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  • Albert, Katrina; Raymundo, Diana P.; Panhelainen, Anne; Eesmaa, Ave; Shvachiy, Liana; Araujo, Gabriela R.; Chmielarz, Piotr; Yan, Xu; Singh, Aastha; Cordeiro, Yraima; Palhano, Fernando L.; Foguel, Debora; Luk, Kelvin C.; Domanskyi, Andrii; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Huttunen, Henri J.; Outeiro, Tiago F.; Saarma, Mart; Almeida, Marcius S.; Airavaara, Mikko (2021)
    A molecular hallmark in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis are a-synuclein aggregates. Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is an atypical growth factor that is mostly resident in the endoplasmic reticulum but exerts its effects both intracellularly and extracellularly. One of the beneficial effects of CDNF can be protecting neurons from the toxic effects of alpha-synuclein. Here, we investigated the effects of CDNF on alpha-synuclein aggregation in vitro and in vivo. We found that CDNF directly interacts with alpha-synuclein with a KD = 23 +/- 6 nM and reduces its auto-association. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we identified interaction sites on the CDNF protein. Remarkably, CDNF reduces the neuronal internalization of alpha-synuclein fibrils and induces the formation of insoluble phosphorylated alpha-synuclein inclusions. Intra-striatal CDNF administration alleviates motor deficits in rodents challenged with a-synuclein fibrils, though it did not reduce the number of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein inclusions in the substantia nigra. CDNF's beneficial effects on rodent behavior appear not to be related to the number of inclusions formed in the current context, and further study of its effects on the aggregation mechanism in vivo are needed. Nonetheless, the interaction of CDNF with a-synuclein, modifying its aggregation, spreading, and associated behavioral alterations, provides novel insights into the potential of CDNF as a therapeutic strategy in PD and other synucleinopathies.
  • Lindahl, Maria; Chalazonitis, Alcmene; Palm, Erik; Pakarinen, Emmi; Danilova, Tatiana; Pham, Tuan D.; Setlik, Wanda; Rao, Meenakshi; Voikar, Vootele; Huotari, Jatta; Kopra, Jaakko; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Piepponen, Petteri T.; Airavaara, Mikko; Panhelainen, Anne; Gershon, Michael D.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is neuroprotective for nigrostriatal dopamine neurons and restores dopaminergic function in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). To understand the role of CDNF in mammals, we generated CDNF knockout mice (Cdnf(-/-)), which are viable, fertile, and have a normal life-span. Surprisingly, an age-dependent loss of enteric neurons occurs selectively in the submucosal but not in the myenteric plexus. This neuronal loss is a consequence not of increased apoptosis but of neurodegeneration and autophagy. Quantitatively, the neurodegeneration and autophagy found in the submucosal plexus in duodenum, ileum and colon of the Cdnf(-/-) mouse are much greater than in those of Cdnf(+/+) mice. The selective vulnerability of submucosal neurons to the absence of CDNF is reminiscent of the tendency of pathological abnormalities to occur in the submucosal plexus in biopsies of patients with PD. In contrast, the number of substantia nigra dopamine neurons and dopamine and its metabolite concentrations in the striatum are unaltered in Cdnf(-/-) mice; however, there is an age-dependent deficit in the function of the dopamine system in Cdnf(-/-) male mice analyzed. This is observed as D-amphetamine-induced hyperactivity, aberrant dopamine transporter function, and as increased D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release demonstrating that dopaminergic axon terminal function in the striatum of the Cdnf(-/-) mouse brain is altered. The deficiencies of Cdnf(-/-) mice, therefore, are reminiscent of those seen in early stages of Parkinson's disease.
  • Goldsteins, Gundars; Hakosalo, Vili; Jaronen, Merja; Keuters, Meike Hedwig; Lehtonen, Sarka; Koistinaho, Jari (2022)
    A single paragraph of about 200 words maximum. Neurodegenerative diseases (ND), such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pose a global challenge in the aging population due to the lack of treatments for their cure. Despite various disease-specific clinical symptoms, ND have some fundamental common pathological mechanisms involving oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. The present review focuses on the major causes of central nervous system (CNS) redox homeostasis imbalance comprising mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Mitochondrial disturbances, leading to reduced mitochondrial function and elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, are thought to be a major contributor to the pathogenesis of ND. ER dysfunction has been implicated in ND in which protein misfolding evidently causes ER stress. The consequences of ER stress ranges from an increase in ROS production to altered calcium efflux and proinflammatory signaling in glial cells. Both pathological pathways have links to ferroptotic cell death, which has been implicated to play an important role in ND. Pharmacological targeting of these pathological pathways may help alleviate or slow down neurodegeneration.
