Targeted Downregulation of kdm4a Ameliorates Tau-engendered Defects in Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Tauopathies, a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer's disease (AD), are characterized by the deposition of neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated tau protein in the human brain. As abnormal alterations in histone acetylation and methylation show a cause and effect relationship with AD, we investigated the role of several Jumonji domain-containing histone demethylase (JHDM) genes, which have yet to be studied in AD pathology. METHODS:To examine alterations of several JHDM genes in AD pathology, we performed bioinformatics analyses of JHDM gene expression profiles in brain tissue samples from deceased AD patients. Furthermore, to investigate the possible relationship between alterations in JHDM gene expression profiles and AD pathology in vivo, we examined whether tissue-specific downregulation of JHDM Drosophila homologs (kdm) can affect tauR406W-induced neurotoxicity using transgenic flies containing the UAS-Gal4 binary system. RESULTS:The expression levels of JHDM1A, JHDM2A/2B, and JHDM3A/3B were significantly higher in postmortem brain tissue from patients with AD than from non-demented controls, whereas JHDM1B mRNA levels were downregulated in the brains of patients with AD. Using transgenic flies, we revealed that knockdown of kdm2 (homolog to human JHDM1), kdm3 (homolog to human JHDM2), kdm4a (homolog to human JHDM3A), or kdm4b (homolog to human JHDM3B) genes in the eye ameliorated the tauR406W-engendered defects, resulting in less severe phenotypes. However, kdm4a knockdown in the central nervous system uniquely ameliorated tauR406W-induced locomotion defects by restoring heterochromatin. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that downregulation of kdm4a expression may be a potential therapeutic target in AD.
Project description:Mounting evidence points to alterations in the gut microbiota-neuroendocrine immunomodulation (NIM) network that might drive Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathology. In previous studies, we found that Liuwei Dihuang decoction (LW) had beneficial effects on the cognitive impairments and gastrointestinal microbiota dysbiosis in an AD mouse model. In particular, CA-30 is an oligosaccharide fraction derived from LW. We sought to determine the effects of CA-30 on the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mouse strain, an AD mouse model. Treatment with CA-30 delayed aging processes, ameliorated cognition in SAMP8 mice. Moreover, CA-30 ameliorated abnormal NIM network in SAMP8 mice. In addition, we found that CA-30 mainly altered the abundance of four genera and 10 newborn genera. Advantageous changes in carbohydrate-active enzymes of SAMP8 mice following CA-30 treatment, especially GH85, were also noted. We further found that seven genera were significantly correlated with the NIM network and cognitive performance. CA-30 influenced the relative abundance of these intestinal microbiomes in SAMP8 mice and restored them to SAMR1 mouse levels. CA-30 ameliorated the intestinal microbiome, rebalanced the NIM network, improved the AD-like cognitive impairments in SAMP8 mice, and can thus be a potential therapeutic agent for AD.
Project description:Jumonji C domain-containing histone demethylases (JHDMs) are epigenetic proteins capable of demethylating methylated lysine residues on histones proteins and for which high-quality chemical probes and eventual therapeutic leads are highly desirable. To expand the extent of known scaffolds targeting JHDMs, we initiated an unbiased high-throughput screening approach using a fluorescence polarization (FP)-based competitive binding assay we recently reported for JHDM1A (aka KDM2A). In total, 14,400 compounds in the HitFinder collection v.11 were screened, which represent all the distinct skeletons of the Maybridge Library. An eventual three compounds with two new scaffolds were discovered and further validated, which not only show in vitro binding for two different JHDMs, JHDM1A and JMJD2A (aka KDM4A), but also induce hypermethylation of their substrate in cells. These represent novel scaffolds as JHDM inhibitors and provide a basis for future optimization of affinity and selectivity.
