BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease (v.1842, #4)

Coupling energy homeostasis with a mechanism to support plasticity in brain trauma by Rahul Agrawal; Ethika Tyagi; Laurent Vergnes; Karen Reue; Fernando Gomez-Pinilla (535-546).
Metabolic dysfunction occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important risk factor for the development of psychiatric illness. In the present study, we utilized an omega-3 diet during early life as a metabolic preconditioning to alter the course of TBI during adulthood. TBI animals under omega-3 deficiency were more prone to alterations in energy homeostasis (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase; AMPK phosphorylation and cytochrome C oxidase II; COII levels) and mitochondrial biogenesis (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha; PGC-1α and mitochondrial transcription factor A; TFAM). A similar response was found for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling through tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). The results from in vitro studies showed that 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a TrkB receptor agonist, upregulates the levels of biogenesis activator PGC-1α, and CREB phosphorylation in neuroblastoma cells suggesting that BDNF–TrkB signaling is pivotal for engaging signals related to synaptic plasticity and energy metabolism. The treatment with 7,8-DHF elevated the mitochondrial respiratory capacity, which emphasizes the role of BDNF–TrkB signaling as mitochondrial bioenergetics stimulator. Omega-3 deficiency worsened the effects of TBI on anxiety-like behavior and potentiated a reduction of anxiolytic neuropeptide Y1 receptor (NPY1R). These results highlight the action of metabolic preconditioning for building long-term neuronal resilience against TBI incurred during adulthood. Overall, the results emphasize the interactive action of metabolic and plasticity signals for supporting neurological health.
Keywords: Anxiety; Brain Trauma; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Omega-3; Plasticity;

Identification of motives mediating alternative functions of the neomorphic moonlighting TPPP/p25 by Natália Tőkési; Judit Oláh; Emma Hlavanda; Sándor Szunyogh; Adél Szabó; Fruzsina Babos; Anna Magyar; Attila Lehotzky; Elemér Vass; Judit Ovádi (547-557).
The disordered Tubulin Polymerization Promoting Protein (TPPP/p25), a prototype of neomorphic moonlighting proteins, displays physiological and pathological functions by interacting with distinct partners. Here the role of the disordered N- and C-termini straddling a middle flexible segment in the distinct functions of TPPP/p25 was established, and the binding motives responsible for its heteroassociations with tubulin and α-synuclein, its physiological and pathological interacting partner, respectively, were identified. We showed that the truncation of the disordered termini altered the folding state of the middle segment and has functional consequences concerning its physiological function. Double truncation diminished its binding to tubulin/microtubules, consequently the tubulin polymerization/microtubule bundling activities of TPPP/p25 were lost highlighting the role of the disordered termini in its physiological function. In contrast, interaction of TPPP/p25 with α-synuclein was not affected by the truncations and its α-synuclein aggregation promoting activity was preserved, showing that the α-synuclein binding motif is localized within the middle segment. The distinct tubulin and α-synuclein binding motives of TPPP/p25 were also demonstrated at the cellular level: the double truncated TPPP/p25 did not align along the microtubules in contrast to the full length form, while it induced α-synuclein aggregation. The localization of the binding motives on TPPP/p25 were established by specific ELISA experiments performed with designed and synthesized peptides: motives at the 178–187 and 147–156 segments are involved in the binding of tubulin and α-synuclein, respectively. The dissimilarity of these binding motives responsible for the neomorphic moonlighting feature of TPPP/p25 has significant innovative impact in anti-Parkinson drug research.
Keywords: α-synuclein; Binding motives; Neomorphic moonlighting function; TPPP/p25;

