Nrf2 activation through the PI3K/GSK-3 axis protects neuronal cells from AÎ²-mediated oxidative and metabolic damage
BACKGROUND:Mounting evidence points to a crucial role of amyloid-Î² (AÎ²) in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a disorder in which brain glucose hypometabolism, downregulation of central elements of phosphorylation pathways, reduced ATP levels, and enhanced oxidative damage coexist, and sometimes precede, synaptic alterations and clinical manifestations. Since the brain has limited energy storage capacity, mitochondria play essential roles in maintaining the high levels of energy demand, but, as major consumers of oxygen, these organelles are also the most important generators of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, it is not surprising that mitochondrial dysfunction is tightly linked to synaptic loss and AD pathophysiology. In spite of their relevance, the mechanistic links among ROS homeostasis, metabolic alterations, and cell bioenergetics, particularly in relation to AÎ², still remain elusive. METHODS:We have used classic biochemical and immunocytochemical approaches together with the evaluation of real-time changes in global energy metabolism in a Seahorse Metabolic Analyzer to provide insights into the detrimental role of oligAÎ² in SH-SY5Y and primary neurons testing their pharmacologic protection by small molecules. RESULTS:Our findings indicate that oligomeric AÎ² induces a dramatic increase in ROS production and severely affects neuronal metabolism and bioenergetics. Assessment of global energy metabolism in real time demonstrated AÎ²-mediated reduction in oxygen consumption affecting basal and maximal respiration and causing decreased ATP production. Pharmacologic targeting of AÎ²-challenged neurons with a set of small molecules of known antioxidant and cytoprotective activity prevented the metabolic/bioenergetic changes induced by the peptide, fully restoring mitochondrial function while inducing an antioxidant response that counterbalanced the ROS production. Search for a mechanistic link among the protective small molecules tested identified the transcription factor Nrf2-compromised by age and downregulated in AD and transgenic models-as their main target and the PI3K/GSK-3 axis as the central pathway through which the compounds elicit their AÎ² protective action. CONCLUSIONS:Our study provides insights into the complex molecular mechanisms triggered by oligAÎ² which profoundly affect mitochondrial performance and argues for the inclusion of small molecules targeting the PI3K/GSK-3 axis and Nrf2-mediated pathways as part of the current or future combinatorial therapies.
Oxidative Stress, Chronic Inflammation, and Amyloidoses [Editorial]
Abeta truncated species: Implications for brain clearance mechanisms and amyloid plaque deposition
Extensive parenchymal and vascular Abeta deposits are pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Besides classic full-length peptides, biochemical analyses of brain deposits have revealed high degree of Abeta heterogeneity likely resulting from the action of multiple proteolytic enzymes. In spite of the numerous studies focusing in Abeta, the relevance of N- and C-terminal truncated species for AD pathogenesis remains largely understudied. In the present work, using novel antibodies specifically recognizing Abeta species N-terminally truncated at position 4 or C-terminally truncated at position 34, we provide a clear assessment of the differential topographic localization of these species in AD brains and transgenic models. Based on their distinct solubility, brain N- and C-terminal truncated species were extracted by differential fractionation and identified via immunoprecipitation coupled to mass spectrometry analysis. Biochemical/biophysical studies with synthetic homologues further confirmed the different solubility properties and contrasting fibrillogenic characteristics of the truncated species composing the brain Abeta peptidome. Abeta C-terminal degradation leads to the production of more soluble fragments likely to be more easily eliminated from the brain. On the contrary, N-terminal truncation at position 4 favors the formation of poorly soluble, aggregation prone peptides with high amyloidogenic propensity and the potential to exacerbate the fibrillar deposits, self-perpetuating the amyloidogenic loop. Detailed assessment of the molecular diversity of Abeta species composing interstitial fluid and amyloid deposits at different disease stages, as well as the evaluation of the truncation profile during various pharmacologic approaches will provide a comprehensive understanding of the still undefined contribution of Abeta truncations to the disease pathogenesis and their potential as novel therapeutic targets.
Unveiling Brain AÎ² Heterogeneity Through Targeted Proteomic Analysis
Amyloid Î² (AÎ²) is the major constituent of the brain deposits found in parenchymal plaques and cerebral blood vessels of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Besides classic full-length peptides, biochemical analyses of brain deposits have revealed high degree of AÎ² heterogeneity likely resulting from the action of multiple proteolytic enzymes. This chapter describes a sequential extraction protocol allowing the differential fractionation of soluble and deposited AÎ² species taking advantage of their differential solubility properties. Soluble AÎ² is extracted by water-based buffers like phosphate-buffered saline-PBS-whereas pre-fibrillar and fibrillar deposits, usually poorly soluble in PBS, are extractable in detergent containing solutions or more stringent conditions as formic acid. The extraction procedure is followed by the biochemical identification of the extracted AÎ² species using Western blot and a targeted proteomic analysis which combines immunoprecipitation with MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry. This approach revealed the presence of numerous C- and N-terminal truncated AÎ² species in addition to AÎ²1-40/42. Notably, the more soluble C-terminal cleaved fragments constitute a main part of PBS homogenates. On the contrary, N-terminal truncated species typically require more stringent conditions for the extraction in agreement with their lower solubility and enhanced aggregability. Detailed assessment of the molecular diversity of AÎ² species composing interstitial fluid and amyloid deposits at different disease stages, as well as the evaluation of the truncation profile during various pharmacologic approaches will provide a comprehensive understanding of the still undefined contribution of AÎ² truncations to AD pathogenesis and their potential as novel therapeutic targets.
Protein folding disorders of the central nervous system
Extent: xix, 313 p. ; 24 cm
Misfolding, aggregation, and amyloid formation : the dark side of proteins
Proteomic Analysis Shows Constitutive Secretion of MIF and p53-associated Activity of COX-2-/- Lung Fibroblasts
The differential expression of two closelyassociated cyclooxygenase isozymes, COX-1 and COX-2, exhibited functions beyond eicosanoid metabolism. We hypothesized that COX-1 or COX-2 knockout lung fibroblasts may display altered protein profiles which may allow us to further differentiate the functional roles of these isozymes at the molecular level. Proteomic analysis shows constitutive production of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in lung fibroblasts derived from COX-2-/- but not wild-type (WT) or COX-1-/- mice. MIF was spontaneously released in high levels into the extracellular milieu of COX2-/- fibroblasts seemingly from the preformed intracellular stores, with no change in the basal gene expression of MIF. The secretion and regulation of MIF in COX-2-/- was "prostaglandin-independent." GO analysis showed that concurrent with upregulation of MIF, there is a significant surge in expression of genes related to fibroblast growth, FK506 binding proteins, and isomerase activity in COX-2-/- cells. Furthermore, COX-2-/- fibroblasts also exhibit a significant increase in transcriptional activity of various regulators, antagonists, and co-modulators of p53, as well as in the expression of oncogenes and related transcripts. Integrative Oncogenomics Cancer Browser (IntroGen) analysis shows downregulation of COX-2 and amplification of MIF and/or p53 activity during development of glioblastomas, ependymoma, and colon adenomas. These data indicate the functional role of the MIF-COX-p53 axis in inflammation and cancer at the genomic and proteomic levels in COX-2-ablated cells. This systematic analysis not only shows the proinflammatory state but also unveils a molecular signature of a pro-oncogenic state of COX-1 in COX-2 ablated cells.
