FEBS letters

Rotenone induces neurotoxicity through Rac1-dependent activation of NADPH oxidase in SHSY-5Y cells.

PMID 24374334


Neurodegenerative diseases are attributed to impairment of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Oxidative stress has been considered a contributing factor in the pathology of impaired UPS by promoting protein misfolding and subsequent protein aggregate formation. Increasing evidence suggests that NADPH oxidase is a likely source of excessive oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders. However, the mechanism of activation and its role in impaired UPS is not understood. We show that activation of NADPH oxidase in a neuroblastoma cell line (SHSY-5Y) resulted in increased oxidative and nitrosative stress, elevated cytosolic calcium, ER-stress, impaired UPS, and apoptosis. Rac1 inhibition mitigated the oxidative/nitrosative stress, prevented calcium-dependent ER-stress, and partially rescued UPS function. These findings demonstrate that Rac1 and NADPH oxidase play an important role in rotenone neurotoxicity.