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Ankyrin-G (staining) scaffold protein antibody

RRID:AB_10697718

Antibody ID

AB_10697718

Target Antigen

Ankyrin-G (staining) scaffold protein null

Proper Citation

(UC Davis/NIH NeuroMab Facility Cat# 73-146, RRID:AB_10697718)

Clonality

monoclonal antibody

Comments

Originating manufacturer of this product. Applications: ICC, IHC. Validation status: IF or IB (Pass), IB in brain (Fail), IHC in brain (Pass), KO (ND).

Clone ID

N106/36

Host Organism

mouse

βIV Spectrinopathies Cause Profound Intellectual Disability, Congenital Hypotonia, and Motor Axonal Neuropathy.

  • Wang CC
  • Am. J. Hum. Genet.
  • 2018 Jun 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

βIV spectrin links ankyrinG (AnkG) and clustered ion channels at axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier to the axonal cytoskeleton. Here, we report bi-allelic pathogenic SPTBN4 variants (three homozygous and two compound heterozygous) that cause a severe neurological syndrome that includes congenital hypotonia, intellectual disability, and motor axonal and auditory neuropathy. We introduced these variants into βIV spectrin, expressed these in neurons, and found that 5/7 were loss-of-function variants disrupting AIS localization or abolishing phosphoinositide binding. Nerve biopsies from an individual with a loss-of-function variant had reduced nodal Na+ channels and no nodal KCNQ2 K+ channels. Modeling the disease in mice revealed that although ankyrinR (AnkR) and βI spectrin can cluster Na+ channels and partially compensate for the loss of AnkG and βIV spectrin at nodes of Ranvier, AnkR and βI spectrin cannot cluster KCNQ2- and KCNQ3-subunit-containing K+ channels. Our findings define a class of spectrinopathies and reveal the molecular pathologies causing nervous-system dysfunction.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI082714()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR056360()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR063124()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD064610(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P30 GM110766()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K12 NS049453()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS044916()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS069688()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS044916()

MicroRNAs Induce a Permissive Chromatin Environment that Enables Neuronal Subtype-Specific Reprogramming of Adult Human Fibroblasts.

  • Abernathy DG
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Directed reprogramming of human fibroblasts into fully differentiated neurons requires massive changes in epigenetic and transcriptional states. Induction of a chromatin environment permissive for acquiring neuronal subtype identity is therefore a major barrier to fate conversion. Here we show that the brain-enriched miRNAs miR-9/9∗ and miR-124 (miR-9/9∗-124) trigger reconfiguration of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, and mRNA expression to induce a default neuronal state. miR-9/9∗-124-induced neurons (miNs) are functionally excitable and uncommitted toward specific subtypes but possess open chromatin at neuronal subtype-specific loci, suggesting that such identity can be imparted by additional lineage-specific transcription factors. Consistently, we show that ISL1 and LHX3 selectively drive conversion to a highly homogeneous population of human spinal cord motor neurons. This study shows that modular synergism between miRNAs and neuronal subtype-specific transcription factors can drive lineage-specific neuronal reprogramming, providing a general platform for high-efficiency generation of distinct subtypes of human neurons.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA200060()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG007175()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG007354()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U01 HG009391()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R25 DA027995()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R01 ES024992()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - U24 ES026699()

Aberrant Sodium Channel Currents and Hyperexcitability of Medial Entorhinal Cortex Neurons in a Mouse Model of SCN8A Encephalopathy.

  • Ottolini M
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

SCN8A encephalopathy, or early infantile epileptic encephalopathy 13 (EIEE13), is caused predominantly by de novo gain-of-function mutations in the voltage-gated Na channel Nav1.6. Affected individuals suffer from refractory seizures, developmental delay, cognitive disability, and elevated risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). A knock-in mouse model carrying the patient mutation p.Asn1768Asp (N1768D) reproduces many features of the disorder, including spontaneous seizures and SUDEP. We used the mouse model to examine the effects of the mutation on layer II stellate neurons of the medial entorhinal cortex (mEC), which transmit excitatory input to the hippocampus. Heterozygous (Scn8aD/+), homozygous (Scn8aD/D)), and WT (Scn8a+/+) littermates were compared at 3 weeks of age, the time of seizure onset for homozygous mice. Heterozygotes remain seizure free for another month. mEC layer II neurons of heterozygous and homozygous mice were hyperexcitable and generated long-lasting depolarizing potentials with bursts of action potentials after synaptic stimulation. Recording of Na currents revealed proexcitatory increases in persistent and resurgent currents and rightward shifts in inactivation parameters, leading to significant increases in the magnitude of window currents. The proexcitatory changes were more pronounced in homozygous mice than in heterozygotes, consistent with the earlier age of seizure onset in homozygotes. These studies demonstrate that the N1768D mutation increases the excitability of mEC layer II neurons by increasing persistent and resurgent Na currents and disrupting channel inactivation. The aberrant activities of mEC layer II neurons would provide excessive excitatory input to the hippocampus and contribute to hyperexcitability of hippocampal neurons in this model of SCN8A encephalopathy.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTSCN8A encephalopathy is a devastating neurological disorder that results from de novo mutations in the Na channel Nav1.6. In addition to seizures, patients suffer from cognitive and developmental delays and are at high risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). A mouse knock-in model expressing the patient mutation N1768D reproduces several pathological phenotypes, including spontaneous seizures and sudden death. We demonstrate that medial entorhinal cortex (mEC) neurons from the mouse model exhibit proexcitatory alterations in Na channel activity, some of which were not seen in hippocampal or cortical neurons, and resulting in neuronal hyperexcitability. Because mEC neurons regulate the activity of the hippocampus, which plays an important role in seizure onset, we propose that these profound changes in mEC neuron excitability associated with the gain-of-function mutation of Nav1.6 may increase excitatory drive into the hippocampus, culminating in seizure activity and SUDEP.

Heterogeneity of astrocyte and NG2 cell insertion at the node of ranvier.

  • Serwanski DR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The node of Ranvier is a functionally important site on the myelinated axon where sodium channels are clustered and regeneration of action potentials occurs, allowing fast saltatory conduction of action potentials. Early ultrastructural studies have revealed the presence of "glia" or "astrocytes" at the nodes. NG2 cells, also known as oligodendrocyte precursor cells or polydendrocytes, which are a resident glial cell population in the mature mammalian central nervous system that is distinct from astrocytes, have also been shown to extend processes that contact the nodes. However, the prevalence of the two types of glia at the node has remained unknown. We have used specific cell surface markers to examine the association of NG2 cells and astrocytes with the nodes of Ranvier in the optic nerve, corpus callosum, and spinal cord of young adult mice or rats. We show that more than 95% of the nodes in all three regions contained astrocyte processes, while 33-49% of nodes contained NG2 cell processes. NG2 cell processes were associated more frequently with larger nodes. A few nodes were devoid of glial apposition. Electron microscopy and stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution microscopy confirmed the presence of dual glial insertion at some nodes and further revealed that NG2 cell processes contacted the nodal membrane at discrete points, while astrocytes had broader processes that surrounded the nodes. The study provides the first systematic quantitative analysis of glial cell insertions at central nodes of Ranvier. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:535-552, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Developing high-quality mouse monoclonal antibodies for neuroscience research - approaches, perspectives and opportunities.

  • Gong B
  • N Biotechnol
  • 2016 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

High-quality antibodies (Abs) are critical to neuroscience research, as they remain the primary affinity proteomics reagent used to label and capture endogenously expressed protein targets in the nervous system. As in other fields, neuroscientists are frequently confronted with inaccurate and irreproducible Ab-based results and/or reporting. The UC Davis/NIH NeuroMab Facility was created with the mission of addressing the unmet need for high-quality Abs in neuroscience research by applying a unique approach to generate and validate mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) optimized for use against mammalian brain (i.e., NeuroMabs). Here we describe our methodology of multi-step mAb screening focused on identifying mAbs exhibiting efficacy and specificity in labeling mammalian brain samples. We provide examples from NeuroMab screens, and from the subsequent specialized validation of those selected as NeuroMabs. We highlight the particular challenges and considerations of determining specificity for brain immunolabeling. We also describe why our emphasis on extensive validation of large numbers of candidates by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry against brain samples is essential for identifying those that exhibit efficacy and specificity in those applications to become NeuroMabs. We describe the special attention given to candidates with less common non-IgG1 IgG subclasses that can facilitate simultaneous multiplex labeling with subclass-specific secondary antibodies. We detail our recent use of recombinant cloning of NeuroMabs as a method to archive all NeuroMabs, to unambiguously define NeuroMabs at the DNA sequence level, and to re-engineer IgG1 NeuroMabs to less common IgG subclasses to facilitate their use in multiplex labeling. Finally, we provide suggestions to facilitate Ab development and use, as to design, execution and interpretation of Ab-based neuroscience experiments. Reproducibility in neuroscience research will improve with enhanced Ab validation, unambiguous identification of Abs used in published experiments, and end user proficiency in Ab-based assays.

β-Arrestin-Dependent Dopaminergic Regulation of Calcium Channel Activity in the Axon Initial Segment.

  • Yang S
  • Cell Rep
  • 2016 Aug 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) initiate a variety of signaling cascades, depending on effector coupling. β-arrestins, which were initially characterized by their ability to "arrest" GPCR signaling by uncoupling receptor and G protein, have recently emerged as important signaling effectors for GPCRs. β-arrestins engage signaling pathways that are distinct from those mediated by G protein. As such, arrestin-dependent signaling can play a unique role in regulating cell function, but whether neuromodulatory GPCRs utilize β-arrestin-dependent signaling to regulate neuronal excitability remains unclear. Here, we find that D3 dopamine receptors (D3R) regulate axon initial segment (AIS) excitability through β-arrestin-dependent signaling, modifying CaV3 voltage dependence to suppress high-frequency action potential generation. This non-canonical D3R signaling thereby gates AIS excitability via pathways distinct from classical GPCR signaling pathways.

Distinct axo-somato-dendritic distributions of three potassium channels in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells.

  • Kirizs T
  • Eur. J. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Jan 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Potassium channels comprise the most diverse family of ion channels and play critical roles in a large variety of physiological and pathological processes. In addition to their molecular diversity, variations in their distributions and densities on the axo-somato-dendritic surface of neurons are key parameters in determining their functional impact. Despite extensive electrophysiological and anatomical investigations, the exact location and densities of most K(+) channels in small subcellular compartments are still unknown. Here we aimed at providing a quantitative surface map of two delayed-rectifier (Kv1.1 and Kv2.1) and one G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying (Kir3.2) K(+) channel subunits on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs). Freeze-fracture replica immunogold labelling was employed to determine the relative densities of these K(+) channel subunits in 18 axo-somato-dendritic compartments. Significant densities of the Kv1.1 subunit were detected on axon initial segments (AISs) and axon terminals, with an approximately eight-fold lower density in the latter compartment. The Kv2.1 subunit was found in somatic, proximal dendritic and AIS plasma membranes at approximately the same densities. This subunit has a non-uniform plasma membrane distribution; Kv2.1 clusters are frequently adjacent to, but never overlap with, GABAergic synapses. A quasi-linear increase in the Kir3.2 subunit density along the dendrites of PCs was detected, showing no significant difference between apical dendritic shafts, oblique dendrites or dendritic spines at the same distance from the soma. Our results demonstrate that each subunit has a unique cell-surface distribution pattern, and predict their differential involvement in synaptic integration and output generation at distinct subcellular compartments.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - NIH P30 HD003352(United States)

Distinct Kv channel subtypes contribute to differences in spike signaling properties in the axon initial segment and presynaptic boutons of cerebellar interneurons.

  • Rowan MJ
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 May 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The discrete arrangement of voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels in axons may impart functional advantages in action potential (AP) signaling yet, in compact cell types, the organization of Kv channels is poorly understood. We find that in cerebellar stellate cell interneurons of mice, the composition and influence of Kv channels populating the axon is diverse and depends on location allowing axonal compartments to differentially control APs in a local manner. Kv1 channels determine AP repolarization at the spike initiation site but not at more distal sites, limiting the expression of use-dependent spike broadening to the most proximal axon region, likely a key attribute informing spiking phenotype. Local control of AP repolarization at presynaptic boutons depends on Kv3 channels keeping APs brief, thus limiting Ca(2+) influx and synaptic strength. These observations suggest that AP repolarization is tuned by the local influence of distinct Kv channel types, and this organization enhances the functional segregation of axonal compartments.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P40 RR012546(United States)

Long-term maintenance of Na+ channels at nodes of Ranvier depends on glial contact mediated by gliomedin and NrCAM.