  • Pihan, Philippe; Lisbona, Fernanda; Borgonovo, Janina; Edwards-Jorquera, Sandra; Nunes-Hasler, Paula; Castillo, Karen; Kepp, Oliver; Urra, Hery; Saarnio, Suvi; Vihinen, Helena; Carreras-Sureda, Amado; Forveille, Sabrina; Sauvat, Allan; De Giorgis, Daniela; Pupo, Amaury; Rodriguez, Diego A.; Quarato, Giovanni; Sagredo, Alfredo; Lourido, Fernanda; Letai, Anthony; Latorre, Ramon; Kroemer, Guido; Demaurex, Nicolas; Jokitalo, Eija; Concha, Miguel L.; Glavic, Alvaro; Green, Douglas R.; Hetz, Claudio (2021)
    Programmed cell death is regulated by the balance between activating and inhibitory signals. Here, we have identified RECS1 (responsive to centrifugal force and shear stress 1) [also known as TMBIM1 (transmembrane BAX inhibitor motif containing 1)] as a proapoptotic member of the TMBIM family. In contrast to other proteins of the TMBIM family, RECS1 expression induces cell death through the canonical mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Unbiased screening indicated that RECS1 sensitizes cells to lysosomal perturbations. RECS1 localizes to lysosomes, where it regulates their acidification and calcium content, triggering lysosomal membrane permeabilization. Structural modeling and electrophysiological studies indicated that RECS1 is a pH-regulated calcium channel, an activity that is essential to trigger cell death. RECS1 also sensitizes whole animals to stress in vivo in Drosophila melanogaster and zebrafish models. Our results unveil an unanticipated function for RECS1 as a proapoptotic component of the TMBIM family that ignites cell death programs at lysosomes.
  • Lindholm, Dan; Mäkelä, Johanna; Di Liberto, Valentina; Mudo, Giuseppa; Belluardo, Natale; Eriksson-Rosenberg, Ove; Saarma, Mart (2016)
    Parkinson's disease (PD is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by the degeneration and death of midbrain dopamine and non-dopamine neurons in the brain leading to motor dysfunctions and other symptoms, which seriously influence the quality of life of PD patients. The drug L-dopa can alleviate the motor symptoms in PD, but so far there are no rational therapies targeting the underlying neurodegenerative processes. Despite intensive research, the molecular mechanisms causing neuronal loss are not fully understood which has hampered the development of new drugs and disease-modifying therapies. Neurotrophic factors are by virtue of their survival promoting activities attract candidates to counteract and possibly halt cell degeneration in PD. In particular, studies employing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and its family member neurturin (NRTN), as well as the recently described cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) and the mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) have shown positive results in protecting and repairing dopaminergic neurons in various models of PD. Other substances with trophic actions in dopaminergic neurons include neuropeptides and small compounds that target different pathways impaired in PD, such as increased cell stress, protein handling defects, dysfunctional mitochondria and neuroinflammation. In this review, we will highlight the recent developments in this field with a focus on trophic factors and substances having the potential to beneficially influence the viability and functions of dopaminergic neurons as shown in preclinical or in animal models of PD.
  • 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.
