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Bcl-2 overexpression delays caspase-3 activation and rescues cerebellar degeneration in prion-deficient mice that overexpress amino-terminally truncated prion


Nicolas, O; Gavín, R; Braun, N; Ureña, J M; Fontana, X; Soriano, E; Aguzzi, A; del Río, J A (2007). Bcl-2 overexpression delays caspase-3 activation and rescues cerebellar degeneration in prion-deficient mice that overexpress amino-terminally truncated prion. FASEB Journal, 21(12):3107-3117.

Abstract

Prnp knockout mice that overexpress an amino-truncated form of PrPc (deltaPrP) are ataxic and display cerebellar cell loss and premature death. Studies on the molecular and intracellular events that trigger cell death in these mutants may contribute to elucidate the functions of PrPc and to the design of treatments for prion disease. Here we examined the effects of Bcl-2 overexpression in neurons on the development of the neurological syndrome and cerebellar pathology of deltaPrP. We show that deltaPrP overexpression activates the stress-associated kinases ERK1-2 in reactive astroglia, p38 and the phosphorylation of p53, which leads to the death of cerebellar neurons in mutant mice. We found that the expression of deltaPrP in cell lines expressing very low levels of PrPc strongly induces the activation of apoptotic pathways, thereby leading to caspase-3 activation and cell death, which can be prevented by coexpressing Bcl-2. Finally, we corroborate in vivo that neuronal-directed Bcl-2 overexpression in deltaPrP mice (deltaPrP Bcl-2) markedly reduces caspase-3 activation, glial activation, and neuronal cell death in cerebellum by improving locomotor deficits and life expectancy.

Prnp knockout mice that overexpress an amino-truncated form of PrPc (deltaPrP) are ataxic and display cerebellar cell loss and premature death. Studies on the molecular and intracellular events that trigger cell death in these mutants may contribute to elucidate the functions of PrPc and to the design of treatments for prion disease. Here we examined the effects of Bcl-2 overexpression in neurons on the development of the neurological syndrome and cerebellar pathology of deltaPrP. We show that deltaPrP overexpression activates the stress-associated kinases ERK1-2 in reactive astroglia, p38 and the phosphorylation of p53, which leads to the death of cerebellar neurons in mutant mice. We found that the expression of deltaPrP in cell lines expressing very low levels of PrPc strongly induces the activation of apoptotic pathways, thereby leading to caspase-3 activation and cell death, which can be prevented by coexpressing Bcl-2. Finally, we corroborate in vivo that neuronal-directed Bcl-2 overexpression in deltaPrP mice (deltaPrP Bcl-2) markedly reduces caspase-3 activation, glial activation, and neuronal cell death in cerebellum by improving locomotor deficits and life expectancy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:04 Jul 2012 14:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:43
Publisher:Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
ISSN:0892-6638
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1096/fj.06-7827com
PubMed ID:17494993
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-60880

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