Gorelenkova Miller and Mieyal (Arch Toxicol 89(9): 1439–1467, 2015) recently published a review paper suggesting that reversible cysteine plays a key role in redox-linked signal transduction via alteration of protein function, resulting in an association with many diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. Following their suggestions, we considered the correlation between sulfhydryl-mediated redox signaling and neurodegenerative diseases by focusing on RET proteins, a protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) potentially sited upstream of the signal transduction cascade. c-RET is the receptor for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands. c-RET has been reported to be involved in not only Hirschsprung disease via development of the enteric nervous system but also neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We also showed that c-RET might be associated with hearing loss via neurodegeneration of spiral ganglion neurons in the inner ear after birth in mice and humans. Moreover, we have reported that three kinds of oxidative stress, ultraviolet light-induced stress, osmotic stress and arsenic-induced stress, modulate kinase activity of RET-PTC1 without an extracellular domain as well as c-RET by conformational change of RET protein (dimerization) via disulfide bond formation. The oxidative stresses also modulate kinase activity of RET-PTC1 with cysteine 365 (C365) replaced by alanine with promotion of dimer formation, but not with cysteine 376 (C376) replaced by alanine. Since C376 of Ret-PTC-1 or its equivalent is most highly conserved and crucial for activity in PTKs, the cysteine could be one of major targets for oxidative stresses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis