Sensitive ELISA-based detection method for the mitophagy marker p-S65-Ub in human cells, autopsy brain, and blood samples

Jens O. Watzlawik, Xu Hou, Dominika Truban, Chloe Ramnarine, Sandeep K. Barodia, Tania F. Gendron, Michael G. Heckman, Michael DeTure, Joanna Siuda, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Clemens R. Scherzer, Owen A. Ross, Guojun Bu, Dennis W. Dickson, Matthew S. Goldberg, Fabienne C. Fiesel, Wolfdieter Springer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mitochondrial dysfunction is an early, imminent event in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease (AD). The enzymatic pair PINK1 and PRKN/Parkin recognize and transiently label damaged mitochondria with ubiquitin (Ub) phosphorylated at Ser65 (p-S65-Ub) as a signal for degradation via the autophagy-lysosome system (mitophagy). Despite its discovery in cell culture several years ago, robust and quantitative detection of altered mitophagy in vivo has remained challenging. Here we developed a sandwich ELISA targeting p-S65-Ub with the goal to assess mitophagy levels in mouse brain and in human clinical and pathological samples. We characterized five total Ub and four p-S65-Ub antibodies by several techniques and found significant differences in their ability to recognize phosphorylated Ub. The most sensitive antibody pair detected recombinant p-S65-Ub chains in the femtomolar to low picomolar range depending on the poly-Ub chain linkage. Importantly, this ELISA was able to assess very low baseline mitophagy levels in unstressed human cells and in brains from wild-type and prkn knockout mice as well as elevated p-S65-Ub levels in autopsied frontal cortex from AD patients vs. control cases. Moreover, the assay allowed detection of p-S65-Ub in blood plasma and was able to discriminate between PINK1 mutation carriers and controls. In summary, we developed a robust and sensitive tool to measure mitophagy levels in cells, tissue, and body fluids. Our data strongly support the idea that the stress-activated PINK1-PRKN mitophagy pathway is constitutively active in mice and humans under unstimulated, physiological and elevated in diseased, pathological conditions. Abbreviations: Ab: antibody; AD: Alzheimer disease; AP: alkaline phosphatase; CV: coefficient of variation; ECL: electrochemiluminescence; KO: knockout; LoB: Limit of Blank; LoD: Limit of Detection; LoQ: Limit of Quantification; MSD: meso scale discovery; PD: Parkinson disease; p-S65-PRKN: phosphorylated PRKN at serine 65; p-S65-Ub: phosphorylated ubiquitin at serine 65; Std.Dev.: standard deviation; Ub: ubiquitin; WT: wild type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAutophagy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • PINK1
  • PRKN
  • Parkin
  • Parkinson disease
  • autophagy
  • mitophagy
  • ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitive ELISA-based detection method for the mitophagy marker p-S65-Ub in human cells, autopsy brain, and blood samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this