  • Amor V
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Apr 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Clustering of Na(+) channels at the nodes of Ranvier is coordinated by myelinating glia. In the peripheral nervous system, axoglial contact at the nodes is mediated by the binding of gliomedin and glial NrCAM to axonal neurofascin 186 (NF186). This interaction is crucial for the initial clustering of Na(+) channels at heminodes. As a result, it is not clear whether continued axon-glial contact at nodes of Ranvier is required to maintain these channels at the nodal axolemma. Here, we report that, in contrast to mice that lack either gliomedin or NrCAM, absence of both molecules (and hence the glial clustering signal) resulted in a gradual loss of Na(+) channels and other axonal components from the nodes, the formation of binary nodes, and dysregulation of nodal gap length. Therefore, these mice exhibit neurological abnormalities and slower nerve conduction. Disintegration of the nodes occurred in an orderly manner, starting with the disappearance of neurofascin 186, followed by the loss of Na(+) channels and ankyrin G, and then βIV spectrin, a sequence that reflects the assembly of nodes during development. Finally, the absence of gliomedin and NrCAM led to the invasion of the outermost layer of the Schwann cell membrane beyond the nodal area and the formation of paranodal-like junctions at the nodal gap. Our results reveal that axon-glial contact mediated by gliomedin, NrCAM, and NF186 not only plays a role in Na(+) channel clustering during development, but also contributes to the long-term maintenance of Na(+) channels at nodes of Ranvier.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007276(United States)

Axon initial segment cytoskeleton comprises a multiprotein submembranous coat containing sparse actin filaments.

  • Jones SL
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2014 Apr 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

The axon initial segment (AIS) of differentiated neurons regulates action potential initiation and axon-dendritic polarity. The latter function depends on actin dynamics, but actin structure and functions at the AIS remain unclear. Using platinum replica electron microscopy (PREM), we have characterized the architecture of the AIS cytoskeleton in mature and developing hippocampal neurons. The AIS cytoskeleton assembly begins with bundling of microtubules and culminates in formation of a dense, fibrillar-globular coat over microtubule bundles. Immunogold PREM revealed that the coat contains a network of known AIS proteins, including ankyrin G, spectrin βIV, neurofascin, neuronal cell adhesion molecule, voltage-gated sodium channels, and actin filaments. Contrary to existing models, we find neither polarized actin arrays, nor dense actin meshworks in the AIS. Instead, the AIS contains two populations of sparse actin filaments: short, stable filaments and slightly longer dynamic filaments. We propose that stable actin filaments play a structural role for formation of the AIS diffusion barrier, whereas dynamic actin may promote AIS coat remodeling.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL122494(United States)

Actin and myosin-dependent localization of mRNA to dendrites.

  • Balasanyan V
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2014 Mar 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

The localization of mRNAs within axons and dendrites allows neurons to manipulate protein levels in a time and location dependent manner and is essential for processes such as synaptic plasticity and axon guidance. However, an essential step in the process of mRNA localization, the decision to traffic to dendrites and/or axons, remains poorly understood. Here we show that Myosin Va and actin filaments are necessary for the dendritic localization of the mRNA binding protein Staufen 1 and of mRNA encoding the microtubule binding protein Map2. Blocking the function or expression of Myosin Va or depolymerizing actin filaments leads to localization of Staufen 1 and of Map2 mRNA in both axons and dendrites. Furthermore, interaction with Myosin Va plays an instructive role in the dendritic localization of Hermes 1, an RNA binding protein. Wild-type Hermes 1 localizes to both axons and dendrites, whereas Hermes 1 fused with a Myosin Va binding peptide, localizes specifically to dendrites. Thus, our results suggest that targeting of mRNAs to the dendrites is mediated by a mechanism that is dependent on actin and Myosin Va.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL60714(United States)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - 1R01DA023576(United States)

Ankyrin-G directly binds to kinesin-1 to transport voltage-gated Na+ channels into axons.

  • Barry J
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2014 Jan 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Action potentials (APs) propagating along axons require the activation of voltage-gated Na(+) (Nav) channels. How Nav channels are transported into axons is unknown. We show that KIF5/kinesin-1 directly binds to ankyrin-G (AnkG) to transport Nav channels into axons. KIF5 and Nav1.2 channels bind to multiple sites in the AnkG N-terminal domain that contains 24 ankyrin repeats. Disrupting AnkG-KIF5 binding with small interfering RNA or dominant-negative constructs markedly reduced Nav channel levels at the axon initial segment (AIS) and along entire axons, thereby decreasing AP firing. Live-cell imaging showed that fluorescently tagged AnkG or Nav1.2 cotransported with KIF5 along axons. Deleting AnkG in vivo or virus-mediated expression of a dominant-negative KIF5 construct specifically decreased the axonal level of Nav, but not Kv1.2, channels in mouse cerebellum. These results indicate that AnkG functions as an adaptor to link Nav channels to KIF5 during axonal transport before anchoring them to the AIS and nodes of Ranvier.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG004701-01(United States)

The splicing regulator PTBP2 controls a program of embryonic splicing required for neuronal maturation.

  • Li Q
  • Elife
  • 2014 Jan 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

We show that the splicing regulator PTBP2 controls a genetic program essential for neuronal maturation. Depletion of PTBP2 in developing mouse cortex leads to degeneration of these tissues over the first three postnatal weeks, a time when the normal cortex expands and develops mature circuits. Cultured Ptbp2(-/-) neurons exhibit the same initial viability as wild type, with proper neurite outgrowth and marker expression. However, these mutant cells subsequently fail to mature and die after a week in culture. Transcriptome-wide analyses identify many exons that share a pattern of mis-regulation in the mutant brains, where isoforms normally found in adults are precociously expressed in the developing embryo. These transcripts encode proteins affecting neurite growth, pre- and post-synaptic assembly, and synaptic transmission. Our results define a new genetic regulatory program, where PTBP2 acts to temporarily repress expression of adult protein isoforms until the final maturation of the neuron. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01201.001.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS079926(United States)

Membrane domain organization of myelinated axons requires βII spectrin.

