Wnt/beta-catenin signaling suppresses Rapsyn expression and inhibits acetylcholine receptor clustering at the neuromuscular junction.
ABSTRACT The dynamic interaction between positive and negative signals is necessary for remodeling of postsynaptic structures at the neuromuscular junction. Here we report that Wnt3a negatively regulates acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering by repressing the expression of Rapsyn, an AChR-associated protein essential for AChR clustering. In cultured myotubes, treatment with Wnt3a or overexpression of beta-catenin, the condition mimicking the activation of the Wnt canonical pathway, inhibited Agrin-induced formation of AChR clusters. Moreover, Wnt3a treatment promoted dispersion of AChR clusters, and this effect was prevented by DKK1, an antagonist of the Wnt canonical pathway. Next, we investigated possible mechanisms underlying Wnt3a regulation of AChR clustering in cultured muscle cells. Interestingly, we found that Wnt3a treatment caused a decrease in the protein level of Rapsyn. In addition, Rapsyn promoter activity in cultured muscle cells was inhibited by the treatment with Wnt3a or beta-catenin overexpression. Forced expression of Rapsyn driven by a promoter that is not responsive to Wnt3a prevented the dispersing effect of Wnt3a on AChR clusters, suggesting that Wnt3a indeed acts to disperse AChR clusters by down-regulating the expression of Rapsyn. The role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in dispersing AChR clusters was also investigated in vivo by electroporation of Wnt3a or beta-catenin into mouse limb muscles, where ectopic Wnt3a or beta-catenin caused disassembly of postsynaptic apparatus. Together, these results suggest that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays a negative role for postsynaptic differentiation at the neuromuscular junction, probably by regulating the expression of synaptic proteins, such as Rapsyn.
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ABSTRACT: The cerebellum has a conserved foliation pattern and a well-organized layered structure. The process of foliation and lamination begins around birth. β-catenin is a downstream molecule of Wnt signaling pathway, which plays a critical role in tissue organization. Lack of β-catenin at early embryonic stages leads to either prenatal or neonatal death, therefore it has been difficult to resolve its role in cerebellar foliation and lamination. Here we used GFAP-Cre to ablate β-catenin in neuronal cells of the cerebellum after embryonic day 12.5, and found an unexpected role of β-catenin in determination of the foliation pattern. In the mutant mice, the positions of fissure formation were changed, and the meninges were improperly incorporated into fissures. At later stages, some lobules were formed by Purkinje cells remaining in deep regions of the cerebellum and the laminar structure was dramatically altered. Our results suggest that β-catenin is critical for cerebellar foliation and lamination. We also found a non cell-autonomous role of β-catenin in some developmental properties of major cerebellar cell types during specific stages.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e64451. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Wnt components are key regulators of a variety of developmental processes, including embryonic patterning, cell specification, and cell polarity. The Wnt signaling pathway participates in the development of the central nervous system and growing evidence indicates that Wnts also regulates the function of the adult nervous system. In fact, most of the key components including Wnts and Frizzled receptors are expressed in the adult brain. Wnt ligands have been implicated in the regulation of synaptic assembly as well as in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with several pathologies, and more recently has been related to neurodegenerative diseases and to mental and mood disorders. In this review, we focus our attention on the Wnt signaling cascade in postnatal life and we review in detail the presence of Wnt signaling components in pre- and postsynaptic regions. Due to the important role of Wnt proteins in wiring neural circuits, we discuss recent findings about the role of Wnt pathways both in basal spontaneous activities as well as in activity-dependent processes that underlie synaptic plasticity. Finally, we review the the role of Wnt in vivo and we finish with the most recent data in literature that involves the effect of components of the Wnt signaling pathway in neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling, as well as the data that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in relation to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.Ageing research reviews 05/2013; · 5.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Synapse formation is a highly regulated process that requires the coordination of many cell biological events. Decades of research have identified a long list of molecular components involved in assembling a functioning synapse. Yet how the various steps, from transporting synaptic components to adhering synaptic partners and assembling the synaptic structure, are regulated and precisely executed during development and maintenance is still unclear. With the improvement of imaging and molecular tools, recent work in vertebrate and invertebrate systems has provided important insight into various aspects of presynaptic development, maintenance, and trans-synaptic signals, thereby increasing our understanding of how extrinsic organizers and intracellular mechanisms contribute to presynapse formation.The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2013; 203(1):11-22. · 10.82 Impact Factor