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Inhibition Of Mitochondrial Complex II In Neuronal Cells Triggers Unique Pathways Culminating In Autophagy With Implications For Neurodegeneration

Sathyanarayanan Ranganayaki, Neema Jamshidi, Mohamad Aiyaz, Santhosh-Kumar Rashmi, Narayanappa Gayathri, Pulleri Kandi Harsha, Balasundaram Padmanabhan, Muchukunte Mukunda Srinivas Bharath

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AbstractMitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration underlie movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Manganism among others. As a corollary, inhibition of mitochondrial complex I (CI) and complex II (CII) by toxins 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) respectively, induced degenerative changes noted in such neurodegenerative diseases. We aimed to unravel the down-stream pathways associated with CII inhibition and compared with CI inhibition and the Manganese (Mn) neurotoxicity. Genome-wide transcriptomics of N27 neuronal cells exposed to 3-NPA, compared with MPP+ and Mn revealed varied transcriptomic profile. Along with mitochondrial and synaptic pathways, Autophagy was the predominant pathway differentially regulated in the 3-NPA model with implications for neuronal survival. This pathway was unique to 3-NPA, as substantiated by in silico modelling of the three toxins. Morphological and biochemical validation of autophagy markers in the cell model of 3-NPA revealed incomplete autophagy mediated by mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2 (mTORC2) pathway. Interestingly, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which was elevated in the 3-NPA model could confer neuroprotection against 3-NPA. We propose that, different downstream events are activated upon neurotoxin-dependent CII inhibition compared to other neurotoxins, with implications for movement disorders and regulation of autophagy could potentially offer neuroprotection.