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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (41)
- Human Molecular Genetics
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Trends in Molecular Medicine
- Human Molecular Genetics
- Genes & Development
- Annals of Neurology
- Human Molecular Genetics
- Journal of Cell Science
- Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
- Acta Neuropathologica
- Archives of Neurology
- Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- Muscle & Nerve
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- Journal of Proteome Research
- Human Molecular Genetics
- The EMBO Journal
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Human Molecular Genetics
- Nature Reviews. Genetics
- Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
- Journal of Neuroscience Research
- The Journal of Cell Biology
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- PLoS Genetics
- Human Molecular Genetics
- PloS One
- Neurobiology of Aging
- Archives of Neurology
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Articles by J. Paul Taylor in JoVE
تشريح والتصوير من المناطق النشطة في ذبابة الفاكهة الوصل العصبي العضلي
Rebecca Smith, J. Paul Taylor
Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
الوصل العصبي العضلي (NMJ) من
Other articles by J. Paul Taylor on PubMed
Human Molecular Genetics. Jan, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11809726
RNA interference (RNAi) is a mechanism that appears to control unwanted gene expression in a wide range of species. In Drosophila, RNAi is most effectively induced by double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) of over approximately 80 nucleotides (nt) and in mammalian cells an RNAi-like inhibition of gene expression has been shown to be mediated by dsRNAs of approximately 21-23 nt. To test if RNAi can be used to specifically down-regulate a human disease-related transcript we have used Drosophila and human tissue culture models of the dominant genetic disorder spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). A variety of different dsRNAs were assessed for the ability to inhibit expression of transcripts that included a truncated human androgen receptor (ar) gene containing different CAG repeat lengths (16-112 repeats). In Drosophila cells, dsRNAs corresponding to non-repetitive sequences mediated a high degree of sequence-specific inhibition, whereas RNA duplexes containing CAG repeat tracts only induced gene-specific inhibition when flanking ar sequences were included; dsRNAs containing various lengths of CAG repeats plus ar sequences were unable to induce allele-specific interference. In mammalian cells we tested sequence-specific small dsRNAs of 22 nt; these rescued the toxicity and caspase-3 activation induced by plasmids expressing a transcript encoding an expanded polyglutamine tract. This study demonstrates the feasibility of targeting a transcript associated with an important group of genetic diseases by RNAi.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Jun, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12065827
A broad range of neurodegenerative disorders is characterized by neuronal damage that may be caused by toxic, aggregation-prone proteins. As genes are identified for these disorders and cell culture and animal models are developed, it has become clear that a major effect of mutations in these genes is the abnormal processing and accumulation of misfolded protein in neuronal inclusions and plaques. Increased understanding of the cellular mechanisms for disposal of abnormal proteins and of the effects of toxic protein accumulation on neuronal survival may allow the development of rational, effective treatment for these disorders.
Trends in Molecular Medicine. May, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12067622
Recent investigations into polyglutamine diseases suggest that aberrant transcriptional regulation might be central to the molecular pathogenesis, perhaps because of inappropriate interaction between mutant proteins and important nuclear factors. Several groups have reported an interaction of mutant polyglutamine with histone acetylases, implicating defective acetylation as a cause of abnormal transcription. An important recent observation is that reversal of the acetylation defect with histone deacetylase inhibitors ameliorates polyglutamine toxicity in yeast, mammalian cell culture, and animal models. These encouraging findings suggest that a novel strategy--pharmacological restoration of histone acetylation-- could prove effective in treating this group of devastating illnesses.
Neurology. Sep, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12297596
Human Molecular Genetics. Apr, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12651870
Expression of misfolded protein in cultured cells frequently leads to the formation of juxtanuclear inclusions that have been termed 'aggresomes'. Aggresome formation is an active cellular response that involves trafficking of the offending protein along microtubules, reorganization of intermediate filaments and recruitment of components of the ubiquitin proteasome system. Whether aggresomes are benevolent or noxious is unknown, but they are of particular interest because of the appearance of similar inclusions in protein deposition diseases. Here we present evidence that aggresomes serve a cytoprotective function and are associated with accelerated turnover of mutant proteins. We show that mutant androgen receptor (AR), the protein responsible for X-linked spinobulbar muscular atrophy, forms insoluble aggregates and is toxic to cultured cells. Mutant AR was also found to form aggresomes in a process distinct from aggregation. Molecular and pharmacological interventions were used to disrupt aggresome formation, revealing their cytoprotective function. Aggresome-forming proteins were found to have an accelerated rate of turnover, and this turnover was slowed by inhibition of aggresome formation. Finally, we show that aggresome-forming proteins become membrane-bound and associate with lysosomal structures. Together, these findings suggest that aggresomes are cytoprotective, serving as cytoplasmic recruitment centers to facilitate degradation of toxic proteins.
Neuron. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12797953
Nine inherited neurodegenerative disorders result from polyglutamine expansions. Two recently published papers on spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, together with studies on spinobulbar muscular atrophy last year, indicate that host protein context is the key arbiter of polyglutamine disease protein toxicity. This insight may represent the most important development in the field since the recognition of nuclear inclusions or the propensity of polyglutamine to aggregate. Indeed, an intimate and inextricable relationship may exist between polyglutamine neurotoxicity and the normal interactions, domains, modifications, and functions of the respective disease proteins.
