Oxidative stress-dependent phosphorylation activates ZNRF1 to induce neuronal/axonal degeneration.
ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is a well-known inducer of neuronal apoptosis and axonal degeneration. We previously showed that the E3 ubiquitin ligase ZNRF1 promotes Wallerian degeneration by degrading AKT to induce GSK3B activation. We now demonstrate that oxidative stress serves as an activator of the ubiquitin ligase activity of ZNRF1 by inducing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated phosphorylation at the 103rd tyrosine residue and that the up-regulation of ZNRF1 activity by oxidative stress leads to neuronal apoptosis and Wallerian degeneration. We also show that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-reduced oxidase activity is required for the EGFR-dependent phosphorylation-induced activation of ZNRF1 and resultant AKT degradation via the ubiquitin proteasome system to induce Wallerian degeneration. These results indicate the pathophysiological significance of the EGFR-ZNRF1 pathway induced by oxidative stress in the regulation of neuronal apoptosis and Wallerian degeneration. A deeper understanding of the regulatory mechanism for ZNRF1 catalytic activity via phosphorylation will provide a potential therapeutic avenue for neurodegeneration.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in causing neuronal death in a number of neurological disorders. We recently reported that ROS serve as a signal to activate neuronal apoptosis and axonal degeneration by activating ZNRF1 (zinc- and RING-finger 1), a ubiquitin ligase that targets AKT for proteasomal degradation in neurons. In the present study, we showed that the NADPH oxidase family of molecules is required for ZNRF1 activation by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-dependent phosphorylation in response to axonal injury. We herein demonstrate that NADPH oxidases promote apoptosis by activating ZNRF1, even in neurons treated with an exogenously applied oxidant. These results suggest an important role for NADPH oxidase in the initiation/promotion of neuronal degeneration by increasing ROS in close proximity to protein machineries, including those for ZNRF1 and EGFR, thereby promoting neuronal degeneration.
Project description:Rapid saltatory nerve conduction is facilitated by myelin structure, which is composed of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. Schwann cells drastically change their phenotype following peripheral nerve injury. These phenotypic changes are required for efficient degeneration/regeneration. We previously identified ZNRF1 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase containing a RING finger motif, whose expression is upregulated in the Schwann cells following nerve injury. This suggested that posttranscriptional regulation of protein expression in Schwann cells may be involved in their phenotypic changes during nerve degeneration/regeneration. Here we report the identification of glutamine synthetase (GS), an enzyme that synthesizes glutamine using glutamate and ammonia, as a substrate for E3 activity of ZNRF1 in Schwann cells. GS is known to be highly expressed in differentiated Schwann cells, but its functional significance has remained unclear. We found that during nerve degeneration/regeneration, GS expression is controlled mostly by ZNRF1-dependent proteasomal degradation. We also found that Schwann cells increase oxidative stress upon initiation of nerve degeneration, which promotes carbonylation and subsequent degradation of GS. Surprisingly, we discovered that GS expression regulates Schwann cell differentiation; i.e., increased GS expression promotes myelination via its enzymatic activity. Among the substrates and products of GS, increased glutamate concentration inhibited myelination and yet promoted Schwann cell proliferation by activating metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling. This would suggest that GS may exert its effect on Schwann cell differentiation by regulating glutamate concentration. These results indicate that the ZNRF1-GS system may play an important role in correlating Schwann cell metabolism with its differentiation.
Project description:During Wallerian degeneration, Schwann cells lose their characteristic of myelinating axons and shift into the state of developmental promyelinating cells. This recharacterized Schwann cell guides newly regrowing axons to their destination and remyelinates reinnervated axons. This Schwann cell dynamics during Wallerian degeneration is associated with oxidative events. Heme oxygenases (HOs) are involved in the oxidative degradation of heme into biliverdin/bilirubin, ferrous iron, and carbon monoxide. Overproduction of ferrous iron by HOs increases reactive oxygen species, which have deleterious effects on living cells. Thus, the key molecule for understanding the exact mechanism of Wallerian degeneration in the peripheral nervous system is likely related to oxidative stress-mediated HOs in Schwann cells. In this study, we demonstrate that demyelinating Schwann cells during Wallerian degeneration highly express HO1, not HO2, and remyelinating Schwann cells during nerve regeneration decrease HO1 activation to levels similar to those in normal myelinating Schwann cells. In addition, HO1 activation during Wallerian degeneration regulates several critical phenotypes of recharacterized repair Schwann cells, such as demyelination, transdedifferentiation, and proliferation. Thus, these results suggest that oxidative stress in Schwann cells after peripheral nerve injury may be regulated by HO1 activation during Wallerian degeneration and oxidative-stress-related HO1 activation in Schwann cells may be helpful to study deeply molecular mechanism of Wallerian degeneration.
