaptic failure and loss.
    Keywords:  PSD-95; cognition; hippocampus; human; plasticity; synaptosomes
  16. Chembiochem. 2021 May 27.
      Aging is characterized by changes in several cellular processes, including dysregulation of proteostasis. Current research has shown long-lived rodents display elevated proteasome activity throughout life and proteasome dysfunction is linked to shorter lifespans in a transgenic mouse model. The Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) is one of the main pathways leading to cellular protein clearance and quality maintenance. Reduction in proteasome activity is associated with aging and its related pathologies. Small molecule stimulators of the proteasome have been proposed to help alleviate cellular stress related to unwanted protein accumulation. Here we have described the development of techniques to monitor the impact of proteasome stimulation in wild-type yeast and a strain that has impaired proteasome expression. We validated our chronological lifespan assay using both types of yeast with a variety of small molecule stimulators at different concentrations. By modifying the media conditions for the yeast, molecules can be evaluated for their potential to increase chronological lifespan in five days. Additionally, our assay conditions can be used to monitor the activity of proteasome stimulators in modulating the degradation of a YFP-alpha-synuclein fusion protein produced by yeast. We anticipate these methods to be valuable for those wishing to study the impact of increasing proteasome-mediated degradation of proteins in a eukaryotic model organism.
    Keywords:  Proteasome, model, aging, yeast, stimulator
  17. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2322 27-39
      α-Synuclein, a presynaptic protein, is involved in synaptic vesicle dynamics in response to neuronal activity. Mutations of the α-synuclein gene and the neuronal deposition of α-synuclein, called Lewy bodies, are linked to the development of Parkinson's disease. α-Synuclein has a prion-like property that converts its physiological protein conformation to a pathogenic one, forming disease-causing fibrils. Aggregation of these fibrils and subsequent inclusion formation are suggested to interfere with vesicular trafficking and organelle function in neurons. Thus, detection of a prion-like property of α-synuclein and the evaluation of its modifying factors are required to understand the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and to develop new therapies. In this chapter, we describe a cell-based assay for detecting α-synuclein propagation.
    Keywords:  Cultured cells; Protein purification; Recombinant protein; Transfection; α-Synuclein
  18. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Jun;pii: S1084-9521(19)30304-0. [Epub ahead of print]114 11-19
      The translation of information encoded in the DNA into functional proteins is one of the tenets of cellular biology. Cell survival and function depend on the tightly controlled processes of transcription and translation. Growing evidence suggests that dysregulation in mRNA translation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fragile X syndrome (FXS) as well as neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this review, we provide an overview of mRNA translation and its modes of regulation that have been implicated in neurological disease.
    Keywords:  AD; ALS; ASD; FXS; Neurodegeneration; Neurodevelopment; PD; Translational dysregulation; mRNA processing
  19. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 628156
      Brain myeloid cells, include infiltrating macrophages and resident microglia, play an essential role in responding to and inducing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) implicate many AD casual and risk genes enriched in brain myeloid cells. Coordinated arginine metabolism through arginase 1 (Arg1) is critical for brain myeloid cells to perform biological functions, whereas dysregulated arginine metabolism disrupts them. Altered arginine metabolism is proposed as a new biomarker pathway for AD. We previously reported Arg1 deficiency in myeloid biased cells using lysozyme M (LysM) promoter-driven deletion worsened amyloidosis-related neuropathology and behavioral impairment. However, it remains unclear how Arg1 deficiency in these cells impacts the whole brain to promote amyloidosis. Herein, we aim to determine how Arg1 deficiency driven by LysM restriction during amyloidosis affects fundamental neurodegenerative pathways at the transcriptome level. By applying several bioinformatic tools and analyses, we found that amyloid-β (Aβ) stimulated transcriptomic signatures in autophagy-related pathways and myeloid cells' inflammatory response. At the same time, myeloid Arg1 deficiency during amyloidosis promoted gene signatures of lipid metabolism, myelination, and migration of myeloid cells. Focusing on Aβ associated glial transcriptomic signatures, we found myeloid Arg1 deficiency up-regulated glial gene transcripts that positively correlated with Aβ plaque burden. We also observed that Aβ preferentially activated disease-associated microglial signatures to increase phagocytic response, whereas myeloid Arg1 deficiency selectively promoted homeostatic microglial signature that is non-phagocytic. These transcriptomic findings suggest a critical role for proper Arg1 function during normal and pathological challenges associated with amyloidosis. Furthermore, understanding pathways that govern Arg1 metabolism may provide new therapeutic opportunities to rebalance immune function and improve microglia/macrophage fitness.
