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Interruption of Endolysosomal Trafficking After Focal Brain Ischemia. Front Mol Neurosci 2021;14:719100



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85117011033 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   5 Citations


A typical neuron consists of a soma, a single axon with numerous nerve terminals, and multiple dendritic trunks with numerous branches. Each of the 100 billion neurons in the brain has on average 7,000 synaptic connections to other neurons. The neuronal endolysosomal compartments for the degradation of axonal and dendritic waste are located in the soma region. That means that all autophagosomal and endosomal cargos from 7,000 synaptic connections must be transported to the soma region for degradation. For that reason, neuronal endolysosomal degradation is an extraordinarily demanding and dynamic event, and thus is highly susceptible to many pathological conditions. Dysfunction in the endolysosomal trafficking pathways occurs in virtually all neurodegenerative diseases. Most lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) with defects in the endolysosomal system preferentially affect the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, significant progress has been made in understanding the role that the endolysosomal trafficking pathways play after brain ischemia. Brain ischemia damages the membrane fusion machinery co-operated by N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (NSF), soluble NSF attachment protein (SNAP), and soluble NSF attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), thus interrupting the membrane-to-membrane fusion between the late endosome and terminal lysosome. This interruption obstructs all incoming traffic. Consequently, both the size and number of endolysosomal structures, autophagosomes, early endosomes, and intra-neuronal protein aggregates are increased extensively in post-ischemic neurons. This cascade of events eventually damages the endolysosomal structures to release hydrolases leading to ischemic brain injury. Gene knockout and selective inhibition of key endolysosomal cathepsins protects the brain from ischemic injury. This review aims to provide an update of the current knowledge, future research directions, and the clinical implications regarding the critical role of the neuronal endolysosomal trafficking pathways in ischemic brain injury.

Author List

Hu K, Gaire BP, Subedi L, Arya A, Teramoto H, Liu C, Hu B


Kurt Hu MD Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin