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  • Herranen, Anni; Ikäheimo, Kuu; Lankinen, Tuuli; Pakarinen, Emmi; Fritzsch, Bernd; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Pirvola, Ulla (2020)
    The non-conventional neurotrophic factor mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein that promotes ER homeostasis. MANF has a cytoprotective function, shown in the central nervous system neurons and pancreatic beta cells. Here, we report that MANF is expressed in the hair cells and neurons and in selected non-sensory cells of the cochlea and that Manf inactivation triggers upregulation of the ER chaperones in these cells. However, Manf inactivation resulted in the death of only outer hair cells (OHCs), the cells responsible for sound amplification in the cochlea. All OHCs were formed in Manf-inactivated mice, but progressive OHC death started soon after the onset of hearing function. The robust OHC loss was accompanied by strongly elevated hearing thresholds. Conditional Manf inactivation demonstrated that MANF has a local function in the cochlea. Immunostainings revealed the upregulation of CHOP, the pro-apoptotic component of the unfolded protein response (UPR), in Manf-inactivated OHCs, linking the UPR to the loss of these cells. The phenotype of Manf-inactivated OHCs was distinctly dependent on the mouse strain, such that the strains characterized by early-onset age-related hearing loss (C57BL/6J and CD-1) were affected. These results suggest that Manf deficiency becomes detrimental when accompanied by gene mutations that predispose to hearing loss, by intensifying ER dyshomeostasis. Together, MANF is the first growth factor shown to antagonize ER stress-mediated OHC death. MANF might serve as a therapeutic candidate for protection against hearing loss induced by the ER-machinery-targeting stressors.
  • Lindström, Riitta; Lindholm, Päivi; Kallijärvi, Jukka; Palgi, Mari; Saarma, Mart; Heino, Tapio I. (2016)
    Disturbances in the homeostasis of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) referred to as ER stress is involved in a variety of human diseases. ER stress activates unfolded protein response (UPR), a cellular mechanism the purpose of which is to restore ER homeostasis. Previous studies show that Mesencephalic Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor (MANF) is an important novel component in the regulation of UPR. In vertebrates, MANF is upregulated by ER stress and protects cells against ER stress-induced cell death. Biochemical studies have revealed an interaction between mammalian MANF and GRP78, the major ER chaperone promoting protein folding. In this study we discovered that the upregulation of MANF expression in response to drug-induced ER stress is conserved between Drosophila and mammals. Additionally, by using a genetic in vivo approach we found genetic interactions between Drosophila Manf and genes encoding for Drosophila homologues of GRP78, PERK and XBP1, the key components of UPR. Our data suggest a role for Manf in the regulation of Drosophila UPR.
  • Lindstrom, Riitta; Lindholm, Paivi; Palgi, Mari; Saarma, Mart; Heino, Tapio I. (2017)
    Background: Mesencephalic Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor (MANF) and Cerebral Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor (CDNF) form an evolutionarily conserved family of neurotrophic factors. Orthologues for MANF/CDNF are the only neurotrophic factors as yet identified in invertebrates with conserved amino acid sequence. Previous studies indicate that mammalian MANF and CDNF support and protect brain dopaminergic system in non-cell-autonomous manner. However, MANF has also been shown to function intracellularly in the endoplasmic reticulum. To date, the knowledge on the interacting partners of MANF/CDNF and signaling pathways they activate is rudimentary. Here, we have employed the Drosophila genetics to screen for potential interaction partners of Drosophila Manf (DmManf) in vivo. Results: We first show that DmManf plays a role in the development of Drosophila wing. We exploited this function by using Drosophila UAS-RNAi lines and discovered novel genetic interactions of DmManf with genes known to function in the mitochondria. We also found evidence of an interaction between DmManf and the Drosophila homologue encoding Ku70, the closest structural homologue of SAP domain of mammalian MANF. Conclusions: In addition to the previously known functions of MANF/CDNF protein family, DmManf also interacts with mitochondria-related genes. Our data supports the functional importance of these evolutionarily significant proteins and provides new insights for the future studies.
