Biochemistry and Pharmacology - Research Publications
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ItemA Truncated Fragment of Src Protein Kinase Generated by Calpain-mediated Cleavage Is a Mediator of Neuronal Death in ExcitotoxicityHossain, MI ; Roulston, CL ; Kamaruddin, MA ; Chu, PWY ; Ng, DCH ; Dusting, GJ ; Bjorge, JD ; Williamson, NA ; Fujita, DJ ; Cheung, SN ; Chan, TO ; Hill, AF ; Cheng, H-C (AMER SOC BIOCHEMISTRY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INC, 2013-04-05)Excitotoxicity resulting from overstimulation of glutamate receptors is a major cause of neuronal death in cerebral ischemic stroke. The overstimulated ionotropic glutamate receptors exert their neurotoxic effects in part by overactivation of calpains, which induce neuronal death by catalyzing limited proteolysis of specific cellular proteins. Here, we report that in cultured cortical neurons and in vivo in a rat model of focal ischemic stroke, the tyrosine kinase Src is cleaved by calpains at a site in the N-terminal unique domain. This generates a truncated Src fragment of ~52 kDa, which we localized predominantly to the cytosol. A cell membrane-permeable fusion peptide derived from the unique domain of Src prevents calpain from cleaving Src in neurons and protects against excitotoxic neuronal death. To explore the role of the truncated Src fragment in neuronal death, we expressed a recombinant truncated Src fragment in cultured neurons and examined how it affects neuronal survival. Expression of this fragment, which lacks the myristoylation motif and unique domain, was sufficient to induce neuronal death. Furthermore, inactivation of the prosurvival kinase Akt is a key step in its neurotoxic signaling pathway. Because Src maintains neuronal survival, our results implicate calpain cleavage as a molecular switch converting Src from a promoter of cell survival to a mediator of neuronal death in excitotoxicity. Besides unveiling a new pathological action of Src, our discovery of the neurotoxic action of the truncated Src fragment suggests new therapeutic strategies with the potential to minimize brain damage in ischemic stroke.
ItemDual role of Src kinase in governing neuronal survivalHossaina, MI ; Hoquel, A ; Lessene, G ; Kamaruddin, MA ; Chu, PWY ; Ng, IHW ; Irtegun, S ; Ng, DCH ; Bogoyevitch, MA ; Burgess, AW ; Hill, AF ; Cheng, H-C (ELSEVIER, 2015-01-12)BACKGROUND: Src-family kinases (SFKs) are involved in neuronal survival and their aberrant regulation contributes to neuronal death. However, how they control neuronal survival and death remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To define the effect of inhibition of Src activity and expression on neuronal survival. RESULTS: In agreement with our previous findings, we demonstrated that Src was cleaved by calpain to form a 52-kDa truncated fragment in neurons undergoing excitotoxic cell death, and expression of the recombinant truncated Src fragment induced neuronal death. The data confirm that the neurotoxic signaling pathways are intact in the neurons we used for our study. To define the functional role of neuronal SFKs, we treated these neurons with SFK inhibitors and discovered that the treatment induced cell death, suggesting that the catalytic activity of one or more of the neuronal SFKs is critical to neuronal survival. Using small hairpin RNAs that suppress Src expression, we demonstrated that Src is indispensable to neuronal survival. Additionally, we found that neuronal death induced by expression of the neurotoxic truncated Src mutant, treatment of SFK inhibitors or knock-down of Src expression caused inhibition of the neuroprotective protein kinases Erk1/2, or Akt. CONCLUSIONS: Src is critical to both neuronal survival and death. Intact Src sustains neuronal survival. However, in the excitotoxic condition, calpain cleavage of Src generates a neurotoxic truncated Src fragment. Both intact Src and the neurotoxic truncated Src fragment exert their biological actions by controlling the activities of neuroprotective protein kinases.