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Liang Y.,Fudan University | Liang Y.,Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease | Hou J.,Fudan University | Yu S.,Fudan University
Journal of Huntington's Disease | Year: 2014

High-throughput measurement of huntingtin (Htt) levels is useful for Huntington's disease research. For example, identification of genetic or chemical modifiers that reduce Htt levels by high-throughput screening provides promising strategy for HD drug discovery. In the human cells, high-throughput measurement of Htt levels has been established based on the Time Resolved-Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (TR-FRET) technology, using the 2B7/MW1 antibody pair. Unfortunately, application of this assay in the mouse cells has been problematic due to discrepancies between TR-FRET signals and Western-blots, possibly caused by non-specific antibody binding. Here we report TR-FRET assays that are able to detect endogenous Htt levels of the mouse striatal cell line (STHdh).

Alterman J.F.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Hall L.M.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Coles A.H.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Hassler M.R.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2015

Applications of RNA interference for neuroscience research have been limited by a lack of simple and efficient methods to deliver oligonucleotides to primary neurons in culture and to the brain. Here, we show that primary neurons rapidly internalize hydrophobically modified siRNAs (hsiRNAs) added directly to the culture medium without lipid formulation. We identify functional hsiRNAs targeting the mRNA of huntingtin, the mutation of which is responsible for Huntington's disease, and show that direct uptake in neurons induces potent and specific silencing in vitro. Moreover, a single injection of unformulated hsiRNA into mouse brain silences Htt mRNA with minimal neuronal toxicity. Thus, hsiRNAs embody a class of therapeutic oligonucleotides that enable simple and straightforward functional studies of genes involved in neuronal biology and neurodegenerative disorders in a native biological context.

Nensa F.M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Neumann M.H.D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schrotter A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Przyborski A.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 17 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Proteomics | Year: 2014

FE65 is a cytosolic adapter protein and an important binding partner of amyloid precursor protein. Dependent on Thr668 phosphorylation in amyloid precursor protein, which influences amyloidogenic amyloid precursor protein processing, FE65 undergoes nuclear translocation, thereby transmitting a signal from the cell membrane to the nucleus. As this translocation may be relevant in Alzheimer disease, and as FE65 consists of three protein- protein interaction domains able to bind and affect a variety of other proteins and downstream signaling pathways, the identification of the FE65 interactome is of central interest in Alzheimer disease research. In this study, we identified 121 proteins as new potential FE65 interacting proteins in a pulldown/mass spectrometry approach using human post-mortem brain samples as protein pools for recombinantly expressed FE65. Co-immunoprecipitation assays further validated the interaction of FE65 with the candidates SV2A and SERCA2. In parallel, we investigated the whole cell proteome of primary hippocampal neurons from FE65/FE65L1 double knockout mice. Notably, the validated FE65 binding proteins were also found to be differentially abundant in neurons derived from the FE65 knockout mice relative to wild-type control neurons. SERCA2 is an important player in cellular calcium homeostasis, which was found to be up-regulated in double knockout neurons. Indeed, knock-down of FE65 in HEK293T cells also evoked an elevated sensitivity to thapsigargin, a stressor specifically targeting the activity of SERCA2. Thus, our results suggest that FE65 is involved in the regulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis. Whereas transfection of FE65 alone caused a typical dotlike phenotype in the nucleus, co-transfection of SV2A significantly reduced the percentage of FE65 dot-positive cells, pointing to a possible role for SV2A in the modulation of FE65 intracellular targeting. Given that SV2A has a signaling function at the presynapse, its effect on FE65 intracellular localization suggests that the SV2A/FE65 interaction might play a role in synaptic signal transduction. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Schultheis P.J.,Northern Kentucky University | Fleming S.M.,University of Cincinnati | Clippinger A.K.,Northern Kentucky University | Lewis J.,University of Florida | And 21 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Mutations in ATP13A2 (PARK9), encoding a lysosomal P-type ATPase, are associated with both Kufor-Rakeb syndrome (KRS) and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). KRS has recently been classified as a rare genetic form of Parkinson's disease (PD), whereas NCL is a lysosomal storage disorder. Although the transport activity of ATP13A2 has not been defined, in vitro studies show that its loss compromises lysosomal function, which in turn is thought to cause neuronal degeneration. To understand the role of ATP13A2 dysfunction in disease, we disrupted its gene in mice. Atp13a2-/- and Atp13a2+/+ mice were tested behaviorally to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function at multiple ages. In the brain, lipofuscin accumulation, a-synuclein aggregation and dopaminergic pathology were measured. Behaviorally, Atp13a2-/- mice displayed late-onset sensorimotor deficits. Accelerated deposition of autofluorescent storage material (lipofuscin) was observed in the cerebellum and in neurons of the hippocampus and the cortex of Atp13a2-/- mice. Immunoblot analysis showed increased insoluble a-synuclein in the hippocampus, but not in the cortex or cerebellum. There was no change in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra or in striatal dopamine levels in aged Atp13a2-/- mice. These results show that the loss of Atp13a2 causes sensorimotor impairments, α-synuclein accumulation as occurs in PD and related synucleinopathies, and accumulation of lipofuscin deposits characteristic of NCL, thus providing the first direct demonstration that null mutations in Atp13a2 can cause pathological features of both diseases in the same organism. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Fox J.H.,University of Wyoming | Fox J.H.,Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease | Connor T.,Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease | Stiles M.,University of Wyoming | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by expression of polyglutamine-expanded mutant huntingtin protein (mhtt). Most evidence indicates that soluble mhtt species, rather than insoluble aggregates, are the important mediators of HD pathogenesis. However, the differential roles of soluble monomeric and oligomeric mhtt species in HD and the mechanisms of oligomer formation are not yet understood. We have shown previously that copper interacts with and oxidizes the polyglutamine-containing N171 fragment of huntingtin. In this study we report that oxidation-dependent oligomers of huntingtin form spontaneously in cell and mouse HD models. Levels of these species are modulated by copper, hydrogen peroxide, and glutathione. Mutagenesis of all cysteine residues within N171 blocks the formation of these oligomers. In cells, levels of oligomerization-blocked mutant N171 were decreased compared with native N171. We further show that a subset of the oligomerization-blocked form of glutamine-expanded N171 huntingtin is rapidly depleted from the soluble pool compared with "native " mutant N171. Taken together, our data indicate that huntingtin is subject to specific oxidations that are involved in the formation of stable oligomers and that also delay removal from the soluble pool. These findings show that inhibiting formation of oxidation-dependent huntingtin oligomers, or promoting their dissolution, may have protective effects in HD by decreasing the burden of soluble mutant huntingtin. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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