Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN

KHSRP participates in manganese-induced neurotoxicity in rat striatum and PC12 cells.

PMID 25027559


Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient. However, exposure to high doses of Mn may lead to a neurological disease known as manganism, which is characterized by marked brain neuronal loss. K-homology splicing regulator protein (KHSRP) is a multifunctional RNA-binding protein and has been implicated in the regulation of multiple cellular signaling associated with neuronal apoptosis and survival, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB), and Wnt/β-catenin pathways. In the present study, the role of KHSRP in Mn-induced neurotoxicity was investigated in vivo using a rat model of chronic Mn exposure and in vitro using differentiated PC12 cell cultures. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses showed a significant upregulation of KHSRP in rat striatum following Mn exposure. Immunofluorescent labeling indicated that KHSRP was localized mainly in neurons. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay showed that KHSRP was mainly distributed in apoptotic neurons. Increased KHSRP expression was positively correlated with the upregulation of several apoptosis-related proteins, such as p53, bax, and active caspase-3. In addition, significant co-localization of KHSRP and active caspase-3 in neurons after Mn exposure was also observed, suggesting a potential involvement of KHSRP in the regulation of Mn-induced striatal neuronal apoptosis. Importantly, interference with KHSRP apparently decreased the level of p53 and attenuated Mn-induced neuronal apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that upregulation of KHSRP may be involved in the pathological process underlying Mn neurotoxicity via the modulation of p53 signaling.