Statin's excitoprotection is mediated by sAPP and the subsequent attenuation of calpain-induced truncation events, likely via Rho-ROCK signaling

Tao Ma, Yong Bo Zhao, Young Don Kwak, Zhangmin Yang, Robert Thompson, Zhijun Luo, Huaxi Xu, Francesca-Fang Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, were reported to reduce the incidence of stroke and the progression of Alzheimer's disease. However, little is known on how statins exert these beneficial effects. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective actions of statins in primary cultured cortical neurons.Wefound that chronic treatment of neurons with a low dosage of two CNS-permeable statins (lovastatin and simvastatin) selectively reduced NMDA-induced cell death but not the caspase-mediated apoptosis. The protective effects of stains were inhibited by mevalonate, a PI3K inhibitor, and tyrphostin AG538, suggesting roles for cholesterol and insulin/IGF-1 signaling in the neurotoxic response. We further demonstrate that statins block calcium-dependent calpain activation, resulting in complete suppression of protein truncation events on multiple calpain substrates that are involved in neuronal death including CDK5 coactivator p35 cleavage to p25, GSK3 and β-catenin. This is followed by reduced and increased nuclear translocation of p25 and β-catenin, respectively. Under excitotoxic conditions, the activities of CDK5 and β-catenin are exclusively regulated by calpain-mediated cleavage while apoptosis modulates α-catenin mainly through phosphorylation. Strikingly, our data demonstrate that the calpain-blocking effect of statins is largely mediated by stimulation of α-secretase cleavage of APP, resulting in increased secretion of its soluble form, sAPP. Finally, our data suggest that statin-regulated sAPP secretion occurs via activation of the PI3K pathway and inhibition of ROCK signaling. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into statin-mediated neuronal excitoprotection through both cholesterol-dependent and-independent mechanisms and links them to calpain-mediated neuronal death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11226-11236
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 9 2009

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Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Lovastatin
Calpain
Simvastatin
Catenins
Cholesterol
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Tyrphostins
Apoptosis
Neurons
Mevalonic Acid
Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
N-Methylaspartate
Caspases
Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
Alzheimer Disease
Cell Death
Coloring Agents
Stroke
Phosphorylation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Statin's excitoprotection is mediated by sAPP and the subsequent attenuation of calpain-induced truncation events, likely via Rho-ROCK signaling. / Ma, Tao; Zhao, Yong Bo; Kwak, Young Don; Yang, Zhangmin; Thompson, Robert; Luo, Zhijun; Xu, Huaxi; Liao, Francesca-Fang.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 29, No. 36, 09.09.2009, p. 11226-11236.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ma, Tao ; Zhao, Yong Bo ; Kwak, Young Don ; Yang, Zhangmin ; Thompson, Robert ; Luo, Zhijun ; Xu, Huaxi ; Liao, Francesca-Fang. / Statin's excitoprotection is mediated by sAPP and the subsequent attenuation of calpain-induced truncation events, likely via Rho-ROCK signaling. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 ; Vol. 29, No. 36. pp. 11226-11236.
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AU - Zhao, Yong Bo

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AU - Yang, Zhangmin

AU - Thompson, Robert

AU - Luo, Zhijun

AU - Xu, Huaxi

AU - Liao, Francesca-Fang

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AB - The widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, were reported to reduce the incidence of stroke and the progression of Alzheimer's disease. However, little is known on how statins exert these beneficial effects. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective actions of statins in primary cultured cortical neurons.Wefound that chronic treatment of neurons with a low dosage of two CNS-permeable statins (lovastatin and simvastatin) selectively reduced NMDA-induced cell death but not the caspase-mediated apoptosis. The protective effects of stains were inhibited by mevalonate, a PI3K inhibitor, and tyrphostin AG538, suggesting roles for cholesterol and insulin/IGF-1 signaling in the neurotoxic response. We further demonstrate that statins block calcium-dependent calpain activation, resulting in complete suppression of protein truncation events on multiple calpain substrates that are involved in neuronal death including CDK5 coactivator p35 cleavage to p25, GSK3 and β-catenin. This is followed by reduced and increased nuclear translocation of p25 and β-catenin, respectively. Under excitotoxic conditions, the activities of CDK5 and β-catenin are exclusively regulated by calpain-mediated cleavage while apoptosis modulates α-catenin mainly through phosphorylation. Strikingly, our data demonstrate that the calpain-blocking effect of statins is largely mediated by stimulation of α-secretase cleavage of APP, resulting in increased secretion of its soluble form, sAPP. Finally, our data suggest that statin-regulated sAPP secretion occurs via activation of the PI3K pathway and inhibition of ROCK signaling. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into statin-mediated neuronal excitoprotection through both cholesterol-dependent and-independent mechanisms and links them to calpain-mediated neuronal death.

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