Research ArticleNeuroscience

Niche-derived laminin-511 promotes midbrain dopaminergic neuron survival and differentiation through YAP

See allHide authors and affiliations

Sci. Signal.  22 Aug 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 493, eaal4165
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aal4165

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

YAP supports dopaminergic neurons

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder marked by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and motor control. Various factors promote or inhibit neuronal survival. Zhang et al. found that a prosurvival signal was mediated by the transcription cofactor YAP. YAP was activated in midbrain dopaminergic neurons in culture and in mice through an interaction between an integrin and the extracellular matrix protein laminin-511. YAP then transcriptionally activated dopaminergic neuron differentiation factors and a microRNA that decreased the synthesis of the apoptotic protein PTEN. The findings uncover a new role for YAP in neurons and a pathway that might be explored for the purpose of promoting dopaminergic neuron survival in PD patients.

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain (mDA neurons) causes progressive loss of motor control and function. Using embryonic and mDA neurons, midbrain tissue from mice, and differentiated human neural stem cells, we investigated the mechanisms controlling the survival of mDA neurons. We found that the extracellular matrix protein laminin-511 (LM511) promoted the survival and differentiation of mDA neurons. LM511 bound to integrin α3β1 and activated the transcriptional cofactor YAP. LM511-YAP signaling enhanced cell survival by inducing the expression of the microRNA miR-130a, which suppressed the synthesis of the cell death–associated protein PTEN. In addition, LM511-YAP signaling increased the expression of transcription factors critical for mDA identity, such as LMX1A and PITX3, and prevented the loss of mDA neurons in response to oxidative stress, a finding that warrants further investigation to assess therapeutic potential for PD patients. We propose that by enhancing LM511-YAP signaling, it may be possible to prevent mDA neuron degeneration in PD or enhance the survival of mDA neurons in cell replacement therapies.

View Full Text