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

RRID:AB_144696

Grafts of Olfactory Stem Cells Restore Breathing and Motor Functions after Rat Spinal Cord Injury.

  • Stamegna JC
  • J. Neurotrauma
  • 2018 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The transplantation of olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells (OEMSCs) could be a helpful therapeutic strategy for spinal cord repair. Using an acute rat model of high cervical contusion that provokes a persistent hemidiaphragmatic and foreleg paralysis, we evaluated the therapeutic effect of a delayed syngeneic transplantation (two days post-contusion) of OEMSCs within the injured spinal cord. Respiratory function was assessed using diaphragmatic electromyography and neuroelectrophysiological recordings of phrenic nerves (innervating the diaphragm). Locomotor function was evaluated using the ladder-walking locomotor test. Cellular reorganization in the injured area was also studied using immunohistochemical and microscopic techniques. We report a substantial improvement in breathing movements, in activities of the ipsilateral phrenic nerve and ipsilateral diaphragm, and also in locomotor abilities four months post-transplantation with nasal OEMSCs. Moreover, in the grafted spinal cord, axonal disorganization and inflammation were reduced. Some grafted stem cells adopted a neuronal phenotype, and axonal sparing was observed in the injury site. The therapeutic effect on the supraspinal command is presumably because of both neuronal replacements and beneficial paracrine effects on the injury area. Our study provides evidence that nasal OEMSCs could be a first step in clinical application, particularly in patients with reduced breathing/locomotor movements.

Funding information:
  • PHS HHS - 78795(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)

The functional organization of descending sensory-motor pathways in Drosophila.

  • Namiki S
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jun 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

In most animals, the brain controls the body via a set of descending neurons (DNs) that traverse the neck. DN activity activates, maintains or modulates locomotion and other behaviors. Individual DNs have been well-studied in species from insects to primates, but little is known about overall connectivity patterns across the DN population. We systematically investigated DN anatomy in Drosophila melanogaster and created over 100 transgenic lines targeting individual cell types. We identified roughly half of all Drosophila DNs and comprehensively map connectivity between sensory and motor neuropils in the brain and nerve cord, respectively. We find the nerve cord is a layered system of neuropils reflecting the fly's capability for two largely independent means of locomotion -- walking and flight -- using distinct sets of appendages. Our results reveal the basic functional map of descending pathways in flies and provide tools for systematic interrogation of neural circuits.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K99/R00 CA158055-01(United States)

Ejaculation Induced by the Activation of Crz Neurons Is Rewarding to Drosophila Males.

  • Zer-Krispil S
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 May 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The reward system is a collection of circuits that reinforce behaviors necessary for survival [1, 2]. Given the importance of reproduction for survival, actions that promote successful mating induce pleasurable feeling and are positively reinforced [3, 4]. This principle is conserved in Drosophila, where successful copulation is naturally rewarding to male flies, induces long-term appetitive memories [5], increases brain levels of neuropeptide F (NPF, the fly homolog of neuropeptide Y), and prevents ethanol, known otherwise as rewarding to flies [6, 7], from being rewarding [5]. It is not clear which of the multiple sensory and motor responses performed during mating induces perception of reward. Sexual interactions with female flies that do not reach copulation are not sufficient to reduce ethanol consumption [5], suggesting that only successful mating encounters are rewarding. Here, we uncoupled the initial steps of mating from its final steps and tested the ability of ejaculation to mimic the rewarding value of full copulation. We induced ejaculation by activating neurons that express the neuropeptide corazonin (CRZ) [8] and subsequently measured different aspects of reward. We show that activating Crz-expressing neurons is rewarding to male flies, as they choose to reside in a zone that triggers optogenetic stimulation of Crz neurons and display conditioned preference for an odor paired with the activation. Reminiscent of successful mating, repeated activation of Crz neurons increases npf levels and reduces ethanol consumption. Our results demonstrate that ejaculation stimulated by Crz/Crz-receptor signaling serves as an essential part of the mating reward mechanism in Drosophila. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - DP2 OD007417(United States)

Generation of 3 spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell lines LUMCi002-A, B, and C and 2 unaffected sibling control induced pluripotent stem cell lines LUMCi003-A and B.

