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Goat anti-Rabbit IgG (H+L) Highly Cross-Adsorbed Secondary Antibody, Alexa Fluor 568

RRID:AB_10563566

Involvement of aquaporin-4 in laminin-enhanced process formation of mouse astrocytes in 2D culture: Roles of dystroglycan and α-syntrophin in aquaporin-4 expression.

  • Sato J
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jul 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the central nervous system, astrocytes extend endfoot processes to ensheath synapses and microvessels. However, the mechanisms underlying this astrocytic process extension remain unclear. A limitation of the use of 2D cultured astrocytes for such studies is that they display a flat, epithelioid morphology, with no or very few processes, which is markedly different from the stellate morphology observed in vivo. In the present study, we obtained 2D cultured astrocytes with a rich complexity of processes using differentiation of neurospheres in vitro. Using these process-bearing astrocytes, we showed that laminin, an extracellular matrix molecule abundant in perivascular sites, efficiently induced process formation and branching. Specifically, the numbers of the first- and second-order branch processes and the maximal process length of astrocytes were increased when cultured on laminin, compared with when they were cultured on poly-L-ornithine or type IV collagen. Knockdown of dystroglycan or α-syntrophin, constituent proteins of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex that provides a link between laminin and the cytoskeleton, using small interference RNAs inhibited astrocyte process formation and branching, and downregulated expression of the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4). Direct knockdown and a specific inhibitor of AQP4 also inhibited, whereas overexpression of AQP4 enhanced astrocyte process formation and branching. Knockdown of AQP4 decreased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) that is critically implicated in actin remodeling. Collectively, these results indicate that the laminin-dystroglycan-α-syntrophin-AQP4 axis is important for process formation and branching of 2D cultured astrocytes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL095799(United States)

Functional Domains of NEAT1 Architectural lncRNA Induce Paraspeckle Assembly through Phase Separation.

  • Yamazaki T
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

A class of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has architectural functions in nuclear body construction; however, specific RNA domains dictating their architectural functions remain uninvestigated. Here, we identified the domains of the architectural NEAT1 lncRNA that construct paraspeckles. Systematic deletion of NEAT1 portions using CRISPR/Cas9 in haploid cells revealed modular domains of NEAT1 important for RNA stability, isoform switching, and paraspeckle assembly. The middle domain, containing functionally redundant subdomains, was responsible for paraspeckle assembly. Artificial tethering of the NONO protein to a NEAT1_2 mutant lacking the functional subdomains rescued paraspeckle assembly, and this required the NOPS dimerization domain of NONO. Paraspeckles exhibit phase-separated properties including susceptibility to 1,6-hexanediol treatment. RNA fragments of the NEAT1_2 subdomains preferentially bound NONO/SFPQ, leading to phase-separated aggregates in vitro. Thus, we demonstrate that the enrichment of NONO dimers on the redundant NEAT1_2 subdomains initiates construction of phase-separated paraspeckles, providing mechanistic insights into lncRNA-based nuclear body formation.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI050113(United States)

γ-TuRC Heterogeneity Revealed by Analysis of Mozart1.

  • Tovey CA
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microtubules are essential for various cell processes [1] and are nucleated by multi-protein γ-tubulin ring complexes (γ-TuRCs) at various microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs), including centrosomes [2-6]. Recruitment of γ-TuRCs to different MTOCs at different times influences microtubule array formation, but how this is regulated remains an open question. It also remains unclear whether all γ-TuRCs within the same organism have the same composition and how any potential heterogeneity might influence γ-TuRC recruitment. MOZART1 (Mzt1) was recently identified as a γ-TuRC component [7, 8] and is conserved in nearly all eukaryotes [6, 9]. Mzt1 has so far been studied in cultured human cells, yeast, and plants; its absence leads to failures in γ-TuRC recruitment and cell division, resulting in cell death [7, 9-15]. Mzt1 is small (∼8.5 kDa), binds directly to core γ-TuRC components [9, 10, 14, 15], and appears to mediate the interaction between γ-TuRCs and proteins that tether γ-TuRCs to MTOCs [9, 15]. Here, we use Drosophila to investigate the function of Mzt1 in a multicellular animal for the first time. Surprisingly, we find that Drosophila Mzt1 is expressed only in the testes and is present in γ-TuRCs recruited to basal bodies, but not to mitochondria, in developing sperm cells. mzt1 mutants are viable but have defects in basal body positioning and γ-TuRC recruitment to centriole adjuncts; sperm formation is affected and mutants display a rapid age-dependent decline in sperm motility and male fertility. Our results reveal that tissue-specific and MTOC-specific γ-TuRC heterogeneity exist in Drosophila and highlight the complexity of γ-TuRC recruitment in a multicellular animal.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R37 MH060233(United States)

A Hierarchical, Data-Driven Approach to Modeling Single-Cell Populations Predicts Latent Causes of Cell-To-Cell Variability.

