Literature context: t Î²II spectrin (BD Biosciences; RRID:AB_399853), Î±II spectrin (Millipore; MAB1
Action potential conduction along myelinated axons depends on high densities of voltage-gated Na+ channels at the nodes of Ranvier. Flanking each node, paranodal junctions (paranodes) are formed between axons and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) or oligodendrocytes in the CNS. Paranodal junctions contribute to both node assembly and maintenance. Despite their importance, the molecular mechanisms responsible for paranode assembly and maintenance remain poorly understood. βII spectrin is expressed in diverse cells and is an essential part of the submembranous cytoskeleton. Here, we show that Schwann cell βII spectrin is highly enriched at paranodes. To elucidate the roles of glial βII spectrin, we generated mutant mice lacking βII spectrin in myelinating glial cells by crossing mice with a floxed allele of Sptbn1 with Cnp-Cre mice, and analyzed both male and female mice. Juvenile (4 weeks) and middle-aged (60 weeks) mutant mice showed reduced grip strength and sciatic nerve conduction slowing, whereas no phenotype was observed between 8 and 24 weeks of age. Consistent with these findings, immunofluorescence microscopy revealed disorganized paranodes in the PNS and CNS of both postnatal day 13 and middle-aged mutant mice, but not in young adult mutant mice. Electron microscopy confirmed partial loss of transverse bands at the paranodal axoglial junction in the middle-aged mutant mice in both the PNS and CNS. These findings demonstrate that a spectrin-based cytoskeleton in myelinating glia contributes to formation and maintenance of paranodal junctions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Myelinating glia form paranodal axoglial junctions that flank both sides of the nodes of Ranvier. These junctions contribute to node formation and maintenance and are essential for proper nervous system function. We found that a submembranous spectrin cytoskeleton is highly enriched at paranodes in Schwann cells. Ablation of βII spectrin in myelinating glial cells disrupted the paranodal cell adhesion complex in both peripheral and CNSs, resulting in muscle weakness and sciatic nerve conduction slowing in juvenile and middle-aged mice. Our data show that a spectrin-based submembranous cytoskeleton in myelinating glia plays important roles in paranode formation and maintenance.
Literature context: RRID:AB_399853), rabbit Caspr (Abcam Cat# ab34
Nodes of Ranvier and associated paranodal and juxtaparanodal domains along myelinated axons are essential for normal function of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Disruption of these domains as well as increases in the reactive carbonyl species methylglyoxal are implicated as a pathophysiology common to a wide variety of neurological diseases. Here, using an ex vivo nerve exposure model, we show that increasing methylglyoxal produces paranodal disruption, evidenced by disorganized immunostaining of axoglial cell-adhesion proteins, in both sciatic and optic nerves from wild-type mice. Consistent with previous studies showing that increase of methylglyoxal can alter intracellular calcium homeostasis, we found upregulated activity of the calcium-activated protease calpain in sciatic nerves after methylglyoxal exposure. Methylglyoxal exposure altered clusters of proteins that are known as calpain substrates: ezrin in Schwann cell microvilli at the perinodal area and zonula occludens 1 in Schwann cell autotypic junctions at paranodes. Finally, treatment with the calpain inhibitor calpeptin ameliorated methylglyoxal-evoked ezrin loss and paranodal disruption in both sciatic and optic nerves. Our findings strongly suggest that elevated methylglyoxal levels and subsequent calpain activation contribute to the disruption of specialized axoglial domains along myelinated nerve fibers in neurological diseases.
