Fragile X mental retardation protein has a unique, evolutionarily conserved neuronal function not shared with FXR1P or FXR2P.

Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1634, USA.
Disease Models and Mechanisms (Impact Factor: 4.96). 05/2010; 3(7-8):471-85. DOI: 10.1242/dmm.004598
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fragile X syndrome (FXS), resulting solely from the loss of function of the human fragile X mental retardation 1 (hFMR1) gene, is the most common heritable cause of mental retardation and autism disorders, with syndromic defects also in non-neuronal tissues. In addition, the human genome encodes two closely related hFMR1 paralogs: hFXR1 and hFXR2. The Drosophila genome, by contrast, encodes a single dFMR1 gene with close sequence homology to all three human genes. Drosophila that lack the dFMR1 gene (dfmr1 null mutants) recapitulate FXS-associated molecular, cellular and behavioral phenotypes, suggesting that FMR1 function has been conserved, albeit with specific functions possibly sub-served by the expanded human gene family. To test evolutionary conservation, we used tissue-targeted transgenic expression of all three human genes in the Drosophila disease model to investigate function at (1) molecular, (2) neuronal and (3) non-neuronal levels. In neurons, dfmr1 null mutants exhibit elevated protein levels that alter the central brain and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synaptic architecture, including an increase in synapse area, branching and bouton numbers. Importantly, hFMR1 can, comparably to dFMR1, fully rescue both the molecular and cellular defects in neurons, whereas hFXR1 and hFXR2 provide absolutely no rescue. For non-neuronal requirements, we assayed male fecundity and testes function. dfmr1 null mutants are effectively sterile owing to disruption of the 9+2 microtubule organization in the sperm tail. Importantly, all three human genes fully and equally rescue mutant fecundity and spermatogenesis defects. These results indicate that FMR1 gene function is evolutionarily conserved in neural mechanisms and cannot be compensated by either FXR1 or FXR2, but that all three proteins can substitute for each other in non-neuronal requirements. We conclude that FMR1 has a neural-specific function that is distinct from its paralogs, and that the unique FMR1 function is responsible for regulating neuronal protein expression and synaptic connectivity.

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    ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation, and it is caused by loss of function of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that is involved in the translational regulation of several neuronal mRNAs. However, the precise mechanism of translational inhibition by FMRP is unknown. Here, we show that FMRP inhibits translation by binding directly to the L5 protein on the 80S ribosome. Furthermore, cryoelectron microscopic reconstruction of the 80S ribosome⋅FMRP complex shows that FMRP binds within the intersubunit space of the ribosome such that it would preclude the binding of tRNA and translation elongation factors on the ribosome. These findings suggest that FMRP inhibits translation by blocking the essential components of the translational machinery from binding to the ribosome.
    Molecular cell 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.molcel.2014.03.023 · 14.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome is caused by the lack of expression of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein involved in mRNA transport and translation. FMRP is a component of mRNA ribonucleoprotein complexes and it can interact with a range of proteins either directly or indirectly, as demonstrated by two-hybrid selection and co-immunoprecipitation, respectively. Most of FMRP-interacting proteins are RNA-binding proteins such as FXR1P, FXR2P and 82-FIP. Interestingly, FMRP can also interact directly with the cytoplasmic proteins CYFIP1 and CYFIP2, which do not bind RNA and link FMRP to the RhoGTPase pathway. The interaction with these different proteins may modulate the functions of FMRP by influencing its affinity to RNA and by affecting the FMRP ability of cytoskeleton remodeling through Rho/Rac GTPases. To better define the relationship of FMRP with its interacting proteins during brain development, we have analyzed the expression pattern of FMRP and its interacting proteins in the cortex, striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum at different ages in wild type (WT). FMRP and FXR2P were strongly expressed during the first week and gradually decrease thereafter, more rapidly in the cerebellum than in the cortex. FXR1P was also expressed early and showed a reduction at later stages of development with a similar developmental pattern in these two regions. CYFIP1 was expressed at all ages and peaked in the third post-natal week. In contrast, CYFIP2 and 82-FIP (only in forebrain regions) were moderately expressed at P3 and gradually increased after P7. In general, the expression pattern of each protein was similar in the regions examined, except for 82-FIP, which exhibited a strong expression at P3 and low at later developmental stages in the cerebellum. Our data indicate that FMRP and its interacting proteins have distinct developmental patterns of expression and suggest that FMRP may be preferentially associated to certain proteins in early and late developmental periods. In particular, the RNA binding and cytoskeleton remodeling functions of FMRP may be differently modulated during development. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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    ABSTRACT: The Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent form of inherited mental disability and is considered a monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorder. FXS is caused by a triplet expansion that inhibits the expression of the FMR1 gene. The gene product, the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), regulates mRNA metabolism in brain and nonneuronal cells. During brain development, FMRP controls the expression of key molecules involved in receptor signaling, cytoskeleton remodeling, protein synthesis and, ultimately, spine morphology. Symptoms associated with FXS include neurodevelopmental delay, cognitive impairment, anxiety, hyperactivity, and autistic-like behavior. Twenty years ago the first Fmr1 KO mouse to study FXS was generated, and several years later other key models including the mutant Drosophila melanogaster, dFmr1, have further helped the understanding of the cellular and molecular causes behind this complex syndrome. Here, we review to which extent these biological models are affected by the absence of FMRP, pointing out the similarities with the observed human dysfunction. Additionally, we discuss several potential treatments under study in animal models that are able to partially revert some of the FXS abnormalities.
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