  • Loos C
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 May 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

All biological systems exhibit cell-to-cell variability. Frameworks exist for understanding how stochastic fluctuations and transient differences in cell state contribute to experimentally observable variations in cellular responses. However, current methods do not allow identification of the sources of variability between and within stable subpopulations of cells. We present a data-driven modeling framework for the analysis of populations comprising heterogeneous subpopulations. Our approach combines mixture modeling with frameworks for distribution approximation, facilitating the integration of multiple single-cell datasets and the detection of causal differences between and within subpopulations. The computational efficiency of our framework allows hundreds of competing hypotheses to be compared. We initially validate our method using simulated data with an understood ground truth, then we analyze data collected using quantitative single-cell microscopy of cultured sensory neurons involved in pain initiation. This approach allows us to quantify the relative contribution of neuronal subpopulations, culture conditions, and expression levels of signaling proteins to the observed cell-to-cell variability in NGF/TrkA-initiated Erk1/2 signaling.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI024157(United States)

Re-evaluating microglia expression profiles using RiboTag and cell isolation strategies.

  • Haimon Z
  • Nat. Immunol.
  • 2018 May 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transcriptome profiling is widely used to infer functional states of specific cell types, as well as their responses to stimuli, to define contributions to physiology and pathophysiology. Focusing on microglia, the brain's macrophages, we report here a side-by-side comparison of classical cell-sorting-based transcriptome sequencing and the 'RiboTag' method, which avoids cell retrieval from tissue context and yields translatome sequencing information. Conventional whole-cell microglial transcriptomes were found to be significantly tainted by artifacts introduced by tissue dissociation, cargo contamination and transcripts sequestered from ribosomes. Conversely, our data highlight the added value of RiboTag profiling for assessing the lineage accuracy of Cre recombinase expression in transgenic mice. Collectively, this study indicates method-based biases, reveals observer effects and establishes RiboTag-based translatome profiling as a valuable complement to standard sorting-based profiling strategies.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - EB003537(United States)

Modulation of Prdm9-controlled meiotic chromosome asynapsis overrides hybrid sterility in mice.

  • Gregorova S
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hybrid sterility is one of the reproductive isolation mechanisms leading to speciation. Prdm9, the only known vertebrate hybrid-sterility gene, causes failure of meiotic chromosome synapsis and infertility in male hybrids that are the offspring of two mouse subspecies. Within species, Prdm9 determines the sites of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and meiotic recombination hotspots. To investigate the relation between Prdm9-controlled meiotic arrest and asynapsis, we inserted random stretches of consubspecific homology on several autosomal pairs in sterile hybrids, and analyzed their ability to form synaptonemal complexes and to rescue male fertility. Twenty-seven or more megabases of consubspecific (belonging to the same subspecies) homology fully restored synapsis in a given autosomal pair, and we predicted that two or more DSBs within symmetric hotspots per chromosome are necessary for successful meiosis. We hypothesize that impaired recombination between evolutionarily diverged chromosomes could function as one of the mechanisms of hybrid sterility occurring in various sexually reproducing species.

Funding information:
  • Charles University Grant Agency of The Czech Republic - 17115()
  • Charles University Grant Agency of The Czech Republic - 435416()
  • Czech Science Fundation - 13-08078S()
  • Grantová Agentura Ceské Republiky - 13-08078S()
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of The Czech Republic - LQ1604 project of the NSPII()
  • PHS HHS - R03AL103897(United States)

AAVrh10 Gene Therapy Ameliorates Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disease in Canine Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (Krabbe Disease).