  • Pakarinen, Emmi; Danilova, Tatiana; Voikar, Vootele; Chmielarz, Piotr; Piepponen, Petteri; Airavaara, Mikko; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria (2020)
    Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized protein that regulates ER homeostasis and unfolded protein response (UPR). The biology of endogenous MANF in the mammalian brain is unknown and therefore we studied the brain phenotype of MANF-deficient female and male mice at different ages focusing on the midbrain dopamine system and cortical neurons. We show that a lack of MANF from the brain led to the chronic activation of UPR by upregulation of the endoribonuclease activity of the inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1 alpha) pathway. Furthermore, in the aged MANF-deficient mouse brain in addition the protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK) and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) branches of the UPR pathways were activated. Neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases has been associated with chronic ER stress. In our mouse model, increased UPR activation did not lead to neuronal cell loss in the substantia nigra (SN), decrease of striatal dopamine or behavioral changes of MANF-deficient mice. However, cortical neurons lacking MANF were more vulnerable to chemical induction of additional ER stress in vitro. We conclude that embryonic neuronal deletion of MANF does not cause the loss of midbrain dopamine neurons in mice. However, endogenous MANF is needed for maintenance of neuronal ER homeostasis both in vivo and in vitro.
  • Tseng, Kuan-Yin; Anttila, Jenni E.; Khodosevich, Konstantin; Tuominen, Raimo K.; Lindahl, Maria; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko (2018)
    Cerebral ischemia activates endogenous reparative processes, such as increased proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migration of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) toward the ischemic area. However, this reparative process is limited because most of the NPCs die shortly after injury or are unable to arrive at the infarct boundary. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that endogenous mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) protects NSCs against oxygen-glucose-deprivation-induced injury and has a crucial role in regulating NPC migration. In NSC cultures, MANF protein administration did not affect growth of cells but triggered neuronal and glial differentiation, followed by activation of STAT3. In SVZ explants, MANF over expression facilitated cell migration and activated the STAT3 and ERK1/2 pathway. Using a rat model of cortical stroke, intracerebroventricular injections of MANF did not affect cell proliferation in the SVZ, but promoted migration of doublecortin (DCX)(+) cells toward the corpus callosum and infarct boundary on day 14 post-stroke. Long-term infusion of MANF into the per'-infarct zone increased the recruitment of DCX+ cells in the infarct area. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a neuroregenerative activity of MANF that facilitates differentiation and migration of NPCs, thereby increasing recruitment of neuroblasts in stroke cortex.
  • Hakonen, Elina; Chandra, Vikash; Fogarty, Christopher L.; Yu, Nancy Yiu-Lin; Ustinov, Jarkko; Katayama, Shintaro; Galli, Emilia; Danilova, Tatiana; Lindholm, Paivi; Vartiainen, Aki; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Krjutskov, Kaarel; Kere, Juha; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Otonkoski, Timo (2018)
    There is a great need to identify factors that could protect pancreatic beta cells against apoptosis or stimulate their replication and thus prevent or reverse the development of diabetes. One potential candidate is mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducible protein. Manf knockout mice used as a model of diabetes develop the condition because of increased apoptosis and reduced proliferation of beta cells, apparently related to ER stress. Given this novel association between MANF and beta cell death, we studied the potential of MANF to protect human beta cells against experimentally induced ER stress. Primary human islets were challenged with proinflammatory cytokines, with or without MANF. Cell viability was analysed and global transcriptomic analysis performed. Results were further validated using the human beta cell line EndoC-beta H1. There was increased expression and secretion of MANF in human beta cells in response to cytokines. Addition of recombinant human MANF reduced cytokine-induced cell death by 38% in human islets (p <0.05). MANF knockdown in EndoC-beta H1 cells led to increased ER stress after cytokine challenge. Mechanistic studies showed that the protective effect of MANF was associated with repression of the NF-kappa B signalling pathway and amelioration of ER stress. MANF also increased the proliferation of primary human beta cells twofold when TGF-beta signalling was inhibited (p <0.01). Our studies show that exogenous MANF protein can provide protection to human beta cells against death induced by inflammatory stress. The antiapoptotic and mitogenic properties of MANF make it a potential therapeutic agent for beta cell protection.
