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Growing evidence suggests that Diabetes Mellitus increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. It is well known that hyperglycemia, a key feature of Diabetes Mellitus, may induce plasma osmolarity disturbances. Both hyperglycemia and hyperosmolarity promote the altered post-translational regulation of microtubule-associated protein Tau. Interestingly, abnormal hyperphosphorylation and cleavage of Tau have been proven to lead to the genesis of filamentous structures referred to as neurofibrillary tangles, the main pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. We have previously described that hyperosmotic stress induced by sorbitol promotes Tau proteolysis and apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells via caspase-3 activation. In order to gain insights into the regulatory mechanisms of such processes, in this work we explored the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate these events. We found that sorbitol treatment significantly enhanced the activation of conventional families of MAPK in SH-SY5Y cells. Tau proteolysis was completely prevented by JNK inhibition but not affected by either ERK1/2 or p38 MAPK blockade. Moreover, inhibition of JNK, but not ERK1/2 or p38 MAPK, efficiently prevented sorbitol-induced apoptosis and caspase-3 activation. In summary, we provide evidence that JNK signaling pathway is an upstream regulator of hyperosmotic stress-induced Tau cleavage and apoptosis in SH-SY5Y through the control of caspase-3 activation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Marta Olivera Santa-Catalina, Montaña Caballero Bermejo, Ricardo Argent, Juan C Alonso, Francisco Centeno, María J Lorenzo. JNK signaling pathway regulates sorbitol-induced Tau proteolysis and apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells by targeting caspase-3. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. 2017 Nov 07;636:42-49

PMID: 29126968

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