Crosstalk between Ca2+ signaling and mitochondrial H2O2 is required for rotenone inhibition of mTOR signaling pathway leading to neuronal apoptosis
Rotenone, a neurotoxic pesticide, induces loss of dopaminergic neurons related to Parkinson's disease. Previous studies have shown that rotenone induces neuronal apoptosis partly by triggering hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-dependent suppression of mTOR pathway. However, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we show that rotenone elevates intracellular free calcium ion ([Ca2+]i) level, and activates CaMKII, resulting in inhibition of mTOR signaling and induction of neuronal apoptosis. Chelating [Ca2+]i with BAPTA/AM, preventing extracellular Ca2+ influx using EGTA, inhibiting CaMKII with KN93, or silencing CaMKII significantly attenuated rotenone-induced H2O2 production, mTOR inhibition, and cell death. Interestingly, using TTFA, antimycin A, catalase or Mito-TEMPO, we found that rotenone-induced mitochondrial H2O2 also in turn elevated [Ca2+]i level, thereby stimulating CaMKII, leading to inhibition of mTOR pathway and induction of neuronal apoptosis. Expression of wild type mTOR or constitutively active S6K1, or silencing 4E-BP1 strengthened the inhibitory effects of catalase, Mito-TEMPO, BAPTA/AM or EGTA on rotenone-induced [Ca2+]i elevation, CaMKII phosphorylation and neuronal apoptosis. Together, the results indicate that the crosstalk between Ca2+ signaling and mitochondrial H2O2 is required for rotenone inhibition of mTOR-mediated S6K1 and 4E-BP1 pathways. Our findings suggest that how to control over-elevation of intracellular Ca2+ and overproduction of mitochondrial H2O2 may be a new approach to deal with the neurotoxicity of rotenone.