BACKGROUND: Resveratrol (1) is a naturally occurring polyphenol that has been implicated in neuroprotection. One of resveratrol's several biological targets is Ca2+-sensitive protein kinase C alpha (PKCα). Resveratrol inhibits PKCα by binding to its activator-binding C1 domain. Munc13-1 is a C1 domain-containing Ca2+-sensitive SNARE complex protein essential for vesicle priming and neurotransmitter release. METHODS: To test if resveratrol could also bind and inhibit Munc13-1, we studied the interaction of resveratrol and its derivatives, (E)-1,3-dimethoxy-5-(4-methoxystyryl)benzene, (E)-5,5'-(ethene-1,2-diyl)bis(benzene-1,2,3-triol), (E)-1,2-bis(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)ethane, and (E)-5-(4-(hexadecyloxy)-3,5-dihydroxystyryl)benzene-1,2,3-triol with Munc13-1 by studying its membrane translocation from cytosol to plasma membrane in HT22 cells and primary hippocampal neurons. RESULTS: Resveratrol, but not the derivatives inhibited phorbol ester-induced Munc13-1 translocation from cytosol to membrane in HT22 cells and primary hippocampal neurons, as evidenced by immunoblot analysis and confocal microscopy. Resveratrol did not show any effect on Munc13-1H567K, a mutant which is not sensitive to phorbol ester. Binding studies with Munc13-1 C1 indicated that resveratrol competes with phorbol ester for the binding site. Molecular docking and dynamics studies suggested that hydroxyl groups of resveratrol interact with phorbol-ester binding residues in the binding pocket. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study characterizes Munc13-1 as a target of resveratrol and highlights the importance of dietary polyphenol in the management of neurodegenerative diseases.
Neuroinflammation, especially activation of microglia, the key immune cells in the brain, has been proposed to contribute to the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke. However, the dynamics and the potential mediators of microglial activation following ischemic neuronal injury are not well understood. In this study, using oxygen/glucose deprivation and reoxygenation with neuronal and microglial cell cultures as an in vitro model of ischemic neuronal injury, we set out to identify neuronal factors released from injured neurons that are capable of inducing microglial activation. Conditioned media (CM) from hippocampal and cortical neurons exposed to oxygen/glucose deprivation and reoxygenation induced significant activation of microglial cells as well as primary microglia, evidenced by up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, increased production of nitrite and reactive oxygen species, and increased expression of microglial markers. Mechanistically, neuronal ischemia-responsive protein 94 (Irp94) was a key contributor to microglial activation since significant increase in Irp94 was detected in the neuronal CM following ischemic insult and immunodepletion of Irp94 rendered ischemic neuronal CM ineffective in inducing microglial activation. Ischemic insult-augmented oxidative stress was a major facilitator of neuronal Irp94 release, and pharmacological inhibition of NADPH oxidase significantly reduced the ischemic injury-induced neuronal reactive oxygen species production and Irp94 release. Taken together, these results indicate that neuronal Irp94 may play a pivotal role in the propagation of ischemic neuronal damage. Continued studies may help identify Irp94 and/or related proteins as potential therapeutic targets and/or diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers for managing ischemia-associated brain disorders.
While the aging process is central to the pathogenesis of age-dependent diseases, it is poorly understood at the molecular level. We identified a mouse mutant with accelerated aging in the retina as well as pathologies observed in age-dependent retinal diseases, suggesting that the responsible gene regulates retinal aging, and its impairment results in age-dependent disease. We determined that a mutation in the transmembrane 135 (Tmem135) is responsible for these phenotypes. We observed localization of TMEM135 on mitochondria, and imbalance of mitochondrial fission and fusion in mutant Tmem135 as well as Tmem135 overexpressing cells, indicating that TMEM135 is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Additionally, mutant retina showed higher sensitivity to oxidative stress. These results suggest that the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics through TMEM135 is critical for protection from environmental stress and controlling the progression of retinal aging. Our study identified TMEM135 as a critical link between aging and age-dependent diseases.