Posttranslational oxidative modification of SOD1 in neurodegeneration

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Chen, Xueping
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Converging evidence indicates that SOD1 aggregation is a common feature of mutant SOD1 (mSOD1)-linked FALS, and seems to be directly related to the gain-of-function toxic property. However, the mechanisms of protein aggregation are not fully understood. To study the contribution of modification on cysteine residues in SOD1 aggregation, we systematically examined the redox state of SOD1 cysteine residues in the G37R transgenic mouse at different stages of ALS and under oxidative stress induced by H2O2. Our data showed that under normal circumstances, cysteine 111 in SOD1 is free. Under oxidative stress, it is prone to oxidative modification by providing the thiolate anion (S-). With the progression of ALS, increased levels of oxidative insults facilitated the oxidation of thiol groups of cysteine residues. Human mutant SOD1 could generate an upper shifted band in SDS-PAGE, which turned out to be a Cys111-peroxidized SOD1 species. We also found that at different stages of ALS, accumulated oxidative stress facilitated the aggregates formation, which were not mediated by disulfide bond. The oxidative modification of cysteine 111 may promote the formation of disulfide bond-independent SOD1 aggregates. In addition, we investigated the correlation between nitrosative stress and S-nitrosylation of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) in the mechanism of aggregates formation. Our data showed that up-regulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) generated high levels of nitric oxide (NO), which induced S-nitrosylation of PDI with the progression of ALS in the spinal cords of mSOD1 transgenic mice. This correlation was confirmed by treating SH-SY5Y cells with NO donor SNOC to trigger the formation of S-nitrosylated PDI (SNO-PDI). When mSOD1 was overexpressed in SH-SY5Y cells, iNOS expression was up-regulated, NO generation was increased consequently. Furthermore, both SNO-PDI and mSOD1 aggregates were detected in these cells. Blocking NO generation with NOS inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine (NNA) attenuated the S-nitrosylation of PDI; the formation of mSOD1 aggregates was inhibited as well. We conclude that NO-mediated S-nitrosylation of PDI is highly linked to the accumulation of mSOD1 aggregates in ALS.
Oxidative stress, Posttranslational modification, SOD1, PDI