Literature context: RRID:AB_399853), Tuj1 (Biolegend; RRID:AB_2313
Axons must withstand mechanical forces, including tension, torsion, and compression. Spectrins and actin form a periodic cytoskeleton proposed to protect axons against these forces. However, because spectrins also participate in assembly of axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier, it is difficult to uncouple their roles in maintaining axon integrity from their functions at AIS and nodes. To overcome this problem and to determine the importance of spectrin cytoskeletons for axon integrity, we generated mice with αII spectrin-deficient peripheral sensory neurons. The axons of these neurons are very long and exposed to the mechanical forces associated with limb movement; most lack an AIS, and some are unmyelinated and have no nodes. We analyzed αII spectrin-deficient mice of both sexes and found that, in myelinated axons, αII spectrin forms a periodic cytoskeleton with βIV and βII spectrin at nodes of Ranvier and paranodes, respectively, but that loss of αII spectrin disrupts this organization. Avil-cre;Sptan1f/f mice have reduced numbers of nodes, disrupted paranodal junctions, and mislocalized Kv1 K+ channels. We show that the density of nodal βIV spectrin is constant among axons, but the density of nodal αII spectrin increases with axon diameter. Remarkably, Avil-cre;Sptan1f/f mice have intact nociception and small-diameter axons, but severe ataxia due to preferential degeneration of large-diameter myelinated axons. Our results suggest that nodal αII spectrin helps resist the mechanical forces experienced by large-diameter axons, and that αII spectrin-dependent cytoskeletons are also required for assembly of nodes of Ranvier.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A periodic axonal cytoskeleton consisting of actin and spectrin has been proposed to help axons resist the mechanical forces to which they are exposed (e.g., compression, torsion, and stretch). However, until now, no vertebrate animal model has tested the requirement of the spectrin cytoskeleton in maintenance of axon integrity. We demonstrate the role of the periodic spectrin-dependent cytoskeleton in axons and show that loss of αII spectrin from PNS axons causes preferential degeneration of large-diameter myelinated axons. We show that nodal αII spectrin is found at greater densities in large-diameter myelinated axons, suggesting that nodes are particularly vulnerable domains requiring a specialized cytoskeleton to protect against axon degeneration.
Literature context: RRID:AB_399853), Î±I-spectrin (clone 17C7, Abca
Spectrins form a submembranous cytoskeleton proposed to confer strength and flexibility to neurons and to participate in ion channel clustering at axon initial segments (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. Neuronal spectrin cytoskeletons consist of diverse β subunits and αII spectrin. Although αII spectrin is found in neurons in both axonal and somatodendritic domains, using proteomics, biochemistry, and superresolution microscopy, we show that αII and βIV spectrin interact and form a periodic AIS cytoskeleton. To determine the role of spectrins in the nervous system, we generated Sptan1f/f mice for deletion of CNS αII spectrin. We analyzed αII spectrin-deficient mice of both sexes and found that loss of αII spectrin causes profound reductions in all β spectrins. αII spectrin-deficient mice die before 1 month of age and have disrupted AIS and many other neurological impairments including seizures, disrupted cortical lamination, and widespread neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the importance of the spectrin cytoskeleton both at the AIS and throughout the nervous system.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spectrin cytoskeletons play diverse roles in neurons, including assembly of excitable domains such as the axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. However, the molecular composition and structure of these cytoskeletons remain poorly understood. Here, we show that αII spectrin partners with βIV spectrin to form a periodic cytoskeleton at the AIS. Using a new αII spectrin conditional knock-out mouse, we show that αII spectrin is required for AIS assembly, neuronal excitability, cortical lamination, and to protect against neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the broad importance of spectrin cytoskeletons for nervous system function and development and have important implications for nervous system injuries and diseases because disruption of the spectrin cytoskeleton is a common molecular pathology.
Literature context: t# 612562 RRID:AB_399853), rabbit a
The asymmetric location of stereociliary bundle (hair bundle) on the apical surface of mechanosensory hair cells (HCs) dictates the direction in which a given HC can respond to cues such as sound, head movements, and water pressure. Notably, vestibular sensory organs of the inner ear, the maculae, exhibit a line of polarity reversal (LPR) across which, hair bundles are polarized in a mirror-image pattern. Similarly, HCs in neuromasts of the zebrafish lateral line system are generated as pairs, and two sibling HCs develop opposite hair bundle orientations. Within these sensory organs, expression of the transcription factor Emx2 is restricted to only one side of the LPR in the maculae or one of the two sibling HCs in neuromasts. Emx2 mediates hair bundle polarity reversal in these restricted subsets of HCs and generates the mirror-image pattern of the sensory organs. Downstream effectors of Emx2 control bundle polarity cell-autonomously via heterotrimeric G proteins.