Netrin1 deficiency activates MST1 via UNC5B receptor, promoting dopaminergic apoptosis in Parkinson's disease

Eun Hee Ahn, Seong Su Kang, Qi Qi, Xia Liu, Keqiang Ye
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2020 September 14
The Hippo (MST1/2) pathway plays a critical role in restricting tissue growth in adults and modulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration in developing organs. Netrin1, a secreted laminin-related protein, is essential for nervous system development. However, the mechanisms underlying MST1 regulation by the extrinsic signals remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Netrin1 reduction in Parkinson's disease (PD) activates MST1, which selectively binds and phosphorylates netrin receptor UNC5B on T428 residue, promoting its apoptotic activation and dopaminergic neuronal loss. Netrin1 deprivation stimulates MST1 activation and interaction with UNC5B, diminishing YAP levels and escalating cell deaths. Knockout of UNC5B abolishes netrin depletion-induced dopaminergic loss, whereas blockade of MST1 phosphorylating UNC5B suppresses neuronal apoptosis. Remarkably, Netrin1 is reduced in PD patient brains, associated with MST1 activation and UNC5B T428 phosphorylation, which is accompanied by YAP reduction and apoptotic activation. Hence, Netrin1 regulates Hippo (MST1) pathway in dopaminergic neuronal loss in PD via UNC5B receptor.

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