Aberrant Histone Acetylation, Altered Transcription, and Retinal Degeneration in a Drosophila Model of Polyglutamine Disease Are Rescued by CREB-binding Protein
Genes & Development. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12815067
Sequestration of the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP), a histone acetyltransferase, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of polyglutamine expansion neurodegenerative disease. We used a Drosophila model to demonstrate that polyglutamine-induced neurodegeneration is accompanied by a defect in histone acetylation and a substantial alteration in the transcription profile. Furthermore, we demonstrate complete functional and morphological rescue by up-regulation of endogenous Drosophila CBP (dCBP). Rescue of the degenerative phenotype is associated with eradication of polyglutamine aggregates, recovery of histone acetylation, and normalization of the transcription profile. These findings suggest that histone acetylation is an early target of polyglutamine toxicity and indicate that transcriptional dysregulation is an important part of the pathogenesis of polyglutamine-induced neurodegeneration.
Annals of Neurology. Nov, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14595654
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited motor neuron disease caused by mutation of the telomeric copy of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1). Although a centromeric copy of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN2) is retained in all patients with SMA, it differs from SMN1 at a critical nucleotide such that the majority of SMN2 transcripts lack exon 7 and encode an unstable, truncated protein. Here, we show that valproic acid increases levels of exon 7-containing SMN transcript and SMN protein in type I SMA patient-derived fibroblast cell lines. Valproic acid may increase SMN levels both by activating the SMN promoter and by preventing exon 7 skipping in SMN transcripts. Valproic acid and related compounds warrant further investigation as potential treatment for SMA.
A Screen for Drugs That Protect Against the Cytotoxicity of Polyglutamine-expanded Androgen Receptor
Human Molecular Genetics. Feb, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14709594
Spinobulbar muscular atrophy is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CAG triplet repeat sequence encoding a polyglutamine tract in the androgen receptor. It has been shown that the mutant protein is toxic in cell culture and triggers an apoptotic cascade resulting in activation of caspase-3. We developed an assay of caspase-3 activation in cells expressing the mutant androgen receptor. This assay was used to screen 1040 drugs, most of which are approved for clinical use. Drugs that inhibit polyglutamine-dependent activation of caspase-3 were subjected to follow-up screens to identify compounds that reproducibly prevent polyglutamine-induced cytotoxicity. Four drugs satisfied these criteria. Three of these (digitoxin, nerifolin and peruvoside) are structurally and functionally related compounds of the cardiac glycoside class and known inhibitors of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase. The fourth compound, suloctidil, is a calcium channel blocker.
Journal of Cell Science. Oct, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15367583
The molecular chaperone Hsp70 interacts with misfolded proteins and also accumulates in the nucleus during heat shock. Using GFP-Hsp70 and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we show that Hsp70 accumulates in the nucleus during heat shock not only because its inflow rate increases but also because of a marked decrease in its outflow rate. Dynamic imaging also shows that GFP-Hsp70 has greatly reduced mobility when it interacts with organelles such as nucleoli in heat-shocked cells or the large inclusions formed from fragments of mutant huntingtin protein. In heat-shocked cells, nucleoplasmic Hsp70 has reduced mobility relative to the cytoplasm, whereas the ATPase-deficient mutant of Hsp70, Hsp70(K71E), is almost completely immobilized both in the nucleoplasm and the cytoplasm. Moreover, the Hsp70 mutant shows reduced mobility in the presence of diffusive huntingtin fragments with expanded polyglutamine repeats. This provides strong evidence that Hsp70 interacts not only with organelles but also with diffusive proteins in the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm during heat shock as well as with diffusive huntingtin fragments.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Feb, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17279000
Frontotemporal dementia with inclusion body myopathy and Paget disease of bone is a rare, autosomal-dominant disorder caused by mutations in the gene valosin-containing protein (VCP). The CNS pathology is characterized by a novel pattern of ubiquitin pathology distinct from sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) without VCP mutations. TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was recently identified as a major disease protein in the ubiquitin-positive inclusions of sporadic and familial FTLD-U. To determine whether the ubiquitin pathology associated with mutations in VCP is characterized by the accumulation of TDP-43, we analyzed TDP-43 in the CNS pathology of five patients with VCP gene mutations. Accumulations of TDP-43 colocalized with ubiquitin pathology in inclusion body myopathy and Paget disease of bone, including both intranuclear inclusions and dystrophic neurites. Similar to FTLD-U, phosphorylated TDP-43 was detected only in insoluble brain extracts from affected brain regions. Identification of TDP-43, but not VCP, within ubiquitin-positive inclusions supports the hypothesis that VCP gene mutations lead to a dominant negative loss or alteration of VCP function culminating in impaired degradation of TDP-43. TDP-43 is a common pathologic substrate linking a variety of distinct patterns of FTLD-U pathology caused by different genetic alterations.
Valosin-containing Protein and the Pathogenesis of Frontotemporal Dementia Associated with Inclusion Body Myopathy
Acta Neuropathologica. Jul, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17457594
Frontotemporal dementia with inclusion body myopathy and Paget's disease of bone (IBMPFD) is a rare, autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the gene valosin-containing protein (VCP). The CNS pathology is characterized by a novel pattern of ubiquitin pathology distinct from sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions without VCP mutations. Yet, the ubiquitin-positive inclusions in IBMPFD also stain for TAR DNA binding protein, a feature that links this rare disease with the pathology associated with the majority of sporadic FTD as well as disease resulting from different genetic alterations. VCP, a member of the AAA-ATPase gene family, associates with a plethora of protein adaptors to perform a variety of cellular processes including Golgi assembly/disassembly and regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, the mechanism whereby mutations in VCP lead to CNS, muscle, and bone disease is largely unknown. In this report, we review current literature on IBMPFD, focusing on the pathology of the disease and the biology of VCP with respect to IBMPFD.
Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of High-dose Idebenone in Patients with Friedreich Ataxia
Archives of Neurology. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17562928
Friedreich ataxia (FA) is a progressive, multisystem degenerative disorder in which oxidative stress is believed to have a role. Recent clinical studies indicate that the antioxidant idebenone, administered at 5 mg/kg per day, reduces the cardiac hypertrophy that occurs in FA, but improvement in neurologic measures is unclear. Some studies suggest that higher doses of idebenone may be more effective, but pharmacology and toxicology at higher doses have not been investigated in human beings.
Nature. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17568747
A prominent feature of late-onset neurodegenerative diseases is accumulation of misfolded protein in vulnerable neurons. When levels of misfolded protein overwhelm degradative pathways, the result is cellular toxicity and neurodegeneration. Cellular mechanisms for degrading misfolded protein include the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), the main non-lysosomal degradative pathway for ubiquitinated proteins, and autophagy, a lysosome-mediated degradative pathway. The UPS and autophagy have long been viewed as complementary degradation systems with no point of intersection. This view has been challenged by two observations suggesting an apparent interaction: impairment of the UPS induces autophagy in vitro, and conditional knockout of autophagy in the mouse brain leads to neurodegeneration with ubiquitin-positive pathology. It is not known whether autophagy is strictly a parallel degradation system, or whether it is a compensatory degradation system when the UPS is impaired; furthermore, if there is a compensatory interaction between these systems, the molecular link is not known. Here we show that autophagy acts as a compensatory degradation system when the UPS is impaired in Drosophila melanogaster, and that histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), a microtubule-associated deacetylase that interacts with polyubiquitinated proteins, is an essential mechanistic link in this compensatory interaction. We found that compensatory autophagy was induced in response to mutations affecting the proteasome and in response to UPS impairment in a fly model of the neurodegenerative disease spinobulbar muscular atrophy. Autophagy compensated for impaired UPS function in an HDAC6-dependent manner. Furthermore, expression of HDAC6 was sufficient to rescue degeneration associated with UPS dysfunction in vivo in an autophagy-dependent manner. This study suggests that impairment of autophagy (for example, associated with ageing or genetic variation) might predispose to neurodegeneration. Morover, these findings suggest that it may be possible to intervene in neurodegeneration by augmenting HDAC6 to enhance autophagy.
Autophagy. Nov-Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17912024
The two major intracellular catabolic pathways, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and macroautophagy (autophagy), have each been implicated as playing roles in neurodegenerative proteinopathies. We have investigated the relationship between the UPS and autophagy using Drosophila models of neurodegenerative diseases. We identified histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) as a genetic modifier of polyglutamine-induced neurodegeneration and determined that its mechanism of action is autophagy-dependent. The ability of HDAC6 to suppress degeneration has been extended to additional neurodegenerative disease models, including a fly model expressing pathological Abeta fragments, presented here, but is not a universal modifier of degenerative phenotypes. Importantly, HDAC6 was also found to suppress degeneration associated with proteasome mutations in an autophagy-dependent manner, revealing a compensatory relationship between these two degradation pathways. Our findings indicate that HDAC6 facilitates degradation of potentially noxious protein substrates, contributing vitally to the neuroprotective role of autophagy.
Neuro-Signals. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18097162
Most age-related neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by accumulation of aberrant protein aggregates in affected brain regions. In many cases, these proteinaceous deposits are composed of ubiquitin conjugates, suggesting a failure in the clearance of proteins targeted for degradation. The 2 principal routes of intracellular protein catabolism are the ubiquitin proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosome system (autophagy). Both of these degradation pathways have been implicated as playing important roles in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease. Here we describe autophagy and review the evidence suggesting that impairment of autophagy contributes to the initiation or progression of age-related neurodegeneration. We also review recent evidence indicating that autophagy may be exploited to remove toxic protein species, suggesting novel strategies for therapeutic intervention for a class of diseases for which no effective treatments presently exist.
Autophagy. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18188003
Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,(1) and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.(2,3) There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18930136
Protein degradation is an essential cellular function that, when dysregulated or impaired, can lead to a wide variety of disease states. The two major intracellular protein degradation systems are the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy, a catabolic process that involves delivery of cellular components to the lysosome for degradation. While the UPS has garnered much attention as it relates to neurodegenerative disease, important links between autophagy and neurodegeneration have also become evident. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed interaction between the UPS and autophagy, suggesting a coordinated and complementary relationship between these degradation systems that becomes critical in times of cellular stress. Here we describe autophagy and review evidence implicating this system as an important player in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease. We discuss the role of autophagy in neurodegeneration and review its neuroprotective functions as revealed by experimental manipulation in disease models. Finally, we explore potential parallels and connections between autophagy and the UPS, highlighting their collaborative roles in protecting against neurodegenerative disease.
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19158272
Conditions causing an increase in misfolded or aberrant proteins can impair the activity of the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS). This observation is of particular interest, given the fact that proteotoxic stress is closely associated with a large variety of disorders. Although impairment of the UPS appears to be a general consequence of proteotoxic insults, the underlying mechanisms remain enigmatic. Here, we show that heat shock-induced proteotoxic stress resulted in conjugation of ubiquitin to detergent-insoluble protein aggregates, which coincided with reduced levels of free ubiquitin and impediment of ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation. Interestingly, whereas soluble proteasome substrates returned to normal levels after a transient accumulation, the levels of an aggregation-prone substrate remained high even when the free ubiquitin levels were restored. Consistently, overexpression of ubiquitin prevented accumulation of soluble but not aggregation-prone substrates in thermally stressed cells. Notably, cells were also unable to resume degradation of aggregation-prone substrates after treatment with the translation inhibitor puromycin, indicating that selective accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins is a consistent feature of proteotoxic stress. Our data suggest that the failure of the UPS to clear aggregated proteins in the aftermath of proteotoxic stress episodes may contribute to the selective deposition of aggregation-prone proteins in conformational diseases.
Polyglutamine-expanded Androgen Receptor Truncation Fragments Activate a Bax-dependent Apoptotic Cascade Mediated by DP5/Hrk
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19228953
Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR). PolyQ-AR neurotoxicity may involve generation of an N-terminal truncation fragment, as such peptides occur in SBMA patients and mouse models. To elucidate the basis of SBMA, we expressed N-terminal truncated AR in motor neuron-derived cells and primary cortical neurons. Accumulation of polyQ-AR truncation fragments in the cytosol resulted in neurodegeneration and apoptotic, caspase-dependent cell death. Using primary neurons from mice transgenic or deficient for apoptosis-related genes, we determined that polyQ-AR apoptotic activation is fully dependent on Bax. Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was required for apoptotic pathway activation through phosphorylation of c-Jun. Expression of polyQ-AR in DP5/Hrk null neurons yielded significant protection against apoptotic activation, but absence of Bim did not provide protection, apparently due to compensatory upregulation of DP5/Hrk or other BH3-only proteins. Misfolded AR protein in the cytosol thus initiates a cascade of events beginning with JNK and culminating in Bax-dependent, intrinsic pathway activation, mediated in part by DP5/Hrk. As apoptotic mediators are candidates for toxic fragment generation and other cellular processes linked to neuron dysfunction, delineation of the apoptotic activation pathway induced by polyQ-expanded AR may shed light on the pathogenic cascade in SBMA and other motor neuron diseases.
Muscle & Nerve. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19533646
The nucleic acid binding protein TDP-43 was recently identified in normal myonuclei and in the sarcoplasm of inclusion body myositis (IBM) muscle. Here we found TDP-43 sarcoplasmic immunoreactivity in 23% of IBM myofibers, while other reported IBM biomarkers were less frequent, with rimmed vacuoles in 2.8%, fluorescent Congo red material in 0.57%, SMI-31 immunoreactivity in 0.83%, and focal R1282 beta-amyloid immunoreactivity in 0.00% of myofibers. The presence of as little as >1% of myofibers with nonnuclear sarcoplasmic TDP-43 was highly sensitive (91%) and specific (100%) to IBM among 50 inflammatory myopathy patient samples, although some patients with hereditary inclusion body myopathies and myofibrillar myopathy also had sarcoplasmic TDP-43. TDP-43 mutations were sought, and none were identified. TDP-43 could be one of many nucleic acid binding proteins that are abnormally present in IBM sarcoplasm. They could potentially interfere with the normal function of extranuclear RNAs that maintain myofiber protein production.
FOXO3a is Broadly Neuroprotective in Vitro and in Vivo Against Insults Implicated in Motor Neuron Diseases
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19553463
Aging is a risk factor for the development of adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Although some of the molecular pathways regulating longevity and stress resistance in lower organisms are defined (i.e., those activating the transcriptional regulators DAF-16 and HSF-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans), their relevance to mammals and disease susceptibility are unknown. We studied the signaling controlled by the mammalian homolog of DAF-16, FOXO3a, in model systems of motor neuron disease. Neuron death elicited in vitro by excitotoxic insult or the expression of mutant SOD1, mutant p150(glued), or polyQ-expanded androgen receptor was abrogated by expression of nuclear-targeted FOXO3a. We identify a compound [Psammaplysene A (PA)] that increases nuclear localization of FOXO3a in vitro and in vivo and show that PA also protects against these insults in vitro. Administration of PA to invertebrate model systems of neurodegeneration similarly blocked neuron death in a DAF-16/FOXO3a-dependent manner. These results indicate that activation of the DAF-16/FOXO3a pathway, genetically or pharmacologically, confers protection against the known causes of motor neuron diseases.
Overexpression of IGF-1 in Muscle Attenuates Disease in a Mouse Model of Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy
Neuron. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19679072
Expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the androgen receptor (AR) causes spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). We previously showed that Akt-mediated phosphorylation of AR reduces ligand binding and attenuates the mutant AR toxicity. Here, we show that in culture insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) reduces AR aggregation and increases AR clearance via the ubiquitin-proteasome system through phosphorylation of AR by Akt. In vivo, SBMA transgenic mice overexpressing a muscle-specific isoform of IGF-1 selectively in skeletal muscle show evidence of increased Akt activation and AR phosphorylation and decreased AR aggregation. Augmentation of IGF-1/Akt signaling rescues behavioral and histopathological abnormalities, extends the life span, and reduces both muscle and spinal cord pathology of SBMA mice. This study establishes IGF-1/Akt-mediated inactivation of mutant AR as a strategy to counteract disease in vivo and demonstrates that skeletal muscle is a viable target tissue for therapeutic intervention in SBMA.