Project description:Protein ubiquitination has been implicated recently in neural development, plasticity, and degeneration. We previously identified ZNRF1/nin283, a protein with a unique, evolutionarily conserved C-terminal domain containing a juxtaposed zinc finger/RING finger combination. Here we describe the identification of a closely related protein, ZNRF2, thus defining a novel family of ZNRF E3 ubiquitin ligases. Both ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 have E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and are highly expressed in the nervous system, particularly during development. In neurons, ZNRF proteins are located in different compartments within the presynaptic terminal: ZNRF1 is associated with synaptic vesicle membranes, whereas ZNRF2 is present in presynaptic plasma membranes. Mutant ZNRF proteins with a disrupted RING finger, a domain necessary for their E3 function, can each inhibit Ca2+-dependent exocytosis in PC12 cells. These data suggest that ZNRF proteins play a role in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal transmission and plasticity via their ubiquitin ligase activity.
Project description:Here, we describe a phosphorylation-based reverse myristoyl switch for mammalian ZNRF2, and show that this E3 ubiquitin ligase and its sister protein ZNRF1 regulate the Na(+)/K(+) pump (Na(+)/K(+)ATPase). N-myristoylation localizes ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 to intracellular membranes and enhances their activity. However, when ZNRF2 is phosphorylated in response to agonists including insulin and growth factors, it binds to 14-3-3 and is released into the cytosol. On membranes, ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 interact with the Na(+)/K(+)ATPase ?1 subunit via their UBZ domains, while their RING domains interact with E2 proteins, predominantly Ubc13 that, together with Uev1a, mediates formation of Lys63-ubiquitin linkages. ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 can ubiquitylate the cytoplasmic loop encompassing the nucleotide-binding and phosphorylation regions of the Na(+)/K(+)ATPase ?1 subunit. Ouabain, a Na(+)/K(+)ATPase inhibitor and therapeutic cardiac glycoside, decreases ZNRF1 protein levels, whereas knockdown of ZNRF2 inhibits the ouabain-induced decrease of cell surface and total Na(+)/K(+)ATPase ?1 levels. Thus, ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 are new players in regulation of the ubiquitous Na(+)/K(+)ATPase that is tuned to changing demands in many physiological contexts.
Project description:Wallerian degeneration in the dorsal columns (DC) after spinal cord injury (SCI) is associated with microglial activation and prolonged oligodendrocyte (OL) apoptosis that may contribute to demyelination and dysfunction after SCI. But, there is an increase in OL lineage cells after SCI that may represent a reparative response, and there is evidence for remyelination after SCI. To assess the role of axonal degeneration per se in OL apoptosis and proliferation, we cut the L2-S2 dorsal roots producing massive axonal degeneration and microglial activation in the DC, and found no evidence of OL loss or apoptosis. Rather, the numbers of OL-lineage cells positive for NG2 and APC (CC1) increased, and BrdU studies suggested new OL formation. We then tested contusion SCI (cSCI) that results in comparable degeneration in the DC rostral to the injury, microglial activation, and apoptosis of DC OLs by eight days. NG2+ cell proliferation and oligodendrogenesis was seen as after rhizotomy. The net result of this combination of proliferation and apoptosis was a reduction in DC OLs, confirming earlier studies. Using an antibody to oxidized nucleic acids, we found rapid and prolonged RNA oxidation in OLs rostral to cSCI, but no evidence of oxidative stress in DC OLs after rhizotomy. These results suggest that signals associated with axonal degeneration are sufficient to induce OL proliferation, and that secondary injury processes associated with the central SCI, including oxidative stress, rather than axonal degeneration per se, are responsible for OL apoptosis.
Project description:Caveolin-1 (CAV1), the major constituent of caveolae, plays a pivotal role in various cellular biological functions, including cancer and inflammation. The ubiquitin/proteasomal pathway is known to contribute to the regulation of CAV1 expression, but the ubiquitin ligase responsible for CAV1 protein stability remains unidentified. Here we reveal that E3 ubiquitin ligase ZNRF1 modulates CAV1 protein stability to regulate Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4-triggered immune responses. We demonstrate that ZNRF1 physically interacts with CAV1 in response to lipopolysaccharide and mediates ubiquitination and degradation of CAV1. The ZNRF1-CAV1 axis regulates Akt-GSK3? activity upon TLR4 activation, resulting in enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibition of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Mice with deletion of ZNRF1 in their hematopoietic cells display increased resistance to endotoxic and polymicrobial septic shock due to attenuated inflammation. Our study defines ZNRF1 as a regulator of TLR4-induced inflammatory responses and reveals another mechanism for the regulation of TLR4 signalling through CAV1.
Project description:Wallerian degeneration is delayed when sufficient levels of proteins with NMNAT activity are maintained within axons after injury. This has been proposed to form the basis of 'slow Wallerian degeneration' (Wld (S)), a neuroprotective phenotype conferred by an aberrant fusion protein, Wld(S). Proteasome inhibition also delays Wallerian degeneration, although much less robustly, with stabilization of NMNAT2 likely to play a key role in this mechanism. The pan-MEK inhibitor U0126 has previously been shown to reverse the axon-protective effects of proteasome inhibition, suggesting that MEK-ERK signaling plays a role in delayed Wallerian degeneration, in addition to its established role in promoting neuronal survival. Here we show that whilst U0126 can also reverse Wld(S)-mediated axon protection, more specific inhibitors of MEK1/2 and MEK5, PD184352 and BIX02189, have no significant effect on the delay to Wallerian degeneration in either situation, whether used alone or in combination. This suggests that an off-target effect of U0126 is responsible for reversion of the axon protective effects of Wld(S) expression or proteasome inhibition, rather than inhibition of MEK1/2-ERK1/2 or MEK5-ERK5 signaling. Importantly, this off-target effect does not appear to result in alterations in the stabilities of either Wld(S) or NMNAT2.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative condition that primarily affects the motor system and shares many features with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Evidence suggests that ALS is a 'dying-back' disease, with peripheral denervation and axonal degeneration occurring before loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Distal to a nerve injury, a similar pattern of axonal degeneration can be seen, which is mediated by an active axon destruction mechanism called Wallerian degeneration. Sterile alpha and TIR motif-containing 1 (Sarm1) is a key gene in the Wallerian pathway and its deletion provides long-term protection against both Wallerian degeneration and Wallerian-like, non-injury induced axonopathy, a retrograde degenerative process that occurs in many neurodegenerative diseases where axonal transport is impaired. Here, we explored whether Sarm1 signalling could be a therapeutic target for ALS by deleting Sarm1 from a mouse model of ALS-FTD, a TDP-43Q331K, YFP-H double transgenic mouse. Sarm1 deletion attenuated motor axon degeneration and neuromuscular junction denervation. Motor neuron cell bodies were also significantly protected. Deletion of Sarm1 also attenuated loss of layer V pyramidal neuronal dendritic spines in the primary motor cortex. Structural MRI identified the entorhinal cortex as the most significantly atrophic region, and histological studies confirmed a greater loss of neurons in the entorhinal cortex than in the motor cortex, suggesting a prominent FTD-like pattern of neurodegeneration in this transgenic mouse model. Despite the reduction in neuronal degeneration, Sarm1 deletion did not attenuate age-related behavioural deficits caused by TDP-43Q331K. However, Sarm1 deletion was associated with a significant increase in the viability of male TDP-43Q331K mice, suggesting a detrimental role of Wallerian-like pathways in the earliest stages of TDP-43Q331K-mediated neurodegeneration. Collectively, these results indicate that anti-SARM1 strategies have therapeutic potential in ALS-FTD.
Project description:Unlike relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, there are very few therapeutic options for patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. While immune mechanisms are key participants in the pathogenesis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, the mechanisms underlying the development of progressive multiple sclerosis are less well understood. Putative mechanisms behind progressive multiple sclerosis have been put forth: insufficient energy production via mitochondrial dysfunction, activated microglia, iron accumulation, oxidative stress, activated astrocytes, Wallerian degeneration, apoptosis, etc. Furthermore, repair processes such as remyelination are incomplete. Experimental therapies that strive to improve metabolism within neurons and glia, e.g., oligodendrocytes, could act to counter inadequate energy supplies and/or support remyelination. Most experimental approaches have been examined as standalone interventions; however, it is apparent that the biochemical steps being targeted are part of larger pathways, which are further intertwined with other metabolic pathways. Thus, the potential benefits of a tested intervention, or of an established therapy, e.g., ocrelizumab, could be undermined by constraints on upstream and/or downstream steps. If correct, then this argues for a more comprehensive, multifaceted approach to therapy. Here we review experimental approaches to support neuronal and glial metabolism, and/or promote remyelination, which may have potential to lessen or delay progressive multiple sclerosis.