The deafness gene dfna5 is crucial for ugdh expression and HA production in the developing ear in zebrafish.
ABSTRACT Over 30 genes responsible for human hereditary hearing loss have been identified during the last 10 years. The proteins encoded by these genes play roles in a diverse set of cellular functions ranging from transcriptional regulation to K(+) recycling. In a few cases, the genes are novel and do not give much insight into the cellular or molecular cause for the hearing loss. Among these poorly understood deafness genes is DFNA5. How the truncation of the encoded protein DFNA5 leads to an autosomal dominant form of hearing loss is not clear. In order to understand the biological role of Dfna5, we took a reversegenetic approach in zebrafish. Here we show that morpholino antisense nucleotide knock-down of dfna5 function in zebrafish leads to disorganization of the developing semicircular canals and reduction of pharyngeal cartilage. This phenotype closely resembles previously isolated zebrafish craniofacial mutants including the mutant jekyll. jekyll encodes Ugdh [uridine 5'-diphosphate (UDP)-glucose dehydrogenase], an enzyme that is crucial for production of the extracellular matrix component hyaluronic acid (HA). In dfna5 morphants, expression of ugdh is absent in the developing ear and pharyngeal arches, and HA levels are strongly reduced in the outgrowing protrusions of the developing semicircular canals. Previous studies suggest that HA is essential for differentiating cartilage and directed outgrowth of the epithelial protrusions in the developing ear. We hypothesize that the reduction of HA production leads to uncoordinated outgrowth of the canal columns and impaired facial cartilage differentiation.
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ABSTRACT: Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have become a valuable model for investigating the molecular genetics and development of the inner ear in vertebrates. In this study, we employed a prepulse inhibition (PPI) paradigm to assess hearing in larval wild-type (AB) zebrafish during early development at 5-6 days post-fertilization (d.p.f.). We measured the PPI of the acoustic startle response in zebrafish using a 1-dimensional shaker that simulated the particle motion component of sound along the fish's dorsoventral axis. The thresholds to startle-inducing stimuli were determined in 5-6 d.p.f. zebrafish, and their hearing sensitivity was then characterized using the thresholds of prepulse tone stimuli (90-1200 Hz) that inhibited the acoustic startle response to a reliable startle stimulus (820 Hz at 20 dB re. 1 m s(-2)). Hearing thresholds were defined as the minimum prepulse tone level required to significantly reduce the startle response probability compared with the baseline (no-prepulse) condition. Larval zebrafish showed greatest auditory sensitivity from 90 to 310 Hz with corresponding mean thresholds of -19 to -10 dB re. 1 m s(-2), respectively. Hearing thresholds of prepulse tones were considerably lower than previously predicted by startle response assays. The PPI assay was also used to investigate the relative contribution of the lateral line to the detection of acoustic stimuli. After aminoglycoside-induced neuromast hair-cell ablation, we found no difference in PPI thresholds between treated and control fish. We propose that this PPI assay can be used to screen for novel zebrafish hearing mutants and to investigate the ontogeny of hearing in zebrafish and other fishes.Journal of Experimental Biology 09/2013; 216(Pt 18):3504-13. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: DFNA5 was first identified as a gene causing autosomal dominant hearing loss (HL). Different mutations have been found, all exerting a highly specific gain-of-function effect, in which skipping of exon 8 causes the HL. Later reports revealed the involvement of the gene in different types of cancer. Epigenetic silencing of DFNA5 in a large percentage of gastric, colorectal and breast tumors and p53-dependent transcriptional activity have been reported, concluding that DFNA5 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in different frequent types of cancer. Despite these data, the molecular function of DFNA5 has not been investigated properly. Previous transfection studies with mutant DFNA5 in yeast and in mammalian cells showed a toxic effect of the mutant protein, which was not seen after transfection of the wild-type protein. Here, we demonstrate that DFNA5 is composed of two domains, separated by a hinge region. The first region induces apoptosis when transfected in HEK293T cells, the second region masks and probably regulates this apoptosis inducing capability. Moreover, the involvement of DFNA5 in apoptosis-related pathways in a physiological setting was demonstrated through gene expression microarray analysis using Dfna5 knockout mice. In view of its important role in carcinogenesis, this finding is expected to lead to new insights on the role of apoptosis in many types of cancer. In addition, it provides a new line of evidence supporting an important role for apoptosis in monogenic and complex forms of HL.Keywords: tumor suppressor; hearing loss; apoptosis; dfna5; cancer; GSEAEuropean Journal of HumanGenetics 04/2011; 19(9):965-973. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UGDH) catalyzes the formation of UDP-glucuronate. Glucuronate represents an integral component of the glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan, which accumulates in orbital Graves disease. Here we report that orbital fibroblasts express higher levels of UGDH than do those from skin. This is a consequence of greater UGDH gene promoter activity and more abundant steady-state UGDH mRNA. Six Sp1 sites located in the proximal 550 bp of the UGDH gene promoter appear to determine basal promoter activity, as does a previously unrecognized 49-bp sequence spanning -1436 nucleotides (nt) and -1388 nt that negatively affects activity. Nuclear Sp1 protein is more abundant in orbital fibroblasts, and its binding to specific sites on DNA is greater than that in dermal fibroblasts. Mutating each of these Sp1 sites in a UGDH gene promoter fragment, extending from -1387 to +71 nt and fused to a luciferase reporter, results in divergent activities when transfected in orbital and dermal fibroblasts. Reducing Sp1 attenuated UGDH gene promoter activity, lowered steady-state UGDH mRNA levels, and reduced UGDH enzyme activity. Targeting Sp1 and UGDH with specific siRNAs also lowered hyaluronan synthase-1 (HAS-1) and HAS-2 levels and reduced hyaluronan accumulation in orbital fibroblasts. These findings suggest that orbital fibroblasts express high levels of UGDH in an anatomic-specific manner, apparently the result of greater constitutive Sp1. These high UGDH levels may underlie susceptibility of the orbit to localized overproduction of hyaluronan in Graves disease.Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2011; 286(27):24487-99. · 4.65 Impact Factor