Publications by authors named "Tian-Dong Leng"

12 Publications

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Upregulation of acid sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) by hydrogen peroxide through the JNK pathway.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2021 Aug 12;42(8):1248-1255. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30310, USA.

Oxidative stress is intimately tied to neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and acute injuries, such as ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury. Acid sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a), a proton-gated ion channel, has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. However, whether oxidative stress affects the expression of ASIC1a remains elusive. In the current study, we examined the effect of hydrogen peroxide (HO), a major reactive oxygen species (ROS), on ASIC1a protein expression and channel function in NS20Y cells and primary cultured mouse cortical neurons. We found that treatment of the cells with HO (20 µM) for 6 h or longer increased ASIC1a protein expression and ASIC currents without causing significant cell injury. HO incubation activated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) pathways, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 pathways. We found that neither inhibition of the MEK/ERK pathway by U0126 nor inhibition of the p38 pathway by SB203580 affected HO-induced ASIC1a expression, whereas inhibition of the JNK pathway by SP600125 potently decreased ASIC1a expression and abolished the HO-mediated increase in ASIC1a expression and ASIC currents. Furthermore, we found that HO pretreatment increased the sensitivity of ASIC currents to the ASIC1a inhibitor PcTx1, providing additional evidence that HO increases the expression of functional ASIC1a channels. Together, our data demonstrate that HO increases ASIC1a expression/activation through the JNK signaling pathway, which may provide insight into the pathogenesis of neurological disorders that involve both ROS and activation of ASIC1a.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-020-00559-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8285496PMC
August 2021

Protein Kinase C Regulates ASIC1a Protein Expression and Channel Function via NF-kB Signaling Pathway.

Mol Neurobiol 2020 Nov 11;57(11):4754-4766. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30310, USA.

Tissue acidosis is a common feature in many pathological conditions. Activation of acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) plays a key role in acidosis-mediated neurotoxicity. Protein kinase C (PKC) activity has been proved to be associated with many physiological processes and pathological conditions; however, whether PKC activation regulates ASIC1a protein expression and channel function remains ill defined. In this study, we demonstrated that treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA, a PKC activator) for 6 h significantly increased ASIC1a protein expression and ASIC currents in NS20Y cells, a neuronal cell line, and in primary cultured mouse cortical neurons. In contrast, treatment with Calphostin C (a nonselective PKC inhibitor) for 6 h or longer decreased ASIC1a protein expression and ASIC currents. Similar to Calphostin C, PKC α and βI inhibitor Go6976 exposure also reduced ASIC1a protein expression. The reduction in ASIC1a protein expression by PKC inhibition involves a change in ASIC1a protein degradation, which is mediated by ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS)-dependent degradation pathway. In addition, we showed that PKC regulation of ASIC1a protein expression involves NF-κB signaling pathway. Consistent with their effects on ASIC1a protein expression and channel function, PKC inhibition protected NS20Y cells against acidosis-induced cytotoxicity, while PKC activation potentiated acidosis-induced cells injury. Together, these results indicate that ASIC1a protein expression and channel function are closely regulated by the activity of protein kinase C and its downstream signaling pathway(s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02056-4DOI Listing
November 2020

Acute Ethanol Exposure Promotes Autophagy-Lysosome Pathway-Dependent ASIC1a Protein Degradation and Protects Against Acidosis-Induced Neurotoxicity.

Mol Neurobiol 2019 May 17;56(5):3326-3340. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Neurobiology, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, 30310, USA.

Tissue acidosis is a common feature of brain ischemia which causes neuronal injury. Activation of acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) plays an important role in acidosis-mediated neurotoxicity. Acute ethanol administration has been shown to provide neuroprotective effects during ischemic stroke, but the precise mechanisms have yet to be determined. In this study, we investigated the effect of ethanol on the activity/expression of ASIC1a channels and acidosis-induced neurotoxicity. We showed that acute treatment of neuronal cells with ethanol for more than 3 h could reduce ASIC1a protein expression, ASIC currents, and acid-induced [Ca] elevation. We further demonstrated that ethanol-induced reduction of ASIC1a expression is mediated by autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP)-dependent protein degradation. Finally, we showed that ethanol protected neuronal cells against acidosis-induced cytotoxicity, which effect was mimicked by autophagy activator rapamycin and abolished by autophagy inhibitor CQ. Together, these results indicate that moderate acute ethanol exposure can promote autophagy-lysosome pathway-dependent ASIC1a protein degradation and protect against acidosis-induced neurotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-018-1289-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6378129PMC
May 2019

TRPM7 channels play a role in high glucose-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and neuronal cell apoptosis.