  • Zhang C
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2013 Nov 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

The precise and remarkable subdivision of myelinated axons into molecularly and functionally distinct membrane domains depends on axoglial junctions that function as barriers. However, the molecular basis of these barriers remains poorly understood. Here, we report that genetic ablation and loss of axonal βII spectrin eradicated the paranodal barrier that normally separates juxtaparanodal K(+) channel protein complexes located beneath the myelin sheath from Na(+) channels located at nodes of Ranvier. Surprisingly, the K(+) channels and their associated proteins redistributed into paranodes where they colocalized with intact Caspr-labeled axoglial junctions. Furthermore, electron microscopic analysis of the junctions showed intact paranodal septate-like junctions. Thus, the paranodal spectrin-based submembranous cytoskeleton comprises the paranodal barriers required for myelinated axon domain organization.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P41 GM103545(United States)

M2 microglia and macrophages drive oligodendrocyte differentiation during CNS remyelination.

  • Miron VE
  • Nat. Neurosci.
  • 2013 Nov 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lack of therapies for progressive multiple sclerosis highlights the need to understand the regenerative process of remyelination that can follow CNS demyelination. This involves an innate immune response consisting of microglia and macrophages, which can be polarized to distinct functional phenotypes: pro-inflammatory (M1) and anti-inflammatory or immunoregulatory (M2). We found that a switch from an M1- to an M2-dominant response occurred in microglia and peripherally derived macrophages as remyelination started. Oligodendrocyte differentiation was enhanced in vitro with M2 cell conditioned media and impaired in vivo following intra-lesional M2 cell depletion. M2 cell densities were increased in lesions of aged mice in which remyelination was enhanced by parabiotic coupling to a younger mouse and in multiple sclerosis lesions that normally show remyelination. Blocking M2 cell-derived activin-A inhibited oligodendrocyte differentiation during remyelination in cerebellar slice cultures. Thus, our results indicate that M2 cell polarization is essential for efficient remyelination and identify activin-A as a therapeutic target for CNS regeneration.

Whirlin, a cytoskeletal scaffolding protein, stabilizes the paranodal region and axonal cytoskeleton in myelinated axons.

  • Green JA
  • BMC Neurosci
  • 2013 Sep 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Myelinated axons are organized into distinct subcellular and molecular regions. Without proper organization, electrical nerve conduction is delayed, resulting in detrimental physiological outcomes. One such region is the paranode where axo-glial septate junctions act as a molecular fence to separate the sodium (Na+) channel-enriched node from the potassium (K+) channel-enriched juxtaparanode. A significant lack of knowledge remains as to cytoskeletal proteins which stabilize paranodal domains and underlying cytoskeleton. Whirlin (Whrn) is a PDZ domain-containing cytoskeletal scaffold whose absence in humans results in Usher Syndromes or variable deafness-blindness syndromes. Mutant Whirlin (Whrn) mouse model studies have linked such behavioral deficits to improper localization of critical transmembrane protein complexes in the ear and eye. Until now, no reports exist about the function of Whrn in myelinated axons. RESULTS: RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses revealed expression of Whrn mRNA and Whrn full-length protein, respectively, in several stages of central and peripheral nervous system development. Comparing wild-type mice to Whrn knockout (Whrn-/-) mice, we observed no significant differences in the expression of standard axonal domain markers by immunoblot analysis but observed and quantified a novel paranodal compaction phenotype in 4 to 8 week-old Whrn-/- nerves. The paranodal compaction phenotype and associated cytoskeletal disruption was observed in Whrn-/- mutant sciatic nerves and spinal cord fibers from early (2 week-old) to late (1 year-old) stages of development. Light and electron microscopic analyses of Whrn knockout mice reveal bead-like swellings in cerebellar Purkinje axons containing mitochondria and vesicles by both. These data suggest that Whrn plays a role in proper cytoskeletal organization in myelinated axons. CONCLUSIONS: Domain organization in myelinated axons remains a complex developmental process. Here we demonstrate that loss of Whrn disrupts proper axonal domain organization. Whrn likely contributes to the stabilization of paranodal myelin loops and axonal cytoskeleton through yet unconfirmed cytoskeletal proteins. Paranodal abnormalities are consistently observed throughout development (2 wk-1 yr) and similar between central and peripheral nervous systems. In conclusion, our observations suggest that Whrn is not required for the organization of axonal domains, but once organized, Whrn acts as a cytoskeletal linker to ensure proper paranodal compaction and stabilization of the axonal cytoskeleton in myelinated axons.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U01 HL066678(United States)

FGF14 localization and organization of the axon initial segment.

  • Xiao M
  • Mol. Cell. Neurosci.
  • 2013 Sep 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The axon initial segment (AIS) is highly enriched in the structural proteins ankyrin G and βIV-spectrin, the pore-forming (α) subunits of voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels, and functional Nav channels, and is critical for the initiation of action potentials. We previously reported that FGF14, a member of the intracellular FGF (iFGF) sub-family, is expressed in cerebellar Purkinje neurons and that the targeted inactivation of Fgf14 in mice (Fgf14(-/-)) results in markedly reduced Purkinje neuron excitability. Here, we demonstrate that FGF14 immunoreactivity is high in the AIS of Purkinje neurons and is distributed in a decreasing, proximal to distal, gradient. This pattern is evident early in the postnatal development of Purkinje neurons and is also observed in many other types of central neurons. In (Scn8a(med)) mice, which are deficient in expression of the Nav1.6 α subunit, FGF14 immunoreactivity is markedly increased and expanded in the Purkinje neuron AIS, in parallel with increased expression of the Nav1.1 (Scn1a) α subunit and expanded expression of βIV-spectrin. Although Nav1.1, FGF14, and βIV-spectrin are affected, ankyrin G immunoreactivity at the AIS of Scn8a(med) and wild type (WT) Purkinje neurons was not significantly different. In Fgf14(-/-) Purkinje neurons, βIV-spectrin and ankyrin G immunoreactivity at the AIS were also similar to WT Purkinje neurons, although both the Nav1.1 and Nav1.6 α subunits are modestly, but significantly (p<0.005), reduced within sub-domains of the AIS, changes that may contribute to the reduced excitability of Fgf14(-/-) Purkinje neurons.