  • Buijsen RAM
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Apr 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG repeat expansion in exon 8 of the ATXN1 gene. We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from a SCA1 patient and his non-affected sister by using non-integrating Sendai Viruses (SeV). The resulting hiPSCs are SeVfree, express pluripotency markers, display a normal karyotype, retain the mutation (length of the CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN1 gene) and are able to differentiate into the three germ layers in vitro.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - T32 AI007638-09(United States)

Role for Wnt Signaling in Retinal Neuropil Development: Analysis via RNA-Seq and In Vivo Somatic CRISPR Mutagenesis.

  • Sarin S
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Screens for genes that orchestrate neural circuit formation in mammals have been hindered by practical constraints of germline mutagenesis. To overcome these limitations, we combined RNA-seq with somatic CRISPR mutagenesis to study synapse development in the mouse retina. Here synapses occur between cellular layers, forming two multilayered neuropils. The outer neuropil, the outer plexiform layer (OPL), contains synapses made by rod and cone photoreceptor axons on rod and cone bipolar dendrites, respectively. We used RNA-seq to identify selectively expressed genes encoding cell surface and secreted proteins and CRISPR-Cas9 electroporation with cell-specific promoters to assess their roles in OPL development. Among the genes identified in this way are Wnt5a and Wnt5b. They are produced by rod bipolars and activate a non-canonical signaling pathway in rods to regulate early OPL patterning. The approach we use here can be applied to other parts of the brain.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - NIH T32 HG002536(United States)

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)

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)

Live-cell mapping of organelle-associated RNAs via proximity biotinylation combined with protein-RNA crosslinking.

  • Kaewsapsak P
  • Elife
  • 2017 Dec 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

The spatial organization of RNA within cells is a crucial factor influencing a wide range of biological functions throughout all kingdoms of life. However, a general understanding of RNA localization has been hindered by a lack of simple, high-throughput methods for mapping the transcriptomes of subcellular compartments. Here, we develop such a method, termed APEX-RIP, which combines peroxidase-catalyzed, spatially restricted in situ protein biotinylation with RNA-protein chemical crosslinking. We demonstrate that, using a single protocol, APEX-RIP can isolate RNAs from a variety of subcellular compartments, including the mitochondrial matrix, nucleus, cytosol, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), with specificity and sensitivity that rival or exceed those of conventional approaches. We further identify candidate RNAs localized to mitochondria-ER junctions and nuclear lamina, two compartments that are recalcitrant to classical biochemical purification. Since APEX-RIP is simple, versatile, and does not require special instrumentation, we envision its broad application in a variety of biological contexts.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM046454(United States)

Differentiation between Oppositely Oriented Microtubules Controls Polarized Neuronal Transport.

  • Tas RP
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microtubules are essential for polarized transport in neurons, but how their organization guides motor proteins to axons or dendrites is unclear. Because different motors recognize distinct microtubule properties, we used optical nanoscopy to examine the relationship between microtubule orientations, stability, and modifications. Nanometric tracking of motors to super-resolve microtubules and determine their polarity revealed that in dendrites, stable and acetylated microtubules are mostly oriented minus-end out, while dynamic and tyrosinated microtubules are oriented oppositely. In addition, microtubules with similar orientations and modifications form bundles that bias transport. Importantly, because the plus-end-directed Kinesin-1 selectively interacts with acetylated microtubules, this organization guides this motor out of dendrites and into axons. In contrast, Kinesin-3 prefers tyrosinated microtubules and can enter both axons and dendrites. This separation of distinct microtubule subsets into oppositely oriented bundles constitutes a key architectural principle of the neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton that enables polarized sorting by different motor proteins.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G0901533(United Kingdom)

New tools for "hot-wiring" clathrin-mediated endocytosis with temporal and spatial precision.