  • Lehtonen, Sarka; Sonninen, Tuuli-Maria; Wojciechowski, Sara; Goldsteins, Gundars; Koistinaho, Jari (2019)
    Despite decades of research, current therapeutic interventions for Parkinson's disease (PD) are insufficient as they fail to modify disease progression by ameliorating the underlying pathology. Cellular proteostasis (protein homeostasis) is an essential factor in maintaining a persistent environment for neuronal activity. Proteostasis is ensured by mechanisms including regulation of protein translation, chaperone-assisted protein folding and protein degradation pathways. It is generally accepted that deficits in proteostasis are linked to various neurodegenerative diseases including PD. While the proteasome fails to degrade large protein aggregates, particularly alpha-synuclein (alpha-SYN) in PD, drug-induced activation of autophagy can efficiently remove aggregates and prevent degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Therefore, maintenance of these mechanisms is essential to preserve all cellular functions relying on a correctly folded proteome. The correlations between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) that aims to restore proteostasis within the secretory pathway are well-established. However, while mild insults increase the activity of chaperones, prolonged cell stress, or insufficient adaptive response causes cell death. Modulating the activity of molecular chaperones, such as protein disulfide isomerase which assists refolding and contributes to the removal of unfolded proteins, and their associated pathways may offer a new approach for disease-modifying treatment. Here, we summarize some of the key concepts and emerging ideas on the relation of protein aggregation and imbalanced proteostasis with an emphasis on PD as our area of main expertise. Furthermore, we discuss recent insights into the strategies for reducing the toxic effects of protein unfolding in PD by targeting the ER UPR pathway.
  • Danilova, Tatiana; Lindahl, Maria (2018)
    Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) was originally identified as a secreted trophic factor for dopamine neurons in vitro. It protects and restores damaged cells in rodent models of Parkinson's disease, brain and heart ischemia, spinocerebellar ataxia and retina in vivo. However, its exact mechanism of action is not known. MANF is widely expressed in most human and mouse organs with high levels in secretory tissues. Intracellularly, MANF localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER stress increases it's expression in cells and tissues. Furthermore, increased MANF levels has been detected in the sera of young children with newly diagnosed Type 1 (T1D) diabetes and Type 2 (T2D) diabetic patients. ER stress is caused by the accumulation of misfolded and aggregated proteins in the ER. It activates a cellular defense mechanism, the unfolded protein response (UPR), a signaling cascade trying to restore ER homeostasis. However, if prolonged, unresolved ER stress leads to apoptosis. Unresolved ER stress contributes to the progressive death of pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells in both T1D and T2D. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperglycemia, caused by the inability of the beta cells to maintain sufficient levels of circulating insulin. The current medications, insulin and antidiabetic drugs, alleviate diabetic symptoms but cannot reconstitute physiological insulin secretion which increases the risk of devastating vascular complications of the disease. Thus, one of the main strategies in improving current diabetes therapy is to define and validate novel approaches to protect beta cells from stress as well as activate their regeneration. Embryonic deletion of the Manf gene in mice led to gradual postnatal development of insulin-deficient diabetes caused by reduced beta cell proliferation and increased beta cell death due to increased and sustained ER stress. In vitro, recombinant MANF partly protected mouse and human beta cells from ER stress-induced beta cell death and potentiated mouse and human beta cell proliferation. Importantly, in vivo overexpression of MANF in the pancreas of T1D mice led to increased beta cell proliferation and decreased beta cell death, suggesting that MANF could be a new therapeutic candidate for beta cell protection and regeneration in diabetes.
  • Ruiz, Mario; Bodhicharla, Rakesh; Stahlman, Marcus; Svensk, Emma; Busayavalasa, Kiran; Palmgren, Henrik; Ruhanen, Hanna; Boren, Jan; Pilon, Marc (2019)
    The human AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 proteins, as well as their C. elegans homolog PAQR-2, protect against cell membrane rigidification by exogenous saturated fatty acids by regulating phospholipid composition. Here, we show that mutations in the C. elegans gene acs-13 help to suppress the phenotypes of paqr-2 mutant worms, including their characteristic membrane fluidity defects. acs-13 encodes a homolog of the human acyl-CoA synthetase ACSL1, and localizes to the mitochondrial membrane where it likely activates long chains fatty acids for import and degradation. Using siRNA combined with lipidomics and membrane fluidity assays (FRAP and Laurdan dye staining) we further show that the human ACSL1 potentiates lipotoxicity by the saturated fatty acid palmitate: silencing ACSL1 protects against the membrane rigidifying effects of palmitate and acts as a suppressor of AdipoR2 knockdown, thus echoing the C. elegans findings. We conclude that acs-13 mutations in C. elegans and ACSL1 knockdown in human cells prevent lipotoxicity by promoting increased levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phospholipids.