Genetic reduction of the α1 subunit of Na/K-ATPase corrects multiple hippocampal phenotypes in Angelman syndrome.

  • Kaphzan H
  • Cell Rep
  • 2013 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Angelman syndrome (AS) is associated with symptoms that include autism, intellectual disability, motor abnormalities, and epilepsy. We recently showed that AS model mice have increased expression of the alpha1 subunit of Na/K-ATPase (α1-NaKA) in the hippocampus, which was correlated with increased expression of axon initial segment (AIS) proteins. Our developmental analysis revealed that the increase in α1-NaKA expression preceded that of the AIS proteins. Therefore, we hypothesized that α1-NaKA overexpression drives AIS abnormalities and that by reducing its expression these and other phenotypes could be corrected in AS model mice. Herein, we report that the genetic normalization of α1-NaKA levels in AS model mice corrects multiple hippocampal phenotypes, including alterations in the AIS, aberrant intrinsic membrane properties, impaired synaptic plasticity, and memory deficits. These findings strongly suggest that increased expression of α1-NaKA plays an important role in a broad range of abnormalities in the hippocampus of AS model mice.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA089713(United States)

Ankyrin-B structurally defines terminal microdomains of peripheral somatosensory axons.

  • Engelhardt M
  • Brain Struct Funct
  • 2013 Jul 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axons are subdivided into functionally organized microdomains, which are required for generation and propagation of action potentials (APs). In the central nervous system (CNS), APs are generated near the soma in the axon initial segment (AIS) and propagated by nodes of Ranvier (noR). The crucial role of the membrane adapter proteins ankyrin-B and ankyrin-G as organizers of AIS and noR is now well established. By comparison, little is known on the localization and function of these proteins in sensory axon terminals of the peripheral nervous systems (PNS). Here, we tested the hypothesis that somatosensory PNS terminals are organized by distinct members of the ankyrin protein family. We discovered a specific distribution of ankyrin-B in somatosensory axon terminals of skin and muscle. Specifically, ankyrin-B was localized along the membrane of axons innervating Meissner corpuscles, Pacinian corpuscles and hair follicle receptors. Likewise, proprioceptive terminals of muscle spindles exhibited prominent ankyrin-B expression. Furthermore, ankyrin-B expression extended into nociceptive and thermoceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers. Interestingly, all studied somatosensory terminals were largely devoid of ankyrin-G, indicating that this scaffolding protein does not contribute to organization of mechanoelectric transduction zones in peripheral somatosensory neurons. Instead, we propose that ankyrin-B serves as a major membrane organizer in mechanoreceptive and nociceptive terminals of the PNS.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R44 HG002991(United States)

Na+ channel-dependent recruitment of Navβ4 to axon initial segments and nodes of Ranvier.

  • Buffington SA
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2013 Apr 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier are the sites of action potential initiation and regeneration in axons. Although the basic molecular architectures of AIS and nodes, characterized by dense clusters of Na(+) and K(+) channels, are similar, firing patterns vary among cell types. Neuronal firing patterns are established by the collective activity of voltage-gated ion channels and can be modulated through interaction with auxiliary subunits. Here, we report the neuronal expression pattern and subcellular localization of Navβ4, the modulatory Na(+) channel subunit thought to underlie resurgent Na(+) current. Immunostaining of rat tissues revealed that Navβ4 is strongly enriched at the AIS of a select set of neuron types, including many characterized by high-frequency firing, and at nodes of Ranvier in the PNS and some nodes in the CNS. By introducing full-length and mutant GFP-tagged Navβ4 into cultured neurons, we determined that the AIS and nodal localization of Navβ4 depends on its direct interaction with Na(+) channel α subunits through an extracellular disulfide bond. Based on these results, we propose that differences in the specific composition of the Na(+) channel complexes enriched at the AIS and nodes contribute to the diverse physiologies observed among cell types.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - 2R44HG003667(United States)

The centrosomal E3 ubiquitin ligase FBXO31-SCF regulates neuronal morphogenesis and migration.

  • Vadhvani M
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2013 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuronal development requires proper migration, polarization and establishment of axons and dendrites. Growing evidence identifies the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) with its numerous components as an important regulator of various aspects of neuronal development. F-box proteins are interchangeable subunits of the Cullin-1 based E3 ubiquitin ligase, but only a few family members have been studied. Here, we report that the centrosomal E3 ligase FBXO31-SCF (Skp1/Cullin-1/F-box protein) regulates neuronal morphogenesis and axonal identity. In addition, we identified the polarity protein Par6c as a novel interaction partner and substrate targeted for proteasomal degradation in the control of axon but not dendrite growth. Finally, we ascribe a role for FBXO31 in dendrite growth and neuronal migration in the developing cerebellar cortex. Taken together, we uncovered the centrosomal E3 ligase FBXO31-SCF as a novel regulator of neuronal development.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U41 HG003751(United States)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA014546(United States)

Heterogeneity of ATP-sensitive K+ channels in cardiac myocytes: enrichment at the intercalated disk.

  • Hong M
  • J. Biol. Chem.
  • 2012 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ventricular ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channels link intracellular energy metabolism to membrane excitability and contractility. Our recent proteomics experiments identified plakoglobin and plakophilin-2 (PKP2) as putative K(ATP) channel-associated proteins. We investigated whether the association of K(ATP) channel subunits with junctional proteins translates to heterogeneous subcellular distribution within a cardiac myocyte. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed physical interaction between K(ATP) channels and PKP2 and plakoglobin in rat heart. Immunolocalization experiments demonstrated that K(ATP) channel subunits (Kir6.2 and SUR2A) are expressed at a higher density at the intercalated disk in mouse and rat hearts, where they co-localized with PKP2 and plakoglobin. Super-resolution microscopy demonstrate that K(ATP) channels are clustered within nanometer distances from junctional proteins. The local K(ATP) channel density, recorded in excised inside-out patches, was larger at the cell end when compared with local currents recorded from the cell center. The K(ATP) channel unitary conductance, block by MgATP and activation by MgADP, did not differ between these two locations. Whole cell K(ATP) channel current density (activated by metabolic inhibition) was ∼40% smaller in myocytes from mice haploinsufficient for PKP2. Experiments with excised patches demonstrated that the regional heterogeneity of K(ATP) channels was absent in the PKP2 deficient mice, but the K(ATP) channel unitary conductance and nucleotide sensitivities remained unaltered. Our data demonstrate heterogeneity of K(ATP) channel distribution within a cardiac myocyte. The higher K(ATP) channel density at the intercalated disk implies a possible role at the intercellular junctions during cardiac ischemia.