Renal protection by low dose irbesartan in diabetic nephropathy is paralleled by a reduction of inflammation, not of endoplasmic reticulum stress by Andrea Hartner; Nada Cordasic; Bernd Klanke; Carlos Menendez-Castro; Roland Veelken; Roland E. Schmieder; Karl F. Hilgers (558-565).
Diabetes can disrupt endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis which leads to ER stress. ER stress-induced renal apoptosis seems to be involved in the development of diabetic nephropathy. The present study was designed to investigate the contribution of reduced ER stress to the beneficial effects of an angiotensin receptor blocker. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was induced by streptozotocin injections to hypertensive mRen2-transgenic rats. After 2 weeks animals were treated with 0.7 mg/kg/day irbesartan. Blood glucose, blood pressure and protein excretion were assessed. Expression of ER stress markers was measured by real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect markers of ER stress, renal damage and infiltrating cells. Glomerulosclerosis and apoptosis were evaluated. Diabetic mRen2-transgenic rats developed renal injury with proteinuria, tubulointerstitial cell proliferation as well as glomerulosclerosis and podocyte injury. Moreover, an increase in inflammation, podocyte ER stress and apoptosis was detected. Irbesartan somewhat lowered blood pressure and reduced proteinuria, tubulointerstitial cell proliferation and glomerulosclerosis. Podocyte damage was ameliorated but markers of ER stress (calnexin, grp78) and apoptosis were not reduced by irbesartan. On the other hand, inflammatory cell infiltration in the tubulointerstitium and the glomerulus was significantly attenuated. We conclude that irbesartan reduced renal damage even in a very low dose. The beneficial effects of low dose irbesartan were paralleled by a reduction of blood pressure and inflammation but not by a reduction of ER stress and apoptosis. Thus, sustained endoplasmic reticulum stress in the kidney does not necessarily lead to increased inflammation and tubulointerstitial or glomerular injury.
Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy; Angiotensin receptor antagonist; Irbesartan; ER stress; Inflammation;

Morphine modulates cell proliferation through mir133b &mir128 in the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line by Veronica Gonzalez-Nunez; Jose Antonio Noriega-Prieto; Raquel E. Rodríguez (566-572).
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer with high incidence and high mortality rate. Great efforts are made to find new treatments and molecular markers for diagnosis and prognosis. miRNAs stand for novel strategies to modulate tumor growth, as they can act either as tumor suppressors or as oncogenes. Morphine is an opioid agonist widely used to treat severe and chronic pain, as for example cancer pain. Previous studies have revealed that morphine is able to modify cancer progression, by acting on proliferation or on apoptosis; however, up to date, the available results are contradictory, maybe due to the different doses used, routes of administration and model systems. While some studies show that morphine promotes cell proliferation and metastasis, other authors sustain that morphine effect is mainly antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic. In this study we aim to establish the effect of chronic opiate administration on cell proliferation in the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line. Low doses of morphine (10 nM) promoted cell proliferation in undifferentiated cells and reduced the expression levels of miR133b, while higher doses (1 μM) inhibited cell proliferation and correlated with decreased levels of miR133b and miR128 without triggering apoptosis. Naloxone, the classical opioid antagonist, could not fully block the effect of morphine on miR128 expression, so that the observed effect may be mediated by non-opioid mechanisms. Our results represent a further contribution to the hypothesis that a joint regulation of miRNA networks and the specific characteristics of the target tissue may determine the effect of morphine on tumor cell growth.
Keywords: Morphine; miR133b; miR128; OPRM1; Proliferation; SH-SY5Y;

The combination of Bifidobacterium breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides suppresses airway inflammation in a murine model for chronic asthma by Seil Sagar; Arjan P. Vos; Mary E. Morgan; Johan Garssen; Niki A. Georgiou; Louis Boon; Aletta D. Kraneveld; Gert Folkerts (573-583).
Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the use of interventions that target the intestinal microbiota as a treatment approach for asthma. This study is aimed at exploring the therapeutic effects of long-term treatment with a combination of Bifidobacterium breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides on airway inflammation and remodeling. A murine ovalbumin-induced chronic asthma model was used. Pulmonary airway inflammation; mRNA expression of pattern recognition receptors, Th-specific cytokines and transcription factors in lung tissue; expression of Foxp3 in blood Th cells; in vitro T cell activation; mast cell degranulation; and airway remodeling were examined. The combination of B. breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides suppressed pulmonary airway inflammation; reduced T cell activation and mast cell degranulation; modulated expression of pattern recognition receptors, cytokines and transcription factors; and reduced airway remodeling. The treatment induced regulatory T cell responses, as shown by increased Il10 and Foxp3 transcription in lung tissue, and augmented Foxp3 protein expression in blood CD4+CD25+Foxp3 + T cells. This specific combination of beneficial bacteria with non-digestible oligosaccharides has strong anti-inflammatory properties, possibly via the induction of a regulatory T cell response, resulting in reduced airway remodeling and, therefore, may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic inflammation in allergic asthma.
Keywords: Allergic asthma; Airway inflammation; Bifidobacterium breve; Murine asthma model; Regulatory T cell; Transcription factor;

