[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms are controlled by a system of negative and positive genetic feedback loops composed of clock genes. Although many genes have been implicated in these feedback loops, it is unclear whether our current list of clock genes is exhaustive. We have recently identified Chrono as a robustly cycling transcript through genome-wide profiling of BMAL1 binding on the E-box. Here, we explore the role of Chrono in cellular timekeeping. Remarkably, endogenous CHRONO occupancy around E-boxes shows a circadian oscillation antiphasic to BMAL1. Overexpression of Chrono leads to suppression of BMAL1–CLOCK activity in a histone deacetylase (HDAC) –dependent manner. In vivo loss-of-function studies of Chrono including Avp neuron-specific knockout (KO) mice display a longer circadian period of locomotor activity. Chrono KO also alters the expression of core clock genes and impairs the response of the circadian clock to stress. CHRONO forms a complex with the glucocorticoid receptor and mediates glucocorticoid response. Our comprehensive study spotlights a previously unrecognized clock component of an unsuspected negative circadian feedback loop that is independent of another negative regulator, Cry2, and that integrates behavioral stress and epigenetic control for efficient metabolic integration of the clock.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To achieve highly sensitive and comprehensive assessment of the morphology and dynamics of cells committed to the neuronal lineage in mammalian brain primordia, we generated two transgenic mouse lines expressing a destabilized (d4) Venus controlled by regulatory elements of the Neurogenin2 (Neurog2) or Gadd45g gene. In mid-embryonic neocortical walls, expression of Neurog2-d4Venus mostly overlapped with that of Neurog2 protein, with a slightly (1 h) delayed onset. Although Neurog2-d4Venus and Gadd45g-d4Venus mice exhibited very similar labeling patterns in the ventricular zone (VZ), in Gadd45g-d4Venus mice cells could be visualized in more basal areas containing fully differentiated neurons, where Neurog2-d4Venus fluorescence was absent. Time-lapse monitoring revealed that most d4Venus+ cells in the VZ had processes extending to the apical surface; many of these cells eventually retracted their apical process and migrated basally to the subventricular zone, where neurons, as well as the intermediate neurogenic progenitors that undergo terminal neuron-producing division, could be live-monitored by d4Venus fluorescence. Some d4Venus+ VZ cells instead underwent nuclear migration to the apical surface, where they divided to generate two d4Venus+ daughter cells, suggesting that the symmetric terminal division that gives rise to neuron pairs at the apical surface can be reliably live-monitored. Similar lineage-committed cells were observed in other developing neural regions including retina, spinal cord, and cerebellum, as well as in regions of the peripheral nervous system such as dorsal root ganglia. These mouse lines will be useful for elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying development of the mammalian nervous system.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During meiosis, homologous chromosome (homolog) pairing is promoted by several layers of regulation that include dynamic chromosome movement and meiotic recombination. However, the way in which homologs recognize each other remains a fundamental issue in chromosome biology. Here, we show that homolog recognition or association initiates upon entry into meiotic prophase before axis assembly and double-strand break (DSB) formation. This homolog association develops into tight pairing only during or after axis formation. Intriguingly, the ability to recognize homologs is retained in Sun1 knockout spermatocytes, in which telomere-directed chromosome movement is abolished, and this is the case even in Spo11 knockout spermatocytes, in which DSB-dependent DNA homology search is absent. Disruption of meiosis-specific cohesin RAD21L precludes the initial association of homologs as well as the subsequent pairing in spermatocytes. These findings suggest the intriguing possibility that homolog recognition is achieved primarily by searching for homology in the chromosome architecture as defined by meiosis-specific cohesin rather than in the DNA sequence itself.
