Prion protein regulates glutathione metabolism and neural glutamate and cysteine uptake via excitatory amino acid transporter 3

Kathrin Guitart, Gabriele Loers, Melitta Schachner, Ralf Kleene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prion protein (PrP) plays crucial roles in regulating antioxidant systems to improve cell defenses against cellular stress. Here, we show that the interactions of PrP with the excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT), and multi-drug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) in astrocytes and the interaction between PrP and EAAT3 in neurons regulate the astroglial and neuronal metabolism of the antioxidant glutathione. Ablation of PrP in astrocytes and cerebellar neurons leads to dysregulation of EAAT3-mediated uptake of glutamate and cysteine, which are precursors for the synthesis of glutathione. In PrP-deficient astrocytes, levels of intracellular glutathione are increased, and under oxidative stress, levels of extracellular glutathione are increased, due to (i) increased glutathione release via MRP1 and (ii) reduced activity of the glutathione-degrading enzyme γ-GT. In PrP-deficient cerebellar neurons, cell death is enhanced under oxidative stress and glutamate excitotoxicity, when compared to wild-type cerebellar neurons. These results indicate a functional interplay of PrP with EAAT3, MRP1 and γ-GT in astrocytes and of PrP and EAAT3 in neurons, suggesting that these interactions play an important role in the metabolic cross-talk between astrocytes and neurons and in protection of neurons by astrocytes from oxidative and glutamate-induced cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-571
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Volume133
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Keywords

  • cellular stress
  • excitatory amino acid transporter
  • glutathione
  • multi-drug resistance protein
  • prion protein
  • γ-glutamyl transpeptidase

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