Developmental expression of Kv potassium channels at the axon initial segment of cultured hippocampal neurons.

  • Sánchez-Ponce D
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axonal outgrowth and the formation of the axon initial segment (AIS) are early events in the acquisition of neuronal polarity. The AIS is characterized by a high concentration of voltage-dependent sodium and potassium channels. However, the specific ion channel subunits present and their precise localization in this axonal subdomain vary both during development and among the types of neurons, probably determining their firing characteristics in response to stimulation. Here, we characterize the developmental expression of different subfamilies of voltage-gated potassium channels in the AISs of cultured mouse hippocampal neurons, including subunits Kv1.2, Kv2.2 and Kv7.2. In contrast to the early appearance of voltage-gated sodium channels and the Kv7.2 subunit at the AIS, Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunits were tethered at the AIS only after 10 days in vitro. Interestingly, we observed different patterns of Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunit expression, with each confined to distinct neuronal populations. The accumulation of Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunits at the AIS was dependent on ankyrin G tethering, it was not affected by disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and it was resistant to detergent extraction, as described previously for other AIS proteins. This distribution of potassium channels in the AIS further emphasizes the heterogeneity of this structure in different neuronal populations, as proposed previously, and suggests corresponding differences in action potential regulation.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G0600329(United Kingdom)

Cultured subventricular zone progenitor cells transduced with neurogenin-2 become mature glutamatergic neurons and integrate into the dentate gyrus.

  • Chen X
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Jul 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

We have previously shown that transplantation of immature DCX+/NeuN+/Prox1+ neurons (found in the neonatal DG), but not undifferentiated neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) from ventral subventricular zone (SVZ), results in neuronal maturation in vivo within the dentate niche. Here we investigated whether we could enhance the integration of SVZ NPCs by forced expression of the proneural gene Neurogenin 2 (NEUROG2). NPCs cultured from neonatal GFP-transgenic rat SVZ for 7 days in a non-differentiating medium were transduced with a retrovirus encoding NEUROG2 and DsRed or the DsRed reporter gene alone (control). By 3 days post-transduction, the NEUROG2-transduced cells maintained in culture contained mostly immature neurons (91% DCX+; 76% NeuN+), whereas the control virus-transduced cells remained largely undifferentiated (30% DCX+; <1% NeuN+). At 6 weeks following transplantation into the DG of adult male rats, there were no neurons among the transplanted cells treated with the control virus but the majority of the NEUROG2-transduced DsRed+ SVZ cells became mature neurons (92% NeuN+; DCX-negative). Although the NEUROG2-transduced SVZ cells did not express the dentate granule neuron marker Prox1, most of the NEUROG2-transduced SVZ cells (78%) expressed the glutamatergic marker Tbr1, suggesting the acquisition of a glutamatergic phenotype. Moreover, some neurons extended dendrites into the molecular layer, grew axons containing Ankyrin G+ axonal initial segments, and projected into the CA3 region, thus resembling mature DG granule neurons. A proportion of NEUROG2 transduced cells also expressed c-Fos and P-CREB, two markers of neuronal activation. We conclude that NEUROG2-transduction is sufficient to promote neuronal maturation and integration of transplanted NPCs from SVZ into the DG.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY025555(United States)

Colocalization of α-actinin and synaptopodin in the pyramidal cell axon initial segment.

  • Sánchez-Ponce D
  • Cereb. Cortex
  • 2012 Jul 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cisternal organelle that resides in the axon initial segment (AIS) of neocortical and hippocampal pyramidal cells is thought to be involved in regulating the Ca(2+) available to maintain AIS scaffolding proteins, thereby preserving normal AIS structure and function. Through immunocytochemistry and correlative light and electron microscopy, we show here that the actin-binding protein α-actinin is present in the typical cistenal organelle of rodent pyramidal neurons as well as in a large structure in the AIS of a subpopulation of layer V pyramidal cells that we have called the "giant saccular organelle." Indeed, this localization of α-actinin in the AIS is dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, in the cisternal organelle of cultured hippocampal neurons, α-actinin colocalizes extensively with synaptopodin, a protein that interacts with both actin and α-actinin, and they appear concomitantly during the development of these neurons. Together, these results indicate that α-actinin and the actin cytoskeleton are important components of the cisternal organelle that are probably required to stabilize the AIS.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK084171(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS055125-01A1(United States)

Benefits and pitfalls of secondary antibodies: why choosing the right secondary is of primary importance.

  • Manning CF
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Jun 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Simultaneous labeling of multiple targets in a single sample, or multiplexing, is a powerful approach to directly compare the amount, localization and/or molecular properties of different targets in the same sample. Here we highlight the robust reliability of the simultaneous use of multiple mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) of different immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses in a wide variety of multiplexing applications employing anti-mouse IgG subclass-specific secondary antibodies (2°Abs). We also describe the unexpected finding that IgG subclass-specific 2°Abs are superior to general anti-mouse IgG 2 °Abs in every tested application in which mouse mAbs were used. This was due to a detection bias of general anti-mouse IgG-specific 2°Abs against mAbs of the most common mouse IgG subclass, IgG1, and to a lesser extent IgG2b mAbs. Thus, when using any of numerous mouse mAbs available through commercial and non-profit sources, for cleaner and more robust results each mAb should be detected with its respective IgG subclass-specific 2°Ab and not a general anti-mouse IgG-specific 2°Ab.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P40-RR17072(United States)

IκBα is not required for axon initial segment assembly.

