Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion within the ATXN3/MJD1 gene. The expanded CAG repeats encode a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract at the C-terminus of the ATXN3 protein. ATXN3 containing expanded polyQ forms aggregates, leading to subsequent cellular dysfunctions including an impaired ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). To investigate the pathogenesis of SCA3 and develop potential therapeutic strategies, we established induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from SCA3 patients (SCA3-iPSC). Neurons derived from SCA3-iPSCs formed aggregates that are positive to the polyQ marker 1C2. Treatment with the proteasome inhibitor, MG132, on SCA3-iPSC-derived neurons downregulated proteasome activity, increased production of radical oxygen species (ROS), and upregulated the cleaved caspase 3 level and caspase 3 activity. This increased susceptibility to the proteasome inhibitor can be rescued by a Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) extract NH037 (from Pueraria lobata) and its constituent daidzein via upregulating proteasome activity and reducing protein ubiquitination, oxidative stress, cleaved caspase 3 level, and caspase 3 activity. Our results successfully recapitulate the key phenotypes of the neurons derived from SCA3 patients, as well as indicate the potential of NH037 and daidzein in the treatment for SCA3 patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology