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Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Jan 1;40(1):21-34. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

Differential regulation of c-jun and CREB by acrolein and 4-hydroxynonenal.

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Department of Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


In Alzheimer's disease (AD), oxidative stress-induced lipid peroxidation leads to accumulation of unsaturated aldehydes including acrolein and 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE) in brain. In this study, we examined the effects of these lipid peroxidation products on apoptotic pathways in cultured neurons. Acrolein and 4HNE increased the levels of active phosphorylated forms of c-jun and CREB, the transcription factors that promote apoptosis and cell survival, respectively. However, they decreased the activity of CREB-dependent BDNF promoter while they increased the activity of promoters responsive to c-jun. We hypothesized that this differential regulation could be due to competition between proapoptotic c-jun and cytoprotective CREB for CBP (CREB-binding protein), a coactivator shared by several transcription factors. In support of this hypothesis, we demonstrate that the decrease of BDNF promoter activity by acrolein and 4HNE could be restored (i) by cotransfection with CBP, (ii) by cotransfection with VP 16-CREB, a constitutively active form of CREB that does not depend on CBP for its activation, or (iii) by inhibiting JNK-mediated c-jun activation. Finally, adenoviral transduction of hippocampal neurons with VP 16-CREB resulted in significant reduction in caspase-3 activation by acrolein and 4HNE. These observations suggest that lipid peroxidation-induced differential regulation of CREB and c-jun might play a role in neurodegeneration in AD.

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