Global Analysis of TDP-43 Interacting Proteins Reveals Strong Association with RNA Splicing and Translation Machinery
Journal of Proteome Research. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20020773
TDP-43 is a highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed member of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) family of proteins. Recently, TDP-43 was shown to be a major disease protein in the ubiquitinated inclusions characteristic of most cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), tau-negative frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and inclusion body myopathy. In these diseases, TDP-43 is redistributed from its predominantly nuclear location to ubiquitin-positive, cytoplasmic foci. The extent to which TDP-43 drives pathophysiology is unknown, but the identification of mutations in TDP-43 in familial forms of ALS and FTLD-U suggests an important role for this protein in pathogenesis. Little is known about TDP-43 function and only a few TDP-43 interacting proteins have been previously identified, which makes further insight into both the normal and pathological functions of TDP-43 difficult. Here we show, via a global proteomic approach, that TDP-43 has extensive interaction with proteins that regulate RNA metabolism. Some interactions with TDP-43 were found to be dependent on RNA-binding, whereas other interactions are RNA-independent. Disease-causing mutations in TDP-43 (A315T and M337V) do not alter its interaction profile. TDP-43 interacting proteins largely cluster into two distinct interaction networks, a nuclear/splicing cluster and a cytoplasmic/translation cluster, strongly suggesting that TDP-43 has multiple roles in RNA metabolism and functions in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Finally, we found numerous TDP-43 interactors that are known components of stress granules, and indeed, we find that TDP-43 is also recruited to stress granules.
Human Molecular Genetics. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20028791
Rab GTPases are molecular switches that orchestrate vesicular trafficking, maturation and fusion by cycling between an active, GTP-bound form, and an inactive, GDP-bound form. The activity cycle is coupled to GTP hydrolysis and is tightly controlled by regulatory proteins. Missense mutations of the GTPase Rab7 cause a dominantly inherited axonal degeneration known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2B through an unknown mechanism. We present the 2.8 A crystal structure of GTP-bound L129F mutant Rab7 which reveals normal conformations of the effector binding regions and catalytic site, but an alteration to the nucleotide binding pocket that is predicted to alter GTP binding. Through extensive biochemical analysis, we demonstrate that disease-associated mutations in Rab7 do not lead to an intrinsic GTPase defect, but permit unregulated nucleotide exchange leading to both excessive activation and hydrolysis-independent inactivation. Consistent with augmented activity, mutant Rab7 shows significantly enhanced interaction with a subset of effector proteins. In addition, dynamic imaging demonstrates that mutant Rab7 is abnormally retained on target membranes. However, we show that the increased activation of mutant Rab7 is counterbalanced by unregulated, GTP hydrolysis-independent membrane cycling. Notably, disease mutations are able to rescue the membrane cycling of a GTPase-deficient mutant. Thus, we demonstrate that disease mutations uncouple Rab7 from the spatial and temporal control normally imposed by regulatory proteins and cause disease not by a gain of novel toxic function, but by misregulation of native Rab7 activity.
The EMBO Journal. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20075865
Autophagy is primarily considered a non-selective degradation process induced by starvation. Nutrient-independent basal autophagy, in contrast, imposes intracellular QC by selective disposal of aberrant protein aggregates and damaged organelles, a process critical for suppressing neurodegenerative diseases. The molecular mechanism that distinguishes these two fundamental autophagic responses, however, remains mysterious. Here, we identify the ubiquitin-binding deacetylase, histone deacetylase-6 (HDAC6), as a central component of basal autophagy that targets protein aggregates and damaged mitochondria. Surprisingly, HDAC6 is not required for autophagy activation; rather, it controls the fusion of autophagosomes to lysosomes. HDAC6 promotes autophagy by recruiting a cortactin-dependent, actin-remodelling machinery, which in turn assembles an F-actin network that stimulates autophagosome-lysosome fusion and substrate degradation. Indeed, HDAC6 deficiency leads to autophagosome maturation failure, protein aggregate build-up, and neurodegeneration. Remarkably, HDAC6 and F-actin assembly are completely dispensable for starvation-induced autophagy, uncovering the fundamental difference of these autophagic modes. Our study identifies HDAC6 and the actin cytoskeleton as critical components that define QC autophagy and uncovers a novel regulation of autophagy at the level of autophagosome-lysosome fusion.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20080745
Autophagy is a catabolic pathway that is important for turnover of long-lived proteins and organelles, and has been implicated in cell survival, tumor progression, protection from infection, neurodegeneration, and cell death. Autophagy and caspases are required for type II autophagic cell death of Drosophila larval salivary glands during development, but the mechanisms that regulate these degradation pathways are not understood. We conducted a forward genetic screen for genes that are required for salivary gland cell death, and here we describe the identification of Drosophila dynein light chain 1 (ddlc1) as a gene that is required for type II cell death. Autophagy is attenuated in ddlc1 mutants, but caspases are active in these cells. ddlc1 mutant salivary glands develop large fibrillar protein inclusions that stain positive for amyloid-specific dyes and ubiquitin. Ectopic expression of Atg1 is sufficient to induce autophagy, clear protein inclusions, and rescue degradation of ddlc1 mutant salivary glands. Furthermore, ddlc1 mutant larvae have decreased motility, and mutations in ddlc1 enhance the impairment of motility that is observed in a Drosophila model of neurodegenerative disease. Significantly, this decrease in larval motility is associated with decreased clearance of protein with polyglutamine expansion, the accumulation of p62 in neurons and muscles, and fewer synaptic boutons. These results indicate that DDLC1 is required for protein clearance by autophagy that is associated with autophagic cell death and neurodegeneration.
