Browsing by Subject "UPR"

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  • Pakarinen, Emmi; Lindholm, Paivi; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria (2022)
    Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) display cytoprotective effects in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. These endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident proteins belong to the same protein family and function as ER stress regulators. The relationship between CDNF and MANF function, as well as their capability for functional compensation, is unknown. We aimed to investigate these questions by generating mice lacking both CDNF and MANF. Results showed that CDNF-deficient Manf(-/-) mice presented the same phenotypes of growth defect and diabetes as Manf(-/-) mice. In the muscle, CDNF deficiency resulted in increased activation of unfolded protein response (UPR), which was aggravated when MANF was ablated. In the brain, the combined loss of CDNF and MANF did not exacerbate UPR activation caused by the loss of MANF alone. Consequently, CDNF and MANF deficiency in the brain did not cause degeneration of dopamine neurons. In conclusion, CDNF and MANF present functional redundancy in the muscle, but not in the other tissues examined here. Thus, they regulate the UPR in a tissue-specific manner.
  • Montonen, Ella (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER-stress) is the result of accumulation of unfolded and misfolded proteins in the ER. The unfolded proteins activate the unfolded protein response (UPR), which seeks to reduce the protein load in the ER and reduces ER-stress. When ER-stress is prolonged, the UPR will activate apoptosis. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects lower and higher motorneurons. The cause of ALS is unknown but ER-stress is known to play a role in the disease progression. CDNF is a new neurotrophic factor, which is known to play a role in protein folding in the ER. CDNF is neuroprotective and neurorestorative in animal models of Parkinson's disease. Thus, CDNF is a potential new drug candidate for treating ALS. The aim of this work was to examine the effect of CDNF on disease state and life span in transgenic SOD1(G93A)-mice. CDNF or PBS was injected into the mouse's ventricle in stereotaxic surgery when the mice were about 90 days old. Clinical status and motor coordination was monitored twice a week throughout the study. The mice were dissected when they reached the end point that was set for the study. Deepfrozen gastrocnemius muscles were stained with antibodies, to examine the integrity of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ). Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was executed on deepfrozen spinal cord and motor cortex samples to measure the expression of ER-stress genes. The results showed that CDNF improves motor coordination and delays disease progression in SOD1 female mice. The NMJs were notably more damaged in SOD1 mice than in wild type mice, but CDNF did not have any significant effect on NMJ integrity. ER-stress could be observed in the spinal cord and motor cortex of SOD1 mice and CDNF decreased ER-stress in the motor cortex. CDNF did not decrease ER-stress in the spinal cord where the expression of apoptosis related genes was increased. Thus, CDNF is a potential new drug candidate for treating ALS and it should be studied further.
  • Granqvist, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Parkinson´s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer´s disease. There is still no drug that alters the state of the disease. It has been found that Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is one mechanism in PD. ER stress occurs due to accumulation of unfolded proteins. ER stress triggers Unfolded protein response (UPR) that protects against ER stress by decreasing unfolding of proteins. In the beginning, UPR has protective effect, but in prolonged ER stress UPR triggers apoptotic cell death. There are several key mediators in the UPR pathway. Characterisation of ER stress in PD models may be important for the current and future drug development of PD. If ER stress is a significant factor that affects the disease development, it would be important to find a drug that alters these mechanisms and UPR. This may be a way to halt the disease development. Different animal models of PD, like 6-OHDA (6-hydroxydopamine) and MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) model, have similarities in their mechanisms. It has been found that ER stress occurs both in the brain of PD patients and animal models of PD. That is why studying and further characterisation in animal models is relevant. The aim of this study was to characterize ER stress in 6-OHDA rat model. The expression of some key mediators of the UPR were determined in this study. There were male and female Spraque Dawley rats in this experiment. 6-OHDA or saline was injected intrastriatally in 3 spots by stereotaxic surgery. Two weeks after 6-OHDA lesions, amphetamine-induced rotation test was conducted to the rats. The rats were divided into groups based on lesion size according to the results. For this study, the rats were euthanised at week 2 or week 4 post lesion. The rats were euthanised by carbondioxide, and the death was confirmed by decapitation. The brains were collected and stored in -80°C. Striatum and substantia nigra were collected later. Total RNA was isolated from these samples. Part of the RNA sample was used to conduct cDNA synthesis. Finally, the gene expression of Atf4, Ire1α, Xbp1s, Xbp1t, Grp78 and Chop was measured from these cDNA samples by qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction). The qPCR data describes the expression of exact gene. The data was processed prior to statistical analysis. By statistical analysis, it was possible to compare the expression of these genes between 6-OHDA group and vehicle group. In addition, comparison was made between 6-OHDA treated groups at week 2 and 4. According to the results, only Chop expression had increased in 6-OHDA lesioned rats at week 2 compared to the vehicle group. In other genes there were no statistical differences, unlike in several other studies where the expression was found to be increased. Thus, the characterisation of this model requires further studying, possibly by increasing the sample size and studying later time points as well.
  • 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.
