The Anti-Tumor Agent Sodium Selenate Decreases Methylated PP2A, Increases GSK3βY216 Phosphorylation, Including Tau Disease Epitopes and Reduces Neuronal Excitability in SHSY-5Y Neurons

Wesal Habbab, Imad Aoudé, Freshteh Palangi, Sara Abdulla, Tariq Ahmed

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium application as sodium selenate was repeatedly shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties by increasing levels of the serine/ threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in cancer cells. PP2A has a prominent role in cell development, homeostasis, and in neurons regulates excitability. PP2A, GSK3β and Tau reside together in a complex, which facilitates their interaction and (dys)-function as has been reported for several neurological disorders. In this study we recorded maximum increase in total PP2A at 3 µM sodium selenate in a neuron cell line. In conjunction with these data, whole-cell electrophysiological studies revealed that this concentration had maximum effect on membrane potentials, conductance and currents. Somewhat surprisingly, the catalytically active form, methylated PP2A (mePP2A) was significantly decreased. In close correlation to these data, the phosphorylation state of two substrate proteins, sensitive to PP2A activity, GSK3β and Tau were found to be increased. In summary, our data reveal that sodium selenate enhances PP2A levels, but reduces catalytic activity of PP2A in a dose dependent manner, which fails to reduce Tau and GSK3β phosphorylation under physiological conditions, indicating an alternative route in the rescue of cell pathology in neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019



  • GSK3β
  • PP2A
  • retinoic acid differentiated SHSY-5Y cells
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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