A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Motility tests for drugs preventing PolyQ aggregation in recombinant Caenorhabditis elegans.
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
The pathological formation of proteinaceous aggregates that accumulate into the brain cells of patients are hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the heterogeneous group of polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases. In the polyQ diseases, the most upstream events of the pathogenic cascade are the misfolding and aggregation of proteins, such as huntingtin in Huntington's disease, that contain expanded stretch of glutamine residues above 35--‐40 repeats. This expanded polyQ stretch triggers the misfolding and aggregation of cytotoxic polyQ proteins in the neurons that cause cell death through different processes, like apoptosis, excessive inflammation, formation of free radicals, eventually leading to neuronal loss and neurodegeneration. This study focuses on the cellular network of chaperone proteins that can prevent protein aggregation by binding misfolding intermediates and may, as in the case of HSP70, actively unfold misfolded proteins into refoldable non--‐toxic ones (Hinault et al., 2010; Sharma et al., 2011). The chaperones can also collaborate with the proteasome to convert stable harmful proteins into harmless amino acids. Thus, the chaperone proteins that are the most important cellular factors of prevention and curing of protein misfolding, are negatively affected by aging (Morley et al., 2002) and fail to act properly in the neurons of aged persons, which eventually may lead to neurodegenerative pathologies. The general aim of this research was to identify least toxic drugs that can upregulate the expression of chaperone genes in cells suffering from polyQ--‐ mediated protein aggregation and degeneration. The specific aim of this study was to observe the effect of ten drugs on polyQ aggregation in a recombinant nematode Caenorhabditis elegans expressing a chimeric protein containing a sequence of 35 glutamines (Q35) fused to the green fluorescent protein in muscle cells, which causes an age--‐ and temperature--‐ dependent phenotype of accelerated paralysis. The drugs were selected after having proven their causing the overexpression of chaperone proteins in a previous wide screening of 2000 drugs on the moss plant Physcomitrella patens. The screening that we performed in this study was on these ten drugs. It suggested that piroxicam and anisindione were good reducers of polyglutamine disease mediated paralysis. A hypothesis can be made that they may act as good enhancers of the heat shock response, which causes the overexpression of many HSP chaperones and thus reduce motility impairment of polyQ disease expressing nematodes. Piroxicam was found to have the greatest effect on reducing polyQ35 proteins aggregates mediated paralysis in a dose--‐dependent manner but was also found to either have a toxic effect on wild type C.elegans, either to change its natural motility behavior, eventually reducing its motility in both cases. Chloroform should be preferred over DMSO as a drug solvent as it appears to be less toxic to C.elegans.
Caenorhabditis elegans, polyglutamine, piroxicam, anisindione, heat shock proteins.
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