Impairment of proteostasis network in Down syndrome prior to the development of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology: redox proteomics analysis of human brain

Fabio Di Domenico, Raffaella Coccia, Annalisa Cocciolo, M. Paul Murphy, Giovanna Cenini, Elizabeth Head, D. Allan Butterfield, Alessandra Giorgi, Maria Eugenia Schinina, Cesare Mancuso, Chiara Cini, Marzia Perluigi

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85 Citations (Scopus)


DS is the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability characterized by the anomalous presence of three copies of chromosome 21. One of the peculiar features of DS is the onset of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology after the age of 40years characterized by deposition of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Growing studies demonstrated that increased oxidative damage, accumulation of unfolded/damaged protein aggregates and dysfunction of intracellular degradative system are key players in neurodegenerative processes. In this study, redox proteomics approach was used to analyze the frontal cortex from DS subjects under the age of 40 compared with age-matched controls, and proteins found to be increasingly carbonylated were identified. Interestingly, our results showed that oxidative damage targets specifically different components of the intracellular quality control system such as GRP78, UCH-L1, V0-ATPase, cathepsin D and GFAP that couples with decreased activity of the proteasome and autophagosome formation observed. We also reported a slight but consistent increase of Aβ 1-42 SDS- and PBS-soluble form and tau phosphorylation in DS versus CTR. We suggest that disturbance in the proteostasis network could contribute to the accumulation of protein aggregates, such as amyloid deposits and NFTs, which occur very early in DS. It is likely that a sub-optimal functioning of degradative systems occur in DS neurons, which in turn provide the basis for further accumulation of toxic protein aggregates. The results of this study suggest that oxidation of protein members of the proteostatis network is an early event in DS and might contribute to neurodegenerative phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1259
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cathepsin D
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neurons
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phagosomes
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Protein Carbonylation
  • Proteomics
  • Proteostasis Deficiencies
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Young Adult
  • tau Proteins


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