  • Wood LA
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2017 Dec 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is the major route of receptor internalization at the plasma membrane. Analysis of constitutive CME is difficult because the initiation of endocytic events is unpredictable. When and where a clathrin-coated pit will form and what cargo it will contain are difficult to foresee. Here we describe a series of genetically encoded reporters that allow the initiation of CME on demand. A clathrin-binding protein fragment ("hook") is inducibly attached to an "anchor" protein at the plasma membrane, which triggers the formation of new clathrin-coated vesicles. Our design incorporates temporal and spatial control by the use of chemical and optogenetic methods for inducing hook-anchor attachment. Moreover, the cargo is defined. Because several steps in vesicle creation are bypassed, we term it "hot-wiring." We use hot-wired endocytosis to describe the functional interactions between clathrin and AP2. Two distinct sites on the β2 subunit, one on the hinge and the other on the appendage, are necessary and sufficient for functional clathrin engagement.

Cadherin-10 Maintains Excitatory/Inhibitory Ratio through Interactions with Synaptic Proteins.

  • Smith KR
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Appropriate excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance is essential for normal cortical function and is altered in some psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Cell-autonomous molecular mechanisms that control the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapse function remain poorly understood; no proteins that regulate excitatory and inhibitory synapse strength in a coordinated reciprocal manner have been identified. Using super-resolution imaging, electrophysiology, and molecular manipulations, we show that cadherin-10, encoded by CDH10 within the ASD risk locus 5p14.1, maintains both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic scaffold structure in cultured cortical neurons from rats of both sexes. Cadherin-10 localizes to both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in neocortex, where it is organized into nanoscale puncta that influence the size of their associated PSDs. Knockdown of cadherin-10 reduces excitatory but increases inhibitory synapse size and strength, altering the E/I ratio in cortical neurons. Furthermore, cadherin-10 exhibits differential participation in complexes with PSD-95 and gephyrin, which may underlie its role in maintaining the E/I ratio. Our data provide a new mechanism whereby a protein encoded by a common ASD risk factor controls E/I ratios by regulating excitatory and inhibitory synapses in opposing directions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The correct balance between excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) is crucial for normal brain function and is altered in psychiatric disorders such as autism. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this balance remain elusive. To address this, we studied cadherin-10, an adhesion protein that is genetically linked to autism and understudied at the cellular level. Using a combination of advanced microscopy techniques and electrophysiology, we show that cadherin-10 forms nanoscale puncta at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, maintains excitatory and inhibitory synaptic structure, and is essential for maintaining the correct balance between excitation and inhibition in neuronal dendrites. These findings reveal a new mechanism by which E/I balance is controlled in neurons and may bear relevance to synaptic dysfunction in autism.

Arc Interacts with the Integral Endoplasmic Reticulum Protein, Calnexin.

  • Myrum C
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2017 Oct 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc, is a major regulator of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Here we reveal a novel interaction partner of Arc, a resident endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane protein, calnexin. We show an interaction between recombinantly-expressed GST-tagged Arc and endogenous calnexin in HEK293, SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma and PC12 cells. The interaction was dependent on the central linker region of the Arc protein that is also required for endocytosis of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. High-resolution proximity-ligation assays (PLAs) demonstrate molecular proximity of endogenous Arc with the cytosolic C-terminus, but not the lumenal N-terminus of calnexin. In hippocampal neuronal cultures treated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Arc interacted with calnexin in the perinuclear cytoplasm and dendritic shaft. Arc also interacted with C-terminal calnexin in the adult rat dentate gyrus (DG). After induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the perforant path projection to the DG of adult anesthetized rats, enhanced interaction between Arc and calnexin was obtained in the dentate granule cell layer (GCL). Although Arc and calnexin are both implicated in the regulation of receptor endocytosis, no modulation of endocytosis was detected in transferrin uptake assays. Previous work showed that Arc interacts with multiple protein partners to regulate synaptic transmission and nuclear signaling. The identification of calnexin as a binding partner further supports the role of Arc as a hub protein and extends the range of Arc function to the endoplasmic reticulum, though the function of the Arc/calnexin interaction remains to be defined.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - AG15556(United States)

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.

