ARX, a novel Prd-class-homeobox gene highly expressed in the telencephalon, is mutated in X-linked mental retardation.
ABSTRACT Investigation of a critical region for an X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) locus led us to identify a novel Aristaless related homeobox gene (ARX ). Inherited and de novo ARX mutations, including missense mutations and in frame duplications/insertions leading to expansions of polyalanine tracts in ARX, were found in nine familial and one sporadic case of MR. In contrast to other genes involved in XLMR, ARX expression is specific to the telencephalon and ventral thalamus. Notably there is an absence of expression in the cerebellum throughout development and also in adult. The absence of detectable brain malformations in patients suggests that ARX may have an essential role, in mature neurons, required for the development of cognitive abilities.
SourceAvailable from: Shinichi Hirose[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The γ-aminobutyric acid receptor type A (GABAA receptor) is a ligand-gated chloride channel that mediates major inhibitory functions in the central nervous system. GABAA receptors function mainly as pentamers containing α, β, and either γ or δ subunits. A number of antiepileptic drugs have agonistic effects on GABAA receptors. Hence, dysfunctions of GABAA receptors have been postulated to play important roles in the etiology of epilepsy. In fact, mutations or genetic variations of the genes encoding the α1, α6, β2, β3, γ2, or δ subunits (GABRA1, GABRA6, GABRB2, GABRB3, GABRG2, and GABRD, respectively) have been associated with human epilepsy, both with and without febrile seizures. Epilepsy resulting from mutations is commonly one of following, genetic (idiopathic) generalized epilepsy (e.g., juvenile myoclonic epilepsy), childhood absence epilepsy, genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures, or Dravet syndrome. Recently, mutations of GABRA1, GABRB2, and GABRB3 were associated with infantile spasms and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These mutations compromise hyperpolarization through GABAA receptors, which is believed to cause seizures. Interestingly, most of the insufficiencies are not caused by receptor gating abnormalities, but by complex mechanisms, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation, nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, intracellular trafficking defects, and ER stress. Thus, GABAA receptor subunit mutations are now thought to participate in the pathomechanisms of epilepsy, and an improved understanding of these mutations should facilitate our understanding of epilepsy and the development of new therapies.Progress in brain research 01/2014; 213C:55-85. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-63326-2.00003-X · 5.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Severe congenital diarrhea occurs in about half of patients with ARX null mutations. The cause of this diarrhea is unknown. In a mouse model of intestinal Arx deficiency, the prevalence of a subset of enteroendocrine cells is altered, leading to diarrhea. Since polyalanine expansions within the ARX protein are the most common mutations found in ARX-related disorders, we sought to characterize the enteroendocrine population in human tissue of an ARX mutation and in a mouse model of the corresponding polyalanine expansion (Arx).Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 08/2014; DOI:10.1097/MPG.0000000000000542 · 2.87 Impact Factor
Article: Epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In humans, genomic DNA is organized in 23 chromosome pairs coding for roughly 25,000 genes. Not all of them are active at all times. During development, a broad range of different cell types needs to be generated in a highly ordered and reproducible manner, requiring selective gene expression programs. Epigenetics can be regarded as the information management system that is able to index or bookmark distinct regions in our genome to regulate the readout of DNA. It further comprises the molecular memory of any given cell, allowing it to store information of previously experienced external (e.g., environmental) or internal (e.g., developmental) stimuli, to learn from this experience and to respond. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms can be synergistic, antagonistic, or mutually exclusive and their large variety combined with the variability and interdependence is thought to provide the molecular basis for any phenotypic variation in physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, widespread reconfiguration of the epigenome is not only a key feature of neurodevelopment, brain maturation, and adult brain function but also disease.Progress in brain research 01/2014; 213C:279-316. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-63326-2.00014-4 · 5.10 Impact Factor