J Biol Chem 2018 09 3;293(37):14393-14406. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

the Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, 30310,

High-glucose (HG) levels and hyperglycemia associated with diabetes are known to cause neuronal damage. The detailed molecular mechanisms, however, remain to be elucidated. Here, we investigated the role of transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7) channels in HG-mediated endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and injury of NS20Y neuronal cells. The cells were incubated in the absence or presence of HG for 48 h. We found that mRNA and protein levels of TRPM7 and of ERS-associated proteins, such as C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), and inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS), increased in HG-treated cells, along with significantly increased TRPM7-associated currents in these cells. Similar results were obtained in cerebral cortical tissue from an insulin-deficiency model of diabetic mice. Moreover, HG treatment of cells activated ERS-associated proapoptotic caspase activity and induced cellular injury. Interestingly, a NOS inhibitor, l-NAME, suppressed the HG-induced increase of TRPM7 expression and cellular injury. siRNA-mediated TRPM7 knockdown or chemical inhibition of TRPM7 activity also suppressed HG-induced ERS and decreased cleaved caspase-12/caspase-3 levels and cell injury. Of note, TRPM7 overexpression increased ERS and cell injury independently of its kinase activity. Taken together, our findings suggest that TRPM7 channel activities play a key role in HG-associated ERS and cytotoxicity through an apoptosis-inducing signaling cascade involving HG, iNOS, TRPM7, ERS proteins, and caspases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA117.001032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139551PMC
September 2018

Effect of Redox-Modifying Agents on the Activity of Channelrhodopsin-2.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2017 Mar 4;23(3):216-221. Epub 2016 Dec 4.

School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.

Background: The algal protein Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) has been widely used in recent years in optogenetic technique to investigate the functions of complex neuronal networks through minimally invasive and temporally precise photostimulation of genetically defined neurons. However, as with any other new technique, current optogentic approaches have various limitations. In addition, how ChR2 may behave in response to complex biochemical changes associated with various physiological/pathological conditions is largely unknown.

Aim: In this study, we investigated whether a change in redox state of the cell affects the activity of ChR2 channels.

Methods: Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to examine the effect of reducing and oxidizing agents on ChR2 currents activated by blue light.

Results: We show that the reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT) dramatically potentiates the ChR2 currents in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner. Glutathione, an endogenous reducing agent, shows a similar effect on ChR2 currents. The oxidizing agent 5,5'-dithio-bis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) has no effect on ChR2 currents by itself; however, it completely reverses the potentiating effect of DTT. DTT also causes a shift in the current-voltage relationship by 23 ± 4.31 mV, suggesting a change in ion selectivity.

Conclusion: Taken together, these data suggest that redox modification of ChR2 plays an important role in its sensitivity to the light stimulation. Our findings not only help for a better understanding of how ChR2 may behave in physiological/pathological conditions where changes in redox state are common, but also provide a new direction for further optimization of this important opsin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310992PMC
March 2017

Modulation of Acid-sensing Ion Channel 1a by Intracellular pH and Its Role in Ischemic Stroke.

J Biol Chem 2016 08 8;291(35):18370-83. Epub 2016 Jul 8.

the Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30310, and

An important contributor to brain ischemia is known to be extracellular acidosis, which activates acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a family of proton-gated sodium channels. Lines of evidence suggest that targeting ASICs may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for stroke. Investigations of the role of ASICs in ischemic brain injury have naturally focused on the role of extracellular pH in ASIC activation. By contrast, intracellular pH (pHi) has received little attention. This is a significant gap in our understanding because the ASIC response to extracellular pH is modulated by pHi, and activation of ASICs by extracellular protons is paradoxically enhanced by intracellular alkalosis. Our previous studies show that acidosis-induced cell injury in in vitro models is attenuated by intracellular acidification. However, whether pHi affects ischemic brain injury in vivo is completely unknown. Furthermore, whereas ASICs in native neurons are composed of different subunits characterized by distinct electrophysiological/pharmacological properties, the subunit-dependent modulation of ASIC activity by pHi has not been investigated. Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo ischemic brain injury models, electrophysiological, biochemical, and molecular biological approaches, we show that the intracellular alkalizing agent quinine potentiates, whereas the intracellular acidifying agent propionate inhibits, oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced cell injury in vitro and brain ischemia-induced infarct volume in vivo Moreover, we find that the potentiation of ASICs by quinine depends on the presence of the ASIC1a, ASIC2a subunits, but not ASIC1b, ASIC3 subunits. Furthermore, we have determined the amino acids in ASIC1a that are involved in the modulation of ASICs by pHi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M115.713636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5000083PMC
August 2016

Amiloride Analogs as ASIC1a Inhibitors.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2016 06 18;22(6):468-76. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: ASIC1a, the predominant acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), is implicated in neurological disorders including stroke, traumatic spinal cord injury, and ALS. Potent ASIC1a inhibitors should have promising therapeutic potential for ASIC1a-related diseases.

