Nuestros investigadores

Montserrat Arrasate Iragui


Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Íñigo Marco, Ignacio; Valencia Ustárroz, Miguel; Larrea, L., ; et al.
ISSN 0027-8424  Vol. 114  Nº 39  2017  págs. E8274 ¿ E8283
Alpha-Synuclein (aSyn) is the main driver of neurodegenerative diseases known as ¿synucleinopathies,¿ but the mechanisms underlying this toxicity remain poorly understood. To investigate aSyn toxic mechanisms, we have developed a primary neuronal model in which a longitudinal survival analysis can be performed by following the overexpression of fluorescently tagged WT or pathologically mutant aSyn constructs. Most aSyn mutations linked to neurodegenerative disease hindered neuronal survival in this model; of these mutations, the E46K mutation proved to be the most toxic. While E46K induced robust PLK2-dependent aSyn phosphorylation at serine 129, inhibiting this phosphorylation did not alleviate aSyn toxicity, strongly suggesting that this pathological hallmark of synucleinopathies is an epiphenomenon. Optical pulse-chase experiments with Dendra2-tagged aSyn versions indicated that the E46K mutation does not alter aSyn protein turnover. Moreover, since the mutation did not promote overt aSyn aggregation, we conclude that E46K toxicity was driven by soluble species. Finally, we developed an assay to assess whether neurons expressing E46K aSyn affect the survival of neighboring control neurons. Although we identified a minor non¿cell-autonomous component spatially restricted to proximal neurons, most E46K aSyn toxicity was cell autonomous. Thus, we have been able to recapitulate the toxicity of soluble aSyn species at a stage preceding aggregation, detecting non¿cell-autonomous
Autores: Tsvetkov, A. S., ; Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; Barmada, S., ; et al.
ISSN 1552-4450  Vol. 9  Nº 9  2013  págs. 586 - 592
In polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, only certain neurons die, despite widespread expression of the offending protein. PolyQ expansion may induce neurodegeneration by impairing proteostasis, but protein aggregation and toxicity tend to confound conventional measurements of protein stability. Here, we used optical pulse labeling to measure effects of polyQ expansions on the mean lifetime of a fragment of huntingtin, the protein that causes Huntington's disease, in living neurons. We show that polyQ expansion reduced the mean lifetime of mutant huntingtin within a given neuron and that the mean lifetime varied among neurons, indicating differences in their capacity to clear the polypeptide. We found that neuronal longevity is predicted by the mean lifetime of huntingtin, as cortical neurons cleared mutant huntingtin faster and lived longer than striatal neurons. Thus, cell type-specific differences in turnover capacity may contribute to cellular susceptibility to toxic proteins, and efforts to bolster proteostasis in Huntington's disease, such as protein clearance, could be neuroprotective.
Autores: Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; Finkbeiner, S.,
ISSN 0014-4886  Vol. 238  Nº 1  2012  págs. 1 - 11
Huntington's disease (HD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease characterized by abnormal motor movements, personality changes, and early death. HD is caused by a mutation in the IT-15 gene that expands abnormally the number of CAG nucleotide repeats. As a result, the translated protein huntingtin contains disease-causing expansions of glutamines (polyQ) that make it prone to misfold and aggregate. While the gene and mutations that cause HD are known, the mechanisms underlying HD pathogenesis are not. Here we will review the state of knowledge of HD, focusing especially on a hallmark pathological feature intracellular aggregates of mutant Htt called inclusion bodies (IBs). We will describe the role of IBs in the disease. We speculate that IB formation could be just one component of a broader coping response triggered by misfolded Htt whose efficacy may depend on the extent to which it clears toxic forms of mutant Htt. We will describe how IB formation might be regulated and which factors could determine different coping responses in different subsets of neurons. A differential regulation of IB formation as a function of the cellular context could, eventually, explain part of the neuronal vulnerability observed in HD. (c) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Autores: Miller, J., ; Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; Brooks, E., ; et al.
ISSN 1552-4450  Vol. 8  Nº 3  2012  págs. 318 - 318
Autores: Peters Libeu, C., ; Miller, J., ; Rutenber, E., ; et al.
