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Cell Death Dis. 2010;1:e2. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2009.4.

Differential neuroprotective effects of 14-3-3 proteins in models of Parkinson's disease.

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Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


14-3-3 proteins are important negative regulators of cell death pathways. Recent studies have revealed alterations in 14-3-3s in Parkinson's disease (PD) and the ability of 14-3-3s to interact with alpha-synuclein (α-syn), a protein central to PD pathophysiology. In a transgenic α-syn mouse model, we found reduced expression of 14-3-3θ, ε, and γ. These same isoforms prevent α-syn inclusion formation in an H4 neuroglioma cell model. Using dopaminergic cell lines stably overexpressing each 14-3-3 isoform, we found that overexpression of 14-3-3θ, ε, or γ led to resistance to both rotenone and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), while other isoforms were not protective against both toxins. Inhibition of a single protective isoform, 14-3-3θ, by shRNA did not increase vulnerability to neurotoxic injury, but toxicity was enhanced by broad-based inhibition of 14-3-3 action with the peptide inhibitor difopein. Using a transgenic C. elegans model of PD, we confirmed the ability of both human 14-3-3θ and a C. elegans 14-3-3 homolog (ftt-2) to protect dopaminergic neurons from α-syn toxicity. Collectively, these data show a strong neuroprotective effect of enhanced 14-3-3 expression - particularly of the 14-3-3θ, ε, and γ isoforms - in multiple cellular and animal models of PD, and point to the potential value of these proteins in the development of neuroprotective therapies for human PD.


14-3-3; MPP+; Parkinson's disease; rotenone; transgenic; α-synuclein

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