Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Hinokitiol protects primary neuron cells against prion peptide-induced toxicity via autophagy flux regulated by hypoxia inducing factor-1

Ji-Hong Moon, Ju-Hee Lee, You-Jin Lee and Sang-Youel Park _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:29944-29957. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8670

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Ji-Hong Moon1, Ju-Hee Lee1, You-Jin Lee1 and Sang-Youel Park1

1 Biosafety Research Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Iksan, Jeonbuk, South Korea

Correspondence to:

Sang-Youel Park, email:

Keywords: hinokitiol; prion protein; autophagy; HIF-1; neurodegeneration; Gerotarget

Received: February 02, 2016 Accepted: March 31, 2016 Published: April 09, 2016


Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are derived from structural changes of the native PrPc. Recent studies indicated that hinokitiol induced autophagy known to major function that keeps cells alive under stressful conditions. We investigated whether hinokitiol induces autophagy and attenuates PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity. We observed increase of LC3-II protein level, GFP-LC3 puncta by hinokitiol in neuronal cells. Addition to, electron microscopy showed that hinokitiol enhanced autophagic vacuoles in neuronal cells. We demonstrated that hinokitiol protects against PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity via autophagy by using autophagy inhibitor, wortmannin and 3MA, and ATG5 small interfering RNA (siRNA). We checked hinokitiol activated the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and identified that hinokitiol-induced HIF-1α regulated autophagy. Taken together, this study is the first report demonstrating that hinokitiol protected against prion protein-induced neurotoxicity via autophagy regulated by HIF-1α. We suggest that hinokitiol is a possible therapeutic strategy in neuronal disorders including prion disease.

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