  • Buffington SA
  • Mol. Cell. Neurosci.
  • 2012 May 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The inhibitor of NF-κB alpha (IκBα) protein is an important regulator of the transcription factor NF-κB. In neurons, IκBα has been shown to play a role in neurite outgrowth and cell survival. Recently, a phosphorylated form of IκBα (pIκBα Ser32/36) was reported to be highly enriched at the axon initial segment (AIS) and was proposed to function upstream of ankyrinG in AIS assembly, including ion channel recruitment. However, we report here that the AIS clustering of ankyrinG and Na(+) channels in the brains of IκBα knockout (Nfkbia(-/-)) mice is comparable to that in wild-type littermates. Furthermore, we found that multiple phospho-specific antibodies against pIκBα Ser32/36 non-specifically label AIS in Nfkbia(-/-) cortex and AIS in dissociated Nfkbia(-/-) hippocampal neurons. With the exception of ankyrinG, shRNA-mediated knockdown of known AIS proteins in cultured hippocampal neurons did not eliminate the AIS labeling with pIκBα antibodies. Instead, the pIκBα antibodies cross-react with a phosphorylated epitope of a protein associated with the microtubule-based AIS cytoskeleton that is not integrated into the AIS membrane complex organized by ankyrinG. Our results indicate that pIκBα is neither enriched at the AIS nor required for AIS assembly.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH106934(United States)

An ankyrinG-binding motif is necessary and sufficient for targeting Nav1.6 sodium channels to axon initial segments and nodes of Ranvier.

  • Gasser A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2012 May 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons are highly polarized cells with functionally distinct axonal and somatodendritic compartments. Voltage-gated sodium channels Na(v)1.2 and Na(v)1.6 are highly enriched at axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier, where they are necessary for generation and propagation of action potentials. Previous studies using reporter proteins in unmyelinated cultured neurons suggest that an ankyrinG-binding motif within intracellular loop 2 (L2) of sodium channels is sufficient for targeting these channels to the AIS, but mechanisms of channel targeting to nodes remain poorly understood. Using a CD4-Na(v)1.2/L2 reporter protein in rat dorsal root ganglion neuron-Schwann cell myelinating cocultures, we show that the ankyrinG-binding motif is sufficient for protein targeting to nodes of Ranvier. However, reporter proteins cannot capture the complexity of full-length channels. To determine how native, full-length sodium channels are clustered in axons, and to show the feasibility of studying these channels in vivo, we constructed fluorescently tagged and functional mouse Na(v)1.6 channels for in vivo analysis using in utero brain electroporation. We show here that wild-type tagged-Na(v)1.6 channels are efficiently clustered at nodes and AISs in vivo. Furthermore, we show that mutation of a single invariant glutamic acid residue (E1100) within the ankyrinG-binding motif blocked Na(v)1.6 targeting in neurons both in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, we show that caseine kinase phosphorylation sites within this motif, while not essential for targeting, can modulate clustering at the AIS. Thus, the ankyrinG-binding motif is both necessary and sufficient for the clustering of sodium channels at nodes of Ranvier and the AIS.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - Z01 NS002787-19(United States)

Undersized dendritic arborizations in retinal ganglion cells of the rd1 mutant mouse: a paradigm of early onset photoreceptor degeneration.

  • Damiani D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a family of inherited diseases causing progressive photoreceptor death. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) form the biological substrate for various therapeutic approaches designed to restore vision in RP individuals. Assessment of survival and preservation of RGCs in animal paradigms mimicking the human disease is of key importance for appropriate implementation of vision repair strategies. Here we studied the survival of RGCs in the rd1 mutant mouse, a known model of early onset, autosomic recessive RP, at various stages of photoreceptor degeneration. Furthermore, we analyzed the morphology of various types of RGCs using the newly generated transgenic mouse rd1/Thy1-GFP, in which the rd1 mutation is associated with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in a small population of different RGCs. We found excellent survival of cells at up to 1 year of age, a time at which the inner retina is known to have severely reorganized and partially degenerated. However, 50% of the cells analyzed within all RGC types exhibit an undersized dendritic tree, spanning about half of the normal area. Undersized cells are found both in adult and in very young (1-month-old) mice. This suggests that their aberrant phenotype is due to incomplete dendritic development, possibly as a consequence of altered visual input at the time of dendritic arbor refinement. These data show the importance of the timing of photoreceptor death in RGC dendritic development.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD086984(United States)

A distal axonal cytoskeleton forms an intra-axonal boundary that controls axon initial segment assembly.

  • Galiano MR
  • Cell
  • 2012 May 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

AnkyrinG (ankG) is highly enriched in neurons at axon initial segments (AISs) where it clusters Na(+) and K(+) channels and maintains neuronal polarity. How ankG becomes concentrated at the AIS is unknown. Here, we show that as neurons break symmetry, they assemble a distal axonal submembranous cytoskeleton, comprised of ankyrinB (ankB), αII-spectrin, and βII-spectrin, that defines a boundary limiting ankG to the proximal axon. Experimentally moving this boundary altered the length of ankG staining in the proximal axon, whereas disruption of the boundary through silencing of ankB, αII-spectrin, or βII-spectrin expression blocked AIS assembly and permitted ankG to redistribute throughout the distal axon. In support of an essential role for the distal cytoskeleton in ankG clustering, we also found that αII and βII-spectrin-deficient mice had disrupted AIS. Thus, the distal axonal cytoskeleton functions as an intra-axonal boundary restricting ankG to the AIS.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL070029(United States)

Effects of amyloid-β plaque proximity on the axon initial segment of pyramidal cells.

  • León-Espinosa G
  • J. Alzheimers Dis.
  • 2012 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The output of cortical pyramidal cells reflects the balance between excitatory inputs of cortical and subcortical origin, and inhibitory inputs from distinct populations of cortical GABAergic interneurons, each of which selectively innervate different domains of neuronal pyramidal cells (i.e., dendrites, soma and axon initial segment [AIS]). In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the presence of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques alters the synaptic input to pyramidal cells in a number of ways. However, the effects of Aβ plaques on the AIS have still not been investigated to date. This neuronal domain is involved in input integration, as well as action potential initiation and propagation, and it exhibits Ca2+- and activity-dependent structural plasticity. The AIS is innervated by GABAergic axon terminals from chandelier cells, which are thought to exert a strong influence on pyramidal cell output. In the AβPP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD, we have investigated the effects of Aβ plaques on the morphological and neurochemical features of the AIS, including the cisternal organelle, using immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy, as well as studying the innervation of the AIS by chandelier cell axon terminals. There is a strong reduction in GABAergic terminals that appose AIS membrane surfaces that are in contact with Aβ plaques, indicating altered inhibitory synapsis at the AIS. Thus, despite a lack of gross structural alterations in the AIS, this decrease in GABAergic innervation may deregulate AIS activity and contribute to the hyperactivity of neurons in contact with Aβ plaques.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL-70250(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - U01 GM107623(United States)

Alterations in intrinsic membrane properties and the axon initial segment in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome.