Genes & development 03/2014; · 12.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Constitutive phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT activation has a causal role in adult T-cell leukaemia-lymphoma (ATLL) and other cancers. ATLL cells do not harbour genetic alterations in PTEN and PI3KCA but express high levels of PTEN that is highly phosphorylated at its C-terminal tail. Here we report a mechanism for the N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 (NDRG2)-dependent regulation of PTEN phosphatase activity via the dephosphorylation of PTEN at the Ser380, Thr382 and Thr383 cluster within the C-terminal tail. We show that NDRG2 is a PTEN-binding protein that recruits protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) to PTEN. The expression of NDRG2 is frequently downregulated in ATLL, resulting in enhanced phosphorylation of PTEN at the Ser380/Thr382/Thr383 cluster and enhanced activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway. Given the high incidence of T-cell lymphoma and other cancers in NDRG2-deficient mice, PI3K-AKT activation via enhanced PTEN phosphorylation may be critical for the development of cancer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zinc finger protein 521 (ZFP521) regulates a number of cellular processes in a wide range of tissues, such as osteoblast formation and adipose commitment and differentiation. In the field of neurobiology, it is reported to be an essential factor for transition of epiblast stem cells into neural progenitors in vitro. However, the role of ZFP521 in the brain in vivo still remains elusive. To elucidate the role of ZFP521 in the mouse brain, we generated mice lacking exon 4 of the ZFP521 gene. The birth ratio of our ZFP521Δ/Δ mice was consistent with Mendel's laws. Although ZFP521Δ/Δ pups had no apparent defect in the body and were indistinguishable from ZFP521+/+ and ZFP521+/Δ littermates at the time of birth, ZFP521Δ/Δ mice displayed significant weight reduction as they grew, and most of them died before 10 weeks of age. They displayed abnormal behavior, such as hyper-locomotion, lower anxiety and impaired learning, which correspond to the symptoms of schizophrenia. The border of the granular cell layer of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus of the mice was indistinct and granular neurons were reduced in number. Furthermore, Sox1-positive neural progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus and cerebellum were significantly reduced in number. Taken together, these findings indicate that ZFP521 directly or indirectly affects the formation of the neuronal cell layers of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus, and thus ZFP521Δ/Δ mice displayed schizophrenia-relevant symptoms. ZFP521Δ/Δ mice may be a useful research tool as an animal model of schizophrenia.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92848. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The quiescent (G0) phase of the cell cycle is the reversible phase from which the cells exit from the cell cycle. Due to the difficulty of defining the G0 phase, quiescent cells have not been well characterized. In this study, a fusion protein consisting of mVenus and a defective mutant of CDK inhibitor, p27 (p27K(-)) was shown to be able to identify and isolate a population of quiescent cells and to effectively visualize the G0 to G1 transition. By comparing the expression profiles of the G0 and G1 cells defined by mVenus-p27K(-), we have identified molecular features of quiescent cells. Quiescence is also an important feature of many types of stem cells, and mVenus-p27K(-)-transgenic mice enabled the detection of the quiescent cells with muscle stem cell markers in muscle in vivo. The mVenus-p27K(-) probe could be useful in investigating stem cells as well as quiescent cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The small GTPase Rho and mDia2, a Rho-regulated actin nucleator, function as critical regulators of cytokinesis in cultured cells. However, their involvement in cytokinesis during mammalian development remains unknown. Here, we generated mice deficient in mDia2 and examined the role of Rho signaling in cytokinesis during development. mDia2-deficient mice survive until embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5), exhibit severe anemia with multinucleate erythroblasts, and die in utero by E12.5. mDia2-deficient erythroid cells differentiate normally, though in a delayed manner, but exhibit cytokinesis failure with decreased accumulation of F-actin in the cleavage furrow during late differentiation from proerythroblasts. On the other hand, inactivation of Rho induces cytokinesis failure from the earlier progenitor stage. mDia2-deficient erythroblasts, however, are able to enucleate their nuclei. Our findings have thus revealed that mDia2 functions critically in cytokinesis in vivo during erythropoiesis and further suggest that the cytokinesis mechanism in development diverges downstream of Rho. They also demonstrate that cytokinesis and enucleation utilize different mechanisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genome-wide association studies demonstrated that common variants of solute carrier family 30 member 8 gene (SLC30A8) increase susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. SLC30A8 encodes zinc transporter-8 (ZnT8), which delivers zinc ion from the cytoplasm into insulin granules. Although it is well known that insulin granules contain high amounts of zinc, the physiological role of secreted zinc remains elusive. In