In vivo kinetic approach reveals slow SOD1 turnover in the CNS.
ABSTRACT: Therapeutic strategies that target disease-associated transcripts are being developed for a variety of neurodegenerative syndromes. Protein levels change as a function of their half-life, a property that critically influences the timing and application of therapeutics. In addition, both protein kinetics and concentration may play important roles in neurodegeneration; therefore, it is essential to understand in vivo protein kinetics, including half-life. Here, we applied a stable isotope-labeling technique in combination with mass spectrometric detection and determined the in vivo kinetics of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), mutation of which causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Application of this method to human SOD1-expressing rats demonstrated that SOD1 is a long-lived protein, with a similar half-life in both the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and the CNS. Additionally, in these animals, the half-life of SOD1 was longest in the CNS when compared with other tissues. Evaluation of this method in human subjects demonstrated successful incorporation of the isotope label in the CSF and confirmed that SOD1 is a long-lived protein in the CSF of healthy individuals. Together, the results of this study provide important insight into SOD1 kinetics and support application of this technique to the design and implementation of clinical trials that target long-lived CNS proteins.
Project description:We conducted a phase Ib proof of mechanism trial to determine whether bexarotene (Targretin) increases central nervous system (CNS) apolipoprotein E (apoE) levels and alters Aβ metabolism in normal healthy individuals with the APOE ε3/ε3 genotype.We used stable isotope labeling kinetics (SILK-ApoE and SILK-Aβ) to measure the effect of bexarotene on the turnover rate of apoE and Aβ peptides and stable isotope spike absolute quantitation (SISAQ) to quantitate their concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Normal subjects were treated for 3 days with bexarotene (n = 3 women, 3 men, average 32 years old) or placebo (n = 6 women, average 30.2 years old) before administration of C13-leucine and collection of plasma and CSF over the next 48 hours. Bexarotene concentrations in plasma and CSF were also measured.Oral administration of bexarotene resulted in plasma levels of 1 to 2 μM; however, only low nM levels were found in CSF. Bexarotene increased CSF apoE by 25% but had no effect on metabolism of Aβ peptides.Bexarotene has poor CNS penetration in normal human subjects. Drug treatment resulted in a modest increase in CSF apoE levels. The absence of an effect on Aβ metabolism is likely reflective of the low CNS levels of bexarotene achieved. This study documents the utility of SILK-ApoE technology in measuring apoE kinetics in humans.This trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02061878).
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) invades the central nervous system (CNS) shortly after systemic infection and can result in the subsequent development of HIV-1-associated dementia (HAD) in a subset of infected individuals. Genetically compartmentalized virus in the CNS is associated with HAD, suggesting autonomous viral replication as a factor in the disease process. We examined the source of compartmentalized HIV-1 in the CNS of subjects with HIV-1-associated neurological disease and in asymptomatic subjects who were initiating antiretroviral therapy. The heteroduplex tracking assay (HTA), targeting the variable regions of env, was used to determine which HIV-1 genetic variants in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were compartmentalized and which variants were shared with the blood plasma. We then measured the viral decay kinetics of individual variants after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Compartmentalized HIV-1 variants in the CSF of asymptomatic subjects decayed rapidly after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy, with a mean half-life of 1.57 days. Rapid viral decay was also measured for CSF-compartmentalized variants in four HAD subjects (t(1/2) mean = 2.27 days). However, slow viral decay was measured for CSF-compartmentalized variants from an additional four subjects with neurological disease (t(1/2) range = 9.85 days to no initial decay). The slow decay detected for CSF-compartmentalized variants was not associated with poor CNS drug penetration, drug resistant virus in the CSF, or the presence of X4 virus genotypes. We found that the slow decay measured for CSF-compartmentalized variants in subjects with neurological disease was correlated with low peripheral CD4 cell count and reduced CSF pleocytosis. We propose a model in which infiltrating macrophages replace CD4(+) T cells as the primary source of productive viral replication in the CNS to maintain high viral loads in the CSF in a substantial subset of subjects with HAD.