Adipose Tissue Macrophages (ATM) of obese patients are releasing increased levels of prolactin during an inflammatory challenge: A role for prolactin in diabesity? by Thomas Bouckenooghe; Giorgia Sisino; Sandra Aurientis; Giulia Chinetti-Gbaguidi; Julie Kerr-Conte; Bart Staels; Pierre Fontaine; Laurent Storme; François Pattou; Anne Vambergue (584-593).
Obesity, characterized by low grade inflammation, induces adipose tissue macrophage (ATM) infiltration in white adipose tissue (AT) in both humans and rodents, thus contributing to insulin resistance. Previous studies have shown altered prolactin secretion in obesity, however, studies linking ATM infiltration and prolactin (PRL) secretion to the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes are lacking.In vivo, qPCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated that prolactin expression was increased in AT of obese rats and also in human AT from obese, obese pre-diabetic and obese diabetic compared to lean counterparts. Immunohistochemistry of obese rat and human AT sections demonstrated a specific expression of prolactin in macrophages. In vitro, we demonstrated that hyperglycemia and inflammation stimulated macrophages (human THP-1 cell line and sorted rat ATM) to express PRL, when challenged with different glucose concentrations with or without IL1β. In in vivo and in vitro experiments, we assessed the expression of Pit-1 (PRL-specific transcription factor) and found that its expression was parallel to PRL expression.In this study, we show that rodent and human macrophages synthesize prolactin in response to inflammation and high glucose concentrations.Our data shed new light on the potential role of macrophages in the physiopathology of diabesity via the PRL expression and on its expression mechanism and regulation.
Keywords: Diabetes; Obesity; Macrophages; Prolactin; Hyperglycemia; Inflammation;

Deletion of PARP-2 induces hepatic cholesterol accumulation and decrease in HDL levels by Magdolna Szántó; Attila Brunyánszki; Judit Márton; György Vámosi; Lilla Nagy; Tamás Fodor; Borbála Kiss; László Virág; Pál Gergely; Péter Bai (594-602).
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (PARP-2) is acknowledged as a DNA repair enzyme. However, recent investigations have attributed unique roles to PARP-2 in metabolic regulation in the liver. We assessed changes in hepatic lipid homeostasis upon the deletion of PARP-2 and found that cholesterol levels were higher in PARP-2−/− mice as compared to wild-type littermates. To uncover the molecular background, we analyzed changes in steady-state mRNA levels upon the knockdown of PARP-2 in HepG2 cells and in murine liver that revealed higher expression of sterol-regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-1 dependent genes. We demonstrated that PARP-2 is a suppressor of the SREBP1 promoter, and the suppression of the SREBP1 gene depends on the enzymatic activation of PARP-2. Consequently, the knockdown of PARP-2 enhances SREBP1 expression that in turn induces the genes driven by SREBP1 culminating in higher hepatic cholesterol content. We did not detect hypercholesterolemia, higher fecal cholesterol content or increase in serum LDL, although serum HDL levels decreased in the PARP-2−/− mice. In cells and mice where PARP-2 was deleted we observed decreased ABCA1 mRNA and protein expression that is probably linked to lower HDL levels. In our current study we show that PARP-2 impacts on hepatic and systemic cholesterol homeostasis. Furthermore, the depletion of PARP-2 leads to lower HDL levels which represent a risk factor to cardiovascular diseases.Display Omitted
Keywords: PARP-2; SREBP1; Cholesterol; HDL; Lipoprotein; ABCA1;

