Role of Rac1 GTPase in JNK signaling and delayed neuronal cell death following global cerebral ischemia

Quanguang Zhang, Ruimin Wang, Dong Han, Yan Dong, Darrell W Brann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The overall goal of this study was to determine the role of Rac1 in POSH/MLK/JNK signaling and delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia. Temporal studies revealed that Rac1 GTPase activation was significantly elevated in hippocampus CA1 at 10 min to 72 h after cerebral ischemia reperfusion, with peak levels 30 min to 6 h after reperfusion. Total Rac1 protein levels were not significantly changed following cerebral ischemia. Rac1 has been shown to interact with POSH (plenty of SH3s), a scaffold protein that binds to and regulates MLK3 and JNK activation. Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) studies revealed that POSH-Rac1-MLK3 complex formation displayed a significant and prolonged elevation after reperfusion, with a correlative increase in phosphorylation/activation of MLK3 as compared to sham controls. Intracerebroventricular administration of Rac1 antisense oligonucleotides (AS-ODNs) significantly attenuated Rac1 levels and Rac1 activation at 30 min after reperfusion, with a correlated significant attenuation of POSH-MLK3-Rac1 complex formation and MLK3 activation in hippocampus CA1. Infusion of Rac1 AS-ODNs also significantly attenuated post-ischemic activation of JNK, downstream of MLK3, and strongly protected the hippocampus CA1 from ischemic damage. Missense oligos had no effect on any of the parameters measured. The Rac1 AS-ODNs results were further confirmed by administration of a Rac1 inhibitor (NSC23766), which markedly attenuated activation of Rac1 and JNK, and significantly attenuated apoptotic delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia. As a whole, these studies demonstrate an important role for Rac1 in activation of the prodeath MLK3-JNK kinase signaling pathway and delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Volume1265
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2009

Keywords

  • Cell signaling
  • Global cerebral ischemia
  • Hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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