Elevated NADPH oxidase activity contributes to oxidative stress and cell death in Huntington's disease.
ABSTRACT: A mutation in the huntingtin (Htt) gene produces mutant Htt and Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder. HD patients have oxidative damage in the brain, but the causes are unclear. Compared with controls, we found brain levels of NADPH oxidase (NOX) activity, which produces reactive oxygen species (ROS), elevated in human HD postmortem cortex and striatum and highest in striatum of presymptomatic individuals. Synaptosome fractions from cortex and striatum of HD(140Q/140Q) mice had elevated NOX activity at 3 months of age and a further rise at 6 and 12 months compared with synaptosomes of age-matched wild-type (WT) mice. High NOX activity in primary cortical and striatal neurons of HD(140Q/140Q) mice correlated with more ROS and neurite swellings. These features and neuronal cell death were markedly reduced by treatment with NOX inhibitors such as diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), apocynin (APO) and VAS2870. The rise in ROS levels in mitochondria of HD(140Q/140Q) neurons followed the rise in NOX activity and inhibiting only mitochondrial ROS was not neuroprotective. Mutant Htt colocalized at plasma membrane lipid rafts with gp91-phox, a catalytic subunit for the NOX2 isoform. Assembly of NOX2 components at lipid rafts requires activation of Rac1 which was also elevated in HD(140Q/140Q) neurons. HD(140Q/140Q) mice bred to gp91-phox knock-out mice had lower NOX activity in the brain and in primary neurons, and neurons had normal ROS levels and significantly improved survival. These findings suggest that increased NOX2 activity at lipid rafts is an early and major source of oxidative stress and cell death in HD(140Q/140Q) neurons.
Project description:Neural stem (NS) cells are a limitless resource, and thus superior to primary neurons for drug discovery provided they exhibit appropriate disease phenotypes. Here we established NS cells for cellular studies of Huntington's disease (HD). HD is a heritable neurodegenerative disease caused by a mutation resulting in an increased number of glutamines (Q) within a polyglutamine tract in Huntingtin (Htt). NS cells were isolated from embryonic wild-type (Htt(7Q/7Q)) and "knock-in" HD (Htt(140Q/140Q)) mice expressing full-length endogenous normal or mutant Htt. NS cells were also developed from mouse embryonic stem cells that were devoid of Htt (Htt(-/-)), or knock-in cells containing human exon1 with an N-terminal FLAG epitope tag and with 7Q or 140Q inserted into one of the mouse alleles (Htt(F7Q/7Q) and Htt(F140Q/7Q)). Compared to Htt(7Q/7Q) NS cells, HD Htt(140Q/140Q) NS cells showed significantly reduced levels of cholesterol, increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and impaired motility. The heterozygous Htt(F140Q/7Q) NS cells had increased ROS and decreased motility compared to Htt(F7Q/7Q). These phenotypes of HD NS cells replicate those seen in HD patients or in primary cell or in vivo models of HD. Huntingtin "knock-out" NS cells (Htt(-/-)) also had impaired motility, but in contrast to HD cells had increased cholesterol. In addition, Htt(140Q/140Q) NS cells had higher phospho-AKT/AKT ratios than Htt(7Q/7Q) NS cells in resting conditions and after BDNF stimulation, suggesting mutant htt affects AKT dependent growth factor signaling. Upon differentiation, the Htt(7Q/7Q) and Htt(140Q/140Q) generated numerous Beta(III)-Tubulin- and GABA-positive neurons; however, after 15 days the cellular architecture of the differentiated Htt(140Q/140Q) cultures changed compared to Htt(7Q/7Q) cultures and included a marked increase of GFAP-positive cells. Our findings suggest that NS cells expressing endogenous mutant Htt will be useful for study of mechanisms of HD and drug discovery.
