Insufficient production of neurotrophic factors is implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of N-propargyl caffeate amide (PACA) to enhance nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced neurite outgrowth and the underlying mechanisms. We discovered that PACA not only potentiated NGF-induced neurite outgrowth but also attenuated 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) neurotoxicity in dopaminergic PC12 cells and primary rat midbrain neurons. To identify the PACA-binding proteins, we introduced a biotin tag to the covalent PACA-protein adducts via "click chemistry" alkyne-azido cycloaddition. As a result, kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) was isolated as the predominant protein from PACA treated PC12 cells. We demonstrated that the formation of PACA-Keap1 conjugates induced the nuclear translocation of transcription factor Nrf2 and the expression of antioxidant heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Importantly, specific HO-1 inhibitor SnPP diminished the neuroprotective and neuritogenic activities of PACA. Moreover, PACA attenuated 6-OHDA-induced production of neurotoxic reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. PACA also preserved mitochondrial membrane integrity and enhanced the cellular resistance against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity. These results suggest that PACA may exhibit neuroprotective and neuritogenic activities via activating the Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant pathway.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- N-Propargyl caffeate amide (PACA)
- Parkinson's disease