A novel peptide inhibitor targeted to caspase-3 cleavage site of a proapoptotic kinase protein kinase C delta (PKCdelta) protects against dopaminergic neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease models.. Anumantha G Kanthasamy; Vellareddy Anantharam; Danhui Zhang; Calivarathan Latchoumycandane; Huajun Jin; Siddharth Kaul; Arthi Kanthasamy (2006) Free radical biology & medicine display abstract
Oxidative stress and apoptosis are considered common mediators of many neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD). Recently, we identified that PKCdelta, a member of the novel PKC isoform family, is proteolytically activated by caspase-3 to induce apoptosis in experimental models of PD [Eur. J. Neurosci. 18 (6):1387-1401, 2003; Antioxid. Redox Signal. 5 (5):609-620, 2003]. Since caspase-3 cleaves PKCdelta between proline and aspartate residues at the cleavage site 324DIPD327 to activate the kinase, we developed an irreversible and competitive peptide inhibitor, Z-Asp(OMe)-Ile-Pro-Asp(OMe)-FMK (z-DIPD-fmk), to mimic the caspase-3 cleavage site of PKCdelta and tested its efficacy against oxidative stress-induced cell death in PD models. Cotreatment of z-DIPD-fmk with the parkinsonian toxins MPP(+) and 6-OHDA dose dependently attenuated cytotoxicity, caspase-3 activation, and DNA fragmentation in a mesencephalic dopaminergic neuronal cell model (N27 cells). However, z-DIPD-fmk treatment did not block MPP(+)-induced increases in caspase-9 enzyme activity. The z-DIPD-fmk peptide was much more potent (IC50 6 microM) than the most widely used and commercially available caspase-3 inhibitor z-DEVD-fmk (IC50 18 microM). Additionally, z-DIPD-fmk more effectively blocked PKCdelta cleavage and proteolytic activation than the cleavage of another caspase-3 substrate, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Importantly, the peptide inhibitor z-DIPD-fmk completely rescued TH(+) neurons from MPP(+)- and 6-OHDA-induced toxicity in mouse primary mesencephalic cultures. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the PKCdelta cleavage site is a novel target for development of a neuroprotective therapeutic strategy for PD.