Disruption in the autophagic process underlies the sensory neuropathy in dystonia musculorum mice.
ABSTRACT: A homozygous mutation in the DST (dystonin) gene causes a newly identified lethal form of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy in humans (HSAN-VI). DST loss of function similarly leads to sensory neuron degeneration and severe ataxia in dystonia musculorum (Dst(dt)) mice. DST is involved in maintaining cytoskeletal integrity and intracellular transport. As autophagy is highly reliant upon stable microtubules and motor proteins, we assessed the influence of DST loss of function on autophagy using the Dst(dt-Tg4) mouse model. Electron microscopy (EM) revealed an accumulation of autophagosomes in sensory neurons from these mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the autophagic flux was impaired. Levels of LC3-II, a marker of autophagosomes, were elevated. Consequently, Dst(dt-Tg4) sensory neurons displayed impaired protein turnover of autophagosome substrate SQTSM1/p62 and of polyubiquitinated proteins. Interestingly, in a previously described Dst(dt-Tg4) mouse model that is partially rescued by neuronal specific expression of the DST-A2 isoform, autophagosomes, autolysosomes, and damaged organelles were reduced when compared to Dst(dt-Tg4) mutant mice. LC3-II, SQTSM1, polyubiquitinated proteins and autophagic flux were also restored to wild-type levels in the rescued mice. Finally, a significant decrease in DNAIC1 (dynein, axonemal, intermediate chain 1; the mouse ortholog of human DNAI1), a member of the DMC (dynein/dynactin motor complex), was noted in Dst(dt-Tg4) dorsal root ganglia and sensory neurons. Thus, DST-A2 loss of function perturbs late stages of autophagy, and dysfunctional autophagy at least partially underlies Dst(dt) pathogenesis. We therefore conclude that the DST-A2 isoform normally facilitates autophagy within sensory neurons to maintain cellular homeostasis.
Project description:Dystonin/Bpag1 is a cytoskeletal linker protein whose loss of function in dystonia musculorum (dt) mice results in hereditary sensory neuropathy. Although loss of expression of neuronal dystonin isoforms (dystonin-a1/dystonin-a2) is sufficient to cause dt pathogenesis, the diverging function of each isoform and what pathological mechanisms are activated upon their loss remains unclear. Here we show that dt(27) mice manifest ultrastructural defects at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in sensory neurons corresponding to in vivo induction of ER stress proteins. ER stress subsequently leads to sensory neurodegeneration through induction of a proapoptotic caspase cascade. dt sensory neurons display neurodegenerative pathologies, including Ca(2+) dyshomeostasis, unfolded protein response (UPR) induction, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Isoform-specific loss-of-function analysis attributes these neurodegenerative pathologies to specific loss of dystonin-a2. Inhibition of either UPR or caspase signaling promotes the viability of cells deficient in dystonin. This study provides insight into the mechanism of dt neuropathology and proposes a role for dystonin-a2 as a mediator of normal ER structure and function.
Project description:To describe a second hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy type VI (HSAN-VI) family harboring 2 novel heterozygous mutations in the dystonin (DST) gene and to evaluate their effect on neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).The family consisted of 3 affected siblings from nonconsanguineous healthy parents. All members underwent clinical and electrophysiologic evaluation and genetic analysis. Two patients underwent quantitative sensory testing (QST), cardiovascular reflexes, dynamic sweat test, and skin biopsy to evaluate somatic and autonomic cutaneous innervation and to get fibroblast cultures for developing iPSC-derived neurons.Onset occurred in the first decade, with painless and progressive mutilating distal ulcerations leading to amputation and joint deformity. Sensation to pain, touch, and vibration was reduced. Autonomic disturbances included hypohidrosis, pupillary abnormalities, and gastrointestinal and sexual dysfunction. Nerve conduction studies showed a severe axonal sensory neuropathy. QST and autonomic functional studies were abnormal. Skin biopsy revealed a lack of sensory and autonomic nerve fibers. Genetic analysis revealed 2 pathogenic mutations in the DST gene affecting exclusively the DST neuronal isoform-a2. Neurons derived from iPSC showed absence or very low levels of DST protein and short and dystrophic neuritis or no projections at all.Unlike the previous HSAN-VI family, our description indicates that DST mutations may be associated with a nonlethal and nonsyndromic phenotype. Neuronal loss affects large and small sensory nerve fibers as well as autonomic ones. Induced-PSC findings suggest that dystonin defect might alter proper development of the peripheral nerves. Dystonin-a2 plays a major role in the HSAN-VI phenotype.
Project description:Amphisomes are organelles of the autophagy pathway that result from the fusion of autophagosomes with late endosomes. While biogenesis of autophagosomes and late endosomes occurs continuously at axon terminals, non-degradative roles of autophagy at boutons are barely described. Here, we show that in neurons BDNF/TrkB traffick in amphisomes that signal locally at presynaptic boutons during retrograde transport to the soma. This is orchestrated by the Rap GTPase-activating (RapGAP) protein SIPA1L2, which connects TrkB amphisomes to a dynein motor. The autophagosomal protein LC3 regulates RapGAP activity of SIPA1L2 and controls retrograde trafficking and local signaling of TrkB. Following induction of presynaptic plasticity, amphisomes dissociate from dynein at boutons enabling local signaling and promoting transmitter release. Accordingly, sipa1l2 knockout mice show impaired BDNF-dependent presynaptic plasticity. Taken together, the data suggest that in hippocampal neurons, TrkB-signaling endosomes are in fact amphisomes that during retrograde transport have local signaling capacity in the context of presynaptic plasticity.
Project description:Loss of function of dystonin cytoskeletal linker proteins causes neurodegeneration in dystonia musculorum (dt) mutant mice. Although much investigation has focused on understanding dt pathology, the diverse cellular functions of dystonin isoforms remain poorly characterized. In this paper, we highlight novel functions of the dystonin-a2 isoform in mediating microtubule (MT) stability, Golgi organization, and flux through the secretory pathway. Using dystonin mutant mice combined with isoform-specific loss-of-function analysis, we found dystonin-a2 bound to MT-associated protein 1B (MAP1B) in the centrosomal region, where it maintained MT acetylation. In dt neurons, absence of the MAP1B-dystonin-a2 interaction resulted in altered MAP1B perikaryal localization, leading to MT deacetylation and instability. Deacetylated MT accumulation resulted in Golgi fragmentation and prevented anterograde trafficking via motor proteins. Maintenance of MT acetylation through trichostatin A administration or MAP1B overexpression mitigated the observed defect. These cellular aberrations are apparent in prephenotype dorsal root ganglia and primary sensory neurons from dt mice, suggesting they are causal in the disorder.
Project description:Autophagy plays an essential role in the cellular homeostasis of neurons, facilitating the clearance of cellular debris. This clearance process is orchestrated through the assembly, transport, and fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes for degradation. The motor protein dynein drives autophagosome motility from distal sites of assembly to sites of lysosomal fusion. In this study, we identify the scaffold protein CKA (connector of kinase to AP-1) as essential for autophagosome transport in neurons. Together with other core components of the striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex, we show that CKA associates with dynein and directly binds Atg8a, an autophagosomal protein. CKA is a regulatory subunit of PP2A, a component of the STRIPAK complex. We propose that the STRIPAK complex modulates dynein activity. Consistent with this hypothesis, we provide evidence that CKA facilitates axonal transport of dense core vesicles and autophagosomes in a PP2A-dependent fashion. In addition, CKA-deficient flies exhibit PP2A-dependent motor coordination defects. CKA function within the STRIPAK complex is crucial to prevent transport defects that may contribute to neurodegeneration.
Project description:Loss-of-function mutations in dystonin (DST) can cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 6 (HSAN-VI) or epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS). Recently, DST-related diseases were recognized to be more complex than previously thought because a patient exhibited both neurological and skin manifestations, whereas others display only one or the other. A single DST locus produces at least three major DST isoforms: DST-a (neuronal isoform), DST-b (muscular isoform) and DST-e (epithelial isoform). Dystonia musculorum (dt) mice, which have mutations in Dst, were originally identified as spontaneous mutants displaying neurological phenotypes. To reveal the mechanisms underlying the phenotypic heterogeneity of DST-related diseases, we investigated two mutant strains with different mutations: a spontaneous Dst mutant (Dstdt-23Rbrc mice) and a gene-trap mutant (DstGt mice). The Dstdt-23Rbrc allele possesses a nonsense mutation in an exon shared by all Dst isoforms. The DstGt allele is predicted to inactivate Dst-a and Dst-b isoforms but not Dst-e There was a decrease in the levels of Dst-a mRNA in the neural tissue of both Dstdt-23Rbrc and DstGt homozygotes. Loss of sensory and autonomic nerve ends in the skin was observed in both Dstdt-23Rbrc and DstGt mice at postnatal stages. In contrast, Dst-e mRNA expression was reduced in the skin of Dstdt-23Rbrc mice but not in DstGt mice. Expression levels of Dst proteins in neural and cutaneous tissues correlated with Dst mRNAs. Because Dst-e encodes a structural protein in hemidesmosomes (HDs), we performed transmission electron microscopy. Lack of inner plaques and loss of keratin filament invasions underneath the HDs were observed in the basal keratinocytes of Dstdt-23Rbrc mice but not in those of DstGt mice; thus, the distinct phenotype of the skin of Dstdt-23Rbrc mice could be because of failure of Dst-e expression. These results indicate that distinct mutations within the Dst locus can cause different loss-of-function patterns among Dst isoforms, which accounts for the heterogeneous neural and skin phenotypes in dt mice and DST-related diseases.
Project description:Mutations in components of the molecular motor dynein/dynactin lead to neurodegenerative diseases of the motor system or atypical parkinsonism. These mutations are associated with prominent accumulation of vesicles involved in autophagy and lysosomal pathways, and with protein inclusions. Whether alleviating these defects would affect motor symptoms remain unknown. Here, we show that a mouse model expressing low levels of disease linked-G59S mutant dynactin p150(Glued) develops motor dysfunction >8 months before loss of motor neurons or dopaminergic degeneration is observed. Abnormal accumulation of autophagosomes and protein inclusions were efficiently corrected by lowering dietary protein content, and this was associated with transcriptional upregulations of key players in autophagy. Most importantly this dietary modification partially rescued overall neurological symptoms in these mice after onset. Similar observations were made in another mouse strain carrying a point mutation in the dynein heavy chain gene. Collectively, our data suggest that stimulating the autophagy/lysosomal system through appropriate nutritional intervention has significant beneficial effects on motor symptoms of dynein/dynactin diseases even after symptom onset.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration.
Project description:Efficient degradation of autophagic vacuoles (AVs) via lysosomes is an important cellular homeostatic process. This is particularly challenging for neurons because mature acidic lysosomes are relatively enriched in the soma. Although dynein-driven retrograde transport of AVs was suggested, a fundamental question remains how autophagosomes generated at distal axons acquire dynein motors for retrograde transport toward the soma. In this paper, we demonstrate that late endosome (LE)-loaded dynein-snapin complexes drive AV retrograde transport in axons upon fusion of autophagosomes with LEs into amphisomes. Blocking the fusion with syntaxin17 knockdown reduced recruitment of dynein motors to AVs, thus immobilizing them in axons. Deficiency in dynein-snapin coupling impaired AV transport ,: resulting in AV accumulation in neurites and synaptic terminals. Altogether, our study provides the first evidence that autophagosomes recruit dynein through fusion with LEs and reveals a new motor-adaptor sharing mechanism by which neurons may remove distal AVs engulfing aggregated proteins and dysfunctional organelles for efficient degradation in the soma.
Project description:Loss of function of dystonin cytoskeletal linker proteins causes neurodegeneration in the sensory ataxia, dystonia musculorum (dt). While much investigation has focused on understanding dt pathology, divergent functions of dystonin isoforms are still unknown. Here, we highlight a novel function of the dystonin-a2 isoform in mediating microtubule (MT) stability, golgi organization and flux through the secretory pathway. Using dystonin-null mice combined with isoform-specific loss of function analysis, we find dystonin-a2 is bound to MAP1B in the area surrounding the centrosome, where it maintains MT acetylation. In dt, the absence of the MAP1B-dystonin-A2 interaction results in a loss of MAP1B perinuclear localization, leading to MT deacetylation and instability. Deacetylated MTs lead to golgi fragmentation and prevent anterograde trafficking of motor proteins. Maintenance of MT acetylation through TSA administration or MAP1B overexperssion in vitro, mitigates the observed defect. These aberrations are apparent in pre-phenotype dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and primary sensory neurons, suggesting they are causal in the dt disorder. P4 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) tissue from 3 WT and 3 dt27J animals from 2 separate litters was subjected to RNA extraction and analyzed.