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Ann Neurol. 2015 Jan;77(1):15-32. doi: 10.1002/ana.24294. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Mutual exacerbation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α deregulation and α-synuclein oligomerization.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany; Inoviem Scientific, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Aggregation of α-synuclein (α-syn) and α-syn cytotoxicity are hallmarks of sporadic and familial Parkinson disease (PD), with accumulating evidence that prefibrillar oligomers and protofibrils are the pathogenic species in PD and related synucleinopathies. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), a key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and cellular energy metabolism, has recently been associated with the pathophysiology of PD. Despite extensive effort on studying the function of PGC-1α in mitochondria, no studies have addressed whether PGC-1α directly influences oligomerization of α-syn or whether α-syn oligomers impact PGC-1α expression.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We tested whether pharmacological or genetic activation of PGC-1α or PGC-11α knockdown could modulate the oligomerization of α-syn in vitro by using an α-syn -fragment complementation assay.

RESULTS:

In this study, we found that both PGC-1α reference gene (RG-PGC-1α) and the central nervous system (CNS)-specific PGC-1α (CNS-PGC-1α) are downregulated in human PD brain, in A30P α-syn transgenic animals, and in a cell culture model for α-syn oligomerization. Importantly, downregulation of both RG-PGC-1α and CNS-PGC-1α in cell culture or neurons from RG-PGC-1α-deficient mice leads to a strong induction of α-syn oligomerization and toxicity. In contrast, pharmacological activation or genetic overexpression of RG-PGC-1α reduced α-syn oligomerization and rescued α-syn-mediated toxicity.

INTERPRETATION:

Based on our results, we propose that PGC-1α downregulation and α-syn oligomerization form a vicious circle, thereby influencing and/or potentiating each other. Our data indicate that restoration of PGC-1α is a promising approach for development of effective drugs for the treatment of PD and related synucleinopathies.

© 2014 American Neurological Association.

PMID:
25363075
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4293280
Free PMC Article
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