Project description:The Huntington's disease (HD) mutation causes polyglutamine expansion in huntingtin (Htt) and neurodegeneration. Htt interacts with a complex containing Rab11GDP and is involved in activation of Rab11, which functions in endosomal recycling and neurite growth and long-term potentiation. Like other Rab proteins, Rab11GDP undergoes nucleotide exchange to Rab11GTP for its activation. Here we show that striatal membranes of HD(140Q/140Q) knock-in mice are impaired in supporting conversion of Rab11GDP to Rab11GTP. Dominant negative Rab11 expressed in the striatum and cortex of normal mice caused neuropathology and motor dysfunction, suggesting that a deficiency in Rab11 activity is pathogenic in vivo. Primary cortical neurons from HD(140Q/140Q) mice were delayed in recycling transferrin receptors back to the plasma membrane. Partial rescue from glutamate-induced cell death occurred in HD neurons expressing dominant active Rab11. We propose a novel mechanism of HD pathogenesis arising from diminished Rab11 activity at recycling endosomes.
Project description:Parkinson's disease is characterized by a progressive degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons with age. We previously found that a single systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) injection caused a slow progressive loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH+IR) neurons in SN associated with increasing motor dysfunction. In this study, we investigated the role of NADPH oxidase (NOX) in inflammation-mediated SN neurotoxicity. A comparison of control (NOX2(+/+) ) mice with NOX subunit gp91(phox) -deficient (NOX2(-/-) ) mice 10 months after LPS administration (5 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in a 39% (P < 0.01) loss of TH+IR neurons in NOX2(+/+) mice, whereas NOX2(-/-) mice did not show a significant decrease. Microglia (Iba1+IR) showed morphological activation in NOX2(+/+) mice, but not in NOX2(-/-) mice at 1 hr. Treatment of NOX2(+/+) mice with LPS resulted in a 12-fold increase in NOX2 mRNA in midbrain and 5.5-6.5-fold increases in NOX2 protein (+IR) in SN compared with the saline controls. Brain reactive oxygen species (ROS), determined using diphenyliodonium histochemistry, was increased by LPS in SN between 1 hr and 20 months. Diphenyliodonium (DPI), an NOX inhibitor, blocked LPS-induced activation of microglia and production of ROS, TNF?, IL-1?, and MCP-1. Although LPS increased microglial activation and ROS at all ages studied, saline control NOX2(+/+) mice showed age-related increases in microglial activation, NOX, and ROS levels at 12 and 22 months of age. Together, these results suggest that NOX contributes to persistent microglial activation, ROS production, and dopaminergic neurodegeneration that persist and continue to increase with age.
Project description:Huntington disease (HD) is caused by polyglutamine expansion in the N terminus of huntingtin (htt). Analysis of human postmortem brain lysates by SDS-PAGE and Western blot reveals htt as full-length and fragmented. Here we used Blue Native PAGE (BNP) and Western blots to study native htt in human postmortem brain. Antisera against htt detected a single band broadly migrating at 575-850 kDa in control brain and at 650-885 kDa in heterozygous and Venezuelan homozygous HD brains. Anti-polyglutamine antisera detected full-length mutant htt in HD brain. There was little htt cleavage even if lysates were pretreated with trypsin, indicating a property of native htt to resist protease cleavage. A soluble mutant htt fragment of about 180 kDa was detected with anti-htt antibody Ab1 (htt-(1-17)) and increased when lysates were treated with denaturants (SDS, 8 M urea, DTT, or trypsin) before BNP. Wild-type htt was more resistant to denaturants. Based on migration of in vitro translated htt fragments, the 180-kDa segment terminated ?htt 670-880 amino acids. If second dimension SDS-PAGE followed BNP, the 180-kDa mutant htt was absent, and 43-50 kDa htt fragments appeared. Brain lysates from two HD mouse models expressed native full-length htt; a mutant fragment formed if lysates were pretreated with 8 M urea + DTT. Native full-length mutant htt in embryonic HD(140Q/140Q) mouse primary neurons was intact during cell death and when cell lysates were exposed to denaturants before BNP. Thus, native mutant htt occurs in brain and primary neurons as a soluble full-length monomer.