ISSN 0022-2836  Vol. 421  Nº 4-5  2012  págs. 587 - 600
Abnormal polyglutamine (polyQ) tracts are the only common feature in nine proteins that each cause a dominant neurodegenerative disorder. In Huntington's disease, tracts longer than 36 glutamines in the protein huntingtin (htt) cause degeneration. In situ, monoclonal antibody 3B5H10 binds to different htt fragments in neurons in proportion to their toxicity. Here, we determined the structure of 3B5H10 Fab to 1.9 angstrom resolution by X-ray crystallography. Modeling demonstrates that the paratope forms a groove suitable for binding two beta-rich polyQ strands. Using small-angle X-ray scattering, we confirmed that the polyQ epitope recognized by 3B5H10 is a compact two-stranded hairpin within monomeric htt and is abundant in htt fragments unbound to antibody. Thus, disease-associated polyQ stretches preferentially adopt compact conformations. Since 3B5H10 binding predicts degeneration, this compact polyQ structure may be neurotoxic. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Autores: Miller, J., ; Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; Brooks, E., ; et al.
ISSN 1552-4450  Vol. 7  Nº 12  2011  págs. 925 - 934
Polyglutamine (polyQ) stretches exceeding a threshold length confer a toxic function to proteins that contain them and cause at least nine neurological disorders. The basis for this toxicity threshold is unclear. Although polyQ expansions render proteins prone to aggregate into inclusion bodies, this may be a neuronal coping response to more toxic forms of polyQ. The exact structure of these more toxic forms is unknown. Here we show that the monoclonal antibody 3B5H10 recognizes a species of polyQ protein in situ that strongly predicts neuronal death. The epitope selectively appears among some of the many low-molecular-weight conformational states assumed by expanded polyQ and disappears in higher-molecular-weight aggregated forms, such as inclusion bodies. These results suggest that protein monomers and possibly small oligomers containing expanded polyQ stretches can adopt a conformation that is recognized by 3B5H10 and is toxic or closely related to a toxic species.
Autores: Miller, J., ; Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; Shaby, B. A., ; et al.
ISSN 0270-6474  Vol. 30  Nº 31  2010  págs. 10541 - 10550
An expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) stretch in the protein huntingtin (htt) induces self-aggregation into inclusion bodies (IBs) and causes Huntington's disease (HD). Defining precise relationships between early observable variables and neuronal death at the molecular and cellular levels should improve our understanding of HD pathogenesis. Here, we used an automated microscope that tracks thousands of neurons individually over their entire lifetime to quantify interconnected relationships between early variables, such as htt levels, polyQ length, and IB formation, and neuronal death in a primary striatal model of HD. The resulting model revealed that mutant htt increases the risk of death by tonically interfering with homeostatic coping mechanisms rather than producing accumulated damage to the neuron, htt toxicity is saturable, the rate-limiting steps for inclusion body formation and death can be traced to different conformational changes in monomeric htt, and IB formation reduces the impact of the starting levels of htt of a neuron on its risk of death. Finally, the model that emerges from our quantitative measurements places critical limits on the potential mechanisms by which mutant htt might induce neurodegeneration, which should help direct future research.
Autores: Tsvetkov, A. S., ; Miller, J., ; Arrasate Iragui, Montserrat; et al.
ISSN 0027-8424  Vol. 107  Nº 39  2010  págs. 16982 - 16987
Autophagy is an intracellular turnover pathway. It has special relevance for neurodegenerative proteinopathies, such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and Huntington disease (HD), which are characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins. Although induction of autophagy enhances clearance of misfolded protein and has therefore been suggested as a therapy for proteinopathies, neurons appear to be less responsive to classic autophagy inducers than nonneuronal cells. Searching for improved inducers of neuronal autophagy, we discovered an N(10)-substituted phenoxazine that, at proper doses, potently and safely up-regulated autophagy in neurons in an Akt- and mTOR-independent fashion. In a neuron model of HD, this compound was neuroprotective and decreased the accumulation of diffuse and aggregated misfolded protein. A structure/activity analysis with structurally similar compounds approved by the US Food and Drug Administration revealed a defined pharmacophore for inducing neuronal autophagy. This pharmacophore should prove useful in studying autophagy in neurons and in developing therapies for neurodegenerative proteinopathies.