Project description:Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) reduction prolongs survival in SOD1-transgenic animal models. Pyrimethamine produces dose-dependent SOD1 reduction in cell culture systems. A previous phase 1 trial showed pyrimethamine lowers SOD1 levels in leukocytes in patients with SOD1 mutations. This study investigated whether pyrimethamine lowered SOD1 levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients carrying SOD1 mutations linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS/SOD1).A multicenter (5 sites), open-label, 9-month-duration, dose-ranging study was undertaken to determine the safety and efficacy of pyrimethamine to lower SOD1 levels in the CSF in fALS/SOD1. All participants underwent 3 lumbar punctures, blood draw, clinical assessment of strength, motor function, quality of life, and adverse effect assessments. SOD1 levels were measured in erythrocytes and CSF. Pyrimethamine was measured in plasma and CSF. Appel ALS score, ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, and McGill Quality of Life Single-Item Scale were measured at screening, visit 6, and visit 9.We enrolled 32 patients; 24 completed 6 visits (18 weeks), and 21 completed all study visits. A linear mixed effects model showed a significant reduction in CSF SOD1 at visit 6 (p < 0.001) with a mean reduction of 13.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.4-18.5) and at visit 9 (p < 0.001) with a mean reduction of 10.5% (95% CI = 5.2-15.8).Pyrimethamine is safe and well tolerated in ALS. Pyrimethamine is capable of producing a significant reduction in total CSF SOD1 protein content in patients with ALS caused by different SOD1 mutations. Further long-term studies are warranted to assess clinical efficacy. Ann Neurol 2017;81:837-848.
Project description:We developed stable isotope labeling and mass spectrometry approaches to measure the kinetics of multiple isoforms and fragments of tau in the human central nervous system (CNS) and in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. Newly synthesized tau is truncated and released from human neurons in 3 days. Although most tau proteins have similar turnover, 4R tau isoforms and phosphorylated forms of tau exhibit faster turnover rates, suggesting unique processing of these forms that may have independent biological activities. The half-life of tau in control human iPSC-derived neurons is 6.74 ± 0.45 days and in human CNS is 23 ± 6.4 days. In cognitively normal and Alzheimer's disease participants, the production rate of tau positively correlates with the amount of amyloid plaques, indicating a biological link between amyloid plaques and tau physiology.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a growth factor essential for generation of neutrophilic granulocytes. Apart from this hematopoietic function, we have recently uncovered potent neuroprotective and regenerative properties of G-CSF in the central nervous system (CNS). The G-CSF receptor and G-CSF itself are expressed in alpha motoneurons, G-CSF protects motoneurons, and improves outcome in the SOD1(G93A) transgenic mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In vitro, G-CSF acts anti-apoptotically on motoneuronal cells. Due to the pleiotrophic effects of G-CSF and the complexity of the SOD1 transgenic ALS models it was however not possible to clearly distinguish between directly mediated anti-apoptotic and indirectly protective effects on motoneurons. Here we studied whether G-CSF is able to protect motoneurons from purely apoptotic cell death induced by a monocausal paradigm, neonatal sciatic nerve axotomy. RESULTS: We performed sciatic nerve axotomy in neonatal mice overexpressing G-CSF in the CNS and found that G-CSF transgenic mice displayed significantly higher numbers of surviving lumbar motoneurons 4 days following axotomy than their littermate controls. Also, surviving motoneurons in G-CSF overexpressing animals were larger, suggesting additional trophic effects of this growth factor. CONCLUSIONS: In this model of pure apoptotic cell death the protective effects of G-CSF indicate direct actions of G-CSF on motoneurons in vivo. This shows that G-CSF exerts potent anti-apoptotic activities towards motoneurons in vivo and suggests that the protection offered by G-CSF in ALS mouse models is due to its direct neuroprotective activity.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive loss of motoneurons, motor weakness and death within 1-5 years after disease onset. Therapeutic options remain limited despite a substantial number of approaches that have been tested clinically. In particular, various neurotrophic factors have been investigated. Failure in these trials has been largely ascribed to problems of insufficient dosing or inability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We have recently uncovered the neurotrophic properties of the haematopoietic protein granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). The protein is clinically well tolerated and crosses the intact BBB. This study examined the potential role of G-CSF in motoneuron diseases. We investigated the expression of the G-CSF receptor in motoneurons and studied effects of G-CSF in a motoneuron cell line and in the SOD1(G93A) transgenic mouse model. The neurotrophic growth factor was applied both by continuous subcutaneous delivery and CNS-targeted transgenic overexpression. This study shows that given at the stage of the disease where muscle denervation is already evident, G-CSF leads to significant improvement in motor performance, delays the onset of severe motor impairment and prolongs overall survival of SOD1(G93A)tg mice. The G-CSF receptor is expressed by motoneurons and G-CSF protects cultured motoneuronal cells from apoptosis. In ALS mice, G-CSF increased survival of motoneurons and decreased muscular denervation atrophy. We conclude that G-CSF is a novel neurotrophic factor for motoneurons that is an attractive and feasible drug candidate for the treatment of ALS.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an expanding public health epidemic with pathophysiology that is difficult to diagnose and thus treat. TBI biomarkers should assess patients across severities and reveal pathophysiology, but currently, their kinetics and specificity are unclear. No single ideal TBI biomarker exists. We identified new candidates from a TBI CSF proteome by selecting trauma-released, astrocyte-enriched proteins including aldolase C (ALDOC), its 38kD breakdown product (BDP), brain lipid binding protein (BLBP), astrocytic phosphoprotein (PEA15), glutamine synthetase (GS) and new 18-25kD-GFAP-BDPs. Their levels increased over four orders of magnitude in severe TBI CSF. First post-injury week, ALDOC levels were markedly high and stable. Short-lived BLBP and PEA15 related to injury progression. ALDOC, BLBP and PEA15 appeared hyper-acutely and were similarly robust in severe and mild TBI blood; 25kD-GFAP-BDP appeared overnight after TBI and was rarely present after mild TBI. Using a human culture trauma model, we investigated biomarker kinetics. Wounded (mechanoporated) astrocytes released ALDOC, BLBP and PEA15 acutely. Delayed cell death corresponded with GFAP release and proteolysis into small GFAP-BDPs. Associating biomarkers with cellular injury stages produced astroglial injury-defined (AID) biomarkers that facilitate TBI assessment, as neurological deficits are rooted not only in death of CNS cells, but also in their functional compromise.
Project description:Therapies designed to decrease the level of SOD1 are currently in a clinical trial for patients with superoxide dismutase (SOD1)-linked familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).To determine whether the SOD1 protein in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) may be a pharmacodynamic marker for antisense oligonucleotide therapy and a disease marker for ALS.Antisense oligonucleotides targeting human SOD1 were administered to rats expressing SOD1G93A. The human SOD1 protein levels were measured in the rats' brain and CSF samples. In human CSF samples, the following proteins were measured: SOD1, tau, phosphorylated tau, VILIP-1, and YKL-40.Ninety-three participants with ALS, 88 healthy controls, and 89 controls with a neurological disease (55 with dementia of the Alzheimer type, 19 with multiple sclerosis, and 15 with peripheral neuropathy).Antisense oligonucleotide-treated SOD1G93A rats had decreased human SOD1 messenger RNA levels (mean [SD] decrease of 69% [4%]) and decreased protein levels (mean [SD] decrease of 48% [14%]) in the brain. The rats' CSF samples showed a similar decrease in hSOD1 levels (mean [SD] decrease of 42% [14%]). In human CSF samples, the SOD1 levels varied a mean (SD) 7.1% (5.7%) after additional measurements, separated by months, were performed. The CSF SOD1 levels were higher in the participants with ALS (mean [SE] level, 172  ng/mL; P<.05) and the controls with a neurological disease (mean [SE] level, 172  ng/mL; P<.05) than in the healthy controls (mean [SE] level, 134  ng/mL). Elevated CSF SOD1 levels did not correlate with disease characteristics in participants with ALS or controls with dementia of the Alzheimer type, but they did correlate with tau, phosphorylated tau, VILIP-1 and YKL-40 levels in controls with dementia of the Alzheimer type.SOD1 in CSF may be an excellent pharmacodynamic marker for SOD1-lowering therapies because antisense oligonucleotide therapy lowers protein levels in the rat brain and rat CSF samples and because SOD1 levels in CSF samples from humans are stable over time.
Project description:The monitoring of changes in the protein composition of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be used as a sensitive indicator of central nervous system (CNS) pathology, yet its systematic application to analysis of CNS neoplasia has been limited. There is a pressing need for both a better understanding of gliomagenesis and the development of reliable biomarkers of the disease. In this report, we used two proteomic techniques, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), and cleavable Isotope-Coded Affinity Tag (cICAT) to compare CSF proteomes to identify tumor- and grade-specific biomarkers in patients bearing brain tumors of differing histologies and grades. Retrospective analyses were performed on 60 samples derived from astrocytomas WHO grade II, III, and IV, schwannomas, metastastic brain tumors, inflammatory samples, and non-neoplastic controls. We identified 103 potential tumor-specific markers of which 20 were high-grade astrocytoma-specific. These investigations allowed us to identify a spectrum of signature proteins that could be used to distinguish CSF derived from control patients versus those with low- (AII) or high-grade (AIV) astrocytoma. These proteins may represent new diagnostic, prognostic, and disease follow-up markers when used alone or in combination. These candidate biomarkers may also have functional properties that play a critical role in the development and malignant progression of human astrocytomas, thus possibly representing novel therapeutic targets for this highly lethal disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is one of the most important pharmacologically used proteins. Potential uses beyond the stimulation of neutrophilic granulocytes are the treatment of CNS disorders. Disadvantages of the G-CSF protein as a drug are its moderate plasma half-life time and considerable production costs. We therefore conducted a screen for peptide agonists derived from the sequence of human G-CSF. FINDINGS: Despite of the high sensitivity of our screening system we could not detect any positive hits in a single peptide approach. In a multiplex approach using a permutation of any combination of 10 different peptides we could also not detect a positive block. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that larger coherent parts of the protein or dimerising peptides may be needed to achieve activation of the receptor.