Distinct expression of C1q-like family mRNAs in mouse brain and biochemical characterization of their encoded proteins.
ABSTRACT Many members of the C1q family, including complement C1q and adiponectin, and the structurally related tumor necrosis factor family are secreted and play crucial roles in intercellular signaling. Among them, the Cbln (precerebellin) and C1q-like (C1ql) subfamilies are highly and predominantly expressed in the central nervous system. Although the Cbln subfamily serve as essential trans-neuronal regulators of synaptic integrity in the cerebellum, the functions of the C1ql subfamily (C1ql1-C1ql4) remain unexplored. Here, we investigated the gene expression of the C1ql subfamily in the adult and developing mouse brain by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and high-resolution in-situ hybridization. In the adult brain, C1ql1-C1ql3 mRNAs were mainly expressed in neurons but weak expression was seen in glia-like structures in the adult brain. The C1ql1 mRNA was predominantly expressed in the inferior olive, whereas the C1ql2 and C1ql3 mRNAs were strongly coexpressed in the dentate gyrus. Although the C1ql1 and C1ql3 mRNAs were detectable as early as embryonic day 13, the C1ql2 mRNA was observed at later embryonic stages. The C1ql1 mRNA was also expressed transiently in the external granular layer of the cerebellum. Biochemical characterization in heterologous cells revealed that all of the C1ql subfamily proteins were secreted and they formed both homomeric and heteromeric complexes. They also formed hexameric and higher-order complexes via their N-terminal cysteine residues. These results suggest that, like Cbln, the C1ql subfamily has distinct spatial and temporal expression patterns and may play diverse roles by forming homomeric and heteromeric complexes in the central nervous system.
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ABSTRACT: In many developing neuronal cell types, the resting membrane potential is relatively depolarized, then gradually hyperpolarizes during the early postnatal period. The regulatory roles of membrane potential changes in neuronal development and maturation have been extensively studied in developing cerebellar granule cells, using primary culture under depolarizing and non-depolarizing conditions in combination with in vivo analysis. Depolarization enhances calcium entry via voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels (VSCCs) and activates Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) and calcineurin phophatase (CaN). The activation of CaN induces many genes encoding extracellular and intracellular signalling molecules implicated in granule cell development. The inactivation of CaN in turn up-regulates many other genes characteristic of mature granule cells, including NR2C NMDA receptor and GABAAalpha1 and alpha6 receptors. The induction of NR2C also requires CaMK-up-regulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), indicating a convergence of signalling mechanism of the CaMK and CaN cascades. The inactivation of CaN maintains the phosphorylated and sumoylated form of a transcriptional myocyte enhances factor 2A (MEF2A) regulator. This form of MEF2A acts as a transcriptional repressor and is essential for the dendritic morphogenesis of differentiated granule cells. Collectively, the membrane potential change and the resulting Ca2+ signalling play a pivotal role in development and maturation of neuronal cells.The Journal of Physiology 10/2006; 575(Pt 2):389-95. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two general forms of synaptic plasticity that operate on different timescales are thought to contribute to the activity-dependent refinement of neural circuitry during development: (1) long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), which involve rapid adjustments in the strengths of individual synapses in response to specific patterns of correlated synaptic activity, and (2) homeostatic synaptic scaling, which entails uniform adjustments in the strength of all synapses on a cell in response to prolonged changes in the cell's electrical activity. Without homeostatic synaptic scaling, neural networks can become unstable and perform suboptimally. Although much is known about the mechanisms underlying LTP and LTD, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for synaptic scaling except that such scaling is due, at least in part, to alterations in receptor content at synapses. Here we show that synaptic scaling in response to prolonged blockade of activity is mediated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Using mixtures of wild-type and TNF-alpha-deficient neurons and glia, we also show that glia are the source of the TNF-alpha that is required for this form of synaptic scaling. We suggest that by modulating TNF-alpha levels, glia actively participate in the homeostatic activity-dependent regulation of synaptic connectivity.Nature 05/2006; 440(7087):1054-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: C1q is the target recognition protein of the classical complement pathway and a major connecting link between innate and acquired immunity. As a charge pattern recognition molecule of innate immunity, C1q can engage a broad range of ligands via its globular (gC1q) domain and modulate immune cells, probably via its collagen region. The gC1q signature domain, also found in many non-complement proteins, has a compact jelly-roll beta-sandwich fold similar to that of the multifunctional tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family. The members of this newly designated 'C1q and TNF superfamily' are involved in processes as diverse as host defense, inflammation, apoptosis, autoimmunity, cell differentiation, organogenesis, hibernation and insulin-resistant obesity. This review is an attempt to draw structural and functional parallels between the members of the C1q and TNF superfamily.Trends in Immunology 11/2004; 25(10):551-61. · 9.49 Impact Factor