Aims: We examined the inhibitory effects of a number of amiloride analogs on ASIC1a currents, aimed at understanding the structure-activity relationship and identifying potent ASIC1a inhibitors for stroke intervention.

Methods: Whole-cell patch-clamp techniques and a mouse model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced focal ischemia were used. Surflex-Dock was used to dock the analogs into the pocket with default parameters.

Results: Amiloride and its analogs inhibit ASIC1a currents expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells with a potency rank order of benzamil > phenamil > 5-(N,N-dimethyl)amiloride (DMA) > amiloride > 5-(N,N-hexamethylene)amiloride (HMA) ≥ 5-(N-methyl-N-isopropyl)amiloride (MIA) > 5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl)amiloride (EIPA). In addition, amiloride and its analogs inhibit ASIC currents in cortical neurons with the same potency rank order. In mice, benzamil and EIPA decreased MCAO-induced infarct volume. Similar to its effect on the ASIC current, benzamil showed a much higher potency than EIPA.

Conclusion: Addition of a benzyl group to the terminal guanidinyl group resulted in enhanced inhibitory activity on ASIC1a. On the other hand, the bulky groups added to the 5-amino residues slightly decreased the activity. Among the tested amiloride analogs, benzamil is the most potent ASIC1a inhibitor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996284PMC
June 2016

Characterization of a Synthetic Steroid 24-keto-cholest-5-en-3β, 19-diol as a Neuroprotectant.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2015 Jun 13;21(6):486-95. Epub 2015 Feb 13.

Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan Medical College, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Neuroactive steroids represent promising candidates for the treatment of neurological disorders. Our previous studies identified an endogenous steroid cholestane-3β, 5α, 6β-triol (Triol) as a novel neuroprotectant.

Aim: We aimed to identify a potent candidate for stroke treatment through a screening of Triol analogs.

Methods: Hypoxia- and glutamate-induced neuronal injury models in vitro, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced cerebral ischemia model in vivo, fluorescein diacetate (FDA) for alive and propidium iodide (PI) for dead staining, LDH assay, and calcium imaging techniques were used.

Results: 24-keto-cholest-5-en-3β, 19-diol (Diol) showed the most potent neuroprotective effect among the screened structurally related compounds. FDA and PI staining showed that Diol concentration dependently increased the survival rate of cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) challenged with glutamate or hypoxia, with an effective threshold concentration of 2.5 μM. Consistently, the quantitative LDH release assay showed the same concentration-dependent protection in both models. Diol, at 10 μM, potently decreased glutamate- and hypoxia-induced LDH release from 51.6 to 18.2% and 62.1 to 21.7%, respectively, which values are close to the normal LDH release (~16-18%). Moreover, we found Diol effectively decreased MCAO-induced infarction volume in mice from ~23% to 7%, at a dose of 6 mg/kg. We further explored the underlying mechanism and found that Diol attenuated NMDA-induced intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+) ]i ) increase in cortical neurons, suggesting a negative modulatory effect on NMDA receptor.

Conclusion: Taken together, we identified Diol as a potent neuroprotectant. It may represent a novel and promising neuroprotectant for stroke intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6495820PMC
June 2015

Suppression of TRPM7 inhibits proliferation, migration, and invasion of malignant human glioma cells.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2015 Mar 1;21(3):252-61. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor with a dismal prognosis. Despite intensive study on tumor biology, the underlying mechanisms of the unlimited proliferation and progressive local invasion are still poorly understood, and no effective treatment has been developed for GBM patients.

Aims: We determine the role of TRPM7 channels in the growth, migration, and infiltration of malignant glioma cells.

Methods: Using a combination of RT-PCR, Western blot, and patch-clamp techniques, we demonstrated the expression of functional TRPM7 channels of A172 cells, a human glioma cell line, as well as in human glioma tissues. Furthermore, we evaluated the role of TRPM7 in growth, migration, and infiltration of A172 cells with MTT and transwell migration and invasion assays.

Results: We showed the expression of functional TRPM7 channels in both A172 cells and human glioma tissues. Suppression of TRPM7 expression with TRPM7-siRNA dramatically reduced the proliferation, migration, and invasion of A172 cells. Pharmacological inhibition of TRPM7 channel with 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) showed a similar effect as TRPM7-siRNA.