  • Bradbury AM
  • Hum. Gene Ther.
  • 2018 Mar 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD), or Krabbe disease, is an inherited, neurologic disorder that results from deficiency of a lysosomal enzyme, galactosylceramidase. Most commonly, deficits of galactosylceramidase result in widespread central and peripheral nervous system demyelination and death in affected infants typically by 2 years of age. Hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation is the current standard of care in children diagnosed prior to symptom onset. However, disease correction is incomplete. Herein, the first adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy experiments are presented in a naturally occurring canine model of GLD that closely recapitulates the clinical disease progression, neuropathological alterations, and biochemical abnormalities observed in human patients. Adapted from studies in twitcher mice, GLD dogs were treated by combination intravenous and intracerebroventricular injections of AAVrh10 to target both the peripheral and central nervous systems. Combination of intravenous and intracerebroventricular AAV gene therapy had a clear dose response and resulted in delayed onset of clinical signs, extended life-span, correction of biochemical defects, and attenuation of neuropathology. For the first time, therapeutic effect has been established in the canine model of GLD by targeting both peripheral and central nervous system impairments with potential clinical implications for GLD patients.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F32 NS093898()
  • Wellcome Trust - ISAACS/APR13/818-791(United Kingdom)

Mechanical Forces Program the Orientation of Cell Division during Airway Tube Morphogenesis.

  • Tang Z
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Oriented cell division plays a key role in controlling organogenesis. The mechanisms for regulating division orientation at the whole-organ level are only starting to become understood. By combining 3D time-lapse imaging, mouse genetics, and mathematical modeling, we find that global orientation of cell division is the result of a combination of two types of spindles with distinct spindle dynamic behaviors in the developing airway epithelium. Fixed spindles follow the classic long-axis rule and establish their division orientation before metaphase. In contrast, rotating spindles do not strictly follow the long-axis rule and determine their division orientation during metaphase. By using both a cell-based mechanical model and stretching-lung-explant experiments, we showed that mechanical force can function as a regulatory signal in maintaining the stable ratio between fixed spindles and rotating spindles. Our findings demonstrate that mechanical forces, cell geometry, and oriented cell division function together in a highly coordinated manner to ensure normal airway tube morphogenesis.

Intraneural Injection of ATP Stimulates Regeneration of Primary Sensory Axons in the Spinal Cord.

  • Wu D
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Injury to the peripheral axons of sensory neurons strongly enhances the regeneration of their central axons in the spinal cord. It remains unclear on what molecules that initiate such conditioning effect. Because ATP is released extracellularly by nerve and other tissue injury, we hypothesize that injection of ATP into a peripheral nerve might mimic the stimulatory effect of nerve injury on the regenerative state of the primary sensory neurons. We found that a single injection of 6 μl of 150 μm ATP into female rat sciatic nerve quadrupled the number of axons growing into a lesion epicenter in spinal cord after a concomitant dorsal column transection. A second boost ATP injection 1 week after the first one markedly reinforced the stimulatory effect of a single injection. Single ATP injection increased expression of phospho-STAT3 and GAP43, two markers of regenerative activity, in sensory neurons. Double ATP injections sustained the activation of phospho-STAT3 and GAP43, which may account for the marked axonal growth across the lesion epicenter. Similar studies performed on P2X7 or P2Y2 receptor knock-out mice indicate P2Y2 receptors are involved in the activation of STAT3 after ATP injection or conditioning lesion, whereas P2X7 receptors are not. Injection of ATP at 150 μm caused little Wallerian degeneration and behavioral tests showed no significant long-term adverse effects on sciatic nerve functions. The results in this study reveal possible mechanisms underlying the stimulation of regenerative programs and suggest a practical strategy for stimulating axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Injury of peripheral axons of sensory neurons has been known to strongly enhance the regeneration of their central axons in the spinal cord. In this study, we found that injection of ATP into a peripheral nerve can mimic the effect of peripheral nerve injury and significantly increase the number of sensory axons growing across lesion epicenter in the spinal cord. ATP injection increased expression of several markers for regenerative activity in sensory neurons, including phospho-STAT3 and GAP43. ATP injection did not cause significant long-term adverse effects on the functions of the injected nerve. These results may lead to clinically applicable strategies for enhancing neuronal responses that support regeneration of injured axons.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U54 HG003273(United States)

Hedgehog Pathway Drives Fusion-Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma Initiated From Non-myogenic Endothelial Progenitors.

  • Drummond CJ
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft tissue sarcoma that histologically resembles embryonic skeletal muscle. RMS occurs throughout the body and an exclusively myogenic origin does not account for RMS occurring in sites devoid of skeletal muscle. We previously described an RMS model activating a conditional constitutively active Smoothened mutant (SmoM2) with aP2-Cre. Using genetic fate mapping, we show SmoM2 expression in Cre-expressing endothelial progenitors results in myogenic transdifferentiation and RMS. We show that endothelium and skeletal muscle within the head and neck arise from Kdr-expressing progenitors, and that hedgehog pathway activation results in aberrant expression of myogenic specification factors as a potential mechanism driving RMS genesis. These findings suggest that RMS can originate from aberrant development of non-myogenic cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K08 CA151649()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA021765()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA216344()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R21AI094333(United States)

Regulation of Androgen Receptor Activity by Transient Interactions of Its Transactivation Domain with General Transcription Regulators.

  • De Mol E
  • Structure
  • 2018 Jan 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

The androgen receptor is a transcription factor that plays a key role in the development of prostate cancer, and its interactions with general transcription regulators are therefore of potential therapeutic interest. The mechanistic basis of these interactions is poorly understood due to the intrinsically disordered nature of the transactivation domain of the androgen receptor and the generally transient nature of the protein-protein interactions that trigger transcription. Here, we identify a motif of the transactivation domain that contributes to transcriptional activity by recruiting the C-terminal domain of subunit 1 of the general transcription regulator TFIIF. These findings provide molecular insights into the regulation of androgen receptor function and suggest strategies for treating castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA120432-04(United States)

Astroglial major histocompatibility complex class I following immune activation leads to behavioral and neuropathological changes.

  • Sobue A
  • Glia
  • 2018 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the central nervous system, major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) molecules are mainly expressed in neurons, and neuronal MHCI have roles in synapse elimination and plasticity. However, the pathophysiological significance of astroglial MHCI remains unclear. We herein demonstrate that MHCI expression is up-regulated in astrocytes in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) following systemic immune activation by an intraperitoneal injection of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (polyI:C) or hydrodynamic interferon (IFN)-γ gene delivery in male C57/BL6J mice. In cultured astrocytes, MHCI/H-2D largely co-localized with exosomes. To investigate the role of astroglial MHCI, H-2D, or sH-2D was expressed in the mPFC of male C57/BL6J mice using an adeno-associated virus vector under the control of a glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. The expression of astroglial MHCI in the mPFC impaired sociability and recognition memory in mice. Regarding neuropathological changes, MHCI expression in astrocytes significantly activated microglial cells, decreased parvalbumin-positive cell numbers, and reduced dendritic spine density in the mPFC. A treatment with GW4869 that impairs exosome synthesis ameliorated these behavioral and neuropathological changes. These results suggest that the overexpression of MHCI in astrocytes affects microglial proliferation as well as neuronal numbers and spine densities, thereby leading to social and cognitive deficits in mice, possibly via exosomes created by astrocytes.

Endosomal Rab cycles regulate Parkin-mediated mitophagy.

  • Yamano K
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jan 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Damaged mitochondria are selectively eliminated by mitophagy. Parkin and PINK1, gene products mutated in familial Parkinson's disease, play essential roles in mitophagy through ubiquitination of mitochondria. Cargo ubiquitination by E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin is important to trigger selective autophagy. Although autophagy receptors recruit LC3-labeled autophagic membranes onto damaged mitochondria, how other essential autophagy units such as ATG9A-integrated vesicles are recruited remains unclear. Here, using mammalian cultured cells, we demonstrate that RABGEF1, the upstream factor of the endosomal Rab GTPase cascade, is recruited to damaged mitochondria via ubiquitin binding downstream of Parkin. RABGEF1 directs the downstream Rab proteins, RAB5 and RAB7A, to damaged mitochondria, whose associations are further regulated by mitochondrial Rab-GAPs. Furthermore, depletion of RAB7A inhibited ATG9A vesicle assembly and subsequent encapsulation of the mitochondria by autophagic membranes. These results strongly suggest that endosomal Rab cycles on damaged mitochondria are a crucial regulator of mitophagy through assembling ATG9A vesicles.

Funding information:
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency - JPMJCR13M7(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - 16K15095(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JP15H01196(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JP16K18545(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JP26000014(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JP26111729(International)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JP26840033(International)
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R03 DE018415-02(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - Intramural program(United States)

PTEN Regulates PI(3,4)P2 Signaling Downstream of Class I PI3K.

