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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Jan;34(1):123-31. doi: 10.1007/s10571-013-9993-9. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

N-cadherin is a novel ERα anchor that protects against 6-OHDA damage to dopaminergic cells.

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Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou Tongshanlu No. 209, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China.


Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. In this study, we investigated the protective roles of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and 17β-estradiol (E2) in the neuron cell line MN9D following treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine. This result showed that phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) was significantly increased in treated MN9D cells following co-application of GDNF and E2 compared with only GDNF or E2. Moreover, GDNF enhanced the E2-induced translocation of estrogen receptor α (ERα) from the cytosol to the membrane. Immunoprecipitation experiments showed that the translocated ERα interacted with neural cadherin (N-cadherin) in the membrane. Site-directed mutagenesis of Tyr860 (Y860) in N-cadherin inhibited its interaction with ERα. Combined with the fact that GDNF can stimulate N-cadherin Y860 phosphorylation, we hypothesize that N-cadherin is a novel anchor for ERα, and phosphorylation at Y860 further increases ER's capacity to activate the neuroprotective phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase/Akt pathway. This study provides evidence that co-application of GDNF and E2 exert important protective effects on DA neurons by increasing the interaction between ERα and N-cadherin.

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