Cell death & disease

Influence of microRNA deregulation on chaperone-mediated autophagy and α-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease.

PMID 23492776


The presence of α-synuclein aggregates in the characteristic Lewy body pathology seen in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), together with α-synuclein gene mutations in familial PD, places α-synuclein at the center of PD pathogenesis. Decreased levels of the chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) proteins LAMP-2A and hsc70 in PD brain samples suggests compromised α-synuclein degradation by CMA may underpin the Lewy body pathology. Decreased CMA protein levels were not secondary to the various pathological changes associated with PD, including mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction, increased oxidative stress and proteasomal inhibition. However, decreased hsc70 and LAMP-2A protein levels in PD brains were associated with decreases in their respective mRNA levels. MicroRNA (miRNA) deregulation has been reported in PD brains and we have identified eight miRNAs predicted to regulate LAMP-2A or hsc70 expression that were reported to be increased in PD. Using a luciferase reporter assay in SH-SY5Y cells, four and three of these miRNAs significantly decreased luciferase activity expressed upstream of the lamp-2a and hsc70 3'UTR sequences respectively. We confirmed that transfection of these miRNAs also decreased endogenous LAMP-2A and hsc70 protein levels respectively and resulted in significant α-synuclein accumulation. The analysis of PD brains confirmed that six and two of these miRNAs were significantly increased in substantia nigra compacta and amygdala respectively. These data support the hypothesis that decreased CMA caused by miRNA-induced downregulation of CMA proteins plays an important role in the α-synuclein pathology associated with PD, and opens up a new avenue to investigate PD pathogenesis.