Mol Cell Biol 2008 Jan 5;28(2):539-50. Epub 2007 Nov 5.
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, Petersplatz 13, 4051 Basel, Switzerland.
DHCR24/seladin-1, a crucial enzyme in sterol synthesis, is of lower abundance in brain areas affected by Alzheimer's disease. While high levels of DHCR24/seladin-1 exert antiapoptotic function by conferring resistance against oxidative stress, the molecular mechanism for this protective effect is not fully understood. Here we show that DHCR24/seladin-1 expression is up-regulated in an acute response and down-regulated in a chronic response to oxidative stress. High levels of DHCR24/seladin-1 were associated with elevated cholesterol concentrations and a general increase in cholesterol biosynthesis upon oxidative stress exposure in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. DHCR24/seladin-1 overexpression conferred resistance to oxidative stress in a cholesterol-dependent manner. Mutating the reductase activity within DHCR24/seladin-1 abolished this protective effect. Conversely, DHCR24/seladin-1 levels diminished upon chronic exposure to oxidative stress. Low levels of DHCR24/seladin-1 were associated with reduced p53 levels, independent of DHCR24 activity and cholesterol concentrations. Additionally, ablation of DHCR24/seladin-1 prevented apoptosis of primary neurons in a p53-dependent manner and reduced the response of critical p53 targets due to deficient stabilization of p53 and therefore elevated p53 ubiquitination and degradation. Our findings reveal a dual capacity of DHCR24/seladin-1, which appears to be involved in two mechanistically independent prosurvival effects, exerting an acute response and a chronic response to oxidative stress.