Altered Nup153 Expression Impairs the Function of Cultured Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells Isolated from a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Lucia Leone, Claudia Colussi, Katia Gironi, Valentina Longo, Salvatore Fusco, Domenica Donatella Li Puma, Marcello D'Ascenzo, Claudio Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impairment of adult hippocampal neurogenesis is an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD), playing a crucial role in cognitive dysfunction associated with this pathology. However, the mechanisms underlying defective neurogenesis in AD are still unclear. Recently, the nucleoporin Nup153 has been described as a new epigenetic determinant of adult neural stem cell (NSC) maintenance and fate. Here we investigated whether Nup153 dysfunction could affect the plasticity of NSCs in AD. Nup153 expression was strongly reduced in AD-NSCs, as well as its interaction with the transcription factor Sox2, a master regulator of NSC stemness and their neuronal differentiation. Similar Nup153 reduction was also observed in WT-NSCs treated with amyloid-β (Aβ) or stimulated with a nitric oxide donor. Accordingly, AD-NSCs treated with either a γ-secretase inhibitor or antioxidant compounds showed higher Nup153 levels suggesting that both nitrosative stress and Aβ accumulation affect Nup153 expression. Of note, restoration of Nup153 levels in AD-NSCs promoted their proliferation, as assessed by BrdU incorporation, neurosphere assay, and stemness gene expression analysis. Nup153 overexpression also recovered AD-NSC response to differentiation, increasing the expression of pro-neuronal genes, the percentage of cells positive for neuronal markers, and the acquisition of a more mature neuronal phenotype. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that neurons differentiated from Nup153-transfected AD-NSCs displayed higher Na+ current density, comparable to those deriving from WT-NSCs. Our data uncover a novel role for Nup153 in NSCs from animal model of AD and point to Nup153 as potential target to restore physiological NSC behavior and fate in neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5934-5949
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Alzheimer Disease/metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neural Stem Cells/metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide/metabolism
  • Nitrosation
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/metabolism
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


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