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Nat Med. 2011 Jun;17(6):692-9. doi: 10.1038/nm.2387. Epub 2011 May 22.

Iduna protects the brain from glutamate excitotoxicity and stroke by interfering with poly(ADP-ribose) polymer-induced cell death.

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Neuroregeneration Program, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Glutamate acting on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors induces neuronal injury following stroke, through activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) and generation of the death molecule poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer. Here we identify Iduna, a previously undescribed NMDA receptor-induced survival protein that is neuroprotective against glutamate NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity both in vitro and in vivo and against stroke through interfering with PAR polymer-induced cell death (parthanatos). Iduna's protective effects are independent and downstream of PARP-1 activity. Iduna is a PAR polymer-binding protein, and mutation at the PAR polymer binding site abolishes the PAR binding activity of Iduna and attenuates its protective actions. Iduna is protective in vivo against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity and middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced stroke in mice. To our knowledge, these results define Iduna as the first known endogenous inhibitor of parthanatos. Interfering with PAR polymer signaling could be a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurologic disorders.

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