Publications by authors named "Jeanne E McKeon"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

ALS-linked PFN1 variants exhibit loss and gain of functions in the context of formin-induced actin polymerization.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Jun;118(23)

Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605;

Profilin-1 (PFN1) plays important roles in modulating actin dynamics through binding both monomeric actin and proteins enriched with polyproline motifs. Mutations in PFN1 have been linked to the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, whether ALS-linked mutations affect PFN1 function has remained unclear. To address this question, we employed an unbiased proteomics analysis in mammalian cells to identify proteins that differentially interact with mutant and wild-type (WT) PFN1. These studies uncovered differential binding between two ALS-linked PFN1 variants, G118V and M114T, and select formin proteins. Furthermore, both variants augmented formin-mediated actin assembly relative to PFN1 WT. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed mutation-induced changes in the internal dynamic couplings within an alpha helix of PFN1 that directly contacts both actin and polyproline, as well as structural fluctuations within the actin- and polyproline-binding regions of PFN1. These data indicate that ALS-PFN1 variants have the potential for heightened flexibility in the context of the ternary actin-PFN1-polyproline complex during actin assembly. Conversely, PFN1 C71G was more severely destabilized than the other PFN1 variants, resulting in reduced protein expression in both transfected and ALS patient lymphoblast cell lines. Moreover, this variant exhibited loss-of-function phenotypes in the context of actin assembly. Perturbations in actin dynamics and assembly can therefore result from ALS-linked mutations in PFN1. However, ALS-PFN1 variants may dysregulate actin polymerization through different mechanisms that depend upon the solubility and stability of the mutant protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2024605118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201830PMC
June 2021

ALS-linked FUS exerts a gain of toxic function involving aberrant p38 MAPK activation.

Sci Rep 2017 03 8;7(1):115. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.

Mutations in Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS) cause familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive axonal degeneration mainly affecting motor neurons. Evidence from transgenic mouse models suggests mutant forms of FUS exert an unknown gain-of-toxic function in motor neurons, but mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. Towards this end, we studied the effect of wild type FUS (FUS WT) and three ALS-linked variants (G230C, R521G and R495X) on fast axonal transport (FAT), a cellular process critical for appropriate maintenance of axonal connectivity. All ALS-FUS variants impaired anterograde and retrograde FAT in squid axoplasm, whereas FUS WT had no effect. Misfolding of mutant FUS is implicated in this process, as the molecular chaperone Hsp110 mitigated these toxic effects. Interestingly, mutant FUS-induced impairment of FAT in squid axoplasm and of axonal outgrowth in mammalian primary motor neurons involved aberrant activation of the p38 MAPK pathway, as also reported for ALS-linked forms of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Accordingly, increased levels of active p38 MAPK were detected in post-mortem human ALS-FUS brain tissues. These data provide evidence for a novel gain-of-toxic function for ALS-linked FUS involving p38 MAPK activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00091-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5428330PMC
March 2017

Human C9ORF72 Hexanucleotide Expansion Reproduces RNA Foci and Dipeptide Repeat Proteins but Not Neurodegeneration in BAC Transgenic Mice.

Neuron 2015 Dec;88(5):902-909

Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.

A non-coding hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9ORF72 gene is the most common mutation associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). To investigate the pathological role of C9ORF72 in these diseases, we generated a line of mice carrying a bacterial artificial chromosome containing exons 1 to 6 of the human C9ORF72 gene with approximately 500 repeats of the GGGGCC motif. The mice showed no overt behavioral phenotype but recapitulated distinctive histopathological features of C9ORF72 ALS/FTD, including sense and antisense intranuclear RNA foci and poly(glycine-proline) dipeptide repeat proteins. Finally, using an artificial microRNA that targets human C9ORF72 in cultures of primary cortical neurons from the C9BAC mice, we have attenuated expression of the C9BAC transgene and the poly(GP) dipeptides. The C9ORF72 BAC transgenic mice will be a valuable tool in the study of ALS/FTD pathobiology and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828340PMC
December 2015

Parkin-mediated K63-polyubiquitination targets ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 for degradation by the autophagy-lysosome system.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2015 May 18;72(9):1811-24. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.

Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) is a key neuronal deubiquitinating enzyme which is mutated in Parkinson disease (PD) and in childhood-onset neurodegenerative disorder with optic atrophy. Furthermore, reduced UCH-L1 protein levels are associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases, whereas up-regulation of UCH-L1 protein expression is found in multiple types of cancer. However, very little is known about how UCH-L1 protein level is regulated in cells. Here, we report that UCH-L1 is a novel interactor and substrate of PD-linked E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase parkin. We find that parkin mediates K63-linked polyubiquitination of UCH-L1 in cooperation with the Ubc13/Uev1a E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme complex and promotes UCH-L1 degradation by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Targeted disruption of parkin gene expression in mice causes a significant decrease in UCH-L1 ubiquitination with a concomitant increase in UCH-L1 protein level in brain, supporting an in vivo role of parkin in regulating UCH-L1 ubiquitination and degradation. Our findings reveal a direct link between parkin-mediated ubiquitin signaling and UCH-L1 regulation, and they have important implications for understanding the roles of these two proteins in health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-014-1781-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395523PMC
May 2015

25-Hydroxyvitamin D depletion does not exacerbate MPTP-induced dopamine neuron damage in mice.

PLoS One 2012 2;7(7):e39227. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Recent clinical evidence supports a link between 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels <30 ng/mL) and Parkinson's disease. To investigate the effect of 25(OH)D depletion on neuronal susceptibility to toxic insult, we induced a state of 25(OH)D deficiency in mice and then challenged them with the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found there was no significant difference between control and 25(OH)D-deficient animals in striatal dopamine levels or dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase expression after lesioning with MPTP. Additionally, we found no difference in tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Our data suggest that reducing 25(OH)D serum levels in mice has no effect on the vulnerability of nigral dopaminergic neurons in vivo in this model system of parkinsonism.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0039227PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388077PMC
November 2012

Assessment of general anaesthetic cytotoxicity in murine cortical neurones in dissociated culture.

Toxicology 2011 Apr 26;283(1):1-7. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Neuroscience & Biochemistry Programs, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA.

General anaesthetics are proposed to cause unconsciousness by modulating neuronal excitability in the mammalian brain through mechanisms that include enhancement of inhibitory GABA(A) receptor currents and suppression of excitatory glutamate receptor responses. Both intravenous and volatile agents may produce neurotoxic effects during early postnatal rodent brain development through similar mechanisms. In the following study, we investigated anaesthetic cytotoxicity in primary cortical neurones and glia from postnatal day 2-8 mice. Cultures at 4-20 days in vitro were exposed to combinations of ketamine (100 μM to 3 mM), nitrous oxide (75%, v/v) and/or isoflurane (1.5-5%, v/v) for 6-12 h. Neuronal survival and cell death were measured via microtubule associated protein 2 immunoassay and lactate dehydrogenase release assays, respectively. Clinically relevant anaesthetic concentrations of ketamine, nitrous oxide and isoflurane had no significant neurotoxic effects individually or when given as anaesthetic cocktails, even with up to 12 h exposure. This lack of neurotoxicity was observed regardless of whether cultures were prepared from postnatal day 0-2 or day 8 mice, and was also unaffected by number of days in vitro (DIV 4-20). Significant neurotoxic effects were only observed at supraclinical concentrations (e.g. 1-3 mM ketamine). Our study suggests that neurotoxicity previously reported in vivo is not due to direct cytotoxicity of anaesthetic agents, but results from other impacts of the anaesthetised state during early brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2011.01.014DOI Listing
April 2011
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