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Discovery of a molecular glue that enhances UPRmt to restore proteostasis via TRKA-GRB2-EVI1-CRLS1 axis

By Li-Feng-Rong Qi, Cheng Qian, Shuai Liu, Chao Peng, Mu Zhang, Peng Yang, Ping Wu, Ping Li, Xiaojun Xu

Posted 17 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.17.431525

Lowering proteotoxicity is a potentially powerful approach for the treatment of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a major mechanism that preserves the network maintaining cellular proteostasis. In the present study, we developed the screening strategy to discover compounds that significantly enhanced the activation of mitochondrial UPR (UPRmt) through increasing cardiolipin content. We identified that ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3) increased cardiolipin depending on cardiolipin synthase 1 (CRLS1) in both worms and in human neural cells. Using LiP-SMap (limited proteolysis-mass spectrometry) strategy, we identified GRB2 (growth factor receptor bound protein 2) as a direct target of Rg3 in human neural cells. Rg3 enhances the binding between GRB2 and TRKA, that transduces signals via phosphrorylation of ERK. We provide bioinformatic and experimental evidence that EVI1, the critical oncogenic transcriptional regulator in leukemia, binds to CRLS1 promoter region and stimulated CRLS1 expression and subsequently increased cardiolipin content in the presence of Rg3. In a Parkinson's disease mouse model, Rg3 restores motor function by protecting nigral dopaminergic neurons dependent on Grb2. Our data recapitulate the TRKA-GRB2-EVI1-CRLS1 axis in maintaining proteostasis in Parkinson's disease via UPRmt.

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