Nogo-B is the major form of Nogo at the floor plate and likely mediates crossing of commissural axons in the mouse spinal cord.

  • Wang L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Using Nogo antibodies with defined binding specificity, Nogo-B, but not Nogo-A, was localized on radial glia in the floor plate of mouse embryos. The presence of Nogo-B was confirmed in Nogo-A knockout mice. In explant cultures of embryonic day (E) 11 and E12 spinal cord, blocking of NgR function with antagonist peptide NEP1-40 reduced the crossing of newly arrived commissural axons, resulting in an accumulation of growth cones in the floor plate. Analysis of growth cone morphology demonstrated an increase in size of growth cones in the floor plate after peptide treatment, which was not detected in axons growing toward the midline. In knockout embryos, midline crossing was not affected by absence of Nogo-A. In co-culture experiments using collagen gel, floor plate showed a strong inhibitory effect on the extension of post-commissural neurites from the spinal cord. This effect was abolished by NEP1-40, and was observed neither in pre-commissural neurites, nor in post-commissural neurites grown with floor plate derived from Nogo-A knockout embryo. Furthermore, western blot analysis of conditioned medium from floor plates showed a truncated form of Nogo with molecular weight of 37 kDa, which could mediate the diffusible effect to axon growth. We conclude that Nogo-B is expressed in the floor plate of mouse embryo, which probably mediates axon crossing in the spinal cord by repelling axons out of the midline when they start upregulate NgR. Nogo acts on axon growth not only through a contact-mediated mechanism, but also through a diffusible mechanism.

YAP/TAZ Orchestrate VEGF Signaling during Developmental Angiogenesis.

  • Wang X
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Sep 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major driver of blood vessel formation. However, the signal transduction pathways culminating in the biological consequences of VEGF signaling are only partially understood. Here, we show that the Hippo pathway effectors YAP and TAZ work as crucial signal transducers to mediate VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling during angiogenesis. We demonstrate that YAP/TAZ are essential for vascular development as endothelium-specific deletion of YAP/TAZ leads to impaired vascularization and embryonic lethality. Mechanistically, we show that VEGF activates YAP/TAZ via its effects on actin cytoskeleton and that activated YAP/TAZ induce a transcriptional program to further control cytoskeleton dynamics and thus establish a feedforward loop that ensures a proper angiogenic response. Lack of YAP/TAZ also results in altered cellular distribution of VEGFR2 due to trafficking defects from the Golgi apparatus to the plasma membrane. Altogether, our study identifies YAP/TAZ as central mediators of VEGF signaling and therefore as important regulators of angiogenesis.

Open Chromatin Profiling in hiPSC-Derived Neurons Prioritizes Functional Noncoding Psychiatric Risk Variants and Highlights Neurodevelopmental Loci.

  • Forrest MP
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Most disease variants lie within noncoding genomic regions, making their functional interpretation challenging. Because chromatin openness strongly influences transcriptional activity, we hypothesized that cell-type-specific open chromatin regions (OCRs) might highlight disease-relevant noncoding sequences. To investigate, we mapped global OCRs in neurons differentiating from hiPSCs, a cellular model for studying neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia (SZ). We found that the OCRs are highly dynamic and can stratify GWAS-implicated SZ risk variants. Of the more than 3,500 SZ-associated variants analyzed, we prioritized ∼100 putatively functional ones located in neuronal OCRs, including rs1198588, at a leading risk locus flanking MIR137. Excitatory neurons derived from hiPSCs with CRISPR/Cas9-edited rs1198588 or a rare proximally located SZ risk variant showed altered MIR137 expression, dendrite arborization, and synapse maturation. Our study shows that noncoding disease variants in OCRs can affect neurodevelopment, and that analysis of open chromatin regions can help prioritize functionally relevant noncoding variants identified by GWAS.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH097216()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH106575()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R21 MH102685()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS100785()

Human iPSC Glial Mouse Chimeras Reveal Glial Contributions to Schizophrenia.