VCP/p97 is Essential for Maturation of Ubiquitin-containing Autophagosomes and This Function is Impaired by Mutations That Cause IBMPFD
Autophagy. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20104022
VCP (VCP/p97) is a ubiquitously expressed member of the AAA(+)-ATPase family of chaperone-like proteins that regulates numerous cellular processes including chromatin decondensation, homotypic membrane fusion and ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation by the proteasome. Mutations in VCP cause a multisystem degenerative disease consisting of inclusion body myopathy, Paget disease of bone, and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD). Here we show that VCP is essential for autophagosome maturation. We generated cells stably expressing dual-tagged LC3 (mCherry-EGFP-LC3) which permit monitoring of autophagosome maturation. We determined that VCP deficiency by RNAi-mediated knockdown or overexpression of dominant-negative VCP results in significant accumulation of immature autophagic vesicles, some of which are abnormally large, acidified and exhibit cathepsin B activity. Furthermore, expression of disease-associated VCP mutants (R155H and A232E) also causes this autophagy defect. VCP was found to be essential to autophagosome maturation under basal conditions and in cells challenged by proteasome inhibition, but not in cells challenged by starvation, suggesting that VCP might be selectively required for autophagic degradation of ubiquitinated substrates. Indeed, a high percentage of the accumulated autophagic vesicles contain ubiquitin-positive contents, a feature that is not observed in autophagic vesicles that accumulate following starvation or treatment with Bafilomycin A. Finally, we show accumulation of numerous, large LAMP-1 and LAMP-2-positive vacuoles and accumulation of LC3-II in myoblasts derived from patients with IBMPFD. We conclude that VCP is essential for maturation of ubiquitin-containing autophagosomes and that defect in this function may contribute to IBMPFD pathogenesis.
Transgenic Mice Expressing Mutant Forms VCP/p97 Recapitulate the Full Spectrum of IBMPFD Including Degeneration in Muscle, Brain and Bone
Human Molecular Genetics. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20147319
Inclusion body myopathy associated with Paget's disease of bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) is a dominantly inherited degenerative disorder caused by mutations in the valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene. VCP (p97 in mouse, TER94 in Drosophila melanogaster and CDC48 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a highly conserved AAA(+)-ATPase that regulates a wide array of cellular processes. The mechanism of IBMPFD pathogenesis is unknown. Towards elucidating the pathogenic mechanism we have developed and characterized transgenic mice with ubiquitous expression of wild-type and disease-causing versions of human VCP/p97. Here, we report that mice expressing VCP/p97 harboring the mutations R155H or A232E develop pathology that is limited to muscle, brain and bone, recapitulating the spectrum of disease in humans with IBMPFD. The mice exhibit progressive muscle weakness and pathological examination of muscle shows classic characteristics of inclusion body myopathy including rimmed vacuoles and TDP-43 pathology. The mice exhibit abnormalities in behavioral testing and pathological examination of the brain shows widespread TDP-43 pathology. Furthermore, radiological examination of the skeleton reveals that mutant mice develop severe osteopenia accompanied by focal lytic and sclerotic lesions in vertebrae and femur. In vitro studies indicate that mutant VCP causes inappropriate activation of the NF-kappaB signaling cascade, which could contribute to the mechanism of pathogenesis in multiple tissues including muscle, bone and brain.
Nature Reviews. Genetics. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20177426
Repeat expansion mutations cause at least 22 inherited neurological diseases. The complexity of repeat disease genetics and pathobiology has revealed unexpected shared themes and mechanistic pathways among the diseases, such as RNA toxicity. Also, investigation of the polyglutamine diseases has identified post-translational modification as a key step in the pathogenic cascade and has shown that the autophagy pathway has an important role in the degradation of misfolded proteins--two themes that are likely to be relevant to the entire neurodegeneration field. Insights from repeat disease research are catalysing new lines of study that should not only elucidate molecular mechanisms of disease but also highlight opportunities for therapeutic intervention for these currently untreatable disorders.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20329357
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has a long and rich history as an important model organism for biologists. In particular, study of the fruit fly has been essential to much of our fundamental understanding of the development and function of the nervous system. In recent years, studies using fruit flies have provided important insights into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. Fly models of spinal muscular atrophy, spinobulbar muscular atrophy,myotonic dystrophy, dystrophinopathies and other inherited neuromuscular diseases recapitulate many of the key pathologic features of the human disease. The ability to perform genetic screens holds promise for uncovering the molecular mechanisms of disease, and indeed, for identifying novel therapeutic targets. This review will summarize recent progress in developing fly models of neuromuscular diseases and will emphasize the contribution that Drosophila has made to our understanding of these diseases.
