alexa The bipyridyl herbicide paraquat induces proteasome dysfunction in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.


Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism

Author(s): Yang W, TiffanyCastiglioni E

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Paraquat (PQ) is suspected to be an environmental risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). A strong correlation between exposure to paraquat and the occurrence of PD was reported in Canada, Taiwan, and the United States. This correlation is supported by in vivo work showing that paraquat produces dopaminergic pathogenesis. In particular, paraquat forms abnormal protein aggregates in dopaminergic neurons of mice. However, it is not clear how paraquat produces this pathology. Given that proteasome dysfunction induces aberrant protein aggregation, it was hypothesized that paraquat induces proteasome dysfunction. To explore this possibility, proteasome activity and some factors possibly contributing to proteasome dysfunction were investigated in dopaminergic SY5Y cells treated with paraquat. Furthermore, levels of alpha-synuclein and ubiquitin-conjugated proteins were measured to test whether paraquat induces protein accumulation in SY5Y cells. Results showed that at a concentration of paraquat that reduced viability by about 60% at 48 h (0.5 mM) loss of proteasome activity occurred. In addition, the cells showed decreased ATP levels and reduced mitochondrial complex V activity. These changes were significant 24 h after treatment with paraquat. Furthermore, paraquat-treated cells showed decreased protein levels of proteasome 19S subunits, but not 20S alpha or beta subunits, suggesting that the effects observed were not the result of general cytotoxicity. Paraquat also increased levels of alpha-synuclein and ubiquitinated proteins, suggesting that paraquat-induced proteasome dysfunction leads to aberrant protein accumulation. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that paraquat impairs proteasome function in SY5Y cells.

This article was published in J Toxicol Environ Health and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism

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