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See detailGender-specific expression of ubiquitin-specific peptidase 9 modulates tau expression and phosphorylation: possible implications for tauopathies
Köglsberger, Sandra UL; Cordero Maldonado, Maria Lorena UL; Antony, Paul UL et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2017), 54(10), 79797993

Public transcriptomics studies have shown that several genes display pronounced gender differences in their expression in the human brain, which may influence the manifestations and risk for neuronal ... [more ▼]

Public transcriptomics studies have shown that several genes display pronounced gender differences in their expression in the human brain, which may influence the manifestations and risk for neuronal disorders. Here we apply a transcriptome-wide analysis to discover genes with gender-specific expression and significant alterations in public post mortem brain tissue from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients compared to controls. We identify the sex-linked ubiquitin specific peptidase 9 (USP9) as an outstanding candidate gene with highly significant expression differences between the genders and male-specific under-expression in AD. Since previous studies have shown that USP9 can modulate the phosphorylation of the AD-associated protein MAPT, we investigate functional associations between USP9 and MAPT in further detail. After observing a high positive correlation between the expression of USP9 and MAPT in the public transcriptomics data, we show that USP9 knockdown results in significantly decreased MAPT expression in a DU145 cell culture model and a concentration-dependent decrease for the MAPT orthologs mapta and maptb in a zebrafish model. From the analysis of microarray and qRT-PCR experiments for the knockdown in DU145 cells and prior knowledge from the literature, we derive a data-congruent model for a USP9-dependent regulatory mechanism modulating MAPT expression via BACH1 and SMAD4. Overall, the analyses suggest USP9 may contribute to molecular gender differences observed in tauopathies and provide a new target for intervention strategies to modulate MAPT expression. [less ▲]

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See detailParkinson’s Disease-Associated Mutant LRRK2-Mediated Inhibition of miRNA Activity is Antagonized by TRIM32
Gonzalez-Cano, Laura; Menzl, Ingeborg; Tisserand, Johan UL et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2017)

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See detailToward Omics-Based, Systems Biomedicine, and Path and Drug Discovery Methodologies for Depression-Inflammation Research
Maes; Nowak, Gabriel; Caso, Javier et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2016), 53(5), 2927-2935

Meta-analyses confirm that depression is accompanied by signs of inflammation including increased levels of acute phase proteins, e.g., C-reactive protein, and pro-inflammatory cytokines, e.g ... [more ▼]

Meta-analyses confirm that depression is accompanied by signs of inflammation including increased levels of acute phase proteins, e.g., C-reactive protein, and pro-inflammatory cytokines, e.g., interleukin-6. Supporting the translational significance of this, a meta-analysis showed that anti-inflammatory drugs may have antidepressant effects. Here, we argue that inflammation and depression research needs to get onto a new track. Firstly, the choice of inflammatory biomarkers in depression research was often too selective and did not consider the broader pathways. Secondly, although mild inflammatory responses are present in depression, other immune-related pathways cannot be disregarded as new drug targets, e.g., activation of cell-mediated immunity, oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) pathways, autoimmune responses, bacterial translocation, and activation of the toll-like receptor and neuroprogressive pathways. Thirdly, anti-inflammatory treatments are sometimes used without full understanding of their effects on the broader pathways underpinning depression. Since many of the activated immune-inflammatory pathways in depression actually confer protection against an overzealous inflammatory response, targeting these pathways may result in unpredictable and unwanted results. Furthermore, this paper discusses the required improvements in research strategy, i.e., path and drug discovery processes, omics-based techniques, and systems biomedicine methodologies. Firstly, novel methods should be employed to examine the intracellular networks that control and modulate the immune, O&NS and neuroprogressive pathways using omics-based assays, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, immunoproteomics and metagenomics. Secondly, systems biomedicine analyses are essential to unravel the complex interactions between these cellular networks, pathways, and the multifactorial trigger factors and to delineate new drug targets in the cellular networks or pathways. Drug discovery processes should delineate new drugs targeting the intracellular networks and immune-related pathways. [less ▲]

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See detailInflammation Promotes a Conversion of Astrocytes into Neural Progenitor Cells via NF-κB Activation
Gabel, Sebastien; Koncina, Eric UL; Dorban, Gauthier et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2015), 53(8), 5041-5055