  • 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.
  • Balboa, Diego; Saarimäki-Vire, Jonna; Borshagovski, Daniel; Survila, Mantas; Lindholm, Päivi; Galli, Emilia; Eurola, Solja; Ustinov, Jarkko; Grym, Heli; Huopio, Hanna; Partanen, Juha; Wartiovaara, Kirmo; Otonkoski, Timo (2018)
    Insulin gene mutations are a leading cause of neonatal diabetes. They can lead to proinsulin misfolding and its retention in endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This results in increased ER-stress suggested to trigger beta-cell apoptosis. In humans, the mechanisms underlying beta-cell failure remain unclear. Here we show that misfolded proinsulin impairs developing beta-cell proliferation without increasing apoptosis. We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from people carrying insulin (INS) mutations, engineered isogenic CRISPR-Cas9 mutation-corrected lines and differentiated them to beta-like cells. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis showed increased ER-stress and reduced proliferation in INS-mutant beta-like cells compared with corrected controls. Upon transplantation into mice, INS-mutant grafts presented reduced insulin secretion and aggravated ER-stress. Cell size, mTORC1 signaling, and respiratory chain subunits expression were all reduced in INS-mutant beta-like cells, yet apoptosis was not increased at any stage. Our results demonstrate that neonatal diabetes-associated INS-mutations lead to defective beta-cell mass expansion, contributing to diabetes development.
  • 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.
  • Lindahl, Maria; Danilova, Tatiana; Palm, Erik; Lindholm, Paivi; Voikar, Vootele; Hakonen, Elina; Ustinov, Jarkko; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Harvey, Brandon K.; Otonkoski, Timo; Rossi, Jari; Saarma, Mart (2014)
    All forms of diabetes mellitus (DM) are characterized by the loss of functional pancreatic β cell mass, leading to insufficient insulin secretion. Thus, identification of novel approaches to protect and restore β cells is essential for the development of DM therapies. Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress-inducible protein, but its physiological role in mammals has remained obscure. We generated MANF-deficient mice that strikingly develop severe diabetes due to progressive postnatal reduction of β cell mass, caused by decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. Additionally, we show that lack of MANF in vivo in mouse leads to chronic unfolded protein response (UPR) activation in pancreatic islets. Importantly, MANF protein enhanced β cell proliferation in vitro and overexpression of MANF in the pancreas of diabetic mice enhanced β cell regeneration. We demonstrate that MANF specifically promotes β cell proliferation and survival, thereby constituting a therapeutic candidate for β cell protection and regeneration.
  • Danilova, Tatiana; Belevich, Ilya; Li, Huini; Palm, Erik; Jokitalo, Eija; Otonkoski, Timo; Lindahl, Maria (2019)
    Global lack of mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotropic factor (MANF) leads to progressive postnatal loss of β-cells mass and insulin-dependent diabetes in mice. Similarly to Manf -/- mice, embryonic ablation of MANF specifically from the pancreas results in diabetes. In this study, we assessed the importance of MANF for the postnatal expansion of the pancreatic β-cell mass and for adult β-cell maintenance in mice. Detailed analysis of Pdx-1Cre +/- ::Manf fl/fl mice revealed mosaic MANF expression in postnatal pancreases and significant correlation between the number of MANF-positive β-cells and β-cell mass in individual mice. In vitro, recombinant MANF induced β-cell proliferation in islets from aged mice and protected from hyperglycemia-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Consequently, excision of MANF from β-cells of adult MIP-1Cre ERT ::Manf fl/fl mice resulted in reduced β-cell mass and diabetes caused largely by β-cell ER stress and apoptosis, possibly accompanied by β-cell de-differentiation and reduced rates of β-cell proliferation. Thus, MANF expression in adult mouse β-cells is needed for their maintenance in vivo. We also revealed a mechanistic link between ER stress, and inflammatory signaling pathways leading to β-cell death in the absence of MANF. Hence, MANF might be a potential target for regenerative therapy in diabetes.
