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Biliverdin reductase A precursor (EC (BVR A) (Biliverdin-IX alpha-reductase) [BLVR] [BVR]


Attenuation of epigenetic regulator SMARCA4 and ERK-ETS signaling suppresses aging-related dopaminergic degeneration.

How complex interactions of genetic, environmental factors and aging jointly contribute to dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) is largely unclear. Here, we applied frequent gene co-expression analysis on human patient substantia nigra-specific microarray datasets to identify potential novel disease-related genes. In vivo Drosophila studies validated two of 32 candidate genes, a chromatin-remodeling factor SMARCA4 and a biliverdin reductase BLVRA. Inhibition of SMARCA4 was able to prevent aging-dependent dopaminergic degeneration not only caused by overexpression of BLVRA but also in four most common Drosophila PD models. Furthermore, down-regulation of SMARCA4 specifically in the dopaminergic neurons prevented shortening of life span caused by α-synuclein and LRRK2. Mechanistically, aberrant SMARCA4 and BLVRA converged on elevated ERK-ETS activity, attenuation of which by either genetic or pharmacological manipulation effectively suppressed dopaminergic degeneration in Drosophila in vivo. Down-regulation of SMARCA4 or drug inhibition of MEK/ERK also mitigated mitochondrial defects in PINK1 (a PD-associated gene)-deficient human cells. Our findings underscore the important role of epigenetic regulators and implicate a common signaling axis for therapeutic intervention in normal aging and a broad range of age-related disorders including PD.



  • MAPK-ERK-ETS signaling
  • Parkinson's disease
  • SMARCA4/Brahma
  • aging
  • neurodegeneration