Brain inflammation, a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases, is a complex series of events, which can be detrimental and even lead to neuronal death. Nonetheless, several studies suggest that ... [more ▼]

Brain inflammation, a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases, is a complex series of events, which can be detrimental and even lead to neuronal death. Nonetheless, several studies suggest that inflammatory signals are also positively influencing neural cell proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. Recently, correlative studies suggested that astrocytes are able to dedifferentiate upon injury and may thereby re-acquire neural stem cell (NSC) potential. However, the mechanism underlying this dedifferentiation process upon injury remains unclear. Here, we report that during the early response of reactive gliosis, inflammation induces a conversion of mature astrocytes into neural progenitors. A TNF treatment induces the decrease of specific astrocyte markers, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) or genes related to glycogen metabolism, while a subset of these cells re-expresses immaturity markers, such as CD44, Musashi-1, and Oct4. Thus, TNF treatment results in the appearance of cells that exhibit a neural progenitor phenotype and are able to proliferate and differentiate into neurons and/or astrocytes. This dedifferentiation process is maintained as long as TNF is present in the culture medium. In addition, we highlight a role for Oct4 in this process, since the TNF-induced dedifferentiation can be prevented by inhibiting Oct4 expression. Our results show that activation of the NF-κB pathway through TNF plays an important role in the dedifferentiation of astrocytes via the re-expression of Oct4. These findings indicate that the first step of reactive gliosis is in fact a dedifferentiation process of resident astrocytes mediated by the NF-κB pathway. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Neurogenic Potential of Astrocytes Is Regulated by Inflammatory Signals
Michelucci, Alessandro UL; Bithell, Angela; Burney, Matthew et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2015)

Although the adult brain contains neural stem cells (NSCs) that generate new neurons throughout life, these astrocyte-like populations are restricted to two discrete niches. Despite their terminally ... [more ▼]

Although the adult brain contains neural stem cells (NSCs) that generate new neurons throughout life, these astrocyte-like populations are restricted to two discrete niches. Despite their terminally differentiated phenotype, adult parenchymal astrocytes can re-acquire NSC-like characteristics following injury, and as such, these ‘reactive’ astrocytes offer an alternative source of cells for central nervous system (CNS) repair following injury or disease. At present, the mechanisms that regulate the potential of different types of astrocytes are poorly understood. We used in vitro and ex vivo astrocytes to identify candidate pathways important for regulation of astrocyte potential. Using in vitro neural progenitor cell (NPC)-derived astrocytes, we found that exposure of more lineage-restricted astrocytes to either tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (via nuclear factor-κB (NFκB)) or the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) inhibitor, noggin, led to re-acquisition of NPC properties accompanied by transcriptomic and epigenetic changes consistent with a more neurogenic, NPC-like state. Comparative analyses of microarray data from in vitro-derived and ex vivo postnatal parenchymal astrocytes identified several common pathways and upstream regulators associated with inflammation (including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ)) and cell cycle control (including TP53) as candidate regulators of astrocyte phenotype and potential. We propose that inflammatory signalling may control the normal, progressive restriction in potential of differentiating astrocytes as well as under reactive conditions and represent future targets for therapies to harness the latent neurogenic capacity of parenchymal astrocytes. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrating Pathways of Parkinson's Disease in a Molecular Interaction Map
Fujita, Kazuhiro A.; Ostaszewski, Marek UL; Matsuoka, Yukiko et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2014)

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a major neurodegenerative chronic disease, most likely caused by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Information on various aspects of PD pathogenesis is ... [more ▼]

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a major neurodegenerative chronic disease, most likely caused by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Information on various aspects of PD pathogenesis is rapidly increasing and needs to be efficiently organized, so that the resulting data is available for exploration and analysis. Here we introduce a computationally tractable, comprehensive molecular interaction map of PD. This map integrates pathways implicated in PD pathogenesis such as synaptic and mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired protein degradation, alpha-synuclein pathobiology and neuroinflammation. We also present bioinformatics tools for the analysis, enrichment and annotation of the map, allowing the research community to open new avenues in PD research. The PD map is accessible at http://minerva.uni.lu/pd_map . [less ▲]

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