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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
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Articles by Yousuf O. Ali in JoVE
يعاير الحركي ، والتعلم ، والذاكرة في العجز ذبابة الفاكهة نماذج من تنكس عصبي
Yousuf O. Ali, Wilfredo Escala, Kai Ruan, R. Grace Zhai
Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
فحوصات لقياس وظائف السلوك الحركي والتعلم والذاكرة والقدرات في
Other articles by Yousuf O. Ali on PubMed
Dealing with Misfolded Proteins: Examining the Neuroprotective Role of Molecular Chaperones in Neurodegeneration
Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20938400
Human neurodegenerative diseases arise from a wide array of genetic and environmental factors. Despite the diversity in etiology, many of these diseases are considered "conformational" in nature, characterized by the accumulation of pathological, misfolded proteins. These misfolded proteins can induce cellular stress by overloading the proteolytic machinery, ultimately resulting in the accumulation and deposition of aggregated protein species that are cytotoxic. Misfolded proteins may also form aberrant, non-physiological protein-protein interactions leading to the sequestration of other normal proteins essential for cellular functions. The progression of such disease may therefore be viewed as a failure of normal protein homeostasis, a process that involves a network of molecules regulating the synthesis, folding, translocation and clearance of proteins. Molecular chaperones are highly conserved proteins involved in the folding of nascent proteins, and the repair of proteins that have lost their typical conformations. These functions have therefore made molecular chaperones an active area of investigation within the field of conformational diseases. This review will discuss the role of molecular chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases, highlighting their functional classification, regulation, and therapeutic potential for such diseases.
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Adenylyltransferase is a Stress Response Protein Regulated by the Heat Shock Factor/hypoxia-inducible Factor 1alpha Pathway
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21478149
Stress responses are cellular processes essential for maintenance of cellular integrity and defense against environmental and intracellular insults. Neurodegenerative conditions are linked with inadequate stress responses. Several stress-responsive genes encoding neuroprotective proteins have been identified, and among them, the heat shock proteins comprise an important group of molecular chaperones that have neuroprotective functions. However, evidence for other critical stress-responsive genes is lacking. Recent studies on the NAD synthesis enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) have uncovered a novel neuronal maintenance and protective function against activity-, injury-, or misfolded protein-induced degeneration in Drosophila and in mammalian neurons. Here, we show that NMNAT is also a novel stress response protein required for thermotolerance and mitigation of oxidative stress-induced shortened lifespan. NMNAT is transcriptionally regulated during various stress conditions including heat shock and hypoxia through heat shock factor (HSF) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α in vivo. HSF binds to nmnat promoter and induces NMNAT expression under heat shock. In contrast, under hypoxia, HIF1α up-regulates NMNAT indirectly through the induction of HSF. Our studies provide an in vivo mechanism for transcriptional regulation of NMNAT under stress and establish an essential role for this neuroprotective factor in cellular stress response.
NMNAT Suppresses Tau-induced Neurodegeneration by Promoting Clearance of Hyperphosphorylated Tau Oligomers in a Drosophila Model of Tauopathy
Human Molecular Genetics. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21965302
Tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease, are a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by abnormal tau hyperphosphorylation that leads to formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Drosophila models of tauopathy display prominent features of the human disease including compromised lifespan, impairments of learning, memory and locomotor functions and age-dependent neurodegeneration visible as vacuolization. Here, we use a Drosophila model of frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), in order to study the neuroprotective capacity of a recently identified neuronal maintenance factor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NAD) adenylyl transferase (NMNAT), a protein that has both NAD synthase and chaperone function. NMNAT is essential for maintaining neuronal integrity under normal conditions and has been shown to protect against several neurodegenerative conditions. However, its protective role in tauopathy has not been examined. Here, we show that overexpression of NMNAT significantly suppresses both behavioral and morphological deficits associated with tauopathy by means of reducing the levels of hyperphosphorylated tau oligomers. Importantly, the protective activity of NMNAT protein is independent of its NAD synthesis activity, indicating a role for direct protein-protein interaction. Next, we show that NMNAT interacts with phosphorylated tau in vivo and promotes the ubiquitination and clearance of toxic tau species. Consequently, apoptosis activation was significantly reduced in brains overexpressing NMNAT, and neurodegeneration was suppressed. Our report on the molecular basis of NMNAT-mediated neuroprotection in tauopathies opens future investigation of this factor in other protein foldopathies.
CREB-activity and Nmnat2 Transcription Are Down-regulated Prior to Neurodegeneration, While NMNAT2 Over-expression is Neuroprotective, in a Mouse Model of Human Tauopathy
Human Molecular Genetics. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22027994
Tauopathies, characterized by neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) of phosphorylated tau proteins, are a group of neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal dementia and both sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease. Forebrain-specific over-expression of human tau(P301L), a mutation associated with frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, in rTg4510 mice results in the formation of NFTs, learning and memory impairment and massive neuronal death. Here, we show that the mRNA and protein levels of NMNAT2 (nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2), a recently identified survival factor for maintaining neuronal health in peripheral nerves, are reduced in rTg4510 mice prior to the onset of neurodegeneration or cognitive deficits. Two functional cAMP-response elements (CREs) were identified in the nmnat2 promoter region. Both the total amount of phospho-CRE binding protein (CREB) and the pCREB bound to nmnat2 CRE sites in the cortex and the hippocampus of rTg4510 mice are significantly reduced, suggesting that NMNAT2 is a direct target of CREB under physiological conditions and that tau(P301L) overexpression down-regulates CREB-mediated transcription. We found that over-expressing NMNAT2 or its homolog NMNAT1, but not NMNAT3, in rTg4510 hippocampi from 6 weeks of age using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors significantly reduced neurodegeneration caused by tau(P301L) over-expression at 5 months of age. In summary, our studies strongly support a protective role of NMNAT2 in the mammalian central nervous system. Decreased endogenous NMNAT2 function caused by reduced CREB signaling during pathological insults may be one of underlying mechanisms for neuronal death in tauopathies.
Protein Aggregates Are Recruited to Aggresome by Histone Deacetylase 6 Via Unanchored Ubiquitin C Termini
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22069321
The aggresome pathway is activated when proteasomal clearance of misfolded proteins is hindered. Misfolded polyubiquitinated protein aggregates are recruited and transported to the aggresome via the microtubule network by a protein complex consisting of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) and the dynein motor complex. The current model suggests that HDAC6 recognizes protein aggregates by binding directly to polyubiquitinated proteins. Here, we show that there are substantial amounts of unanchored ubiquitin in protein aggregates with solvent-accessible C termini. The ubiquitin-binding domain (ZnF-UBP) of HDAC6 binds exclusively to the unanchored C-terminal diglycine motif of ubiquitin instead of conjugated polyubiquitin. The unanchored ubiquitin C termini in the aggregates are generated in situ by aggregate-associated deubiquitinase ataxin-3. These results provide structural and mechanistic bases for the role of HDAC6 in aggresome formation and further suggest a novel ubiquitin-mediated signaling pathway, where the exposure of ubiquitin C termini within protein aggregates enables HDAC6 recognition and transport to the aggresome.