  • Malek M
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

The PI3K signaling pathway regulates cell growth and movement and is heavily mutated in cancer. Class I PI3Ks synthesize the lipid messenger PI(3,4,5)P3. PI(3,4,5)P3 can be dephosphorylated by 3- or 5-phosphatases, the latter producing PI(3,4)P2. The PTEN tumor suppressor is thought to function primarily as a PI(3,4,5)P3 3-phosphatase, limiting activation of this pathway. Here we show that PTEN also functions as a PI(3,4)P2 3-phosphatase, both in vitro and in vivo. PTEN is a major PI(3,4)P2 phosphatase in Mcf10a cytosol, and loss of PTEN and INPP4B, a known PI(3,4)P2 4-phosphatase, leads to synergistic accumulation of PI(3,4)P2, which correlated with increased invadopodia in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated cells. PTEN deletion increased PI(3,4)P2 levels in a mouse model of prostate cancer, and it inversely correlated with PI(3,4)P2 levels across several EGF-stimulated prostate and breast cancer lines. These results point to a role for PI(3,4)P2 in the phenotype caused by loss-of-function mutations or deletions in PTEN.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS037462(United States)

Dorsal Raphe Serotonergic Neurons Control Intertemporal Choice under Trade-off.

  • Xu S
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Oct 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Appropriate choice about delayed reward is fundamental to the survival of animals. Although animals tend to prefer immediate reward, delaying gratification is often advantageous. The dorsal raphe (DR) serotonergic neurons have long been implicated in the processing of delayed reward, but it has been unclear whether or when their activity causally directs choice. Here, we transiently augmented or reduced the activity of DR serotonergic neurons, while mice decided between differently delayed rewards as they performed a novel odor-guided intertemporal choice task. We found that these manipulations, precisely targeted at the decision point, were sufficient to bidirectionally influence impulsive choice. The manipulation specifically affected choices with more difficult trade-off. Similar effects were observed when we manipulated the serotonergic projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We propose that DR serotonergic neurons preempt reward delays at the decision point and play a critical role in suppressing impulsive choice by regulating decision trade-off.

Loss of CLOCK Results in Dysfunction of Brain Circuits Underlying Focal Epilepsy.

  • Li P
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Because molecular mechanisms underlying refractory focal epilepsy are poorly defined, we performed transcriptome analysis on human epileptogenic tissue. Compared with controls, expression of Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (CLOCK) is decreased in epileptogenic tissue. To define the function of CLOCK, we generated and tested the Emx-Cre; Clockflox/flox and PV-Cre; Clockflox/flox mouse lines with targeted deletions of the Clock gene in excitatory and parvalbumin (PV)-expressing inhibitory neurons, respectively. The Emx-Cre; Clockflox/flox mouse line alone has decreased seizure thresholds, but no laminar or dendritic defects in the cortex. However, excitatory neurons from the Emx-Cre; Clockflox/flox mouse have spontaneous epileptiform discharges. Both neurons from Emx-Cre; Clockflox/flox mouse and human epileptogenic tissue exhibit decreased spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Finally, video-EEG of Emx-Cre; Clockflox/flox mice reveals epileptiform discharges during sleep and also seizures arising from sleep. Altogether, these data show that disruption of CLOCK alters cortical circuits and may lead to generation of focal epilepsy.

Parallel, but Dissociable, Processing in Discrete Corticostriatal Inputs Encodes Skill Learning.

  • Kupferschmidt DA
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Changes in cortical and striatal function underlie the transition from novel actions to refined motor skills. How discrete, anatomically defined corticostriatal projections function in vivo to encode skill learning remains unclear. Using novel fiber photometry approaches to assess real-time activity of associative inputs from medial prefrontal cortex to dorsomedial striatum and sensorimotor inputs from motor cortex to dorsolateral striatum, we show that associative and sensorimotor inputs co-engage early in action learning and disengage in a dissociable manner as actions are refined. Disengagement of associative, but not sensorimotor, inputs predicts individual differences in subsequent skill learning. Divergent somatic and presynaptic engagement in both projections during early action learning suggests potential learning-related in vivo modulation of presynaptic corticostriatal function. These findings reveal parallel processing within associative and sensorimotor circuits that challenges and refines existing views of corticostriatal function and expose neuronal projection- and compartment-specific activity dynamics that encode and predict action learning.

Dynamic Palmitoylation Targets MAP6 to the Axon to Promote Microtubule Stabilization during Neuronal Polarization.