  • Kaphzan H
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

The axon initial segment (AIS) is the site of action potential initiation in neurons. Recent studies have demonstrated activity-dependent regulation of the AIS, including homeostatic changes in AIS length, membrane excitability, and the localization of voltage-gated Na(+) channels. The neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome (AS) is usually caused by the deletion of small portions of the maternal copy of chromosome 15, which includes the UBE3A gene. A mouse model of AS has been generated and these mice exhibit multiple neurological abnormalities similar to those observed in humans. We examined intrinsic properties of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal area CA1 from AS model mice and observed alterations in resting membrane potential, threshold potential, and action potential amplitude. The altered intrinsic properties in the AS mice were correlated with significant increases in the expression of the α1 subunit of Na/K-ATPase (α1-NaKA), the Na(+) channel NaV1.6, and the AIS anchoring protein ankyrin-G, as well as an increase in length of the AIS. These findings are the first evidence for pathology of intrinsic membrane properties and AIS-specific changes in AS, a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with autism.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083898(United States)

Action potential generation at an axon initial segment-like process in the axonless retinal AII amacrine cell.

  • Wu C
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

In axon-bearing neurons, action potentials conventionally initiate at the axon initial segment (AIS) and are important for neuron excitability and cell-to-cell communication. However in axonless neurons, spike origin has remained unclear. Here we report in the axonless, spiking AII amacrine cell of the mouse retina a dendritic process sharing organizational and functional similarities with the AIS. This process was revealed through viral-mediated expression of channelrhodopsin-2-GFP with the AIS-targeting motif of sodium channels (Na(v)II-III). The AII processes showed clustering of voltage-gated Na+ channel 1.1 (Na(v)1.1) as well as AIS markers ankyrin-G and neurofascin. Furthermore, Na(v)II-III targeting disrupted Na(v)1.1 clustering in the AII process, which drastically decreased Na+ current and abolished the ability of the AII amacrine cell to generate spiking. Our findings indicate that, despite lacking an axon, spiking in the axonless neuron can originate at a specialized AIS-like process.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR057759(United States)

Molecular microdomains in a sensory terminal, the vestibular calyx ending.

  • Lysakowski A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Jul 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many primary vestibular afferents form large cup-shaped postsynaptic terminals (calyces) that envelope the basolateral surfaces of type I hair cells. The calyceal terminals both respond to glutamate released from ribbon synapses in the type I cells and initiate spikes that propagate to the afferent's central terminals in the brainstem. The combination of synaptic and spike initiation functions in these unique sensory endings distinguishes them from the axonal nodes of central neurons and peripheral nerves, such as the sciatic nerve, which have provided most of our information about nodal specializations. We show that rat vestibular calyces express an unusual mix of voltage-gated Na and K channels and scaffolding, cell adhesion, and extracellular matrix proteins, which may hold the ion channels in place. Protein expression patterns form several microdomains within the calyx membrane: a synaptic domain facing the hair cell, the heminode abutting the first myelinated internode, and one or two intermediate domains. Differences in the expression and localization of proteins between afferent types and zones may contribute to known variations in afferent physiology.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 085775/Z/08/Z(United Kingdom)

Peripheral nervous system progenitors can be reprogrammed to produce myelinating oligodendrocytes and repair brain lesions.

  • Binder E
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Apr 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) give rise to the neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). NCSC-like cells can be isolated from multiple peripheral organs and maintained in neurosphere culture. Combining in vitro culture and transplantation, we show that expanded embryonic NCSC-like cells lose PNS traits and are reprogrammed to generate CNS cell types. When transplanted into the embryonic or adult mouse CNS, they differentiate predominantly into cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage without any signs of tumor formation. NCSC-derived oligodendrocytes generate CNS myelin and contribute to the repair of the myelin deficiency in shiverer mice. These results demonstrate a reprogramming of PNS progenitors to CNS fates without genetic modification and imply that PNS cells could be a potential source for cell-based CNS therapy.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM T32 GM009151(United States)
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH-61869(United States)

Cdk-mediated phosphorylation of the Kvβ2 auxiliary subunit regulates Kv1 channel axonal targeting.

  • Vacher H
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2011 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Kv1 channels are concentrated at specific sites in the axonal membrane, where they regulate neuronal excitability. Establishing these distributions requires regulated dissociation of Kv1 channels from the neuronal trafficking machinery and their subsequent insertion into the axonal membrane. We find that the auxiliary Kvβ2 subunit of Kv1 channels purified from brain is phosphorylated on serine residues 9 and 31, and that cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)-mediated phosphorylation at these sites negatively regulates the interaction of Kvβ2 with the microtubule plus end-tracking protein EB1. Endogenous Cdks, EB1, and Kvβ2 phosphorylated at serine 31 are colocalized in the axons of cultured hippocampal neurons, with enrichment at the axon initial segment (AIS). Acute inhibition of Cdk activity leads to intracellular accumulation of EB1, Kvβ2, and Kv1 channel subunits within the AIS. These studies reveal a new regulatory mechanism for the targeting of Kv1 complexes to the axonal membrane through the reversible Cdk phosphorylation-dependent binding of Kvβ2 to EB1.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - N01-EY-5-0007(United States)

Molecular identity of dendritic voltage-gated sodium channels.

  • Lorincz A
  • Science
  • 2010 May 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Active invasion of the dendritic tree by action potentials (APs) generated in the axon is essential for associative synaptic plasticity and neuronal ensemble formation. In cortical pyramidal cells (PCs), this AP back-propagation is supported by dendritic voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channels, whose molecular identity is unknown. Using a highly sensitive electron microscopic immunogold technique, we revealed the presence of the Nav1.6 subunit in hippocampal CA1 PC proximal and distal dendrites. Here, the subunit density is lower by a factor of 35 to 80 than that found in axon initial segments. A gradual decrease in Nav1.6 density along the proximodistal axis of the dendritic tree was also detected without any labeling in dendritic spines. Our results reveal the characteristic subcellular distribution of the Nav1.6 subunit, identifying this molecule as a key substrate enabling dendritic excitability.

Funding information:
  • Department of Health - (United Kingdom)