The small heat shock protein B8 (HSPB8) efficiently removes aggregating species of dipeptides produced in C9ORF72-related neurodegenerative diseases

Riccardo Cristofani, Valeria Crippa, Giulia Vezzoli, Paola Rusmini, Mariarita Galbiati, Maria Elena Cicardi, Marco Meroni, Veronica Ferrari, Barbara Tedesco, Margherita Piccolella, Elio Messi, Serena Carra, Angelo Poletti

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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two neurodegenerative diseases in which similar pathogenic mechanisms are involved. Both diseases associate to the high propensity of specific misfolded proteins, like TDP-43 or FUS, to mislocalize and aggregate. This is partly due to their intrinsic biophysical properties and partly as a consequence of failure of the neuronal protein quality control (PQC) system. Several familial ALS/FTD cases are linked to an expansion of a repeated G4C2 hexanucleotide sequence present in the C9ORF72 gene. The G4C2, which localizes in an untranslated region of the C9ORF72 transcript, drives an unconventional repeat-associated ATG-independent translation. This leads to the synthesis of five different dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs), which are not "classical" misfolded proteins, but generate aberrant aggregation-prone unfolded conformations poorly removed by the PQC system. The DPRs accumulate into p62/SQSTM1 and ubiquitin positive inclusions. Here, we analyzed the biochemical behavior of the five DPRs in immortalized motoneurons. Our data suggest that while the DPRs are mainly processed via autophagy, this system is unable to fully clear their aggregated forms, and thus they tend to accumulate in basal conditions. Overexpression of the small heat shock protein B8 (HSPB8), which facilitates the autophagy-mediated disposal of a large variety of classical misfolded aggregation-prone proteins, significantly decreased the accumulation of most DPR insoluble species. Thus, the induction of HSPB8 might represent a valid approach to decrease DPR-mediated toxicity and maintain motoneuron viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCell Stress and Chaperones
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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    Cristofani, R., Crippa, V., Vezzoli, G., Rusmini, P., Galbiati, M., Cicardi, M. E., Meroni, M., Ferrari, V., Tedesco, B., Piccolella, M., Messi, E., Carra, S., & Poletti, A. (2018). The small heat shock protein B8 (HSPB8) efficiently removes aggregating species of dipeptides produced in C9ORF72-related neurodegenerative diseases. Cell Stress and Chaperones, 23(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12192-017-0806-9