  • Windrem MS
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Aug 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

In this study, we investigated whether intrinsic glial dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SCZ). Our approach was to establish humanized glial chimeric mice using glial progenitor cells (GPCs) produced from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with childhood-onset SCZ. After neonatal implantation into myelin-deficient shiverer mice, SCZ GPCs showed premature migration into the cortex, leading to reduced white matter expansion and hypomyelination relative to controls. The SCZ glial chimeras also showed delayed astrocytic differentiation and abnormal astrocytic morphologies. When established in myelin wild-type hosts, SCZ glial mice showed reduced prepulse inhibition and abnormal behavior, including excessive anxiety, antisocial traits, and disturbed sleep. RNA-seq of cultured SCZ human glial progenitor cells (hGPCs) revealed disrupted glial differentiation-associated and synaptic gene expression, indicating that glial pathology was cell autonomous. Our data therefore suggest a causal role for impaired glial maturation in the development of schizophrenia and provide a humanized model for its in vivo assessment.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH099578()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH104701()

Mapping the Neural Substrates of Behavior.

  • Robie AA
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Assigning behavioral functions to neural structures has long been a central goal in neuroscience and is a necessary first step toward a circuit-level understanding of how the brain generates behavior. Here, we map the neural substrates of locomotion and social behaviors for Drosophila melanogaster using automated machine-vision and machine-learning techniques. From videos of 400,000 flies, we quantified the behavioral effects of activating 2,204 genetically targeted populations of neurons. We combined a novel quantification of anatomy with our behavioral analysis to create brain-behavior correlation maps, which are shared as browsable web pages and interactive software. Based on these maps, we generated hypotheses of regions of the brain causally related to sensory processing, locomotor control, courtship, aggression, and sleep. Our maps directly specify genetic tools to target these regions, which we used to identify a small population of neurons with a role in the control of walking.

Feature Integration Drives Probabilistic Behavior in the Drosophila Escape Response.

  • von Reyn CR
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals rely on dedicated sensory circuits to extract and encode environmental features. How individual neurons integrate and translate these features into behavioral responses remains a major question. Here, we identify a visual projection neuron type that conveys predator approach information to the Drosophila giant fiber (GF) escape circuit. Genetic removal of this input during looming stimuli reveals that it encodes angular expansion velocity, whereas other input cell type(s) encode angular size. Motor program selection and timing emerge from linear integration of these two features within the GF. Linear integration improves size detection invariance over prior models and appropriately biases motor selection to rapid, GF-mediated escapes during fast looms. Our findings suggest feature integration, and motor control may occur as simultaneous operations within the same neuron and establish the Drosophila escape circuit as a model system in which these computations may be further dissected at the circuit level. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

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.

Small-Molecule Stabilization of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions Stimulates Axon Regeneration.

  • Kaplan A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

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Abstract:

Damaged central nervous system (CNS) neurons have a poor ability to spontaneously regenerate, causing persistent functional deficits after injury. Therapies that stimulate axon growth are needed to repair CNS damage. 14-3-3 adaptors are hub proteins that are attractive targets to manipulate cell signaling. We identify a positive role for 14-3-3s in axon growth and uncover a developmental regulation of the phosphorylation and function of 14-3-3s. We show that fusicoccin-A (FC-A), a small-molecule stabilizer of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions, stimulates axon growth in vitro and regeneration in vivo. We show that FC-A stabilizes a complex between 14-3-3 and the stress response regulator GCN1, inducing GCN1 turnover and neurite outgrowth. These findings show that 14-3-3 adaptor protein complexes are druggable targets and identify a new class of small molecules that may be further optimized for the repair of CNS damage.

Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis Occurs on Multiple Timescales and Is Mediated by Formin-Dependent Actin Assembly.