  • Anttila, Jenni E.; Pöyhönen, Suvi; Airavaara, Mikko (2019)
    A stroke affecting the somatosensory pathway can trigger central post-stroke pain syndrome (CPSP). The symptoms often include hyperalgesia, which has also been described in rodents after the direct damage of the thalamus. Previous studies have shown that hemorrhagic stroke or ischemia caused by vasoconstriction in the thalamus induces increased pain sensitivity. We investigated whether inducing secondary damage in the thalamus by a cortical stroke causes similar pain hypersensitivity as has previously been reported with direct ischemic injury. We induced a focal cortical ischemia-reperfusion injury in male rats, quantified the amount of secondary neurodegeneration in the thalamus, and measured whether the thalamic neurodegeneration is associated with thermal or mechanical hypersensitivity. After one month, we observed extensive neuronal degeneration and found approximately 40% decrease in the number of NeuN+ cells in the ipsilateral thalamus. At the same time, there was a massive accumulation-a 30-fold increase-of phagocytic cells in the ipsilateral thalamus. However, despite the evident damage in the thalamus, we did not observe thermal or mechanical sensitization. Thus, thalamic neurodegeneration after cortical ischemia-reperfusion does not induce CPSP-like symptoms in rats, and these results suggest that direct ischemic damage is needed for CPSP induction. Despite not observing hyperalgesia, we investigated whether administration of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) into the ipsilateral thalamus would reduce the secondary damage. We gave a single injection (10 mu g) of recombinant CDNF or MANF protein into the thalamus at 7 days post-stroke. Both CDNF and MANF treatment promoted the functional recovery but had no effect on the neuronal loss or the amount of phagocytic cells in the thalamus.
  • Eesmaa, Ave; Yu, Li-Ying; Göös, Helka; Nõges, Kristofer; Kovaleva, Vera; Hellman, Maarit; Zimmermann, Richard; Jung, Martin; Permi, Perttu; Varjosalo, Markku; Lindholm, Paivi; Saarma, Mart (2021)
    Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress-regulated protein exhibiting cytoprotective properties through a poorly understood mechanism in various in vitro and in vivo models of neuronal and non-neuronal damage. Although initially characterized as a secreted neurotrophic factor for midbrain dopamine neurons, MANF has recently gained more interest for its intracellular role in regulating the ER homeostasis, including serving as a cofactor of the chaperone glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78). We aimed for a better understanding of the neuroprotective mechanisms of MANF. Here we show for the first time that MANF promotes the survival of ER-stressed neurons in vitro as a general unfolded protein response (UPR) regulator, affecting several UPR pathways simultaneously. Interestingly, MANF does not affect naive neurons. We hypothesize that MANF regulates UPR signaling toward a mode more compatible with neuronal survival. Screening of MANF interacting proteins from two mammalian cell lines revealed a conserved interactome of 15 proteins including several ER chaperones such as GRP78, GRP170, protein disulfide isomerase family A member 1, and protein disulfide isomerase family A member 6. Further characterization confirmed previously published finding that MANF is a cofactor of GRP78 interacting with its nucleotide binding domain. Using microscale thermophoresis and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we discovered that MANF is an ATP binding protein and that ATP blocks the MANF-GRP78 interaction. Interestingly, functional analysis of the antiapoptotic properties of MANF mutants in cultured neurons revealed divergent roles of MANF as a GRP78 cofactor and as an antiapoptotic regulator of UPR. We conclude that the co-factor type interaction with GRP78 is dispensable for the survival-promoting activity of MANF in neurons.