Regulation of the cholesterol efflux transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 in retina in hemochromatosis and by the endogenous siderophore 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid by Sudha Ananth; Jaya P. Gnana-Prakasam; Yangzom D. Bhutia; Rajalakshmi Veeranan-Karmegam; Pamela M. Martin; Sylvia B. Smith; Vadivel Ganapathy (603-612).
Hypercholesterolemia and polymorphisms in the cholesterol exporter ABCA1 are linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Excessive iron in retina also has a link to AMD pathogenesis. Whether these findings mean a biological/molecular connection between iron and cholesterol is not known. Here we examined the relationship between retinal iron and cholesterol using a mouse model (Hfe −/−) of hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder of iron overload. We compared the expression of the cholesterol efflux transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 and cholesterol content in wild type and Hfe −/− mouse retinas. We also investigated the expression of Bdh2, the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of the endogenous siderophore 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,5-DHBA) in wild type and Hfe −/− mouse retinas, and the influence of this siderophore on ABCA1/ABCG1 expression in retinal pigment epithelium. We found that ABCA1 and ABCG1 were expressed in all retinal cell types, and that their expression was decreased in Hfe −/− retina. This was accompanied with an increase in retinal cholesterol content. Bdh2 was also expressed in all retinal cell types, and its expression was decreased in hemochromatosis. In ARPE-19 cells, 2,5-DHBA increased ABCA1/ABCG1 expression and decreased cholesterol content. This was not due to depletion of free iron because 2,5-DHBA (a siderophore) and deferiprone (an iron chelator) had opposite effects on transferrin receptor expression and ferritin levels. We conclude that iron is a regulator of cholesterol homeostasis in retina and that removal of cholesterol from retinal cells is impaired in hemochromatosis. Since excessive cholesterol is pro-inflammatory, hemochromatosis might promote retinal inflammation via cholesterol in AMD.
Keywords: Cholesterol transport; Hemochromatosis; Mammalian siderophore; β-Hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase-2; Retinal pigment epithelial cells;

HO-1 up-regulation: A key point in high-risk neuroblastoma resistance to bortezomib by Anna Lisa Furfaro; Sabrina Piras; Mario Passalacqua; Cinzia Domenicotti; Alessia Parodi; Daniela Fenoglio; Maria Adelaide Pronzato; Umberto Maria Marinari; Lorenzo Moretta; Nicola Traverso; Mariapaola Nitti (613-622).
High-risk neuroblastoma (NB) is characterized by the development of chemoresistance, and bortezomib (BTZ), a selective inhibitor of proteasome, has been proposed in order to overcome drug resistance. Considering the involvement of the nuclear factor-erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the antioxidant and detoxifying ability of cancer cells, in this study we have investigated their role in differently aggressive NB cell lines treated with BTZ, focusing on the modulation of HO-1 to improve sensitivity to therapy. We have shown that MYCN amplified HTLA-230 cells were slightly sensitive to BTZ treatment, due to the activation of Nrf2 that led to an impressive up-regulation of HO-1. BTZ-treated HTLA-230 cells down-regulated p53 and up-regulated p21, favoring cell survival. The inhibition of HO-1 activity obtained by Zinc (II) protoprophyrin IX (ZnPPIX) was able to significantly increase the pro-apoptotic effect of BTZ in a p53- and p21-independent way. However, MYCN non-amplified SH-SY5Y cells showed a greater sensitivity to BTZ in relation to their inability to up-regulate HO-1. Therefore, we have shown that HO-1 inhibition improves the sensitivity of aggressive NB to proteasome inhibition-based therapy, suggesting that HO-1 up-regulation can be used as a marker of chemoresistance in NB. These results open up a new scenario in developing a combined therapy to overcome chemoresistance in high-risk neuroblastoma.
Keywords: Redox signaling; Chemoresistance; Heme oxygenase-1; Neuroblastoma;

Wiskott–Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) is caused by mutations in Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein (WASP) and majority of the mutations are found in the WASP Homology 1 (WH1) domain which mediates interaction with WIP (WASP Interacting Protein), a WASP chaperone. Two point mutations together in the proline rich region (PRR) domain of WASP (S339Y/P373S) have been reported to cause WAS however the molecular defect has not been characterized. Expression of these mutants separately (WASPR S339Y, WASPR P373S) or together (WASPR SP/YS) did not rescue the chemotaxis defect or membrane projection defect of JurkatWKD T-cells (WASP knockdown). This is not due to the inability of WASP-PRR mutants to form functional WASP–WIP complex in growth rescue experiments in las17Δ yeast strain. Expression of WASPR S339Y but not WASPR P373S or WASPR SP/YS rescued the IL-2 expression defect of JurkatWKD T-cells, suggesting that Pro373Ser mutation alone is sufficient to inhibit WASP functions in T-cell activation. The diffused localization of WASP-PRR mutants in activated Jurkat T-cells suggests that Ser339 and Pro373 are critical for WASP localization. WASP-PRR mutations either together or individually did not abolish interaction of WASP with sixteen WASP binding proteins including Hck, however they caused reduction in Hck mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of WASP which is critical for WASP activity. The auto-inhibitory conformation of WASPP373S mutant was not relieved by the binding of Toca-1 or Nck1. Thus, our results suggest that Pro373Ser mutation reduces Tyr291 phosphorylation and prevents conformational changes required for WASP activity in chemotaxis and T-cell activation. Thus Pro3373Ser is probably responsible for all the defects associated with WAS in the patients.
Keywords: Cell migration; T-cell activation; Immunodeficiency; IL-2 expression; Actin cytoskeleton;