  • Soykan T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

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Abstract:

Neurotransmission is based on the exocytic fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) followed by endocytic membrane retrieval and the reformation of SVs. Recent data suggest that at physiological temperature SVs are internalized via clathrin-independent ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) within hundreds of milliseconds, while other studies have postulated a key role for clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) of SV proteins on a timescale of seconds to tens of seconds. Here we demonstrate using cultured hippocampal neurons as a model that at physiological temperature SV endocytosis occurs on several timescales from less than a second to several seconds, yet, is largely independent of clathrin. Clathrin-independent endocytosis (CIE) of SV membranes is mediated by actin-nucleating formins such as mDia1, which are required for the formation of presynaptic endosome-like vacuoles from which SVs reform. Our results resolve previous discrepancies in the field and suggest that SV membranes are predominantly retrieved via CIE mediated by formin-dependent actin assembly.

Bassoon Controls Presynaptic Autophagy through Atg5.

  • Okerlund ND
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

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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()

Amyloid-like aggregation of provasopressin in diabetes insipidus and secretory granule sorting.

  • Beuret N
  • BMC Biol.
  • 2017 Jan 26

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Aggregation of peptide hormone precursors in the trans-Golgi network is an essential process in the biogenesis of secretory granules in endocrine cells. It has recently been proposed that this aggregation corresponds to the formation of functional amyloids. Our previous finding that dominant mutations in provasopressin, which cause cell degeneration and diabetes insipidus, prevent native folding and produce fibrillar aggregates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) might thus reflect mislocalized amyloid formation by sequences that evolved to mediate granule sorting. RESULTS: Here we identified two sequences responsible for fibrillar aggregation of mutant precursors in the ER: the N-terminal vasopressin nonapeptide and the C-terminal glycopeptide. To test their role in granule sorting, the glycopeptide was deleted and/or vasopressin mutated to inactivate ER aggregation while still permitting precursor folding and ER exit. These mutations strongly reduced sorting into granules and regulated secretion in endocrine AtT20 cells. CONCLUSION: The same sequences - vasopressin and the glycopeptide - mediate physiological aggregation of the wild-type hormone precursor into secretory granules and the pathological fibrillar aggregation of disease mutants in the ER. These findings support the amyloid hypothesis for secretory granule biogenesis.

A Surveillance Mechanism Ensures Repair of DNA Lesions during Zygotic Reprogramming.

  • Ladstätter S
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 15

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Abstract:

Sexual reproduction culminates in a totipotent zygote with the potential to produce a whole organism. Sperm chromatin reorganization and epigenetic reprogramming that alter DNA and histone modifications generate a totipotent embryo. Active DNA demethylation of the paternal genome has been proposed to involve base excision and DNA repair-based mechanisms. The nature and consequence of DNA lesions generated during reprogramming are not known. Using mouse genetics and chemical biology, we discovered that Tet3-dependent zygotic reprogramming generates paternal DNA lesions that are monitored by a surveillance mechanism. In vivo structure-function rescue assays revealed that cohesin-dependent repair of paternal DNA lesions prevents activation of a Chk1-dependent checkpoint that delays mitotic entry. Culturing conditions affect checkpoint stringency, which has implications for human in vitro fertilization. We propose the zygotic checkpoint senses DNA lesions generated during paternal DNA demethylation and ensures reprogrammed loci are repaired before mitosis to prevent chromosome fragmentation, embryo loss, and infertility.

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

Simultaneous Detection of Both GDNF and GFRα1 Expression Patterns in the Mouse Central Nervous System.

  • Ortega-de San Luis C
  • Front Neuroanat
  • 2016 Jul 22

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Abstract:

