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  • 1. Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    et al.
    Habernig, Lukas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    Kohler, Verena
    Diessl, Jutta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Carmona-Gutierrez, Didac
    Eisenberg, Tobias
    Keller, Walter
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    The Coordinated Action of Calcineurin and Cathepsin D Protects Against alpha-Synuclein Toxicity2017In: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5099, Vol. 10, article id 207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The degeneration of dopaminergic neurons during Parkinson's disease (PD) is intimately linked to malfunction of alpha-synuclein (alpha Syn), the main component of the proteinaceous intracellular inclusions characteristic for this pathology. The cytotoxicity of alpha Syn has been attributed to disturbances in several biological processes conserved from yeast to humans, including Ca2+ homeostasis, general lysosomal function and autophagy. However, the precise sequence of events that eventually results in cell death remains unclear. Here, we establish a connection between the major lysosomal protease cathepsin D (CatD) and the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase calcineurin. In a yeast model for PD, high levels of human alpha Syn triggered cytosolic acidification and reduced vacuolar hydrolytic capacity, finally leading to cell death. This could be counteracted by overexpression of yeast CatD (Pep4), which re-installed pH homeostasis and vacuolar proteolytic function, decreased alpha Syn oligomers and aggregates, and provided cytoprotection. Interestingly, these beneficial effects of Pep4 were independent of autophagy. Instead, they required functional calcineurin signaling, since deletion of calcineurin strongly reduced both the proteolytic activity of endogenous Pep4 and the cytoprotective capacity of overexpressed Pep4. Calcineurin contributed to proper endosomal targeting of Pep4 to the vacuole and the recycling of the Pep4 sorting receptor Pep1 from prevacuolar compartments back to the trans-Golgi network. Altogether, we demonstrate that stimulation of this novel calcineurin-Pep4 axis reduces alpha Syn cytotoxicity.

  • 2. Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    et al.
    Kohler, Verena
    Diessl, Jutta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Peselj, Carlotta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Carmona-Gutierrez, Didac
    Keller, Walter
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    Mitochondrial lipids in neurodegeneration2017In: Cell and Tissue Research, ISSN 0302-766X, E-ISSN 1432-0878, Vol. 367, no 1, p. 125-140Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, including proteinopathies such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, which are characterized by the deposition of aggregated proteins in the form of insoluble fibrils or plaques. The distinct molecular processes that eventually result in mitochondrial dysfunction during neurodegeneration are well studied but still not fully understood. However, defects in mitochondrial fission and fusion, mitophagy, oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial bioenergetics have been linked to cellular demise. These processes are influenced by the lipid environment within mitochondrial membranes as, besides membrane structure and curvature, recruitment and activity of different proteins also largely depend on the respective lipid composition. Hence, the interaction of neurotoxic proteins with certain lipids and the modification of lipid composition in different cell compartments, in particular mitochondria, decisively impact cell death associated with neurodegeneration. Here, we discuss the relevance of mitochondrial lipids in the pathological alterations that result in neuronal demise, focussing on proteinopathies.

  • 3. Rockenfeller, Patrick
    et al.
    Smolnig, Martin
    Diessl, Jutta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. NAWI Graz, Austria; University of Graz, Austria.
    Bashir, Mina
    Schmiedhofer, Vera
    Knittelfelder, Oskar
    Ring, Julia
    Franz, Joakim
    Foessl, Ines
    Khan, Muhammad J.
    Rost, René
    Graier, Wolfgang F.
    Kroemer, Guido
    Zimmermann, Andreas
    Carmona-Gutierrez, Didac
    Eisenberg, Tobias
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. NAWI Graz, Austria; University of Graz, Austria.
    Sigrist, Stephan J.
    Kühnlein, Ronald P.
    Kohlwein, Sepp D.
    Gourlay, Campbell W.
    Madeo, Frank
    Diacylglycerol triggers Rim101 pathway-dependent necrosis in yeast: a model for lipotoxicity2018In: Cell Death and Differentiation, ISSN 1350-9047, E-ISSN 1476-5403, Vol. 25, no 4, p. 765-781Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The loss of lipid homeostasis can lead to lipid overload and is associated with a variety of disease states. However, little is known as to how the disruption of lipid regulation or lipid overload affects cell survival. In this study we investigated how excess diacylglycerol (DG), a cardinal metabolite suspected to mediate lipotoxicity, compromises the survival of yeast cells. We reveal that increased DG achieved by either genetic manipulation or pharmacological administration of 1,2-dioctanoyls-n-glycerol (DOG) triggers necrotic cell death. The toxic effects of DG are linked to glucose metabolism and require a functional Rim101 signaling cascade involving the Rim21-dependent sensing complex and the activation of a calpain-like protease. The Rim101 cascade is an established pathway that triggers a transcriptional response to alkaline or lipid stress. We propose that the Rim101 pathway senses DG-induced lipid perturbation and conducts a signaling response that either facilitates cellular adaptation or triggers lipotoxic cell death. Using established models of lipotoxicity, i.e., high-fat diet in Drosophila and palmitic acid administration in cultured human endothelial cells, we present evidence that the core mechanism underlying this calpain-dependent lipotoxic cell death pathway is phylogenetically conserved.

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