Project description:The histone demethylase lysine-specific demethylase 4A (KDM4A) is reported to be overexpressed and plays a vital in multiple cancers through controlling gene expression by epigenetic regulation of H3K9 or H3K36 methylation marks. However, the biological role and mechanism of KDM4A in prostate cancer (PC) remain unclear. Herein, we reported KDM4A expression was upregulation in phosphatase and tensin homolog knockout mouse prostate tissue. Depletion of KDM4A in PC cells inhibited their proliferation and survival in vivo and vitro. Further studies reveal that USP1 is a deubiquitinase that regulates KDM4A K48-linked deubiquitin and stability. Interestingly, we found c-Myc was a key downstream effector of the USP1-KDM4A/androgen receptor axis in driving PC cell proliferation. Notably, upregulation of KDM4A expression with high USP1 expression was observed in most prostate tumors and inhibition of USP1 promotes PC cells response to therapeutic agent enzalutamide. Our studies propose USP1 could be an anticancer therapeutic target in PC.
Project description:Obesity has dramatically increased in prevalence, making it essential to understand its accompanying metabolic changes. Modeling diet-induced obesity in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), we elucidated transcriptional and metabolic changes in w (1118) flies on a high-fat diet (HFD). Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics revealed altered fatty acid, amino acid, and carbohydrate metabolism with HFD. Microarray analysis uncovered transcriptional changes in nitrogen metabolism, including CG9510, homolog of human argininosuccinate lyase (ASL). CG9510 knockdown in flies phenocopied traits observed with HFD, namely increased triglyceride levels and decreased cold tolerance. Restoration of CG9510 expression ameliorated observed negative consequences of HFD. Metabolomic analysis of CG9510 knockdown flies confirmed functional similarity to ASL, regulating the balance of carbon and nitrogen metabolism. In summary, we found that HFD suppresses CG9510 expression, a gene required for proper triglyceride storage and stress tolerance. These results draw an important link between regulation of amino acid metabolism and the response to diet-induced obesity.
Project description:Disruption of copper homeostasis has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) during the last 2 decades; however, whether copper is a friend or a foe is controversial. Within a genetically tractable Drosophila AD model, we manipulated the expression of human high-affinity copper importer orthologous in Drosophila to explore the in vivo roles of copper ions in the development of AD. We found that inhibition of Ctr1C expression by RNAi in A?-expressing flies significantly reduced copper accumulation in the brains of the flies as well as ameliorating neurodegeneration, enhancing climbing ability, and prolonging lifespan. Interestingly, Ctr1C inhibition led to a significant increase in higher-molecular-weight A?42 forms in brain lysates, whereas it was accompanied by a trend of decreased expression of amyloid-? degradation proteases (including NEP1-3 and IDE) with age and reduced Cu-A? interaction-induced oxidative stress in Ctr1C RNAi flies. Similar results were obtained from inhibiting another copper importer Ctr1B and overexpressing a copper exporter DmATP7 in the nervous system of AD flies. These results imply that copper may play a causative role in developing AD, as either A? oligomers or aggregates were less toxic in a reduced copper environment or one with less copper binding. Early manipulation of brain copper uptake can have a great effect on A? pathology.
Project description:Genetic polymorphisms of immune genes that associate with higher risk to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) have led to an increased research interest on the involvement of the immune system in AD pathogenesis. A link between amyloid pathology and immune gene expression was suggested in a genome-wide gene expression study of transgenic amyloid mouse models. In this study, the gene expression of lysozyme, a major player in the innate immune system, was found to be increased in a comparable pattern as the amyloid pathology developed in transgenic mouse models of AD. A similar pattern was seen at protein levels of lysozyme in human AD brain and CSF, but this lysozyme pattern was not seen in a tau transgenic mouse model. Lysozyme was demonstrated to be beneficial for different Drosophila melanogaster models of AD. In flies that expressed A?1-42 or A?PP together with BACE1 in the eyes, the rough eye phenotype indicative of toxicity was completely rescued by coexpression of lysozyme. In Drosophila flies bearing the A?1-42 variant with the Arctic gene mutation, lysozyme increased the fly survival and decreased locomotor dysfunction dose dependently. An interaction between lysozyme and A?1-42 in the Drosophila eye was discovered. We propose that the increased levels of lysozyme, seen in mouse models of AD and in human AD cases, were triggered by A?1-42 and caused a beneficial effect by binding of lysozyme to toxic species of A?1-42 , which prevented these from exerting their toxic effects. These results emphasize the possibility of lysozyme as biomarker and therapeutic target for AD.
