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Title: Network pharmacology of the MPP+ cellular model of Parkinson's disease
Author: Keane, Harriet
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 3869
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Parkinson's disease (PD) is an incurable neurodegenerative motor disorder caused by the inexorable loss of dopamine neurones from the substantia nigra pars compacta. Cell loss is characterised by the perturbation of multiple physiological processes (including mitochondrial function, autophagy and dopamine homeostasis) and much of this pathophysiology can be reproduced in vitro using the mitochondrial toxin MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium). It was hypothesised that MPP+ toxicity could be modelled using protein-protein interaction networks (PPIN) in order to better understand the interplay of systems-level processes that result in eventual cell death in MPP+ models and PD. Initially, MPP+ toxicity was characterised in the human, dopamine-producing cell line BE(2)-M17 and it was confirmed that the neurotoxin resulted in time and dose dependent apoptosis. A radio-label pulse-chase assay was developed and demonstrated that MPP+ induced decreased autophagic flux preceded cell death. Autophagic dysfunction was consistent with lysosome deacidification due to cellular ATP depletion. Pertinent PPINs were sampled from publically available data using a seedlist of proteins with validated roles in MPP+ toxicity. These PPINs were subjected to a series of analyses to identify potential therapeutic targets. Two topological methods based on betweenness centrality were used to identify target proteins predicted to be critical for the crosstalk between mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy in the context of MPP+ toxicity. Combined knockdown of a subset of target proteins potentiated MPP+ toxicity and the combined resulted in cellular rescue. Neither of these effects was observed following single knockdown/overexpression confirming the need for multiple interventions. Cellular rescue occurred via an autophagic mechanism; prominent autophagosomes were formed and it was hypothesised that these structures allowed for the sequestration of damaged proteins. This thesis demonstrates the value of PPINs as a model for Parkinson's disease, from network creation through target identification to phenotypic benefit.
Supervisor: Wade-Martins, Richard; Jackson, Brendan; Scannell, Jack; Whitmore, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neuroscience ; Biology (medical sciences) ; Mathematical biology ; Parkinson's disease ; autophagy ; network pharmacology ; systems biology ; mitochondrial dysfunction