  • Tortosa E
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are main candidates to stabilize neuronal microtubules, playing an important role in establishing axon-dendrite polarity. However, how MAPs are selectively targeted to specific neuronal compartments remains poorly understood. Here, we show specific localization of microtubule-associated protein 6 (MAP6)/stable tubule-only polypeptide (STOP) throughout neuronal maturation and its role in axonal development. In unpolarized neurons, MAP6 is present at the Golgi complex and in secretory vesicles. As neurons mature, MAP6 is translocated to the proximal axon, where it binds and stabilizes microtubules. Further, we demonstrate that dynamic palmitoylation, mediated by the family of α/β Hydrolase domain-containing protein 17 (ABHD17A-C) depalmitoylating enzymes, controls shuttling of MAP6 between membranes and microtubules and is required for MAP6 retention in axons. We propose a model in which MAP6's palmitoylation mediates microtubule stabilization, allows efficient organelle trafficking, and controls axon maturation in vitro and in situ.

Macrophages Facilitate Electrical Conduction in the Heart.

  • Hulsmans M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Organ-specific functions of tissue-resident macrophages in the steady-state heart are unknown. Here, we show that cardiac macrophages facilitate electrical conduction through the distal atrioventricular node, where conducting cells densely intersperse with elongated macrophages expressing connexin 43. When coupled to spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes via connexin-43-containing gap junctions, cardiac macrophages have a negative resting membrane potential and depolarize in synchrony with cardiomyocytes. Conversely, macrophages render the resting membrane potential of cardiomyocytes more positive and, according to computational modeling, accelerate their repolarization. Photostimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing macrophages improves atrioventricular conduction, whereas conditional deletion of connexin 43 in macrophages and congenital lack of macrophages delay atrioventricular conduction. In the Cd11bDTR mouse, macrophage ablation induces progressive atrioventricular block. These observations implicate macrophages in normal and aberrant cardiac conduction.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K24 HL105780()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL092577()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL096576()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL114477()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL117829()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL125428()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL128264()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL131495()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD069623()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK043351()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK057521()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS084863()

Anatomical characterization of subcortical descending projections to the inferior colliculus in mouse.

  • Patel MB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Descending projections from the thalamus and related structures to the midbrain are evolutionarily highly conserved. However, the basic organization of this auditory thalamotectal pathway has not yet been characterized. The purpose of this study was to obtain a better understanding of the anatomical and neurochemical features of this pathway. Analysis of the distributions of retrogradely labeled cells after focal injections of retrograde tracer into the inferior colliculus (IC) of the mouse revealed that most of the subcortical descending projections originated in the brachium of the IC and the paralaminar portions of the auditory thalamus. In addition, the vast majority of thalamotectal cells were found to be negative for the calcium-binding proteins calbindin, parvalbumin, or calretinin. Using two different strains of GAD-GFP mice, as well as immunostaining for GABA, we found that a subset of neurons in the brachium of the IC is GABAergic, suggesting that part of this descending pathway is inhibitory. Finally, dual retrograde injections into the IC and amygdala plus corpus striatum as well into the IC and auditory cortex did not reveal any double labeling. These data suggest that the thalamocollicular pathway comprises a unique population of thalamic neurons that do not contain typical calcium-binding proteins and do not project to other paralaminar thalamic forebrain targets, and that a previously undescribed descending GABAergic pathway emanates from the brachium of the IC. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:885-900, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KChIP2 is a core transcriptional regulator of cardiac excitability.

  • Nassal DM
  • Elife
  • 2017 Mar 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Arrhythmogenesis from aberrant electrical remodeling is a primary cause of death among patients with heart disease. Amongst a multitude of remodeling events, reduced expression of the ion channel subunit KChIP2 is consistently observed in numerous cardiac pathologies. However, it remains unknown if KChIP2 loss is merely a symptom or involved in disease development. Using rat and human derived cardiomyocytes, we identify a previously unobserved transcriptional capacity for cardiac KChIP2 critical in maintaining electrical stability. Through interaction with genetic elements, KChIP2 transcriptionally repressed the miRNAs miR-34b and miR-34c, which subsequently targeted key depolarizing (INa) and repolarizing (Ito) currents altered in cardiac disease. Genetically maintaining KChIP2 expression or inhibiting miR-34 under pathologic conditions restored channel function and moreover, prevented the incidence of reentrant arrhythmias. This identifies the KChIP2/miR-34 axis as a central regulator in developing electrical dysfunction and reveals miR-34 as a therapeutic target for treating arrhythmogenesis in heart disease.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL096962()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL132520()

Bassoon Controls Presynaptic Autophagy through Atg5.