    Keywords:  APP Tg2576; amyloidosis; arginine metabolism; infiltrating macrophage; microglia; nCounter technology; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation
  20. Sci Transl Med. 2021 May 26. pii: eaba7394. [Epub ahead of print]13(595):
      Accumulation of pathological tau in synapses has been identified as an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and correlates with cognitive decline in patients with AD. Tau is a cytosolic axonal protein, but under disease conditions, tau accumulates in postsynaptic compartments and presynaptic terminals, due to missorting within neurons, transsynaptic transfer between neurons, or a failure of clearance pathways. Using subcellular fractionation of brain tissue from rTg4510 tau transgenic mice with tauopathy and human postmortem brain tissue from patients with AD, we found accumulation of seed-competent tau predominantly in postsynaptic compartments. Tau-mediated toxicity in postsynaptic compartments was exacerbated by impaired proteasome activity detected by measuring lysine-48 polyubiquitination of proteins targeted for proteasomal degradation. To combat the accumulation of tau and proteasome impairment in the postsynaptic compartments of rTg4510 mouse brain, we stimulated the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) type 1 receptor (PAC1R) with its ligand PACAP administered intracerebroventricularly to rTg4510 mice. We observed enhanced synaptic proteasome activity and reduced total tau in postsynaptic compartments in mouse brain after PACAP treatment. The clearance of tau from postsynaptic compartments correlated with attenuated tauopathy and improved cognitive performance of rTg4510 transgenic mice on two behavioral tests. These results suggest that activating PAC1R could prevent accumulation of aggregate-prone tau and indicate a potential therapeutic approach for AD and other tauopathies.
  21. Autophagy. 2021 May 24. 1-22
      Current disease-modifying therapies for Huntington disease (HD) focus on lowering mutant HTT (huntingtin; mHTT) levels, and the immunosuppressant drug rapamycin is an intriguing therapeutic for aging and neurological disorders. Rapamycin interacts with FKBP1A/FKBP12 and FKBP5/FKBP51, inhibiting the MTORC1 complex and increasing cellular clearance mechanisms. Whether the levels of FKBP (FK506 binding protein) family members are altered in HD models and if these proteins are potential therapeutic targets for HD have not been investigated. Here, we found levels of FKBP5 are significantly reduced in HD R6/2 and zQ175 mouse models and human HD isogenic neural stem cells and medium spiny neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Moreover, FKBP5 interacts and colocalizes with HTT in the striatum and cortex of zQ175 mice and controls. Importantly, when we decreased FKBP5 levels or activity by genetic or pharmacological approaches, we observed reduced levels of mHTT in our isogenic human HD stem cell model. Decreasing FKBP5 levels by siRNA or pharmacological inhibition increased LC3-II levels and macroautophagic/autophagic flux, suggesting autophagic cellular clearance mechanisms are responsible for mHTT lowering. Unlike rapamycin, the effect of pharmacological inhibition with SAFit2, an inhibitor of FKBP5, is MTOR independent. Further, in vivo treatment for 2 weeks with SAFit2, results in reduced HTT levels in both HD R6/2 and zQ175 mouse models. Our studies establish FKBP5 as a protein involved in the pathogenesis of HD and identify FKBP5 as a potential therapeutic target for HD.Abbreviations : ACTB/β-actin: actin beta; AD: Alzheimer disease; BafA1: bafilomycin A1; BCA: bicinchoninic acid; BBB: blood brain barrier; BSA: bovine serum albumin; CoIP: co-immunoprecipitation; DMSO: dimethyl sulfoxide; DTT: dithiothreitol; FKBPs: FK506 binding proteins; HD: Huntington disease; HTT: huntingtin; iPSC: induced pluripotent stem cells; MAP1LC3/LC3:microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAPT/tau: microtubule associated protein tau; MES: 2-ethanesulfonic acid; MOPS: 3-(N-morphorlino)propanesulfonic acid); MSN: medium spiny neurons; mHTT: mutant huntingtin; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NSC: neural stem cells; ON: overnight; PD: Parkinson disease; PPIase: peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans-isomerases; polyQ: polyglutamine; PPP1R1B/DARPP-32: protein phosphatase 1 regulatory inhibitor subunit 1B; PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder; RT: room temperature; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; SDS-PAGE: sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; TBST:Tris-buffered saline, 0.1% Tween 20; TUBA: tubulin; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; VCL: vinculin; WT: littermate controls.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Huntington disease; SAFit2; fkbp12.6/fkbp1b; fkbp12/fkbp1a; fkbp51/fkbp5; fkbp52/fkbp4; induced pluripotent stem cells