Project description:Circadian clocks coordinate physiological, neurological, and behavioral functions into circa 24 hour rhythms, and the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian clock oscillations are conserved from Drosophila to humans. Clock oscillations and clock-controlled rhythms are known to dampen during aging; additionally, genetic or environmental clock disruption leads to accelerated aging and increased susceptibility to age-related pathologies. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), are associated with a decay of circadian rhythms, but it is not clear whether circadian disruption accelerates neuronal and motor decline associated with these diseases. To address this question, we utilized transgenic Drosophila expressing various Amyloid-? (A?) peptides, which are prone to form aggregates characteristic of AD pathology in humans. We compared development of AD-like symptoms in adult flies expressing A? peptides in the wild type background and in flies with clocks disrupted via a null mutation in the clock gene period (per01). No significant differences were observed in longevity, climbing ability and brain neurodegeneration levels between control and clock-deficient flies, suggesting that loss of clock function does not exacerbate pathogenicity caused by human-derived A? peptides in flies. However, AD-like pathologies affected the circadian system in aging flies. We report that rest/activity rhythms were impaired in an age-dependent manner. Flies expressing the highly pathogenic arctic A? peptide showed a dramatic degradation of these rhythms in tune with their reduced longevity and impaired climbing ability. At the same time, the central pacemaker remained intact in these flies providing evidence that expression of A? peptides causes rhythm degradation downstream from the central clock mechanism.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive and devastating neurodegenerative condition for which there are no effective treatments. Understanding the molecular pathology of AD during disease progression may identify new ways to reduce neuronal damage. Here, we present a longitudinal study tracking dynamic proteomic alterations in the brains of an inducible Drosophila melanogaster model of AD expressing the Arctic mutant A?42 gene. We identified 3093 proteins from flies that were induced to express A?42 and age-matched healthy controls using label-free quantitative ion-mobility data independent analysis mass spectrometry. Of these, 228 proteins were significantly altered by A?42 accumulation and were enriched for AD-associated processes. Network analyses further revealed that these proteins have distinct hub and bottleneck properties in the brain protein interaction network, suggesting that several may have significant effects on brain function. Our unbiased analysis provides useful insights into the key processes governing the progression of amyloid toxicity and forms a basis for further functional analyses in model organisms and translation to mammalian systems.
Project description:A? (beta-amyloid peptide) is an important contributor to Alzheimer's disease (AD). We modeled A? toxicity in yeast by directing the peptide to the secretory pathway. A genome-wide screen for toxicity modifiers identified the yeast homolog of phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) and other endocytic factors connected to AD whose relationship to A? was previously unknown. The factors identified in yeast modified A? toxicity in glutamatergic neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans and in primary rat cortical neurons. In yeast, A? impaired the endocytic trafficking of a plasma membrane receptor, which was ameliorated by endocytic pathway factors identified in the yeast screen. Thus, links between A?, endocytosis, and human AD risk factors can be ascertained with yeast as a model system.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease and is characterized by neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits. Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide is known to be a major cause of AD pathogenesis. However, recent studies have clarified that mitochondrial deficiency is also a mediator or trigger for AD development. Interestingly, red ginseng (RG) has been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on AD pathology. However, there is no evidence showing whether RG extract (RGE) can inhibit the mitochondrial deficit-mediated pathology in the experimental models of AD. The effects of RGE on Aβ-mediated mitochondrial deficiency were investigated in both HT22 mouse hippocampal neuronal cells and the brains of 5XFAD Aβ-overexpressing transgenic mice. To examine whether RGE can affect mitochondria-related pathology, we used immunohistostaining to study the effects of RGE on Aβ accumulation, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and impaired adult hippocampal neurogenesis in hippocampal formation of 5XFAD mice. In vitro and in vivo findings indicated that RGE significantly improves Aβ-induced mitochondrial pathology. In addition, RGE significantly ameliorated AD-related pathology, such as Aβ deposition, gliosis, and neuronal loss, and deficits in adult hippocampal neurogenesis in brains with AD. Our results suggest that RGE may be a mitochondria-targeting agent for the treatment of AD.