Taylor & Francis Group
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Recombinant pro-CTSD (cathepsin D) enhances SNCA/α-Synuclein degradation in α-Synucleinopathy models

Version 3 2022-05-17, 09:00
Version 2 2022-04-28, 18:20
Version 1 2022-03-15, 08:00
posted on 2022-05-17, 09:00 authored by Susy Prieto Huarcaya, Alice Drobny, André R. A. Marques, Alessandro Di Spiezio, Jan Philipp Dobert, Denise Balta, Christian Werner, Tania Rizo, Lisa Gallwitz, Simon Bub, Iva Stojkovska, Nandkishore R. Belur, Jens Fogh, Joseph R Mazzulli, Wei Xiang, Amitkumar Fulzele, Mario Dejung, Markus Sauer, Beate Winner, Stefan Rose-John, Philipp Arnold, Paul Saftig, Friederike Zunke

Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the abnormal intracellular accumulation of SNCA/α-synuclein. While the exact mechanisms underlying SNCA pathology are not fully understood, increasing evidence suggests the involvement of autophagy as well as lysosomal deficiencies. Because CTSD (cathepsin D) has been proposed to be the major lysosomal protease involved in SNCA degradation, its deficiency has been linked to the presence of insoluble SNCA conformers in the brain of mice and humans as well as to the transcellular transmission of SNCA aggregates. We here postulate that SNCA degradation can be enhanced by the application of the recombinant human proform of CTSD (rHsCTSD). Our results reveal that rHsCTSD is efficiently endocytosed by neuronal cells, correctly targeted to lysosomes and matured to an enzymatically active protease. In dopaminergic neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) of PD patients harboring the A53T mutation within the SNCA gene, we confirm the reduction of insoluble SNCA after treatment with rHsCTSD. Moreover, we demonstrate a decrease of pathological SNCA conformers in the brain and within primary neurons of a ctsd-deficient mouse model after dosing with rHsCTSD. Boosting lysosomal CTSD activity not only enhanced SNCA clearance in human and murine neurons as well as tissue, but also restored endo-lysosome and autophagy function. Our findings indicate that CTSD is critical for SNCA clearance and function. Thus, enzyme replacement strategies utilizing CTSD may also be of therapeutic interest for the treatment of PD and other synucleinopathies aiming to decrease the SNCA burden.

Abbreviations: aa: amino acid; SNCA/α-synuclein: synuclein alpha; APP: amyloid beta precursor protein; BBB: blood brain barrier; BF: basal forebrain; CBB: Coomassie Brilliant Blue; CLN: neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; CNL10: neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 10; Corr.: corrected; CTSD: cathepsin D; CTSB: cathepsin B; DA: dopaminergic; DA-iPSn: induced pluripotent stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons; dox: doxycycline; ERT: enzyme replacement therapy; Fx: fornix, GBA/β-glucocerebrosidase: glucosylceramidase beta; h: hour; HC: hippocampus; HT: hypothalamus; i.c.: intracranially; IF: immunofluorescence; iPSC: induced pluripotent stem cell; KO: knockout; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LSDs: lysosomal storage disorders; MAPT: microtubule associated protein tau; M6P: mannose-6-phosphate; M6PR: mannose-6-phosphate receptor; MB: midbrain; mCTSD: mature form of CTSD; neurofil.: neurofilament; PD: Parkinson disease; proCTSD: proform of CTSD; PRNP: prion protein; RFU: relative fluorescence units; rHsCTSD: recombinant human proCTSD; SAPC: Saposin C; SIM: structured illumination microscopy; T-insol: Triton-insoluble; T-sol: Triton-soluble; TEM: transmission electron microscopy, TH: tyrosine hydroxylase; Thal: thalamus


This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bonn, Germany (SFB877, projects A1, A3, A13, B11, Z3; grant number 125440785, WI 3567/2-1 and GRK2162, grant number 270949263) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF) at the University Hospital of the FAU University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Jochen-Kalden funding programme N8 and E30) and the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts in the framework of the ForInter network. Further support was received from the European Research Council (grant number 951275, ULTRARESOLUTION).