  22. Neurobiol Dis. 2021 May 19. pii: S0969-9961(21)00144-3. [Epub ahead of print]155 105395
      Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are a key component of the subcellular molecular networks which enable cells to function. Due to their importance in homeostasis, alterations to the networks can be detrimental, leading to cellular dysfunction and ultimately disease states. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition with multifactorial aetiology, spanning genetic variation and environmental modifiers. At a molecular and systems level, the characterisation of PD is the focus of extensive research, largely due to an unmet need for disease modifying therapies. PPI network analysis approaches are a valuable strategy to accelerate our understanding of the molecular crosstalk and biological processes underlying PD pathogenesis, especially due to the complex nature of this disease. In this review, we describe the utility of PPI network approaches in modelling complex systems, focusing on previous work in PD research. We discuss four principal strategies for using PPI network approaches: to infer PD related cellular functions, pathways and novel genes; to support genomics studies; to study the interactome of single PD related genes; and to compare the molecular basis of PD to other neurodegenerative disorders. This is an evolving area of research which is likely to further expand as omics data generation and availability increase. These approaches complement and bridge-the-gap between genetics and functional research to inform future investigations. In this review we outline several limitations that require consideration, acknowledging that ongoing challenges in this field continue to be addressed and the refinement of these approaches will facilitate further advances using PPI network analysis for understanding complex diseases.
    Keywords:  Data integration; Disease modelling; Interactome; Network analysis; Parkinson's disease; Protein interactions
  23. Sci Rep. 2021 May 27. 11(1): 11193
      PrPC variation at residue 96 (G/S) plays an important role in the epidemiology of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in exposed white-tailed deer populations. In vivo studies have demonstrated the protective effect of serine at codon 96, which hinders the propagation of common CWD strains when expressed in homozygosis and increases the survival period of S96/wt heterozygous deer after challenge with CWD. Previous in vitro studies of the transmission barrier suggested that following a single amplification step, wt and S96 PrPC were equally susceptible to misfolding when seeded with various CWD prions. When we performed serial prion amplification in vitro using S96-PrPC, we observed a reduction in the efficiency of propagation with the Wisc-1 or CWD2 strains, suggesting these strains cannot stably template their conformations on this PrPC once the primary sequence has changed after the first round of replication. Our data shows the S96-PrPC polymorphism is detrimental to prion conversion of some CWD strains. These data suggests that deer homozygous for S96-PrPC may not sustain prion transmission as compared to a deer expressing G96-PrPC.
  24. Plant Cell Environ. 2021 May 25.
      A transient heat stress occurring during early seed development in rice (Oryza sativa) reduces seed size by altering endosperm development. However, the relationship between the timing of the stress and specific developmental stage on heat sensitivity is not well-understood. To address this, we imposed a series of non-overlapping heat stress treatments and found that young seeds are most sensitive during the first two days after flowering. Temporal transcriptome analysis of developing, heat stressed (35°C) seeds during this window shows that Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1)-mediated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and jasmonic acid (JA) pathways are the early (1-3 h) drivers of heat stress response. We propose that increased JA levels under heat stress may precede ER stress response as JA application promotes the spliced form of OsbZIP50, an ER response marker gene linked to IRE1-specific pathway. This study presents temporal and mechanistic insights into the role of JA and ER stress signaling during early heat stress response of rice seeds that impact both grain size and quality. Modulating the heat sensitivity of the early sensing pathways and downstream endosperm development genes can enhance rice resilience to transient heat stress events.
