NADPH oxidase mediates membrane androgen receptor-induced neurodegeneration

Mavis A.A. Tenkorang, Phong Duong, Rebecca L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress (OS) is a common characteristic of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson disease (PD). PD is more prevalent in men than in women, indicating the possible involvement of androgens. Androgens can have either neuroprotective or neurodamaging effects, depending on the presence of OS. Specifically, in an OS environment, androgens via a membraneassociated androgen receptor (mAR) exacerbate OS-induced damage. To investigate the role of androgens on OS signaling and neurodegeneration, the effects of testosterone and androgen receptor activation on the major OS signaling cascades, the reduced form of NAD phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (NOX)1 and NOX2 and the Gaq/inositol trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R), were examined. To create an OS environment, an immortalized neuronal cell line was exposed to H2O2 prior to cellpermeable/cell-impermeable androgens. Different inhibitors were used to examine the role of G proteins, mAR, InsP3R, and NOX1/2 on OS generation and cell viability. Both testosterone and DHT/3- O-carboxymethyloxime (DHT)-BSA increased H2O2-induced OS and cell death, indicating the involvement of an mAR. Furthermore, classical AR antagonists did not block testosterone's negative effects in an OS environment. Because there are no known antagonists specific for mARs, an AR protein degrader, ASC-J9, was used to block mAR action. ASC-J9 blocked testosterone's negative effects. To determine OS-related signaling mediated by mAR, this study examined NOX1, NOX2, Gaq. NOX1, NOX2, and the Gaq complex with mAR. Only NOX inhibition blocked testosterone-induced cell loss and OS. No effects of blocking either Gaq or G protein activation were observed on testosterone's negative effects. These results indicate that androgen-induced OS is via the mAR-NOX complex and not the mAR-Gαq complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-963
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


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