The Wnt pool of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta is critical for trophic-deprivation-induced neuronal death.Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Mar; 28(5):1515-27.MC
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is implicated in neuronal death through a causal role, and precise mechanisms have not been unambiguously defined. We show that short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of GSK-3beta, but not GSK-3alpha, protects cerebellar granule neurons from trophic-deprivation-induced death. Using compartment-targeted inhibitors of the Wnt-regulated GSK-3 pool, NLS-FRAT1, NES-FRAT1, and axin-GSK-3-interacting domain (axin-GID), we locate proapoptotic GSK-3 action to the cytosol and regulation of Bim protein turnover despite constitutive cycling of GSK-3 between the cytosol and nucleus, revealed by leptomycin B. We examine the importance of Ser21/9 (GSK-3alpha/beta) phosphorylation on proapoptotic GSK-3 function. Neurons isolated from GSK-3alpha/beta(S21A/S9A) knock-in mice survive normally and are fully sensitive to trophic-deprivation-induced death. Nonetheless, inhibition of GSK-3 catalytic activity with lithium or SB216763 protects GSK-3alpha/beta(S21A/S9A) neurons from death. This indicates that dephosphorylation of GSK-3beta/Ser9 and GSK-3alpha/Ser21 is insufficient for GSK-3 proapoptotic function and that another level of regulation is required. Gel filtration reveals a stress-induced loss of neuronal GSK-3beta from a high-molecular-mass complex with a concomitant decrease in axin-bound GSK-3beta. These data imply that Wnt-regulated GSK-3beta plays a nonredundant role in trophic-deprivation-induced death of neurons.