Activation of focal adhesion kinase via M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor is required in restitution of intestinal barrier function after epithelial injury by Md Rafiqul Islam Khan; Takashi Yazawa; Abu Syed Md Anisuzzaman; Shingo Semba; Yanju Ma; Junsuke Uwada; Hisayoshi Hayashi; Yuichi Suzuki; Hiroki Ikeuchi; Motoi Uchino; Atsuo Maemoto; Ikunobu Muramatsu; Takanobu Taniguchi (635-645).
Impairment of epithelial barrier is observed in various intestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Numerous factors may cause temporary damage of the intestinal epithelium. A complex network of highly divergent factors regulates healing of the epithelium to prevent inflammatory response. However, the exact repair mechanisms involved in maintaining homeostatic intestinal barrier integrity remain to be clarified.In this study, we demonstrate that activation of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) augments the restitution of epithelial barrier function in T84 cell monolayers after ethanol-induced epithelial injury, via ERK-dependent phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). We have shown that ethanol injury decreased the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) along with the reduction of ERK and FAK phosphorylation. Carbachol (CCh) increased ERK and FAK phosphorylation with enhanced TER recovery, which was completely blocked by either MT-7 (M1 antagonist) or atropine. The CCh-induced enhancement of TER recovery was also blocked by either U0126 (ERK pathway inhibitor) or PF-228 (FAK inhibitor). Treatment of T84 cell monolayers with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) impaired the barrier function with the reduction of FAK phosphorylation. The CCh-induced ERK and FAK phosphorylation were also attenuated by the IFN-γ treatment. Immunological and binding experiments exhibited a significant reduction of M1 mAChR after IFN-γ treatment. The reduction of M1 mAChR in inflammatory area was also observed in surgical specimens from IBD patients, using immunohistochemical analysis. These findings provide important clues regarding mechanisms by which M1 mAChR participates in the maintenance of intestinal barrier function under not only physiological but also pathological conditions.
Keywords: Epithelial barrier function; Focal adhesion kinase; mAChR; IBD;

Exogenous amyloidogenic proteins function as seeds in amyloid β-protein aggregation by Kenjiro Ono; Ryoichi Takahashi; Tokuhei Ikeda; Mineyuki Mizuguchi; Tsuyoshi Hamaguchi; Masahito Yamada (646-653).
Amyloid β-protein (Aβ) aggregation is considered to be a critical step in the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition to Aβ, many proteins aggregate into the amyloid state, in which they form elongated fibers with spines comprising stranded β-sheets. However, the cross-seeding effects of other protein aggregates on Aβ aggregation pathways are not completely clear. To investigate the cross-seeding effects of exogenous and human non-CNS amyloidogenic proteins on Aβ aggregation pathways, we examined whether and how sonicated fibrils of casein, fibroin, sericin, actin, and islet amyloid polypeptide affected Aβ40 and Aβ42 aggregation pathways using the thioflavin T assay and electron microscopy. Interestingly, the fibrillar seeds of all amyloidogenic proteins functioned as seeds. The cross-seeding effect of actin was stronger but that of fibroin was weaker than that of other proteins. Furthermore, our nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies identified the binding sites of Aβ with the amyloidogenic proteins. Our results indicate that the amyloidogenic proteins, including those contained in foods and cosmetics, contribute to Aβ aggregation by binding to Aβ, suggesting their possible roles in the propagation of Aβ amyloidosis.
Keywords: Amyloid β-protein; Alzheimer's disease; Seeding effect;

