Original Article

Neurogenetics

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 139-148

First online:

Transcriptome analysis reveals link between proteasomal and mitochondrial pathways in Parkinson’s disease

  • D. C. DukeAffiliated withDepartment of Neuropathology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith,Hospitals Trust
  • , L. B. MoranAffiliated withDepartment of Neuropathology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith,Hospitals Trust
  • , M. E. KalaitzakisAffiliated withDepartment of Neuropathology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith,Hospitals Trust
  • , M. DeprezAffiliated withLaboratory of Neuropathology, University Hospital,University of Liège
  • , D. T. DexterAffiliated withDepartment of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Imperial College London
  • , R. K. B. PearceAffiliated withDepartment of Neuropathology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith,Hospitals Trust
  • , M. B. GraeberAffiliated withDepartment of Neuropathology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith,Hospitals Trust Email author 

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Abstract

There is growing evidence that dysfunction of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and failure of the cellular protein degradation machinery, specifically the ubiquitin–proteasome system, play an important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. We now show that the corresponding pathways of these two systems are linked at the transcriptomic level in Parkinsonian substantia nigra. We examined gene expression in medial and lateral substantia nigra (SN) as well as in frontal cortex using whole genome DNA oligonucleotide microarrays. In this study, we use a hypothesis-driven approach in analysing microarray data to describe the expression of mitochondrial and ubiquitin–proteasomal system (UPS) genes in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although a number of genes showed up-regulation, we found an overall decrease in expression affecting the majority of mitochondrial and UPS sequences. The down-regulated genes include genes that encode subunits of complex I and the Parkinson’s-disease-linked UCHL1. The observed changes in expression were very similar for both medial and lateral SN and also affected the PD cerebral cortex. As revealed by “gene shaving” clustering analysis, there was a very significant correlation between the transcriptomic profiles of both systems including in control brains. Therefore, the mitochondria and the proteasome form a higher-order gene regulatory network that is severely perturbed in Parkinson’s disease. Our quantitative results also suggest that Parkinson’s disease is a disease of more than one cell class, i.e. that it goes beyond the catecholaminergic neuron and involves glia as well.

Keywords

Alpha-synuclein Gene shaving Microarrays Oxidative stress Ubiquitin–proteasome system