    Keywords:  cell cycle; coenocytic endosperm; endoplasmic reticulum; heat stress; jasmonic acid; rice; seed development; temporal-transcriptome
  25. Eur J Neurosci. 2021 May 28.
      Late onset, sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) accounts for the vast majority of cases. Unlike familial AD, the factors that drive the onset of sporadic AD are poorly understood, although aging and stress play a role. The early onset/severity of neuropathology observed in most genetic mouse models of AD hampers the study of the role of aging and environmental factors; thus, alternate strategies are necessary to understand the contributions of these factors to sporadic AD. We demonstrate that mice acquiring a low social status (subordinate) in a lifelong chronic psychosocial stress (CPS) model, accrue widespread proteomic changes in the frontal/temporal cortex during aging. To better understand the significance of these stress-induced changes, we compared the differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) of subordinate mice to those of patients at varying stages of dementia. Sixteen and fifteen DEPs upregulated in subordinate mice were also upregulated in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, respectively. Seven of those upregulated proteins (CPE, ERC2, GRIN2B, SLC6A1, SYN1, WFS1) were shared by subordinate mice and patients with MCI or AD. Finally, comparison with a spatially detailed transcriptomic database revealed that the superior frontal gyrus and hippocampus had the greatest overlap between mice subjected to lifelong CPS and AD patients. Overall, most of the overlapping proteins were functionally associated with enhanced NMDA receptor mediated glutamatergic signaling, an excitotoxicity mechanism known to affect neurodegeneration. These findings support the association between stress and AD progression and provide valuable insight into potential early biomarkers and protein mediators of this relationship.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; aging; chronic social stress; excitotoxicity; proteomics
  26. Cell Metab. 2021 May 21. pii: S1550-4131(21)00218-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The preoptic area (POA) is a key brain region for regulation of body temperature (Tb), dictating thermogenic, cardiovascular, and behavioral responses that control Tb. Previously characterized POA neuronal populations all reduced Tb when activated. Using mice, we now identify POA neurons expressing bombesin-like receptor 3 (POABRS3) as a population whose activation increased Tb; inversely, acute inhibition of these neurons reduced Tb. POABRS3 neurons that project to either the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus or the dorsomedial hypothalamus increased Tb, heart rate, and blood pressure via the sympathetic nervous system. Long-term inactivation of POABRS3 neurons caused increased Tb variability, overshooting both increases and decreases in Tb set point, with RNA expression profiles suggesting multiple types of POABRS3 neurons. Thus, POABRS3 neuronal populations regulate Tb and heart rate, contribute to cold defense, and fine-tune feedback control of Tb. These findings advance understanding of homeothermy, a defining feature of mammalian biology.
    Keywords:  BRS3; blood pressure; body temperature; bombesin-like receptor 3; heart rate; hypothalamus; preoptic area; sympathetic nervous system; thermoregulation
  27. Front Neurol. 2021 ;12 660720
      Microglia, the primary immune cells of the central nervous system, hold a multitude of tasks in order to ensure brain homeostasis and are one of the best predictors of biological age on a cellular level. We and others have shown that these long-lived cells undergo an aging process that impedes their ability to perform some of the most vital homeostatic functions such as immune surveillance, acute injury response, and clearance of debris. Microglia have been described as gradually transitioning from a homeostatic state to an activated state in response to various insults, as well as aging. However, microglia show diverse responses to presented stimuli in the form of acute injury or chronic disease. This complexity is potentially further compounded by the distinct alterations that globally occur in the aging process. In this review, we discuss factors that may contribute to microglial aging, as well as transcriptional microglia alterations that occur in old age. We then compare these distinct phenotypic changes with microglial phenotype in neurodegenerative disease.
    Keywords:  aging; alzheimer's disease; microglia; neurodegeneration; senescence