Conclusion: We demonstrate that human glioma cells express functional TRPM7 channel and that activation of this channel plays an important role in the proliferation, migration, and invasion of malignant glioma cells. TRPM7 channel may represent a novel and promising target for therapeutic intervention of malignant glioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339490PMC
March 2015

Local anesthetic lidocaine inhibits TRPM7 current and TRPM7-mediated zinc toxicity.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2015 Jan 28;21(1):32-9. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Previous study demonstrated that overstimulation of TRPM7 substantially contributes to zinc-mediated neuronal toxicity. Inhibition of TRPM7 activity and TRPM7-mediated intracellular Zn(2+) accumulation may represent a promising strategy in the treatment of stroke.

Aims: To investigate whether local anesthetics lidocaine could inhibit TRPM7 channel and TRPM7-mediated zinc toxicity.

Methods: Whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to investigate the effect of local anesthetics on TRPM7 currents in cultured mouse cortical neurons and TRPM7-overexpressed HEK293 cells. Fluorescent Zn(2+) imaging technique was used to study the effect of lidocaine on TRPM7-mediated intracellular Zn(2+) accumulation. TRPM7-mediated zinc toxicity in neurons was used to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of lidocaine.

Results: (1) Lidocaine dose dependently inhibits TRPM7-like currents, with an IC50 of 11.55 and 11.06 mM in cultured mouse cortical neurons and TRPM7-overexpressed HEK293 cells, respectively; (2) Lidocaine inhibits TRPM7 currents in a use/frequency-dependent manner; (3) Lidocaine inhibits TRPM7-mediated intracellular Zn(2+) accumulation in both cortical neurons and TRPM7-overexpressed HEK293 cells; (4) TRPM7-mediated Zn(2+) toxicity is ameliorated by lidocaine in cortical neurons; (5) QX-314 has a similar inhibitory effect as lidocaine on TRPM7 currents when applied extracellularly; (6) Procaine also shows potent inhibitory effect on the TRPM7 currents in cortical neurons.

Conclusion: Our data provide the first evidence that local anesthetic lidocaine inhibits TRPM7 channel and TRPM7-mediated zinc toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6495118PMC
January 2015

The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of small molecule inhibitors of acid-sensing ion channels in stroke intervention.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2013 Jan 23;34(1):33-8. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA.

In the nervous system, a decrease in extracellular pH is a common feature of various physiological and pathological processes, including synaptic transmission, cerebral ischemia, epilepsy, brain trauma, and tissue inflammation. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels that are distributed throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. Following the recent identification of ASICs as critical acid-sensing extracellular proton receptors, growing evidence has suggested that the activation of ASICs plays important roles in physiological processes such as nociception, mechanosensation, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. However, the over-activation of ASICs is also linked to adverse outcomes for certain pathological processes, such as brain ischemia and multiple sclerosis. Based on the well-demonstrated role of ASIC1a activation in acidosis-mediated brain injury, small molecule inhibitors of ASIC1a may represent novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological disorders, such as stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aps.2012.81DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3616483PMC
January 2013

Aspirin inhibits proliferation of gemcitabine-resistant human pancreatic cancer cells and augments gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2010 Jan 7;31(1):73-80. Epub 2009 Dec 7.

Department of Pharmacology, Zhong-shan Medical College, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Aim: To investigate whether aspirin is able to augment gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity in human pancreatic cancer cells.

Methods: Two gemcitabine-insensitive human pancreatic cancer cell lines, PANC-1 and Capan-1, were used. Cells were treated with either aspirin or gemcitabine alone or both of them. Cell growth and apoptosis were determined by MTT assay, Annexin V or Hoechest 33258 staining. Cell cycle distribution was examined by flow cytometry. Western blot with specific phosphorylated protein antibodies was used to detect the activation of protein kinase. RT-PCR and Western blot were applied to assess the transcription and protein level for cyclin D1 and Bcl-2.

Results: Aspirin alone significantly inhibits the proliferation of PANC-1 cells by causing cell cycle arrest at G(1) phase. Aspirin potentiates the anti-survival effect of gemcitabine as well as its pro-apoptotic effect in PANC-1 cells, although aspirin per se does not trigger apoptosis. Aspirin inhibits GSK-3beta activation and suppresses the expression of its downstream gene products (cyclin D1 and Bcl-2), which are implicated in proliferation, survival and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer. The effects of aspirin on Capan-1, were similar to that on PANC-1.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that aspirin inhibits the proliferation of gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells and augments the antisurvival effect of gemcitabine, probably by suppressing the activity of GSK-3beta and its downstream gene products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aps.2009.172DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4002689PMC
January 2010
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