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Functional genomic screen and network analysis reveal novel modifiers of tauopathy dissociated from tau phosphorylation

1 , 4 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , *

Human Molecular Genetics

Oxford University Press

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      Abstract

      A functional genetic screen using loss-of-function and gain-of-function alleles was performed to identify modifiers of tau-induced neurotoxicity using the 2N/4R (full-length) isoform of wild-type human tau expressed in the fly retina. We previously reported eye pigment mutations, which create dysfunctional lysosomes, as potent modifiers; here, we report 37 additional genes identified from ∼1900 genes screened, including the kinases shaggy/GSK-3beta, par-1/MARK, CamKI and Mekk1. Tau acts synergistically with Mekk1 and p38 to down-regulate extracellular regulated kinase activity, with a corresponding decrease in AT8 immunoreactivity (pS202/T205), suggesting that tau can participate in signaling pathways to regulate its own kinases. Modifiers showed poor correlation with tau phosphorylation (using the AT8, 12E8 and AT270 epitopes); moreover, tested suppressors of wild-type tau were equally effective in suppressing toxicity of a phosphorylation-resistant S11A tau construct, demonstrating that changes in tau phosphorylation state are not required to suppress or enhance its toxicity. Genes related to autophagy, the cell cycle, RNA-associated proteins and chromatin-binding proteins constitute a large percentage of identified modifiers. Other functional categories identified include mitochondrial proteins, lipid trafficking, Golgi proteins, kinesins and dynein and the Hsp70/Hsp90-organizing protein (Hop). Network analysis uncovered several other genes highly associated with the functional modifiers, including genes related to the PI3K, Notch, BMP/TGF-β and Hedgehog pathways, and nuclear trafficking. Activity of GSK-3β is strongly upregulated due to TDP-43 expression, and reduced GSK-3β dosage is also a common suppressor of Aβ42 and TDP-43 toxicity. These findings suggest therapeutic targets other than mitigation of tau phosphorylation.

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      Most cited references 366

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      Cytoscape is an open source software project for integrating biomolecular interaction networks with high-throughput expression data and other molecular states into a unified conceptual framework. Although applicable to any system of molecular components and interactions, Cytoscape is most powerful when used in conjunction with large databases of protein-protein, protein-DNA, and genetic interactions that are increasingly available for humans and model organisms. Cytoscape's software Core provides basic functionality to layout and query the network; to visually integrate the network with expression profiles, phenotypes, and other molecular states; and to link the network to databases of functional annotations. The Core is extensible through a straightforward plug-in architecture, allowing rapid development of additional computational analyses and features. Several case studies of Cytoscape plug-ins are surveyed, including a search for interaction pathways correlating with changes in gene expression, a study of protein complexes involved in cellular recovery to DNA damage, inference of a combined physical/functional interaction network for Halobacterium, and an interface to detailed stochastic/kinetic gene regulatory models.
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        Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases.

        Many lines of evidence suggest that mitochondria have a central role in ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria are critical regulators of cell death, a key feature of neurodegeneration. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA and oxidative stress both contribute to ageing, which is the greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In all major examples of these diseases there is strong evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction occurs early and acts causally in disease pathogenesis. Moreover, an impressive number of disease-specific proteins interact with mitochondria. Thus, therapies targeting basic mitochondrial processes, such as energy metabolism or free-radical generation, or specific interactions of disease-related proteins with mitochondria, hold great promise.
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          Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 by insulin mediated by protein kinase B.

          Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is implicated in the regulation of several physiological processes, including the control of glycogen and protein synthesis by insulin, modulation of the transcription factors AP-1 and CREB, the specification of cell fate in Drosophila and dorsoventral patterning in Xenopus embryos. GSK3 is inhibited by serine phosphorylation in response to insulin or growth factors and in vitro by either MAP kinase-activated protein (MAPKAP) kinase-1 (also known as p90rsk) or p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6k). Here we show, however, that agents which prevent the activation of both MAPKAP kinase-1 and p70S6k by insulin in vivo do not block the phosphorylation and inhibition of GSK3. Another insulin-stimulated protein kinase inactivates GSK3 under these conditions, and we demonstrate that it is the product of the proto-oncogene protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt/RAC). Like the inhibition of GSK3 (refs 10, 14), the activation of PKB is prevented by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Neurology,
            [2 ]Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology,
            [3 ]Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and
            [4 ]George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, simpleUniversity of Texas Medical Branch , 301 University Blvd., MRB 10.138, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
            Author notes
            [* ]To whom correspondence should be addressed at: 301 University Blvd., MRB 10.138, Galveston, TX 77555-1045, USA. Tel: +1 4097470009; Fax: +1 4097470015; Email: grjackso@ 123456utmb.edu
            Journal
            Hum Mol Genet
            hmg
            hmg
            Human Molecular Genetics
            Oxford University Press
            0964-6906
            1460-2083
            15 December 2011
            23 September 2011
            23 September 2011
            : 20
            : 24
            : 4947-4977
            21949350
            3221533
            10.1093/hmg/ddr432
            ddr432
            © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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