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is proposed as a therapeutic tool in Parkinson's disease, addiction-related disorders, and neurodegenerative conditions affecting motor neurons (MNs). Despite the high amount of work about GDNF therapeutic application, the neuronal circuits requiring GDNF trophic support in the brain and spinal cord (SC) are poorly characterized. Here, we defined GDNF and GDNF family receptor-α 1 (GFRα1) expression pattern in the brain and SC of newborn and adult mice. We performed systematic and simultaneous detection of EGFP and LacZ expressing alleles in reporter mice and asked whether modifications of this signaling pathway lead to a significant central nervous system (CNS) alteration. GFRα1 was predominantly expressed by neurons but also by an unexpected population of non-neuronal cells. GFRα1 expression pattern was wider in neonatal than in adult CNS and GDNF expression was restricted in comparison with GFRα1 at both developmental time points. The use of confocal microscopy to imaging X-gal deposits and EGFP allowed us to identify regions containing cells that expressed both proteins and to discriminate between auto and non-autotrophic signaling. We also suggested long-range GDNF-GFRα1 circuits taking advantage of the ability of the EGFP genetically encoded reporter to label long distance projecting axons. The complete elimination of either the ligand or the receptor during development did not produce major abnormalities, suggesting a preponderant role for GDNF signaling during adulthood. In the SC, our results pointed to local modulatory interneurons as the main target of GDNF produced by Clarke's column (CC) cells. Our work increases the understanding on how GDNF signals in the CNS and establish a crucial framework for posterior studies addressing either the biological role of GDNF or the optimization of trophic factor-based therapies.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY002520(United States)

The isthmic nuclei providing parallel feedback connections to the avian tectum have different neurochemical identities: Expression of glutamatergic and cholinergic markers in the chick (Gallus gallus).

  • González-Cabrera C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 15

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Abstract:

Retinal inputs to the optic tectum (TeO) triggered by moving stimuli elicit synchronized feedback signals from two isthmic nuclei: the isthmi parvocelullaris (Ipc) and isthmi semilunaris (SLu). Both of these nuclei send columnar axon terminals back to the same tectal position receiving the retinal input. The feedback signals from the Ipc seem to act as an attentional spotlight by selectively boosting the propagation of retinal inputs from the tectum to higher visual areas. Although Ipc and SLu nuclei are widely considered cholinergic because of their immunoreactivity for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), contradictory findings, including the expression of the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2) mRNA in Ipc neurons, have raised doubts about the purely cholinergic nature of this nucleus. In this study, in chicks, we revise the neurochemical identity of the isthmic nuclei by using in situ hybridization assays for VGluT2 along with three cholinergic markers: the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT1) and ChAT. We found that neurons in the SLu showed strong mRNA expression of all three cholinergic markers, whereas the expression of VAChT mRNA in the Ipc was undetectable in our essays. Instead, Ipc neurons exhibited a strong expression of VGluT2 mRNA. Immunohistochemistry assays showed VGluT2 immunoreactivity in the TeO codistributing with anterogradely labeled Ipc axon-terminal boutons, further supporting a glutamatergic function for the Ipc nucleus. Therefore, our results strongly suggest that, in the chick, whereas the feedback from the SLu to the TeO is indeed cholinergic, the feedback from the Ipc has a marked glutamatergic component.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012957(United States)

Inhibitory projections from the ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body to the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body in the mouse.

  • Albrecht O
  • Front Neural Circuits
  • 2014 Aug 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) receive prominent excitatory input through the calyx of Held, a giant synapse that produces large and fast excitatory currents. MNTB neurons also receive inhibitory glycinergic inputs that are also large and fast, and match the calyceal excitation in terms of synaptic strength. GABAergic inputs provide additional inhibition to MNTB neurons. Inhibitory inputs to MNTB modify spiking of MNTB neurons both in-vitro and in-vivo, underscoring their importance. Surprisingly, the origin of the inhibitory inputs to MNTB has not been shown conclusively. We performed retrograde tracing, anterograde tracing, immunohistochemical experiments, and electrophysiological recordings to address this question. The results support the ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body (VNTB) as at least one major source of glycinergic input to MNTB. VNTB fibers enter the ipsilateral MNTB, travel along MNTB principal neurons and produce several bouton-like presynaptic terminals. Further, the contribution of GABA to the total inhibition declines during development, resulting in only a very minor fraction of GABAergic inhibition in adulthood, which is matched in time by a reduction in expression of a GABA synthetic enzyme in VNTB principal neurons.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - DP2 GM119139(United States)