Project description:Expansion of a stretch of polyglutamine in huntingtin (htt), the protein product of the IT15 gene, causes Huntington's disease (HD). Previous investigations into the role of the polyglutamine stretch (polyQ) in htt function have suggested that its length may modulate a normal htt function involved in regulating energy homeostasis. Here we show that expression of full-length htt lacking its polyglutamine stretch (DeltaQ-htt) in a knockin mouse model for HD (Hdh(140Q/DeltaQ)), reduces significantly neuropil mutant htt aggregates, ameliorates motor/behavioral deficits, and extends lifespan in comparison to the HD model mice (Hdh(140Q/+)). The rescue of HD model phenotypes is accompanied by the normalization of lipofuscin levels in the brain and an increase in the steady-state levels of the mammalian autophagy marker microtubule-associate protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II). We also find that DeltaQ-htt expression in vitro increases autophagosome synthesis and stimulates the Atg5-dependent clearance of truncated N-terminal htt aggregates. DeltaQ-htt's effect on autophagy most likely represents a gain-of-function, as overexpression of full-length wild-type htt in vitro does not increase autophagosome synthesis. Moreover, Hdh(DeltaQ/DeltaQ) mice live significantly longer than wild-type mice, suggesting that autophagy upregulation may be beneficial both in diseases caused by toxic intracellular aggregate-prone proteins and also as a lifespan extender in normal mammals.
Project description:For a number of years, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases (NOX) was synonymous with NOX2/gp91phox and was considered to be a peculiarity of professional phagocytic cells. Over the last decade, several more homologs have been identified and based on current research, the NOX family consists of NOX1, NOX2, NOX3, NOX4, NOX5, DUOX1 and DUOX2 enzymes. NOXs are electron transporting membrane proteins that are responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation-primarily superoxide anion (O??-), although hydrogen peroxide (H?O?) can also be generated. Elevated ROS leads to oxidative stress (OS), which has been associated with a myriad of inflammatory and degenerative pathologies. Interestingly, OS is also the commonality in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS). NOX enzymes are expressed in neurons, glial cells and cerebrovascular endothelial cells. NOX-mediated OS is identified as one of the main causes of cerebrovascular damage in neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will discuss recent developments in our understanding of the mechanisms linking NOX activity, OS and neurodegenerative diseases, with particular focus on the neurovascular component of these conditions. We conclude highlighting current challenges and future opportunities to combat age-related neurodegenerative disorders by targeting NOXs.
Project description:Huntingtin protein (Htt) is ubiquitously expressed, yet Huntington's disease (HD), a fatal neurologic disorder produced by expansion of an Htt polyglutamine tract, is characterized by neurodegeneration that occurs primarily in the striatum and cerebral cortex. Such discrepancies between sites of expression and pathology occur in multiple neurodegenerative disorders associated with expanded polyglutamine tracts. One possible reason is that disease-modifying factors are tissue-specific. Here, we show that the striatum-enriched protein, CalDAG-GEFI, is severely down-regulated in the striatum of mouse HD models and is down-regulated in HD individuals. In the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD, striatal neurons with the largest aggregates of mutant Htt have the lowest levels of CalDAG-GEFI. In a brain-slice explant model of HD, knock-down of CalDAG-GEFI expression rescues striatal neurons from pathology induced by transfection of polyglutamine-expanded Htt exon 1. These findings suggest that the striking down-regulation of CalDAG-GEFI in HD could be a protective mechanism that mitigates Htt-induced degeneration.