B2 Attenuates Polyglutamine-expanded Androgen Receptor Toxicity in Cell and Fly Models of Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy
Journal of Neuroscience Research. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20336775
Expanded polyglutamine tracts cause neurodegeneration through a toxic gain-of-function mechanism. Generation of inclusions is a common feature of polyglutamine diseases and other protein misfolding disorders. Inclusion formation is likely to be a defensive response of the cell to the presence of unfolded protein. Recently, the compound B2 has been shown to increase inclusion formation and decrease toxicity of polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin in cultured cells. We explored the effect of B2 on spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). SBMA is caused by expansion of polyglutamine in the androgen receptor (AR) and is characterized by the loss of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. We found that B2 increases the deposition of mutant AR into nuclear inclusions, without altering the ligand-induced aggregation, expression, or subcellular distribution of the mutant protein. The effect of B2 on inclusions was associated with a decrease in AR transactivation function. We show that B2 reduces mutant AR toxicity in cell and fly models of SBMA, further supporting the idea that accumulation of polyglutamine-expanded protein into inclusions is protective. Our findings suggest B2 as a novel approach to therapy for SBMA.
Disease-causing Mutations in Parkin Impair Mitochondrial Ubiquitination, Aggregation, and HDAC6-dependent Mitophagy
The Journal of Cell Biology. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20457763
Mutations in parkin, a ubiquitin ligase, cause early-onset familial Parkinson's disease (AR-JP). How parkin suppresses parkinsonism remains unknown. Parkin was recently shown to promote the clearance of impaired mitochondria by autophagy, termed mitophagy. Here, we show that parkin promotes mitophagy by catalyzing mitochondrial ubiquitination, which in turn recruits ubiquitin-binding autophagic components, HDAC6 and p62, leading to mitochondrial clearance. During the process, juxtanuclear mitochondrial aggregates resembling a protein aggregate-induced aggresome are formed. The formation of these "mito-aggresome" structures requires microtubule motor-dependent transport and is essential for efficient mitophagy. Importantly, we show that AR-JP-causing parkin mutations are defective in supporting mitophagy due to distinct defects at recognition, transportation, or ubiquitination of impaired mitochondria, thereby implicating mitophagy defects in the development of parkinsonism. Our results show that impaired mitochondria and protein aggregates are processed by common ubiquitin-selective autophagy machinery connected to the aggresomal pathway, thus identifying a mechanistic basis for the prevalence of these toxic entities in Parkinson's disease.
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20519548
Inclusion body myopathy associated with Paget's disease of bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) is a dominantly inherited degenerative disorder caused by mutations in the valosin-containing protein (VCP7) gene. VCP (p97 in mouse, TER94 in Drosophila melanogaster, and CDC48 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a highly conserved AAA(+) (ATPases associated with multiple cellular activities) ATPase that regulates a wide array of cellular processes. The mechanism of IBMPFD pathogenesis is unknown. To elucidate the pathogenic mechanism, we developed and characterized a Drosophila model of IBMPFD (mutant-VCP-related degeneration). Based on genetic screening of this model, we identified three RNA-binding proteins that dominantly suppressed degeneration; one of these was TBPH, the Drosophila homolog of TAR (trans-activating response region) DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43). Here we demonstrate that VCP and TDP-43 interact genetically and that disease-causing mutations in VCP lead to redistribution of TDP-43 to the cytoplasm in vitro and in vivo, replicating the major pathology observed in IBMPFD and other TDP-43 proteinopathies. We also demonstrate that TDP-43 redistribution from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is sufficient to induce cytotoxicity. Furthermore, we determined that a pathogenic mutation in TDP-43 promotes redistribution to the cytoplasm and enhances the genetic interaction with VCP. Together, our results show that degeneration associated with VCP mutations is mediated in part by toxic gain of function of TDP-43 in the cytoplasm. We suggest that these findings are likely relevant to the pathogenic mechanism of a broad array of TDP-43 proteinopathies, including frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Native Functions of the Androgen Receptor Are Essential to Pathogenesis in a Drosophila Model of Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy
Neuron. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20869592
Spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the androgen receptor (AR). This mutation confers toxic function to AR through unknown mechanisms. Mutant AR toxicity requires binding of its hormone ligand, suggesting that pathogenesis involves ligand-induced changes in AR. However, whether toxicity is mediated by native AR function or a novel AR function is unknown. We systematically investigated events downstream of ligand-dependent AR activation in a Drosophila model of SBMA. We show that nuclear translocation of AR is necessary, but not sufficient, for toxicity and that DNA binding by AR is necessary for toxicity. Mutagenesis studies demonstrated that a functional AF-2 domain is essential for toxicity, a finding corroborated by a genetic screen that identified AF-2 interactors as dominant modifiers of degeneration. These findings indicate that SBMA pathogenesis is mediated by misappropriation of native protein function, a mechanism that may apply broadly to polyglutamine diseases.
Neuron. Dec, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21145000
Using exome sequencing, we identified a p.R191Q amino acid change in the valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene in an Italian family with autosomal dominantly inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in VCP have previously been identified in families with Inclusion Body Myopathy, Paget disease, and Frontotemporal Dementia (IBMPFD). Screening of VCP in a cohort of 210 familial ALS cases and 78 autopsy-proven ALS cases identified four additional mutations including a p.R155H mutation in a pathologically proven case of ALS. VCP protein is essential for maturation of ubiquitin-containing autophagosomes, and mutant VCP toxicity is partially mediated through its effect on TDP-43 protein, a major constituent of ubiquitin inclusions that neuropathologically characterize ALS. Our data broaden the phenotype of IBMPFD to include motor neuron degeneration, suggest that VCP mutations may account for ∼1%-2% of familial ALS, and provide evidence directly implicating defects in the ubiquitination/protein degradation pathway in motor neuron degeneration.
Histone Deacetylases Suppress CGG Repeat-induced Neurodegeneration Via Transcriptional Silencing in Models of Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome
PLoS Genetics. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21170301
Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) is a common inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5'UTR of the fragile X syndrome (FXS) gene, FMR1. The expanded CGG repeat is thought to induce toxicity as RNA, and in FXTAS patients mRNA levels for FMR1 are markedly increased. Despite the critical role of FMR1 mRNA in disease pathogenesis, the basis for the increase in FMR1 mRNA expression is unknown. Here we show that overexpressing any of three histone deacetylases (HDACs 3, 6, or 11) suppresses CGG repeat-induced neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of FXTAS. This suppression results from selective transcriptional repression of the CGG repeat-containing transgene. These findings led us to evaluate the acetylation state of histones at the human FMR1 locus. In patient-derived lymphoblasts and fibroblasts, we determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation that there is increased acetylation of histones at the FMR1 locus in pre-mutation carriers compared to control or FXS derived cell lines. These epigenetic changes correlate with elevated FMR1 mRNA expression in pre-mutation cell lines. Consistent with this finding, histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitors repress FMR1 mRNA expression to control levels in pre-mutation carrier cell lines and extend lifespan in CGG repeat-expressing Drosophila. These findings support a disease model whereby the CGG repeat expansion in FXTAS promotes chromatin remodeling in cis, which in turn increases expression of the toxic FMR1 mRNA. Moreover, these results provide proof of principle that HAT inhibitors or HDAC activators might be used to selectively repress transcription at the FMR1 locus.
A Drosophila Model of FUS-related Neurodegeneration Reveals Genetic Interaction Between FUS and TDP-43
Human Molecular Genetics. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21487023
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of motor neurons. Fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) and TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP)-43 are DNA/RNA-binding proteins found to be mutated in sporadic and familial forms of ALS. Ectopic expression of human ALS-causing FUS/TLS mutations in Drosophila caused an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, neurodegeneration, larval-crawling defect and early lethality. Mutant FUS/TLS localized to both the cytoplasm and nucleus, whereas wild-type FUS/TLS localized only to the nucleus, suggesting that the cytoplasmic localization of FUS/TLS is required for toxicity. Furthermore, we found that deletion of the nuclear export signal strongly suppressed toxicity, suggesting that cytoplasmic localization is necessary for neurodegeneration. Interestingly, we observed that FUS/TLS genetically interacts with TDP-43 in a mutation-dependent fashion to cause neurodegeneration in vivo. In summary, we demonstrate that ALS-associated mutations in FUS/TLS cause adult-onset neurodegeneration via a gain-of-toxicity mechanism that involves redistribution of the protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and is likely to involve an interaction with TDP-43.
A Novel Conserved Isoform of the Ubiquitin Ligase UFD2a/UBE4B is Expressed Exclusively in Mature Striated Muscle Cells
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22174917
Yeast Ufd2p was the first identified E4 multiubiquitin chain assembly factor. Its vertebrate homologues later referred to as UFD2a, UBE4B or E4B were also shown to have E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. UFD2a function in the brain has been well established in vivo, and in vitro studies have shown that its activity is essential for proper condensation and segregation of chromosomes during mitosis. Here we show that 2 alternative splice forms of UFD2a, UFD2a-7 and -7/7a, are expressed sequentially during myoblast differentiation of C2C12 cell cultures and during cardiotoxin-induced regeneration of skeletal muscle in mice. UFD2a-7 contains an alternate exon 7, and UFD2a-7/7a, the larger of the 2 isoforms, contains an additional novel exon 7a. Analysis of protein or mRNA expression in mice and zebrafish revealed that a similar pattern of isoform switching occurs during developmental myogenesis of cardiac and skeletal muscle. In vertebrates (humans, rodents, zebrafish), UFD2a-7/7a is expressed only in mature striated muscle. This unique tissue specificity is further validated by the conserved presence of 2 muscle-specific splicing regulatory motifs located in the 3' introns of exons 7 and 7a. UFD2a interacts with VCP/p97, an AAA-type ATPase implicated in processes whose functions appear to be regulated, in part, through their interaction with one or more of 15 previously identified cofactors. UFD2a-7/7a did not interact with VCP/p97 in yeast 2-hybrid experiments, which may allow the ATPase to bind cofactors that facilitate its muscle-specific functions. We conclude that the regulated expression of these UFD2a isoforms most likely imparts divergent functions that are important for myogenisis.
Neurobiology of Aging. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21920633
Mutations in the valosin-containing protein gene (VCP) have been identified in neurological disorders (inclusion body myopathy--early Paget's disease of the bone--frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and are thought to play a role in the clearance of abnormally folded proteins. Parkinsonism has been noted in kindreds with VCP mutations. Based on this, we hypothesized that mutations in VCP may also contribute to idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). We screened the coding region of the VCP gene in a large cohort of 768 late-onset PD cases (average age at onset, 70 years), both sporadic and with positive family history. We identified a number of rare single nucleotide changes, including a variant previously described to be pathogenic, but no clear disease-causing variants. We conclude that mutations in VCP are not a common cause for idiopathic PD.
Archives of Neurology. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21987397
To describe genetic analyses of the 2 most thoroughly studied, historically seminal multigenerational families with Alexander disease described prior to the identification of GFAP as the related gene, as well as 1 newly discovered family.