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eNeuro. 2019 Sep 26;6(5). pii: ENEURO.0061-19.2019. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0061-19.2019. Print 2019 Sep/Oct.

Homeoprotein Neuroprotection of Embryonic Neuronal Cells.

Author information

1
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB), Collège de France, CNRS UMR 7241/INSERM U1050, PSL Research University, Labex Memolife Paris Science et Lettres, 75005 Paris, France.
2
BrainEver, 75012 Paris, France.
3
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB), Collège de France, CNRS UMR 7241/INSERM U1050, PSL Research University, Labex Memolife Paris Science et Lettres, 75005 Paris, France Alain.prochiantz@college-de-france.fr Ken.moya@college-de-france.fr.

Abstract

Most homeoprotein transcription factors have a highly conserved internalization domain used in intercellular transfer. Internalization of homeoproteins ENGRAILED1 or ENGRAILED2 promotes the survival of adult dopaminergic cells, whereas that of OTX2 protects adult retinal ganglion cells. Here we characterize the in vitro neuroprotective activity of several homeoproteins in response to H2O2 Protection is observed with ENGRAILED1, ENGRAILED2, OTX2, GBX2, and LHX9 on midbrain and striatal embryonic neurons, whereas cell-permeable c-MYC shows no protective effects. Therefore, five homeoproteins belonging to three different classes (ANTENNAPEDIA, PAIRED, and LIM) share the ability to protect embryonic neurons from midbrain and striatum. Because midbrain and striatal neurons do not express the same repertoire of the four proteins, a lack of neuronal specificity together with a general protective activity can be proposed. Interestingly, hEN1 and GBX2 provided protection to primary midbrain astrocytes but not to non-neural cells, including mouse embryo fibroblasts, macrophages or HeLa cells. For the four proteins, protection against cell death correlated with a reduction in the number of H2O2-induced DNA break foci in midbrain and striatal neurons. In conclusion, within the limit of the number of cell types and homeoproteins tested, homeoprotein protection against oxidative stress-induced DNA breaks and death is specific to neurons and astrocytes but shows no homeoprotein or neuronal type specificity.

KEYWORDS:

DNA damage; homeoprotein; neuroprotection; transcription factor

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