Project description:Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) is a multicomponent enzyme that mediates electron transfer from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate to molecular oxygen, which leads to the production of superoxide. NOX2/gp91(phox) is a catalytic subunit of NOX expressed in phagocytic cells. Several homologues of NOX2, including NOX1, have been identified in nonphagocytic cells. We investigated the contributory role of NOX1 and NOX2 in hepatic fibrosis. Hepatic fibrosis was induced in wild-type (WT) mice, NOX1 knockout (NOX1KO) mice, and NOX2 knockout (NOX2KO) mice by way of either carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4) ) injection or bile duct ligation (BDL). The functional contribution of NOX1 and NOX2 in endogenous liver cells, including hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and bone marrow (BM)-derived cells, including Kupffer cells (KCs), to hepatic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and hepatic fibrosis was assessed in vitro and in vivo using NOX1 or NOX2 BM chimeric mice. Hepatic NOX1 and NOX2 messenger RNA expression was increased in the two experimental mouse models of hepatic fibrosis. Whereas NOX1 was expressed in HSCs but not in KCs, NOX2 was expressed in both HSCs and KCs. Hepatic fibrosis and ROS generation were attenuated in both NOX1KO and NOX2KO mice after CCl(4) or BDL. Liver fibrosis in chimeric mice indicated that NOX1 mediates the profibrogenic effects in endogenous liver cells, whereas NOX2 mediates the profibrogenic effects in both endogenous liver cells and BM-derived cells. Multiple NOX1 and NOX2 components were up-regulated in activated HSCs. Both NOX1- and NOX2-deficient HSCs had decreased ROS generation and failed to up-regulate collagen ?1(I) and transforming growth factor ? in response to angiotensin II.Both NOX1 and NOX2 have an important role in hepatic fibrosis in endogenous liver cells, including HSCs, whereas NOX2 has a lesser role in BM-derived cells.
Project description:Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) resulting from excess alcohol consumption is an important cause of heart failure (HF). Although it is assumed that the cardiotoxicity of the ethanol (EtOH)-metabolite acetaldehyde (ACA) is central for its development and progression, the exact mechanisms remain obscure. Murine cardiomyocytes (CMs) exposed to ACA or EtOH showed increased superoxide (O2(•-)) levels and decreased mitochondrial polarization, both being normalized by NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibition. C57BL/6 mice and mice deficient for the ACA-degrading enzyme mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2(-/-)) were fed a 2% EtOH diet for 5 weeks creating an ACA-overload. 2% EtOH-fed ALDH-2(-/-) mice exhibited a decreased cardiac function, increased heart-to-body and lung-to-body weight ratios, increased cardiac levels of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) as well as increased NOX activity and NOX2/glycoprotein 91(phox) (NOX2/gp91(phox)) subunit expression compared to 2% EtOH-fed C57BL/6 mice. Echocardiography revealed that ALDH-2(-/-)/gp91(phox-/-) mice were protected from ACA-overload-induced HF after 5 weeks of 2% EtOH-diet, demonstrating that NOX2-derived O2(•-) contributes to the development of ACM. Translated to human pathophysiology, we found increased gp91(phox) expression in endomyocardial biopsies of ACM patients. In conclusion, ACM is promoted by ACA-driven mitochondrial dysfunction and can be improved by ablation of NOX2/gp91(phox). NOX2/gp91(phox) therefore might be a potential pharmacological target to treat ACM.
Project description:Polyglutamine expansion in proteins can cause selective neurodegeneration, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. In Huntington's disease (HD), proteolytic processing generates toxic N-terminal huntingtin (HTT) fragments that preferentially kill striatal neurons. Here, using CRISPR/Cas9 to truncate full-length mutant HTT in HD140Q knock-in (KI) mice, we show that exon 1 HTT is stably present in the brain, regardless of truncation sites in full-length HTT. This N-terminal HTT leads to similar HD-like phenotypes and age-dependent HTT accumulation in the striatum in different KI mice. We find that exon 1 HTT is constantly generated but its selective accumulation in the striatum is associated with the age-dependent expression of striatum-enriched HspBP1, a chaperone inhibitory protein. Our findings suggest that tissue-specific chaperone function contributes to the selective neuropathology in HD, and highlight the therapeutic potential in blocking generation of exon 1 HTT.