  • Okerlund ND
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mechanisms regulating the surveillance and clearance of synaptic proteins are not well understood. Intriguingly, the loss of the presynaptic active zone proteins Piccolo and Bassoon triggers the loss of synaptic vesicles (SVs) and compromises synaptic integrity. Here we report that the destruction of SVs in boutons lacking Piccolo and Bassoon was associated with the induction of presynaptic autophagy, a process that depended on poly-ubiquitination, but not the E3 ubiquitin ligase Siah1. Surprisingly, gain or loss of function (LOF) of Bassoon alone suppressed or enhanced presynaptic autophagy, respectively, implying a fundamental role for Bassoon in the local regulation of presynaptic autophagy. Mechanistically, Bassoon was found to interact with Atg5, an E3-like ligase essential for autophagy, and to inhibit the induction of autophagy in heterologous cells. Importantly, Atg5 LOF as well as targeting an Atg5-binding peptide derived from Bassoon inhibited presynaptic autophagy in boutons lacking Piccolo and Bassoon, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating presynaptic autophagy.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I21 BX003357()

Frazzled promotes growth cone attachment at the source of a Netrin gradient in the Drosophila visual system.

  • Akin O
  • Elife
  • 2016 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon guidance is proposed to act through a combination of long- and short-range attractive and repulsive cues. The ligand-receptor pair, Netrin (Net) and Frazzled (Fra) (DCC, Deleted in Colorectal Cancer, in vertebrates), is recognized as the prototypical effector of chemoattraction, with roles in both long- and short-range guidance. In the Drosophila visual system, R8 photoreceptor growth cones were shown to require Net-Fra to reach their target, the peak of a Net gradient. Using live imaging, we show, however, that R8 growth cones reach and recognize their target without Net, Fra, or Trim9, a conserved binding partner of Fra, but do not remain attached to it. Thus, despite the graded ligand distribution along the guidance path, Net-Fra is not used for chemoattraction. Based on findings in other systems, we propose that adhesion to substrate-bound Net underlies both long- and short-range Net-Fra-dependent guidance in vivo, thereby eroding the distinction between them.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - R24-OD-011199(United States)

Immunogold characteristics of VGLUT3-positive GABAergic nerve terminals suggest corelease of glutamate.

  • Stensrud MJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

There is compelling evidence that glutamate can act as a cotransmitter in the mammalian brain. Interestingly, the third vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT3) is primarily found in neurons that were anticipated to be nonglutamatergic. Whereas the function of VGLUT3 in acetylcholinergic and serotoninergic neurons has been elucidated, the role of VGLUT3 in neurons releasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is not settled. We have previously shown that VGLUT3 is found together with the vesicular GABA transporter (VIAAT) on synaptic vesicle membranes in the hippocampus. Now we provide novel electron microscopic data from the rat hippocampus suggesting that glutamate is enriched in inhibitory nerve terminals containing VGLUT3 compared to those lacking VGLUT3. The opposite was found for GABA; VGLUT3-positive inhibitory terminals contained lower density of GABA labeling compared to VGLUT3-negative inhibitory terminals. In addition, semiquantitative confocal immunofluorescence showed that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor labeling was present more frequently in VGLUT3-positive/VIAAT-positive synapses versus in VGLUT3-negative/VIAAT-positive synapses. Electron microscopic immunogold data further suggest that NMDA receptors are enriched in VGLUT3 containing inhibitory terminals. Our data reveal new chemical characteristics of a subset of GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus. The analyses suggest that glutamate is coreleased with GABA from hippocampal basket cell-synapses to act on NMDA receptors.

Agonist-evoked Ca2+ signaling in enteric glia drives neural programs that regulate intestinal motility in mice.

