A cell-permeable peptide inhibitor TAT-JBD reduces the MPP+-induced caspase-9 activation but does not prevent the dopaminergic degeneration in substantia nigra of rats.

PMID 18037221


Many studies showed that 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) which was widely used to produce Parkinson's disease (PD)-like models in animals can elicit apoptosis with increase of caspase activity via its neurotoxic metabolite 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP(+)). Another pathway shown in MPTP-mediated nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell death involved the c-Jun-N-terminal kinases (JNKs) which are stress-activated protein kinases (SAPKs). Activation of the JNKs leads to the activation of transcription factors such as c-Jun that regulates its own expression. However, it is not known whether the activation of c-Jun is crucial in the stimulation of caspases leading to apoptosis observed in PD-like models. The aim of this study was to investigate the cellular expression and phosphorylation of c-Jun and the caspase-9 activity in rat injured with an intranigral injection of MPP(+). Furthermore, we determined the effects of a cell-permeable peptide TAT-JBD, inhibiting selectively JNKs, on apoptosis markers and on the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Our results showed that MPP(+) induced not only an activation of c-Jun but also an early and robust stimulation of caspase-9 in midbrain of rats. Furthermore, a preliminary intravenous injection of TAT-JBD reduced the caspase-9 activation specifically induced by MPP(+) suggesting a control of the JNKs pathway on the intrinsic way of apoptosis in MPP(+)-toxicity. However, the inhibition of the JNK pathway did not prevent TH inhibition, DNA fragmentation and Bad expression in MPP(+)-lesioned substantia nigra of rats. Therefore, the possibility of intervention on the JNK pathway as a therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease is questionable.

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T5455 TAT-JBD trifluoroacetate salt, ≥95% (HPLC)
C125H220N52O27 · xC2HF3O2