- Chronic exposure to high levels of manganese (Mn) leads to manganism, a neurological disorder with similar symptoms to those inherent to Parkinson's disease. However, the underlying mechanisms of this pathological condition have yet to be established. Since the human excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) (glutamate transporter 1 in rodents) is predominantly expressed in astrocytes and its dysregulation is involved in Mn-induced excitotoxic neuronal injury, characterization of the mechanisms that mediate the Mn-induced impairment in EAAT2 function is crucial for the development of novel therapeutics against Mn neurotoxicity.
- Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient required for the normal development of many organs, including the brain. Although its roles as a cofactor in several enzymes and in maintaining optimal physiology are well-known, the overall biological functions of Mn are rather poorly understood. Alterations in body Mn status are associated with altered neuronal physiology and cognition in humans, and either overexposure or (more rarely) insufficiency can cause neurological dysfunction. The resultant balancing act can be viewed as a hormetic U-shaped relationship for biological Mn status and optimal brain health, with changes in the brain leading to physiological effects throughout the body and vice versa.
- Dopaminergic functions are important for various biological activities, and their impairment leads to neurodegeneration, a hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Chronic manganese (Mn) exposure causes the neurological disorder manganism, presenting symptoms similar to those of PD. Emerging evidence has linked the transcription factor RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST) to PD and also Alzheimer's disease. But REST's role in dopaminergic neurons is unclear. Here, we investigated whether REST protects dopaminergic neurons against Mn-induced toxicity and enhances expression of the dopamine-synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH).
- The essential metal manganese becomes neurotoxic at elevated levels. Yet, the mechanisms by which brain manganese homeostasis is regulated are unclear. Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A10, a cell surface–localized manganese efflux transporter in the brain and liver, induce familial manganese neurotoxicity. To elucidate the role of SLC30A10 in regulating brain manganese, we compared the phenotypes of whole-body and tissue-specific Slc30a10 knockout mice. Surprisingly, unlike whole-body knockouts, brain manganese levels were unaltered in pan-neuronal/glial Slc30a10 knockouts under basal physiological conditions.
- Homozygous mutations in SLC30A10 lead to the development of familial manganese-induced parkinsonism. We previously demonstrated that SLC30A10 is a cell surface-localized manganese efflux transporter, and parkinsonism-causing mutations block its trafficking and efflux activity. Interestingly, other transporters in the SLC30 family mediate zinc efflux. Determining the mechanisms that allow SLC30A10 to transport manganese, which are unclear, is essential to understand its role in parkinsonism. Here, we generated a predicted structure of SLC30A10, based on the structure of the bacterial zinc transporter YiiP, and performed functional studies.