  • Hulmi, Juha J.; Hentila, Jaakko; DeRuisseau, Keith C.; Oliveira, Bernardo M.; Papaioannou, Konstantinos G.; Autio, Reija; Kujala, Urho M.; Ritvos, Olli; Kainulainen, Heikki; Korkmaz, Ayhan; Atalay, Mustafa (2016)
    Protein homeostasis in cells, proteostasis, is maintained through several integrated processes and pathways and its dysregulation may mediate pathology in many diseases including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Oxidative stress, heat shock proteins, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and its response, i.e. unfolded protein response (UPR), play key roles in proteostasis but their involvement in the pathology of DMD are largely unknown. Moreover, exercise and activin receptor IIB blocking are two strategies that may be beneficial to DMD muscle, but studies to examine their effects on these proteostasis pathways are lacking. Therefore, these pathways were examined in the muscle of mdx mice, a model of DMD, under basal conditions and in response to seven weeks of voluntary exercise and/or activin receptor IIB ligand blocking using soluble activin receptor-Fc (sAcvR2B-Fc) administration. In conjunction with reduced muscle strength, mdx muscle displayed greater levels of UPR/ER-pathway indicators including greater protein levels of IREloc, PERK and Atf6b mRNA. Downstream to IREloc and PERK, spliced Xbpl mRNA and phosphorylation of elF2oc, were also increased. Most of the cytoplasmic and ER chaperones and mitochondrial UPR markers were unchanged in mdx muscle. Oxidized glutathione was greater in mdx and was associated with increases in lysine acetylated proteome and phosphorylated sirtuin 1. Exercise increased oxidative stress when performed independently or combined with sAcvR2B-Fc administration. Although neither exercise nor sAcvR2B-Fc administration imparted a clear effect on ER stress/UPR pathways or heat shock proteins, sAcvR2B-Fc administration increased protein expression levels of GRP78/BiP, a triggering factor for ER stress/UPR activation and TxNIP, a redox-regulator of ER stress-induced inflammation. In conclusion, the ER stress and UPR are increased in mdx muscle. However, these processes are not distinctly improved by voluntary exercise or blocking activin receptor IIB ligands and thus do not appear to be optimal therapeutic choices for improving proteostasis in DMD. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Koppinen, Tapani Kalle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease in which peripheral immune cells infiltrate the CNS and damage the insulating myelin sheaths surrounding neurons, creating demyelinated lesions in the spinal cord and the brain. MS is an incurable, life-long disease which causes a range of symptoms resulting from CNS degeneration. Current treatments mostly focus on preventing autoimmune attacks and the formation of lesions, but do not reduce the damage caused by the attacks, or impact the gradual degeneration of the axons of MS patients. This study aimed to establish the potential of MANF (mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor) and CDNF (cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor) as treatments for MS. MANF and CDNF are endoplasmic reticulum (ER) located proteins with unique structure and mode of action. UPR is a cellular stress response that, when triggered by inflammation in MS, can cause the apoptosis of myelinating oligodendrocytes and neurodegeneration. MANF and CDNF are also capable of modulating immune responses and improving regenerative processes in damaged tissues. The capability of these two molecules to protect CNS tissue was tested on mice induced with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease model for MS. Intravenous injections of MANF or CDNF in two doses were performed every 2nd day for 28 days after disease induction. Behavioral testing (rotarod and open field tests) indicated that both proteins improved motor function before the onset of paralysis. Daily clinical scoring showed a brief therapeutic window after the onset of paralysis, during which MANF and CDNF were able to halt disease progression. Flow cytometry analysis of mice spleens and brains showed no effect on immune cell populations at the end of the 28-day testing period. Immunohistological staining at the end of the experiment showed no differences in levels of neuroinflammation between treatment groups and control mice but showed that treatment with MANF and CDNF clearly reduced the formation of demyelinated lesions over the duration of the disease. These findings suggest the improved motor performances and protection from paralysis provided by treatment by MANF and CDNF may be due to their ability to protect CNS tissue from UPR caused by autoimmune demyelinating attacks. Further research is required to elucidate the mechanics behind this neuroprotective ability, and lead to more effective use of MANF and CDNF.
  • Nam, Jinhan; Koppinen, Tapani K.; Voutilainen, Merja H. (2021)
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive autoimmune disease characterized by T-cell mediated demyelination in central nervous system (CNS). Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely used in vivo disease model of MS. Glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone (dex) function as immunosuppressants and are commonly used to treat acute exacerbations of MS. Dex is also often used as a positive control in EAE studies, as it has been shown to promote motor behavior, inhibit immune cell infiltration into the CNS and regulate the activation of glial cell in EAE. This study further validated the effects of intravenously administrated dex by time-dependent fashion in EAE. Dex postponed clinical signs and motor defects in early stages of EAE. Histological analysis revealed that the degeneration of myelin and axons, as well as the infiltration of peripheral immune cells into the white matter of spinal cord was inhibited by dex in early stages of EAE. Additionally, dex-treatment delayed the neuroinflammatory activation of microglia and astrocytes. Furthermore, this study analyzed the expression of the neurotrophic factor mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) in EAE, and the effect of treatment with dex on MANF-expression. We show that in dex-treated EAE mice expression MANF increased within myelinated areas of spinal cord white matter. We also show that intravenous administration with hMANF in EAE mice improved clinical signs and motor behavior in the early stage of EAE. Our report gives insight to the progression of EAE by providing a time-dependent analysis. Moreover, this study investigates the link between MANF and the EAE model, and shows that MANF is a potential drug candidate for MS.
  • Srinivasan, Vignesh; Korhonen, Laura; Lindholm, Dan (2020)
    Neurons are polarized in structure with a cytoplasmic compartment extending into dendrites and a long axon that terminates at the synapse. The high level of compartmentalization imposes specific challenges for protein quality control in neurons making them vulnerable to disturbances that may lead to neurological dysfunctions including neuropsychiatric diseases. Synapse and dendrites undergo structural modulations regulated by neuronal activity involve key proteins requiring strict control of their turnover rates and degradation pathways. Recent advances in the study of the unfolded protein response (UPR) and autophagy processes have brought novel insights into the specific roles of these processes in neuronal physiology and synaptic signaling. In this review, we highlight recent data and concepts about UPR and autophagy in neuropsychiatric disorders and synaptic plasticity including a brief outline of possible therapeutic approaches to influence UPR and autophagy signaling in these diseases.