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Exclusive Neuronal Detection Of KGDHC-specific Subunits In The Adult Human Brain Cortex Despite Pancellular Protein Lysine Succinylation

Arpad Dobolyi, Attila Bago, Miklos Palkovits, Natalia S. Nemeria, Frank Jordan, Judit Doczi, Attila Ambrus, Vera Adam-Vizi, Christos Chinopoulos

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AbstractThe ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) consists of three different subunits encoded by OGDH (or OGDHL), DLST, and DLD, combined in different stoichiometries. DLD subunit is shared between KGDHC and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex, and the glycine cleavage system. Despite KGDHC’s implication in neurodegenerative diseases, cell-specific localization of its subunits in the adult human brain has never been investigated. Here, we show that immunoreactivity of all known isoforms of OGDHL, OGDH, and DLST was detected exclusively in neurons of surgical human cortical tissue samples identified by their morphology and visualized by double labeling with fluorescent Nissl, while being absent from glia expressing GFAP, Aldhl1, myelin basic protein, Olig2, or IBA1. In contrast, DLD immunoreactivity was evident in both neurons and glia. Specificity of anti-KGDHC subunits antisera was verified by a decrease in staining of siRNA-treated human cancer cell lines directed against the respective coding gene products; furthermore, immunoreactivity of KGDHC subunits in human fibroblasts co-localized > 99% with mitotracker orange, while western blotting of 63 post-mortem brain samples and purified recombinant proteins afforded further assurance regarding antisera monospecificity. KGDHC subunit immunoreactivity correlated with data from the Human Protein Atlas as well as RNA-Seq data from the Allen Brain Atlas corresponding to genes coding for KGDHC components. Protein lysine succinylation, however, was immunohistochemically evident in all cortical cells; this was unexpected, because this posttranslational modification requires succinyl-CoA, the product of KGDHC. In view of the fact that glia of the human brain cortex lack succinate-CoA ligase, an enzyme producing succinyl-CoA when operating in reverse, protein lysine succinylation in these cells must exclusively rely on propionate and/or ketone body metabolism or some other yet to be discovered pathway encompassing succinyl-CoA.