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The Mechanisms of Protective Function of DJ-1 in Parkinson’s Models of Neuronal Loss: VHL and PON2

By Mohammad Parsanejad


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder, whose clinical features are rest tremor, bradykinesia, muscular rigidity and postural instability. Although most reported cases are sporadic, a handful of familial cases and their causative genes have been identified. Loss-of-function mutations in DJ-1, one of these genes, are responsible for 1% of familial PD cases. Our laboratory has previously reported that DJ-1- lacking neurons are sensitive to oxidative stress, induced by hydrogen peroxide or the neurotoxin MPTP. To investigate the possible mechanisms through which DJ-1 protects against oxidative stress, we performed a proteomic screen and identified Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) and Paraoxonase2 (PON2) as potential DJ-1 interacting partners. VHL is an E3 ubiquitin ligase which, in normal conditions, poly-ubiquitinates HIF-1 , a subunit of a master hypoxic/oxidative stress transcription factor, whose function is protective in oxidative and hypoxic stresses. In the present study, we provided further evidence of interaction of DJ-1 with VHL. We also demonstrated that HIF-1 protein level, as an indicator of VHL activity, is lower in cells lacking DJ-1, suggesting the inhibitory role of DJ-1 on VHL. Our in vitro studies also showed that DJ-1 inhibits ubiquitin ligase activity of VHL on HIF-1 by reducing the VHL-HIF-1 interaction. Importantly, accumulation of HIF-1 protects embryonic cortical neurons against MPP+ induced neuronal death. Finally, we confirmed the impairment of HIF-1 response to oxidative stress in human lymphoblastoids of DJ-1-linked PD cases. In the second part of this study, we demonstrated the interaction of DJ-1 and PON2. Interestingly, PON2 lactonase activity is reduced in DJ-1 deficient cells which could be rescued by re-introduction of DJ-1, suggesting a modulating role of DJ-1 on PON2 activity. In addition, PON2 deficiency, like DJ-1 deficiency, hypersensitizes neurons to MPP+, which could be rescued by over-expression of PON2 in both cases. Taken together, our data provide evidence that DJ-1 exerts its protective role by inhibiting VHL activity, enhancing HIF-1 stability, and increasing PON2 pro-survival function in PD models

Topics: Parkinson's disease, Neurodegeneration, MPP+, DJ-1, PON2, VHL, HIF-1
Publisher: Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa
Year: 2013
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Provided by: Recherche uO Research
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