Article

Molecular Cloning of a Brain-specific, Developmentally Regulated Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) Isoform and Identification of a Functional Promoter Variant Associated with Schizophrenia

Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 09/2007; 282(33):24343-51. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M702953200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is essential for the development and function of multiple organ systems, and its dysregulation has been linked to diseases such as cancer and schizophrenia. Recently, altered expression of a novel isoform (type IV) in the brain has been associated with schizophrenia-related genetic variants, especially rs6994992 (SNP8NRG243177). Here we have isolated and characterized full-length NRG1 type IV cDNAs from the adult and fetal human brain and identified novel splice variants of NRG1. Full-length type IV spans 1.8 kb and encodes a putative protein of 590 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of approximately 66 kDa. The transcript consists of 11 exons with an Ig-like domain, an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) domain, a beta-stalk, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic "a-tail," placing it in the beta1a NRG1 subclass. NRG1 type IV was not detected in any tissues except brain and a putative type IV NRG1 protein of 66 kDa was similarly brain-specific. Type IV transcripts are more abundantly expressed in the fetal brain, where, in addition to the full-length structure, two novel type IV variants were identified. In vitro luciferase-reporter assays demonstrate that the 5' promoter region upstream of type IV is functional, with differential activity associated with genetic variation at rs6994992, and that promoter competition may impact on type IV expression. Our data suggest that type IV is a unique brain-specific NRG1 that is differentially expressed and processed during early development, is translated, and its expression regulated by a schizophrenia risk-associated functional promoter or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).

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    • "Several studies have focused on the signaling protein NRG1 and its receptor ERRB4. A variety of NRG1 isoforms (estimated n =30) are produced by alternative splicing (Tan et al., 2007; Liu et al., 2011). They are expressed in varying proportions at relatively high levels in a variety of peripheral tissues as well as the brain. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene polymorphisms have been proposed as risk factors for several common disorders. Associations with cognitive variation have also been tested. With regard to schizophrenia (SZ) risk, studies of Caucasian ancestry samples indicate associations more consistently than East Asian samples, suggesting heterogeneity. To exploit the differences in linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure across ethnic groups, we conducted a SZ case-control study (that included cognitive evaluations) in a sample from the north Indian population. METHODS: NRG1 variants (n=35 SNPs, three microsatellite markers) were initially analyzed among cases (DSM IV criteria, n=1007) and controls (n=1019, drawn from two groups) who were drawn from the same geographical region in North India. Nominally significant associations with SZ were next analyzed in relation to neurocognitive measures estimated with a computerized neurocognitive battery in a subset of the sample (n=116 cases, n=170 controls). RESULTS: Three variants and one microsatellite showed allelic association with SZ (rs35753505, rs4733263, rs6994992, and microsatellite 420M9-1395, p≤0.05 uncorrected for multiple comparisons). A six marker haplotype 221121 (rs35753505-rs6994992-rs1354336-rs10093107-rs3924999-rs11780123) showed (p=0.0004) association after Bonferroni corrections. Regression analyses with the neurocognitive measures showed nominal (uncorrected) associations with emotion processing and attention at rs35753505 and rs6994992, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Suggestive associations with SZ and SZ-related neurocognitive measures were detected with two SNPs from the NRG1 promoter region in a north Indian cohort. The functional role of the alleles merits further investigation.
    Schizophrenia Research 01/2013; 144(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2012.12.017 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    • "Classically, types I--III are recognized (Falls 2003), although types IV--VI have recently been identified (see Mei and Xiong 2008). Isoform-specific distributions , roles, and properties have been described, although they remain incompletely understood (Meyer et al. 1997; Flames et al. 2004; Michailov et al. 2004; Taveggia et al. 2005; Tan et al. 2007; Brinkmann et al. 2008; Chen et al. 2008). Many studies of NRG1 have concentrated on early neurodevelopmental processes such as cell differentiation, synaptogenesis , and myelination, and studies initially focused on the peripheral rather than the central nervous system (CNS). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a growth factor involved in neurodevelopment and plasticity. It is a schizophrenia candidate gene, and hippocampal expression of the NRG1 type I isoform is increased in the disorder. We have studied transgenic mice overexpressing NRG1 type I (NRG1(tg-type I)) and their wild-type littermates and measured hippocampal electrophysiological and behavioral phenotypes. Young NRG1(tg-type I) mice showed normal memory performance, but in older NRG1(tg-type I) mice, hippocampus-dependent spatial working memory was selectively impaired. Hippocampal slice preparations from NRG1(tg-type I) mice exhibited a reduced frequency of carbachol-induced gamma oscillations and an increased tendency to epileptiform activity. Long-term potentiation in NRG1(tg-type I) mice was normal. The results provide evidence that NRG1 type I impacts on hippocampal function and circuitry. The effects are likely mediated via inhibitory interneurons and may be relevant to the involvement of NRG1 in schizophrenia. However, the findings, in concert with those from other genetic and pharmacological manipulations of NRG1, emphasize the complex and pleiotropic nature of the gene, even with regard to a single isoform.
    Cerebral Cortex 08/2011; 22(7):1520-9. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhr223 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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    • "It is associated with reduced activation of frontal and temporal lobe regions and increased development of psychotic symptoms and decreased premorbid IQ (Hall et al., 2006). It was shown to reduce the basal activity of the type IV NGR1 promoter (Tan et al., 2007). The C-to-T mutation had no effect on activity-mediated induction of the type IV promoter (Fig. 8). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a trophic factor that has been implicated in neural development, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. NRG1 has multiple isoforms that are generated by usage of different promoters and alternative splicing of a single gene. However, little is known about NRG1 isoform composition profile, whether it changes during development, or the underlying mechanisms. We found that each of the six types of NRG1 has a distinct expression pattern in the brain at different ages, resulting in a change in NRG1 isoform composition. In both human and rat, the most dominant are types III and II, followed by either type I or type V, while types IV and VI are the least abundant. The expression of NRG1 isoforms is higher in rat brains at ages of E13 and P5 (in particular type V), suggesting roles in early neural development and in the neonatal critical period. At the cellular level, the majority of NRG1 isoforms (types I, II, and III) are expressed in excitatory neurons, although they are also present in GABAergic neurons and astrocytes. Finally, the expression of each NRG1 isoform is distinctly regulated by neuronal activity, which causes significant increase in type I and IV NRG1 levels. Neuronal activity regulation of type IV expression requires a CRE cis-element in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) that binds to CREB. These results indicate that expression of NRG1 isoforms is regulated by distinct mechanisms, which may contribute to versatile functions of NRG1 and pathologic mechanisms of brain disorders such as schizophrenia.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 06/2011; 31(23):8491-501. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5317-10.2011 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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