  • McClain JL
  • Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol
  • 2015 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Gastrointestinal motility is regulated by enteric neural circuitry that includes enteric neurons and glia. Enteric glia monitor synaptic activity and exhibit responses to neurotransmitters that are encoded by intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signaling. What role evoked glial responses play in the neural regulation of gut motility is unknown. We tested how evoking Ca2+ signaling in enteric glia affects the neural control of intestinal motility. METHODS: We used a novel chemogenetic mouse model that expresses the designer receptor hM3Dq under the transcriptional control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter (GFAP::hM3Dq mice) to selectively trigger glial Ca2+ signaling. We used in situ Ca2+ imaging and immunohistochemistry to validate this model and assessed gut motility by measuring pellet output and composition, colonic bead expulsion time, small intestinal transit time, total gut transit time, colonic migrating motor complex (CMMC) recordings and muscle tension recordings. RESULTS: hM3Dq receptor expression is confined to GFAP-positive enteric glia in the intestines of GFAP::hM3Dq mice. In these mice, application of the hM3Dq agonist clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) selectively triggers intracellular Ca2+ responses in enteric glia. Glial activation drove neurogenic contractions in the ileum and colon but had no effect on neurogenic relaxations. CNO enhanced the amplitude and frequency of CMMCs in ex vivo preparations of the colon and CNO increased colonic motility in vivo. CNO had no effect on the composition of fecal matter, small intestinal transit or whole gut transit. CONCLUSIONS: Glial excitability encoded by intracellular Ca2+ signaling functions to modulate excitatory enteric circuits. Selectively triggering glial Ca2+ signaling might be a novel strategy to improve gut function in motility disorders.

Connexin50 couples axon terminals of mouse horizontal cells by homotypic gap junctions.

  • Dorgau B
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Horizontal cells in the mouse retina are of the axon-bearing B-type and contribute to the gain control of photoreceptors and to the center-surround organization of bipolar cells by providing feedback and feedforward signals to photoreceptors and bipolar cells, respectively. Horizontal cells form two independent networks, coupled by dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions composed of connexin57 (Cx57). In Cx57-deficient mice, occasionally the residual tracer coupling of horizontal cell somata was observed. Also, negative feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors, potentially mediated by connexin hemichannels, appeared unaffected. These results point to the expression of a second connexin in mouse horizontal cells. We investigated the expression of Cx50, which was recently identified in axonless A-type horizontal cells of the rabbit retina. In the mouse retina, Cx50-immunoreactive puncta were predominantly localized on large axon terminals of horizontal cells. Electron microscopy did not reveal any Cx50-immunolabeling at the membrane of horizontal cell tips invaginating photoreceptor terminals, ruling out the involvement of Cx50 in negative feedback. Moreover, Cx50 colocalized only rarely with Cx57 on horizontal cell processes, indicating that both connexins form homotypic rather than heterotypic or heteromeric gap junctions. To check whether the expression of Cx50 is changed when Cx57 is lacking, we compared the Cx50 expression in wildtype and Cx57-deficient mice. However, Cx50 expression was unaffected in Cx57-deficient mice. In summary, our results indicate that horizontal cell axon terminals form two independent sets of homotypic gap junctions, a feature which might be important for light adaptation in the retina.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS057674(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 660060(United Kingdom)

DEP domain-containing mTOR-interacting protein in the rat brain: distribution of expression and potential implication.

  • Caron A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

DEP domain-containing mTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR) has been recently discovered as an endogenous regulator of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2. mTORC1 is present in the brain, and there is growing evidence that its dysregulation contributes to several brain alterations. This suggests the involvement of mTOR signaling and its modulators in neurobiological controls. Here, we characterized and mapped the expression of DEPTOR in the rat brain. We show that DEPTOR was widely expressed from the forebrain to the hindbrain, including the hippocampus, the mediobasal hypothalamus, and the circumventricular organs (CVOs). In the hippocampus, DEPTOR protein and Deptor mRNA were highly expressed in the dendate gyrus and CA3 field. In the CVOs, DEPTOR was expressed in the subfornical organ, the median eminence, and the area postrema. In the mediobasal hypothalamus, DEPTOR was expressed in neurons of the ventromedial nucleus (VMH) and colocalized with proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). The hypothalamic distribution suggested a role for DEPTOR in energy balance. Supporting this possibility, we observed that Deptor hypothalamic expression was modulated by the nutritional status in a context of diet-induced and genetic obesity; food deprivation increased Deptor mRNA in both the ARC and VMH of obese rats. In conclusion, the present results illustrate the presence of DEPTOR in the rat brain and suggest a role for DEPTOR in the hypothalamic regulation of energy balance, which further supports the role of mTOR in energy homeostasis. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:93-107, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.