Genetic mutations explain only 10-15% of cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD), while an overriding environmental component has been implicated in the etiopathogenesis of PD. But regardless of where the underlying triggers for the onset of familial and sporadic PD fall on the gene-environment axis, mitochondrial dysfunction emerges as a common mediator of dopaminergic neuronal degeneration. Herein, we employ a multidisciplinary approach to convincingly demonstrate that neurotoxicant exposure- and genetic mutation-driven mitochondrial dysfunction share a common mechanism of epigenetic dysregulation. Under both scenarios, lysine 27 acetylation of likely variant H3.2 (H3.2K27ac) increased in dopaminergic neuronal models of PD, thereby opening that region to active enhancer activity via H3K27 hyperacetylation. These vulnerable epigenomic loci represent potential transcription factor motifs for PD pathogenesis. We further confirmed the mitochondrial dysfunction induced H3K27ac during neurodegeneration in ex vivo models of PD. Our results reveal an exciting axis of ‘exposure/mutation-mitochondrial dysfunction-metabolism-H3K27ac-transcriptome’ for PD pathogenesis. Collectively, the novel mechanistic insights presented here interlinks mitochondrial dysfunction to epigenetic transcriptional regulation in dopaminergic degeneration as well as offer potential new epigenetic intervention strategies for PD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)