Independent and cooperative action of Psen2 with Psen1 in zebrafish embryos.
ABSTRACT Presenilin1 (PSEN1) and presenilin2 (PSEN2) are involved in the processing of type-1 transmembrane proteins including the amyloid precursor protein (APP), Notch and several others. PSEN1 has been shown to be crucial for proteolytic cleavage of Notch in developing animal embryos. Mouse embryos lacking Psen1 function show disturbed neurogenesis and somite formation, resembling Notch pathway mutants. However, loss of Psen2 activity reveals only a minor phenotype. Zebrafish embryos are a valuable tool for analysis of the molecular genetic control of cell differentiation since endogenous gene expression can be modulated in subtle and complex ways to give a phenotypic readout. Using injection of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides to inhibit protein translation in zebrafish embryos, we show that reduced Psen2 activity decreases the number of melanocytes in the trunk but not in the cranial area at 2 days post fertilisation (dpf). Reduced Psen2 activity apparently reduces Notch signalling resulting in perturbed spinal neurogenin1 (neurog1) expression, neurogenesis and trunk and tail neural crest development. Similar effects are seen for reduced Psen1 activity. These results suggest that Psen2 plays a more prominent role in Notch signalling and embryo development in zebrafish than in mammals. Intriguingly, decreased Psen2 activity increases the number of Dorsal Longitudinal Ascending (DoLA) interneurons in the spinal cord while decreased Psen1 activity has no effect. However, the effect on DoLAs of reduced Psen2 can be ameliorated by Psen1 loss. The effects of changes in Psen2 activity on DoLA interneurons and other cells in zebrafish embryos provide bioassays for more detailed dissection of Psen2 function.
Article: Knockdown of amyloid precursor protein in zebrafish causes defects in motor axon outgrowth.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a pivotal role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, but its normal physiological functions are less clear. Combined deletion of the APP and APP-like protein 2 (APLP2) genes in mice results in post-natal lethality, suggesting that APP performs an essential, if redundant, function during embryogenesis. We previously showed that injection of antisense morpholino to reduce APP levels in zebrafish embryos caused convergent-extension defects. Here we report that a reduction in APP levels causes defective axonal outgrowth of facial branchiomotor and spinal motor neurons, which involves disorganized axonal cytoskeletal elements. The defective outgrowth is caused in a cell-autonomous manner and both extracellular and intracellular domains of human APP are required to rescue the defective phenotype. Interestingly, wild-type human APP rescues the defective phenotype but APPswe mutation, which causes familial AD, does not. Our results show that the zebrafish model provides a powerful system to delineate APP functions in vivo and to study the biological effects of APP mutations.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e34209. · 4.09 Impact Factor