Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase aggregate formation participates in oxidative stress-induced cell death

Hidemitsu Nakajima, Wataru Amano, Takeya Kubo, Ayano Fukuhara, Hideshi Ihara, Yasu Taka Azuma, Hisao Tajima, Takashi Inui, Akira Sawa, Tadayoshi Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH)2 is a classic glycolytic enzyme that also mediates cell death by its nuclear translocation under oxidative stress. Meanwhile, we previously presented that oxidative stress induced disulfide-bonded GAPDH aggregation in vitro. Here, we propose that GAPDH aggregate formation might participate in oxidative stress-induced cell death both in vitro and in vivo. We show that human GAPDH amyloidlike aggregate formation depends on the active site cysteine-152 (Cys-152) in vitro. In SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma, treatment with dopamine decreases the cell viability concentration-dependently (IC50 = 202 μM). Low concentrations of dopamine (50-100 μM) mainly cause nuclear translocation of GAPDH, whereas the levels of GAPDH aggregates correlate with high concentrations of dopamine (200-300 μM)-induced cell death. Doxycycline-inducible overexpression of wild-type GAPDH in SH-SY5Y, but not the Cys-152-substituted mutant (C152A-GAPDH), accelerates cell death accompanying both endogenous and exogenous GAPDH aggregate formation in response to high concentrations of dopamine. Deprenyl, a blocker of GAPDH nuclear translocation, fails to inhibit the aggregation both in vitro and in cells but reduced cell death in SH-SY5Y treated with only a low concentration of dopamine (100 μM). These results suggest that GAPDH participates in oxidative stress-induced cell death via an alternative mechanism in which aggregation but not nuclear translocation of GAPDH plays a role. Moreover, we observe endogenous GAPDH aggregate formation in nigra-striatum dopaminergic neurons after methamphetamine treatment in mice. In transgenic mice overexpressing wild-type GAPDH, increased dopaminergic neuron loss and GAPDH aggregate formation are observed. These data suggest a critical role of GAPDH aggregates in oxidative stress-induced brain damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34331-34341
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 4 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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