  • Galli, Emilia; Rossi, Jari; Neumann, Thomas; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Drinda, Stefan; Lindholm, Päivi (2019)
    Dietary restriction induces beneficial metabolic changes and prevents age-related deterioration. Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) shows protective effects on cells in various models of degenerative diseases. Here we studied whether circulating concentrations of MANF are associated with fasting-induced positive effects. We quantified the levels of circulating MANF from 40 human subjects before and after therapeutic fasting. As measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the mean concentration of plasma MANF increased after an average fasting of 15 days. Plasma MANF levels correlated inversely with adiponectin, a hormone that regulates metabolism, thus suggesting that MANF levels are related to metabolic homeostasis. To study the effects of dietary intervention on MANF concentrations in mice, we developed an ELISA for mouse MANF and verified its specificity using MANF knock-out (KO) tissue. A switch from high-fat to normal diet increased MANF levels and downregulated the expression of unfolded protein response (UPR) genes in the liver, indicating decreased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Liver MANF and serum adiponectin concentrations correlated inversely in mice. Our findings demonstrate that MANF expression and secretion increases with dietary intervention. The MANF correlation to adiponectin and its possible involvement in metabolic regulation and overall health warrants further studies.
  • Teppo, Jaakko; Vaikkinen, Anu; Stratoulias, Vassilis; Mätlik, Kert; Anttila, Jenni E.; Smolander, Olli-Pekka; Pöhö, Päivi; Harvey, Brandon K.; Kostiainen, Risto; Airavaara, Mikko (2020)
    The peri-infarct region after ischemic stroke is the anatomical location for many of the endogenous recovery processes, and the molecular events in the peri-infarct region remain poorly characterized. In this study, we examine the molecular profile of the peri-infarct region on post-stroke day four, time when reparative processes are ongoing. We used a multiomics approach, involving RNA sequencing, and mass spectrometry-based proteomics and metabolomics to characterize molecular changes in the peri-infarct region. We also took advantage of our previously developed method to express transgenes in the peri-infarct region where self-complementary adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors were injected into the brain parenchyma on post-stroke day 2. We have previously used this method to show that mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) enhances functional recovery from stroke and recruits phagocytic cells to the peri-infarct region. Here, we first analyzed the effects of stroke to the peri-infarct region on post-stroke day 4 in comparison to sham-operated animals, finding that stroke induced changes in 3345 transcripts, 341 proteins, and 88 metabolites. We found that after stroke genes related to inflammation, proliferation, apoptosis, and regeneration were upregulated, whereas genes encoding neuroactive ligand receptors and calcium-binding proteins were downregulated. In proteomics, we detected upregulation of proteins related to protein synthesis and downregulation of neuronal proteins. Metabolomic studies indicated that in after stroke tissue there is increase in saccharides, sugar phosphates, ceramides and free fatty acids and decrease of adenine, hypoxantine, adenosine and guanosine. We then compared the effects of post-stroke delivery AAV1-MANF delivery to AAV1-eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein). MANF administration increased the expression of 77 genes, most of which were related to immune response. In proteomics, MANF administration reduced S100A8 and S100A9 protein levels. In metabolomics, no significant differences between MANF and eGFP treatment were detected, but relative to sham surgery group, most of the changes in lipids were significant in the AAV-eGFP group only. This work describes the molecular profile of the peri-infarct region during recovery from ischemic stroke, and establishes a resource for further stroke studies. These results provide further support for parenchymal MANF as a modulator of phagocytic function.
  • Sree, Sreesha; Parkkinen, Ilmari; Their, Anna; Airavaara, Mikko; Jokitalo, Eija (2021)
    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multipurpose organelle comprising dynamic structural subdomains, such as ER sheets and tubules, serving to maintain protein, calcium, and lipid homeostasis. In neurons, the single ER is compartmentalized with a careful segregation of the structural subdomains in somatic and neurite (axodendritic) regions. The distribution and arrangement of these ER subdomains varies between different neuronal types. Mutations in ER membrane shaping proteins and morphological changes in the ER are associated with various neurodegenerative diseases implying significance of ER morphology in maintaining neuronal integrity. Specific neurons, such as the highly arborized dopaminergic neurons, are prone to stress and neurodegeneration. Differences in morphology and functionality of ER between the neurons may account for their varied sensitivity to stress and neurodegenerative changes. In this review, we explore the neuronal ER and discuss its distinct morphological attributes and specific functions. We hypothesize that morphological heterogeneity of the ER in neurons is an important factor that accounts for their selective susceptibility to neurodegeneration.
