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Genetic deletion of regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) rescues a subset of fragile X related phenotypes in the FMR1 knockout mouse.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common cause of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of the mRNA binding protein, FMRP. Persons with FXS also display epileptic seizures, social anxiety, hyperactivity, and autistic behaviors. The metabotropic glutamate receptor theory of FXS postulates that in the absence of FMRP, enhanced signaling though G-protein coupled group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the brain contributes to many of the abnormalities observed in the disorder. However, recent evidence suggests that alterations in cellular signaling through additional G-protein coupled receptors may also be involved in the pathogenesis of FXS, thus providing impetus for examining downstream molecules. One group of signaling molecules situated downstream of the receptors is the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins. Notably, RGS4 is highly expressed in brain and has been shown to negatively regulate signaling through Group I mGluRs and GABA(B) receptors. To examine the potential role for RGS4 in the pathogenesis of FXS, we generated FXS/RGS4 double knockout mice. Characterization of these mice revealed that a subset of FXS related phenotypes, including increased body weight, altered synaptic protein expression, and abnormal social behaviors, were rescued in the double knockout mice. Other phenotypes, such as hyperactivity and macroorchidism, were not affected by the loss of RGS4. These findings suggest that tissue and cell-type specific differences in GPCR signaling and RGS function may contribute to the spectrum of phenotypic differences observed in FXS.

Pubmed ID: 21215802 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Behavior, Animal | Body Weight | Female | Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein | Fragile X Syndrome | Gene Deletion | Guanylate Kinases | Humans | Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins | Male | Membrane Proteins | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mice, Knockout | Motor Activity | Organ Size | Phenotype | RGS Proteins | Receptors, GABA-A | Signal Transduction | Social Behavior | Testis

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA 95616
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: U24NS050606
  • Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Id:

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Seattle based independent, nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how human brain works. Provides free data and tools to researchers and educators and variety of unique online public resources for exploring the nervous system. Integrates gene expression data and neuroanatomy, along with data search and viewing tools, these resources are openly accessible via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal. Provides Allen Mouse Brain, Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, Allen Developing Mouse Brain Atlas, Allen Human Brain Atlas,Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas, Allen Cell Type Database, The Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project (Ivy GAP), The BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain.


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