Amyloid beta oligomerization negatively influences brain clearance mechanisms [Meeting Abstract]
Aims Several lines of investigation support the notion that synaptic pathology, one of the strongest correlates to cognitive impairment, is related to progressive accumulation of neurotoxic amyloid beta (Abeta) oligomers. Since the process of oligomerization/fibrillization is concentration-dependent, it is highly reliant on the homeostatic mechanisms that regulate the steady state levels of Abeta influencing the delicate balance between rate of synthesis, dynamics of aggregation and clearance kinetics. Emerging new data suggest that reduced Abeta clearance, particularly in the aging brain, plays a critical role in the process of amyloid formation and AD pathogenesis. Method We have used a combination of stereotaxic injection into the hippocampal region of C57BL/6 wild-type mice with biochemical and mass spectrometric analyses of CSF to evaluate the brain clearance and catabolism of well-defined monomeric and low molecular mass Abeta oligomeric assemblies. Results Abeta physiologic removal from the brain is extremely fast, involves local proteolytic degradation with generation of heterogeneous C-terminally cleaved proteolytic products, and is negatively influenced by oligomerization. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy studies provide insight into the cellular pathways involved in the brain removal and cellular uptake of Abeta. Clearance from brain interstitial fluid follows local and systemic paths; in addition to the BBB, local enzymatic degradation and transport through the choroid plexus into the CSF play significant roles. Conclusion Our studies highlight the diverse factors influencing brain clearance and the participation of various routes of elimination opening up new research opportunities for the understanding of altered mechanisms triggering AD pathology and for the potential design of combined therapeutic strategies
Amyloid beta catabolism: A balancing act between effective brain clearance and the process of amyloidogenesis [Meeting Abstract]
Aims Biochemical and proteomic analysis of brain deposits and biological fluids reveal a high degree of Abeta heterogeneity that goes far beyond the classical Abeta40/Abeta42 dichotomy, displaying numerous post-translational modifications and multiple truncations at both N- and C-terminal ends of the molecule likely reflecting local action of resident enzymes. In spite of innumerable studies focusing in Abeta, the relevance of N- and C-terminal truncated species in the mechanism of AD pathogenesis remains largely understudied. Method Abeta species in brain tissue extracts were identified via immunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry. Synthetic homologues of intact and truncated peptides were compared in their solubility properties, self-oligomerization propensity, and brain clearance characteristics. Novel antibodies recognizing specific N- and C-terminal truncations were employed to immunolabel amyloid deposits in AD brains and transgenic models. Intracerebral injections of monomeric and oligomeric radiolabeled homologues were used to assess their brain clearance characteristics. Results N- and C-terminal truncated fragments in brain homogenates exhibit differential fractionation characteristics and topographic localization. Water-soluble brain extracts were enriched in C-terminal fragments -resembling the CSF Abeta peptidome- whereas N-terminal truncations required formic acid for solubilization. Synthetic homologues confirmed the differences in solubility and revealed contrasting oligomerization/ fibrillization characteristics. Notably, oligomerization largely increased brain retention, a characteristic mostly evident in fragments truncated at Phe4, topographically abundant in the plaque cores. Conclusion Abeta degradation at the C-terminal-end generates fragments likely associated to catabolic/clearance mechanisms while truncations at the N-terminus favor oligomerization and brain retention, with the potential to exacerbate the process of amyloidogenesis
The carbonic anhydrase inhibitor methazolamide prevents amyloid beta-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and caspase activation protecting neuronal and glial cells in vitro and in the mouse brain
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been recognized as an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology, preceding and inducing neurodegeneration and memory loss. The presence of cytochrome c (CytC) released from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm is often detected after acute or chronic neurodegenerative insults, including AD. The carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI) methazolamide (MTZ) was identified among a library of drugs as an inhibitor of CytC release and proved to be neuroprotective in Huntington's disease and stroke models. Here, using neuronal and glial cell cultures, in addition to an acute model of amyloid beta (Abeta) toxicity, which replicates by intra-hippocampal injection the consequences of interstitial and cellular accumulation of Abeta, we analyzed the effects of MTZ on neuronal and glial degeneration induced by the Alzheimer's amyloid. MTZ prevented DNA fragmentation, CytC release and activation of caspase 9 and caspase 3 induced by Abeta in neuronal and glial cells in culture through the inhibition of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production. Moreover, intraperitoneal administration of MTZ prevented neurodegeneration induced by intra-hippocampal Abeta injection in the mouse brain and was effective at reducing caspase 3 activation in neurons and microglia in the area surrounding the injection site. Our results, delineating the molecular mechanism of action of MTZ against Abeta-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction and caspase activation, and demonstrating its efficiency in a model of acute amyloid-mediated toxicity, provide the first combined in vitro and in vivo evidence supporting the potential of a new therapy employing FDA-approved CAIs in AD.