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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 23;278(21):19367-77. Epub 2003 Feb 21.

Parkinsonian mimetics induce aspects of unfolded protein response in death of dopaminergic neurons.

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  • 1Anatomy and Neurobiology Department, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Genes associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) have suggested a role for ubiquitin-proteasome dysfunction and aberrant protein degradation in this disorder. Inasmuch as oxidative stress has also been implicated in PD, the present study examined transcriptional changes mediated by the Parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxins 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) in a dopaminergic cell line. Microarray analysis of RNA isolated from toxin treated samples revealed that the stress-induced transcription factor CHOP/Gadd153 was dramatically up-regulated by both 6-OHDA and MPP+. Treatment with 6-OHDA also induced a large number of genes involved in endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) such as ER chaperones and elements of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Reverse transcription-PCR, Western blotting, and immunocytochemical approaches were used to quantify and temporally order the UPR pathways involved in neurotoxin-induced cell death. 6-OHDA, but not MPP+, significantly increased hallmarks of UPR such as BiP, c-Jun, and processed Xbp1 mRNA. Both toxins increased the phosphorylation of UPR proteins, PERK and eIF2 alpha, but only 6-OHDA increased phosphorylation of c-Jun. Thus, 6-OHDA is capable of triggering multiple pathways associated with UPR, whereas MPP+ exhibits a more restricted response. The involvement of UPR in these widely used neurotoxin models supports the role of ubiquitin-proteasome pathway dysfunction in PD.

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