  • Yagi, Takuya; Asada, Rie; Kanekura, Kohsuke; Eesmaa, Ave; Lindahl, Maria; Saarma, Mart; Urano, Fumihiko (2020)
    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is known to induce pro-inflammatory response and ultimately leads to cell death. Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an ER-localized protein whose expression and secretion is induced by ER stress and a crucial survival factor. However, the underlying mechanism of how MANF exerts its cytoprotective activity remains unclear due to the lack of knowledge of its receptor. Here we show that Neuroplastin (NPTN) is such a receptor for MANF. Biochemical analysis shows the physiological interaction between MANF and NPTN on the cell surface. Binding of MANF to NPTN mitigates the inflammatory response and apoptosis via suppression of NF-kappa beta signaling. Our results demonstrate that NPTN is a cell surface receptor for MANF, which modulates inflammatory responses and cell death, and that the MANF-NPTN survival signaling described here provides potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of ER stress-related disorders, including diabetes mellitus, neurodegeneration, retinal degeneration, and Wolfram syndrome.
  • Chmielarz, Piotr; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Background Neurotrophic factors are endogenous proteins promoting the survival of different neural cells. Therefore, they elicited great interest as a possible treatment for neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's Disease (PD). PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, scientifically characterized more than 200 years ago and initially linked with motor abnormalities. Currently, the disease is viewed as a highly heterogeneous, progressive disorder with a long presymptomatic phase, and both motor and non-motor symptoms. Presently only symptomatic treatments for PD are available. Neurohistopathological changes of PD affected brains have been described more than 100 years ago and characterized by the presence of proteinaceous inclusions known as Lewy bodies and degeneration of dopamine neurons. Despite more than a century of investigations, it has remained unclear why dopamine neurons die in PD. Methods This review summarizes literature data from preclinical studies and clinical trials of neurotrophic factor based therapies for PD and discuss it from the perspective of the current understanding of PD biology. Results Newest data point towards dysfunctions of mitochondria, autophagy-lysosomal pathway, unfolded protein response and prion protein-like spreading of misfolded alpha-synuclein that is the major component of Lewy bodies. Yet, the exact chain of events leading to the demise of dopamine neurons is unclear and perhaps different in subpopulations of patients. Conclusions Gaps in our understanding of underlying disease etiology have hindered our attempts to find treatments able to slow down the progression of PD. Graphic abstract
  • Jäntti, Maria H.; Jackson, Shelley N.; Kuhn, Jeffrey; Parkkinen, Ilmari; Sree, Sreesha; Hinkle, Joshua J.; Jokitalo, Eija; Deterding, Leesa J.; Harvey, Brandon K. (2022)
    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle that performs several key functions such as protein synthesis and folding, lipid metabolism and calcium homeostasis. When these functions are disrupted, such as upon protein misfolding, ER stress occurs. ER stress can trigger adaptive responses to restore proper functioning such as activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). In certain cells, the free fatty acid palmitate has been shown to induce the UPR. Here, we examined the effects of palmitate on UPR gene expression in a human neuronal cell line and compared it with thapsigargin, a known depletor of ER calcium and trigger of the UPR. We used a Gaussia luciferase-based reporter to assess how palmitate treatment affects ER proteostasis and calcium ho-meostasis in the cells. We also investigated how ER calcium depletion by thapsigargin affects lipid membrane composition by performing mass spectrometry on subcellular fractions and compared this to palmitate. Sur-prisingly, palmitate treatment did not activate UPR despite prominent changes to membrane phospholipids. Conversely, thapsigargin induced a strong UPR, but did not significantly change the membrane lipid composition in subcellular fractions. In summary, our data demonstrate that changes in membrane lipid composition and disturbances in ER calcium homeostasis have a minimal influence on each other in neuronal cells. These data provide new insight into the adaptive interplay of lipid homeostasis and proteostasis in the cell.