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Rai, A and Singh, PK and Singh, V and Mishra, R and Thakur, AK and Mahadevan, A and Shankar, SK and Jana, NR and Ganesh, S (2018) Glycogen synthase protects neurons from cytotoxicity of mutant huntingtin by enhancing the autophagy flux. Cell Death and Disease, 9 (2).

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Healthy neurons do not store glycogen while they do possess the machinery for the glycogen synthesis albeit at an inactive state. Neurons in the degenerating brain, however, are known to accumulate glycogen, although its significance was not well understood. Emerging reports present contrasting views on neuronal glycogen synthesis; a few reports demonstrate a neurotoxic effect of glycogen while a few others suggest glycogen to be neuroprotective. Thus, the specific role of glycogen and glycogen synthase in neuronal physiology is largely unexplored. Using cellular and animal models of Huntington's disease, we show here that the overexpression of cytotoxic mutant huntingtin protein induces glycogen synthesis in the neurons by activating glycogen synthase and the overexpressed glycogen synthase protected neurons from the cytotoxicity of the mutant huntingtin. Exposure of neuronal cells to proteasomal blockade and oxidative stress also activate glycogen synthase to induce glycogen synthesis and to protect against stress-induced neuronal death. We show that the glycogen synthase plays an essential and inductive role in the neuronal autophagic flux, and helps in clearing the cytotoxic huntingtin aggregate. We also show that the increased neuronal glycogen inhibits the aggregation of mutant huntingtin, and thus could directly contribute to its clearance. Finally, we demonstrate that excessive autophagy flux is the molecular basis of cell death caused by the activation of glycogen synthase in unstressed neurons. Taken together, our results thus provide a novel function for glycogen synthase in proteolytic processes and offer insight into the role of glycogen synthase and glycogen in both survival and death of the neurons

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neuro-Oncological Disorders
Neurocognitive Processes
Neuronal Development and Regeneration
Informatics and Imaging
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Depositing User: Dr. D.D. Lal
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 06:21
URI: http://nbrc.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/324

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