Tau exon 2 responsive elements deregulated in myotonic dystrophy type I are proximal to exon 2 and synergistically regulated by MBNL1 and MBNL2 by C. Carpentier; D. Ghanem; F.J. Fernandez-Gomez; F. Jumeau; J.V. Philippe; F. Freyermuth; A. Labudeck; S. Eddarkaoui; C.M. Dhaenens; I. Holt; I. Behm-Ansmant; N. Marmier-Gourrier; C. Branlant; N. Charlet-Berguerand; J. Marie; S. Schraen-Maschke; L. Buée; N. Sergeant; M.L. Caillet-Boudin (654-664).
The splicing of the microtubule-associated protein Tau is regulated during development and is found to be deregulated in a growing number of pathological conditions such as myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1), in which a reduced number of isoforms is expressed in the adult brain. DM1 is caused by a dynamic and unstable CTG repeat expansion in the DMPK gene, resulting in an RNA bearing long CUG repeats (n  > 50) that accumulates in nuclear foci and sequesters CUG-binding splicing factors of the muscleblind-like (MBNL) family, involved in the splicing of Tau pre-mRNA among others. However, the precise mechanism leading to Tau mis-splicing and the role of MBNL splicing factors in this process are poorly understood. We therefore used new Tau minigenes that we developed for this purpose to determine how MBNL1 and MBNL2 interact to regulate Tau exon 2 splicing. We demonstrate that an intronic region 250 nucleotides downstream of Tau exon 2 contains cis-regulatory splicing enhancers that are sensitive to MBNL and that bind directly to MBNL1. Both MBNL1 and MBNL2 act as enhancers of Tau exon 2 inclusion. Intriguingly, the interaction of MBNL1 and MBNL2 is required to fully reverse the mis-splicing of Tau exon 2 induced by the trans-dominant effect of long CUG repeats, similar to the DM1 condition. In conclusion, both MBNL1 and MBNL2 are involved in the regulation of Tau exon 2 splicing and the mis-splicing of Tau in DM1 is due to the combined inactivation of both.
Keywords: Myotonic dystrophy; Tauopathies; Splicing; Muscleblind-like protein; Microtubule-associated protein Tau;

Molecular cloning and knockdown of galactocerebrosidase in zebrafish: New insights into the pathogenesis of Krabbe's disease by Daniela Zizioli; Michela Guarienti; Chiara Tobia; Giuseppina Gariano; Giuseppe Borsani; Roberto Bresciani; Roberto Ronca; Edoardo Giacopuzzi; Augusto Preti; Germano Gaudenzi; Mirella Belleri; Emanuela Di Salle; Gemma Fabrias; Josefina Casas; Domenico Ribatti; Eugenio Monti; Marco Presta (665-675).
The lysosomal hydrolase galactocerebrosidase (GALC) catalyzes the removal of galactose from galactosylceramide and from other sphingolipids. GALC deficiency is responsible for globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD), or Krabbe's disease, an early lethal inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of the neurotoxic metabolite psychosine in the central nervous system (CNS). The poor outcome of current clinical treatments calls for novel model systems to investigate the biological impact of GALC down-regulation and for the search of novel therapeutic strategies in GLD. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) represents an attractive vertebrate model for human diseases. Here, lysosomal GALC activity was demonstrated in the brain of zebrafish adults and embryos. Accordingly, we identified two GALC co-orthologs (named galca and galcb) dynamically co-expressed in CNS during zebrafish development. Both genes encode for lysosomal enzymes endowed with GALC activity. Single down-regulation of galca or galcb by specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides results in a partial decrease of GALC activity in zebrafish embryos that was abrogated in double galca/galcb morphants. However, no psychosine accumulation was observed in galca/galcb double morphants. Nevertheless, double galca/galcb knockdown caused reduction and partial disorganization of the expression of the early neuronal marker neuroD and an increase of apoptotic events during CNS development. These observations provide new insights into the pathogenesis of GLD, indicating that GALC loss-of-function may have pathological consequences in developing CNS independent of psychosine accumulation. Also, they underscore the potentiality of the zebrafish system in studying the pathogenesis of lysosomal neurodegenerative diseases, including GLD.
Keywords: Galactosylceramidase; Embryonic development; Krabbe disease; Sphingolipid; Zebrafish;