Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major cause of long-term disability. Although many clinical trials have targeted stroke patients, only thrombolysis has so far emerged as an effective treatment. Nonetheless, new therapeutic targets have emerged. Calcium dysregulation has long been implicated in brain injury in the setting of stroke. Our prior work on this grant, as well as work from others, has shown that the heat shock protein 70 kDa (HSP70) family of chaperones or stress proteins, even if expressed after ischemia, can protect the brain. The regulation of apoptosis by the BCL2 family of proteins is another important determinant of ischemic outcome. These pathways converge to control cellular calcium homeostasis and both apoptotic and necrotic cell death. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria interact at specific sites called the mitochondrial associated ER membrane (MAM) to regulate cellular calcium homeostasis and cell death. MAM is a critical site of stress/chaperone protein and BCL2 family interaction, and is central to determining the outcome from cerebral ischemia. We recently found that overexpressing GRP78, an ER chaperone and HSP70 family member, preserves mitochondrial function, reduces mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, and improves brain cell survival after stress. We also found that GRP78 translocates to the mitochondrial inner membrane after stress in astrocytes, CNS glial cells that are known to be integral to neuronal survival.
In Aim 1 of this proposal we will investigate the role of translocated GRP78 in mitochondrial function by comparing wild type and mitochondrially targeted GRP78. The discovery of posttranscriptional gene silencing by miRNAs has led to an explosion of new hypotheses in human disease. Studies of miRNAs in cerebral ischemia are recent, and most have focused on profiling changes in miRNAs. We recently reported that reducing or blocking miR-181, a brain-enriched miRNA, protects the brain from stroke in the initial post-injury period.
Aim 2 is a translational aim and ill follow up these studies to determine the effects of altering miR-181 on long term behavioral outcome from stroke, test post-treatment, and determine whether miR-181 is also effective in female animals. We recently demonstrated that miR-181 can target both GRP78 and anti-apoptotic BCL2 family members BCL2 and MCL1. Therefore, the role of miR-181 in ER-mitochondrial calcium transfer in MAM will be studied. Using computational miRNA target prediction we identified miR-200 as potentially targeting GRP75, a mitochondrial chaperone, and BCL2.
Aim 3 of this proposal will focus on the mechanism of protection by reducing miR-181 levels investigating in detail effects on ER and mitochondrial Ca2+, and mitochondrial function. Overall this proposal exams a novel hypothesis: that miRNAs act as master regulators of chaperones and BCL2 family members influencing Ca2+ homeostasis, mitochondria-ER crosstalk, and outcome after cerebral ischemia.

Public Health Relevance

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the most common cause of neurological disability in the United States. The goal of this research is to identify new ways to reduce the brain injury caused by stroke which, when translated to clinical use, could improve the lives of stroke victims by reducing the damage caused by stroke.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project (R01)
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Surgery, Anesthesiology and Trauma Study Section (SAT)
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Bosetti, Francesca
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Stanford University
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Kotoda, Masakazu; Furukawa, Hajime; Miyamoto, Takeshi et al. (2018) Role of Myeloid Lineage Cell Autophagy in Ischemic Brain Injury. Stroke 49:1488-1495
Bell, Josh D; Cho, Jang-Eun; Giffard, Rona G (2017) MicroRNA Changes in Preconditioning-Induced Neuroprotection. Transl Stroke Res 8:585-596
Voloboueva, Ludmila A; Sun, Xiaoyun; Xu, Lijun et al. (2017) Distinct Effects of miR-210 Reduction on Neurogenesis: Increased Neuronal Survival of Inflammation But Reduced Proliferation Associated with Mitochondrial Enhancement. J Neurosci 37:3072-3084
Stary, Creed M; Xu, Lijun; Li, Le et al. (2017) Inhibition of miR-181a protects female mice from transient focal cerebral ischemia by targeting astrocyte estrogen receptor-?. Mol Cell Neurosci 82:118-125
Li, Le; Stary, Creed M (2016) Targeting Glial Mitochondrial Function for Protection from Cerebral Ischemia: Relevance, Mechanisms, and the Role of MicroRNAs. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2016:6032306
Stary, Creed M; Sun, Xiaoyun; Ouyang, YiBing et al. (2016) miR-29a differentially regulates cell survival in astrocytes from cornu ammonis 1 and dentate gyrus by targeting VDAC1. Mitochondrion 30:248-54
Stary, Creed M; Xu, Lijun; Sun, Xiaoyun et al. (2015) MicroRNA-200c contributes to injury from transient focal cerebral ischemia by targeting Reelin. Stroke 46:551-6
Xu, Li-Jun; Ouyang, Yi-Bing; Xiong, Xiaoxing et al. (2015) Post-stroke treatment with miR-181 antagomir reduces injury and improves long-term behavioral recovery in mice after focal cerebral ischemia. Exp Neurol 264:1-7
Ouyang, Yi-Bing; Stary, Creed M; White, Robin E et al. (2015) The use of microRNAs to modulate redox and immune response to stroke. Antioxid Redox Signal 22:187-202
Sun, Xiaoyun; Voloboueva, Ludmila A; Stary, Creed M et al. (2015) Physiologically normal 5% O2 supports neuronal differentiation and resistance to inflammatory injury in neural stem cell cultures. J Neurosci Res 93:1703-12

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