The β isotypes of tubulin in neuronal differentiation

Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900, USA.
Cytoskeleton (Impact Factor: 3.12). 07/2010; 67(7):431-41. DOI: 10.1002/cm.20455
Source: PubMed


The differences among the vertebrate beta isotypes of tubulin are highly conserved in evolution, suggesting that they have functional significance. To address this, we have used differentiating neuroblastoma cells as a model system. These cells express the betaI, betaII, and betaIII isotypes. Although there is no difference prior to differentiation, a striking difference is seen after differentiation. Both betaI and betaIII occur in cell bodies and neurites, while betaII occurs mostly in neurites. Knocking down betaI causes a large decrease in cell viability while silencing betaII and betaIII does not. Knocking down betaII causes a large decrease in neurite outgrowth without affecting viability. Knocking down betaIII has little effect on neurite outgrowth and only decreases viability if cells are treated with glutamate and glycine, a combination known to generate free radicals and reactive oxygen species. It appears, therefore, that betaI is required for cell viability, betaII for neurite outgrowth and betaIII for protection against free radicals and reactive oxygen species.

Download full-text


Available from: Consuelo Walss-Bass,
  • Source
    • "MTs with different isotype composition have different functions [2], [3] and display different dynamic properties [43]. In terms of neuroprotection, the expression of β3-tubulin renders the MTs less sensitive to oxidative damage [73], [74]. It has been shown that β3-tubulin is conditionally expressed as an adaptive mechanism of resistance to a stressing microenvironment featuring oxygen-poor conditions and low nutrient supply [75] unraveling a functional connection between β3-tubulin expression and cell survival. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microtubules (MTs), key cytoskeletal elements in living cells, are critical for axonal transport, synaptic transmission, and maintenance of neuronal morphology. NAP (NAPVSIPQ) is a neuroprotective peptide derived from the essential activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP). In Alzheimer's disease models, NAP protects against tauopathy and cognitive decline. Here, we show that NAP treatment significantly affected the alpha tubulin tyrosination cycle in the neuronal differentiation model, rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) and in rat cortical astrocytes. The effect on tubulin tyrosination/detyrosination was coupled to increased MT network area (measured in PC12 cells), which is directly related to neurite outgrowth. Tubulin beta3, a marker for neurite outgrowth/neuronal differentiation significantly increased after NAP treatment. In rat cortical neurons, NAP doubled the area of dynamic MT invasion (Tyr-tubulin) into the neuronal growth cone periphery. NAP was previously shown to protect against zinc-induced MT/neurite destruction and neuronal death, here, in PC12 cells, NAP treatment reversed zinc-decreased tau-tubulin-MT interaction and protected against death. NAP effects on the MT pool, coupled with increased tau engagement on compromised MTs imply an important role in neuronal plasticity, protecting against free tau accumulation leading to tauopathy. With tauopathy representing a major pathological hallmark in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, the current findings provide a mechanistic basis for further development. NAP (davunetide) is in phase 2/3 clinical trial in progressive supranuclear palsy, a disease presenting MT deficiency and tau pathology.
    PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e51458. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0051458 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The function of brain (neuronal) peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor(s) γ (PPARγ) in the delayed degeneration and loss of neurones in the substantia nigra (SN) was studied in rats after transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO). The PPARγ agonist, pioglitazone, or vehicle was infused intracerebroventricularly over a 5-day period before, during and 5 days after MCAO (90 min). The neuronal degeneration in the SN pars reticularis (SNr) and pars compacta (SNc), the analysis of the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) neurones and the expression of the PPARγ in these neurones were studied by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining. The effects of PPARγ activation on excitotoxic and oxidative neuronal damage induced by glutamate and 6-hydroxydopamine were investigated in primary cortical neurones expressing PPARγ. Pioglitazone reduced the total and striatal infarct size, neuronal degeneration in both parts of the ipsilateral SN, the loss of TH-IR neurones in the SNc and increased the number of PPARγ-positive TH-IR neurones. Pioglitazone protected primary cortical neurones against oxidative and excitotoxic damage, prevented the loss of neurites and supported the formation of synaptic networks in neurones exposed to glutamate or 6-hydroxydopamine by a PPARγ-dependent mechanism. Activation of cerebral PPARγ confers neuroprotection after ischaemic stroke by preventing both, neuronal damage within the peri-infarct zone and delayed degeneration of neurones and neuronal death in areas remote from the site of ischaemic injury. Pioglitazone and other PPARγ agonists may be useful therapeutic agents to prevent progression of brain damage after cerebral ischaemia.
    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 03/2011; 37(7):738-52. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2990.2011.01169.x · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tubulin, the subunit protein of microtubules, is an α/β heterodimer. Both α- and β-tubulin exist as numerous isotypes, differing in their amino acid sequences and encoded by different genes. The differences are highly conserved in evolution, suggesting that they are functionally significant. Neurons are a potentially very useful system for elucidating this significance, because they are highly differentiated cells and rich in tubulin isotypes. We have examined the distribution of β-tubulin isotypes in mouse primary cultured cortical neurons from embryonic fetus, newborn pups and adults. Neurons from both embryonic and adult mouse brains express the βI, βII, and βIII isotypes, but apparently not βIV or βV. βI, βII, and βIII are found in both cell bodies and neurites. However, the situation is different in newborn mice. Although βI and βIII are present in these neurons in both cell bodies and neurites and βIV is absent, just like in embryonic and adult mice, two striking differences were noted in the neurons from newborn mice. First, βV is apparently present evanescently in the neurons in both cell bodies and neurites. Interestingly, the βV was expressed strongly in newborn neurons after one day of culture; expression became much weaker after 3days, and almost disappeared after 5days. Second, the distribution of βII is different from other isotypes. After newborn mouse neurons were cultured for 3days, βII started to disappear partly from the cell bodies; this was much more pronounced after five days in culture. Our findings suggest that βII's major function may involve the neurites and not the cell body. They also raise the possibility that βV has a unique role in the neurons of newborn mice.
    Brain research 09/2011; 1420:8-18. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2011.08.066 · 2.84 Impact Factor
Show more