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Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway Governs a Full Program for Dopaminergic Neuron Survival, Neurorescue and Regeneration in the MPTP Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

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      Abstract

      Wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) integration site (Wnt) signaling is one of the most critical pathways in developing and adult tissues. In the brain, Wnt signaling contributes to different neurodevelopmental aspects ranging from differentiation to axonal extension, synapse formation, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection. Canonical Wnt signaling is mediated mainly by the multifunctional β-catenin protein which is a potent co-activator of transcription factors such as lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF) and T-cell factor (TCF). Accumulating evidence points to dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in major neurodegenerative disorders. This review highlights a Wnt/β-catenin/glial connection in Parkinson’s disease (PD), the most common movement disorder characterized by the selective death of midbrain dopaminergic (mDAergic) neuronal cell bodies in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and gliosis. Major findings of the last decade document that Wnt/β-catenin signaling in partnership with glial cells is critically involved in each step and at every level in the regulation of nigrostriatal DAergic neuronal health, protection, and regeneration in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD, focusing on Wnt/β-catenin signaling to boost a full neurorestorative program in PD.

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      Most cited references 161

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      Wnt/β-catenin signaling and disease.

      The WNT signal transduction cascade controls myriad biological phenomena throughout development and adult life of all animals. In parallel, aberrant Wnt signaling underlies a wide range of pathologies in humans. In this Review, we provide an update of the core Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, discuss how its various components contribute to disease, and pose outstanding questions to be addressed in the future. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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        Reactive microglia are positive for HLA-DR in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease brains.

        We detected large numbers of HLA-DR-positive reactive microglia (macrophages), along with Lewy bodies and free melanin, in the substantia nigra of all cases studied with Parkinson's disease (5) and parkinsonism with dementia (PD) (5). We found similar, but less extensive, pathology in the substantia nigra of six of nine cases of dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) but in only one of 11 age-matched nonneurologic cases. All dementia cases with a premortem diagnosis of DAT or PD showed large numbers of HLA-DR-positive reactive microglia and significant plaque and tangle counts in the hippocampus, as well as reduced cortical choline acetyltransferase activity. One of 11 nondemented controls showed mild evidence of similar cortical pathology. These data indicate that HLA-DR-positive reactive microglia are a sensitive index of neuropathologic activity. They suggest a frequent coexistence of DAT- and Parkinson-type pathology in elderly patients.
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          beta-catenin is a target for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.

          beta-catenin is a central component of the cadherin cell adhesion complex and plays an essential role in the Wingless/Wnt signaling pathway. In the current model of this pathway, the amount of beta-catenin (or its invertebrate homolog Armadillo) is tightly regulated and its steady-state level outside the cadherin-catenin complex is low in the absence of Wingless/Wnt signal. Here we show that the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis system is involved in the regulation of beta-catenin turnover. beta-catenin, but not E-cadherin, p120(cas) or alpha-catenin, becomes stabilized when proteasome-mediated proteolysis is inhibited and this leads to the accumulation of multi-ubiquitinated forms of beta-catenin. Mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that substitution of the serine residues in the glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) phosphorylation consensus motif of beta-catenin inhibits ubiquitination and results in stabilization of the protein. This motif in beta-catenin resembles a motif in IkappaB (inhibitor of NFkappaB) which is required for the phosphorylation-dependent degradation of IkappaB via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. We show that ubiquitination of beta-catenin is greatly reduced in Wnt-expressing cells, providing the first evidence that the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation pathway may act downstream of GSK3beta in the regulation of beta-catenin.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences (BIOMETEC), Pharmacology Section, Medical School, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 97, 95123 Catania, Italy; biancamarchetti@ 123456libero.it or bmarchet@ 123456unict.it ; Tel.: +39-95478111194; +3355722698
            [2 ]OASI Research Institute-IRCCS, Section of Neuropharmacology, Via Conte Ruggero 73, 94018 Troina (EN), Italy
            Journal
            Int J Mol Sci
            Int J Mol Sci
            ijms
            International Journal of Molecular Sciences
            MDPI
            1422-0067
            24 November 2018
            December 2018
            : 19
            : 12
            30477246 6321180 10.3390/ijms19123743 ijms-19-03743
            © 2018 by the author.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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