[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Locomotion in mammals relies on a central pattern-generating circuitry of spinal interneurons established during development that coordinates limb movement. These networks produce left-right alternation of limbs as well as coordinated activation of flexor and extensor muscles. Here we show that a premature stop codon in the DMRT3 gene has a major effect on the pattern of locomotion in horses. The mutation is permissive for the ability to perform alternate gaits and has a favourable effect on harness racing performance. Examination of wild-type and Dmrt3-null mice demonstrates that Dmrt3 is expressed in the dI6 subdivision of spinal cord neurons, takes part in neuronal specification within this subdivision, and is critical for the normal development of a coordinated locomotor network controlling limb movements. Our discovery positions Dmrt3 in a pivotal role for configuring the spinal circuits controlling stride in vertebrates. The DMRT3 mutation has had a major effect on the diversification of the domestic horse, as the altered gait characteristics of a number of breeds apparently require this mutation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A DNA transposon integrated into -the genome of a primitive mammal some 200 million years ago and, millions of years later, it evolved an essential function in the common ancestor of all placental mammals. This protein, now named ZBED6, was recently discovered because a mutation disrupting one of its binding sites, in an intron of the IGF2 gene, makes pigs grow more muscle. These findings have revealed a new mechanism for regulating muscle growth as well as a novel transcription factor that appears to be of major importance for transcriptional regulation in placental mammals.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single nucleotide substitution in intron 3 of IGF2 in pigs abrogates a binding site for a repressor and leads to a 3-fold up-regulation of IGF2 in skeletal muscle. The mutation has major effects on muscle growth, size of the heart, and fat deposition. Here, we have identified the repressor and find that the protein, named ZBED6, is previously unknown, specific for placental mammals, and derived from an exapted DNA transposon. Silencing of Zbed6 in mouse C2C12 myoblasts affected Igf2 expression, cell proliferation, wound healing, and myotube formation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing using C2C12 cells identified about 2,500 ZBED6 binding sites in the genome, and the deduced consensus motif gave a perfect match with the established binding site in Igf2. Genes associated with ZBED6 binding sites showed a highly significant enrichment for certain Gene Ontology classifications, including development and transcriptional regulation. The phenotypic effects in mutant pigs and ZBED6-silenced C2C12 myoblasts, the extreme sequence conservation, its nucleolar localization, the broad tissue distribution, and the many target genes with essential biological functions suggest that ZBED6 is an important transcription factor in placental mammals, affecting development, cell proliferation, and growth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity is increased during exercise in an intensity- and glycogen-dependent manner. We previously reported that a mutation in the AMPK3 subunit (Prkag3225Q) increases AMPK activity and skeletal muscle glycogen content. Transfection experiments revealed the R225Q mutation is associated with high basal AMPK activity and diminished AMP dependence. Thus, the R225Q mutation can be considered a loss-of-function mutation that abolished allosteric regulation by AMP/ATP, causing increased basal AMPK activity. We used AMPK3 transgenic (Tg-Prkag3225Q) and knockout (Prkag3-/-) mice to determine the relationship between AMPK activity, glycogen content, and ergogenics (ability to perform work) in isolated extensor digitorum longus skeletal muscle after contractions induced by electrical stimulation. Contraction-induced AMPK activity was inversely coupled to glycogen content in wild-type and Tg-Prkag3225Q mice, but not in Prkag3-/- mice, highlighting a partial feedback control of glycogen on contraction-induced AMPK activity in the presence of a functional AMPK3 isoform. Skeletal muscle glycogen content was positively correlated to work performance, regardless of genotype. Thus, chronic activation of AMPK by the Prkag3225Q mutation directly influences skeletal muscle ergogenics by enhancing glycogen content. In conclusion, functional studies of the AMPK3 isoform further support the close connection between glycogen content and exercise performance in skeletal muscle.
The FASEB Journal 06/2005; 19(7):773-9. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a metabolic stress sensor present in all eukaryotes. A dominant missense mutation (R225Q) in pig PRKAG3, encoding the muscle-specific gamma3 isoform, causes a marked increase in glycogen content. To determine the functional role of the AMPK gamma3 isoform, we generated transgenic mice with skeletal muscle-specific expression of wild type or mutant (225Q) mouse gamma3 as well as Prkag3 knockout mice. Glycogen resynthesis after exercise was impaired in AMPK gamma3 knock-out mice and markedly enhanced in transgenic mutant mice. An AMPK activator failed to increase skeletal muscle glucose uptake in AMPK gamma3 knock-out mice, whereas contraction effects were preserved. When placed on a high fat diet, transgenic mutant mice but not knock-out mice were protected against excessive triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Transfection experiments reveal the R225Q mutation is associated with higher basal AMPK activity and diminished AMP dependence. Our results validate the muscle-specific AMPK gamma3 isoform as a therapeutic target for prevention and treatment of insulin resistance.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2004; 279(37):38441-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression patterns of the three isoforms of the regulatory gamma-subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) were determined in various tissues from adult humans, mice, and rats, as well as in human primary muscle cells. Real-time PCR-based quantification of mRNA showed similar expression patterns in the three species and a good correlation with protein expression in mice and rats. The gamma3-isoform appeared highly specific to skeletal muscle, whereas gamma1 and gamma2 showed broad tissue distributions. Moreover, the proportion of white, type IIb fibers in the mouse and rat muscle samples, as indicated by real-time PCR quantification of Atp1b2 mRNA, showed a strong positive correlation with the expression of gamma3. In samples of white skeletal muscle, gamma3 clearly appeared to be the most abundant gamma-isoform. Differentiation of human primary muscle cells from myoblasts into multinucleated myotubes was accompanied by upregulation of gamma3 mRNA expression, whereas levels of gamma1 and gamma2 remained largely unchanged. However, even in these cultured myotubes, gamma2 was the most highly expressed isoform, indicating a considerable difference compared with adult skeletal muscle. Immunoblot analysis of mouse gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscle extracts precipitated with a gamma3-specific antibody showed that gamma3 was exclusively associated with the alpha2- and beta2-subunit isoforms. The observation that the AMPKgamma3 isoform is expressed primarily in white skeletal muscle, in which it is the predominant gamma-isoform, strongly suggests that gamma3 has a key role in this tissue.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 03/2004; 286(2):E194-200. · 4.51 Impact Factor