Authors: van Scheppingen J., Broekaart D.W.M., Scholl T., Zuidberg M.R.J., Anink J.J., Spliet W.G., van Rijen P.C., Czech T., Hainfellner J.A., Feucht M., Mühlebner A., van Vliet E.A., Aronica E.

J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Aug 26;13(1):202. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0662-z.


Background: The proteasome is a multisubunit enzyme complex involved in protein degradation, which is essential for many cellular processes. During inflammation, the constitutive subunits are replaced by their inducible counterparts, resulting in the formation of the immunoproteasome. 
Methods: We investigated the expression pattern of consitutive (B1, B5) and immunoproteasome (B1i, B5i) subunits using immunohistochemistry in malformations of cortical development (MCD; focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) IIa and b, cortical tubers from patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and mild MCD (mMCD)). Glial cells in culture were used to elucidate the mechanisms regulating immunoproteasome subunit expression. 
Results: Increased expression was observed in both FCDII and TSC; B1, B1i, B5 and B5i were detected (within cytosol and nucleus) in dysmorphic neurons, balloon/giant cells, and reactive astrocytes. Glial and neuronal nuclear expression positively correlated with seizure frequency. Positive correlation was also observed between the glial expression of constitutive and immunoproteasome subunits and IL-1B. Accordingly, the proteasome subunit expression was modulated by IL-1B in human astrocyrtes in vitro. Expression of both constitutive and immunoproteasome subunits in FCD II-derived astroglial cultures was negatively regulated by treatment with the immunomodulatory drug rapamycin (inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which is activated in both TSC and FCD II).
Conclusions: These observations support the dysregulation of the proteasome system in both FCD and TSC and provide new insights on the mechanism of regulation the (immuno)proteasome in astrocytes and the molecular links between inflammation, mTOR activation and epilepsy.