this study, we generated mice with β cell-specific Slc30a8 deficiency (ZnT8KO mice) and demonstrated an unexpected functional linkage between Slc30a8 deletion and hepatic insulin clearance. The ZnT8KO mice had low peripheral blood insulin levels, despite insulin hypersecretion from pancreatic β cells. We also demonstrated that a substantial amount of the hypersecreted insulin was degraded during its first passage through the liver. Consistent with these findings, ZnT8KO mice and human individuals carrying rs13266634, a major risk allele of SLC30A8, exhibited increased insulin clearance, as assessed by c-peptide/insulin ratio. Furthermore, we demonstrated that zinc secreted in concert with insulin suppressed hepatic insulin clearance by inhibiting clathrin-dependent insulin endocytosis. Our results indicate that SLC30A8 regulates hepatic insulin clearance and that genetic dysregulation of this system may play a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
The Journal of clinical investigation 09/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) are ischemic retinal diseases caused by insufficient vascular network formation and vascular regression in addition to aberrant angiogenesis. We examined the role of angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) in retinal vascular network formation during postnatal development using Ang1 gain- and loss-of-function mouse models, and tested the effects of intraocular administration of Ang1 in an oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model that mimics cardinal features of ROP and PDR. We observed that Ang1 plays a substantial role in the formation of the retinal vascular network during postnatal development and that Ang1 supplementation can rescue vascular retinopathies by simultaneously promoting healthy vascular network formation and inhibiting subsequent abnormal angiogenesis, vascular leakage, and neuronal dysfunction in the retinas of the OIR model. We attribute these Ang1-induced effects to a dual signaling pathway-Tie2 signaling in the vascular region and integrin αvβ5 signaling in the astrocytes. The activation of integrin αvβ5 signaling promoted fibronectin accumulation and radial distribution along the sprouting endothelial cells, which consequently stimulated guided angiogenesis in the retina. These findings shed light on the role of Ang1 in the recovery of ischemic retinopathies such as ROP, PDR, and retinal vascular occlusive disease.
Science translational medicine 09/2013; 5(203):203ra127. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are known to possess two different conformations, active and inactive, and they spontaneously alternate between the two in the absence of ligands. Here, we analyzed the agonist-independent GPCR activity for its possible role in receptor-instructed axonal projection. We generated transgenic mice expressing activity mutants of the β2-adrenergic receptor, a well-characterized GPCR with the highest homology to odorant receptors (ORs). We found that mutants with altered agonist-independent activity changed the transcription levels of axon-targeting molecules-e.g., Neuropilin-1 and Plexin-A1-but not of glomerular segregation molecules-e.g., Kirrel2 and Kirrel3-thus causing shifts in glomerular locations along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis. Knockout and in vitro experiments demonstrated that Gs, but not Golf, is responsible for mediating the agonist-independent GPCR activity. We conclude that the equilibrium of conformational transitions set by each OR is the major determinant of expression levels of A-P-targeting molecules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Highly topographic organization of neural circuits exists for the regulation of various brain functions in corticobasal ganglia circuits. Although neural circuit-specific refinement during synapse development is essential for the execution of particular neural functions, the molecular and cellular mechanisms for synapse refinement are largely unknown. Here, we show that protocadherin 17 (PCDH17), one of the nonclustered δ2-protocadherin family members, is enriched along corticobasal ganglia synapses in a zone-specific manner during synaptogenesis and regulates presynaptic assembly in these synapses. PCDH17 deficiency in mice causes facilitated presynaptic vesicle accumulation and enhanced synaptic transmission efficacy in corticobasal ganglia circuits. Furthermore, PCDH17(-/-) mice exhibit antidepressant-like phenotypes that are known to be regulated by corticobasal ganglia circuits. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for PCDH17 in the synaptic development of specific corticobasal ganglia circuits and suggest the involvement of PCDH17 in such circuits in depressive behaviors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Posttranscriptional regulation of IL-6 has been largely uncharacterized, with the exception of the ribonuclease Regnase-1, which prevents autoimmunity by destabilizing IL-6 mRNA. Here, we identified AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 5A (Arid5a) as a unique RNA binding protein, which stabilizes IL-6 but not TNF-α mRNA through binding to the 3' untranslated region of IL-6 mRNA. Arid5a was enhanced in macrophages in response to LPS, IL-1β, and IL-6. Arid5a deficiency inhibited elevation of IL-6 serum level in LPS-treated mice and suppressed IL-6 levels and the development of TH17 cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Importantly, Arid5a inhibited the destabilizing effect of Regnase-1 on IL-6 mRNA. These results indicate that Arid5a plays an important role in promotion of inflammatory processes and autoimmune diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS: The cAMP and Ca(2+) signaling pathways synergize to regulate many physiological functions. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which these pathways interact. We investigated the synergy between these signaling pathways in mouse pancreatic and salivary gland ducts. METHODS: We created mice with disruptions in genes encoding the solute carrier family 26, member 6 (Slc26a6(-/-) mice) and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (InsP3) receptor-binding protein released with InsP3 (Irbit(-/-) mice). We investigated fluid secretion by sealed pancreatic ducts and the function of Slc26a6 and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in HeLa cells and in ducts isolated from mouse pancreatic and salivary glands. Slc26a6 activity was assayed by measuring intracellular pH, and CFTR activity by measuring Cl(-) current. Protein interactions were determined by immunoprecipitation analyses. RESULTS: Irbit mediated the synergistic activation of CFTR and Slc26a6 by Ca2(+) and cAMP. In resting cells, Irbit was sequestered by InsP3 receptors (IP3Rs) in the endoplasmic reticulum. Stimulation of Gs-coupled receptors led to phosphorylation of IP3Rs, which increased their affinity for InsP3 and reduced their affinity for Irbit. Subsequent weak stimulation of Gq-coupled receptors, which led to production of low levels of IP3, caused dissociation of Irbit from IP3Rs and allowed translocation of Irbit to CFTR and Slc26a6 in the plasma membrane. These processes stimulated epithelial secretion of electrolytes and fluid. These pathways were not observed in pancreatic and salivary glands from Irbit(-/-) or Slc26a6(-/-) mice, or in salivary gland ducts expressing mutant forms of IP3Rs that could not undergo protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation. CONCLUSIONS: Irbit promotes synergy between the Ca(2+) and cAMP signaling pathways in cultured cells and in pancreatic and salivary ducts from mice. Defects in this pathway could be involved in CF, pancreatitis, or Sjögren's syndrome.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The formation of clathrin-coated vesicles is essential for intracellular membrane trafficking between subcellular compartments and is triggered by the ARF family of small GTPases. We previously identified SMAP1 as an ARF6 GTPase-activating protein that functions in clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Because abnormalities in clathrin-dependent trafficking are often associated with oncogenesis, we targeted Smap1 in mice to examine its physiological and pathological significance. Smap1-deficent mice exhibited healthy growth, but their erythroblasts showed enhanced transferrin endocytosis. In mast cells cultured in SCF, Smap1 deficiency did not affect the internalization of c-KIT but impaired the sorting of internalized c-KIT from multivesicular bodies to lysosomes, resulting in intracellular accumulation of undegraded c-KIT that was accompanied by enhanced activation of ERK and increased cell growth. Interestingly, approximately 50% of aged Smap1-deficient mice developed anemia associated with morphologically dysplastic cells of erythroid-myeloid lineage, which are hematological abnormalities similar to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in humans. Furthermore, some Smap1-deficient mice developed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) of various subtypes. Collectively, to our knowledge these results provide the first evidence in a mouse model that the deregulation of clathrin-dependent membrane trafficking may be involved in the development of MDS and subsequent AML.
The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2013; 123(3):1123-37. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most kidney nephron components, including glomeruli and renal tubules, derive from the metanephric mesenchyme. The overall differentiation into each component finishes at birth, but the molecular events linking the perinatal and adult kidneys remain elusive. Dullard was cloned from Xenopus kidneys, and encodes a phosphatase that negatively regulates BMP signalling. Here we report that Dullard deletion in the murine metanephric mesenchyme leads to failure of nephron maintenance after birth, resulting in lethality before adulthood. The nephron components are lost by massive apoptosis within 3 weeks after birth, leading to formation of a large hollow with a thin-layered cortex and medulla. Phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 is upregulated in the mutant nephrons, probably through cell-autonomous inhibitory effects of Dullard on BMP signalling. Importantly, administration of the BMP receptor kinase inhibitor LDN-193189 partially rescued the defects caused by Dullard deletion. Thus, Dullard keeps BMP signalling at an appropriate level, which is required for nephron maintenance in the postnatal period.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the node of mouse embryo, rotational movements of cilia generate an external liquid flow known as nodal flow, which determines left-right asymmetric gene expression. How nodal flow is converted into asymmetric gene expression is still controversial, but the increase of Ca(2+) levels in endodermal cells to the left of the node has been proposed to play a role. However, Ca(2+) signals inside the node itself have not yet been described. By our optimized Ca(2+) imaging method, we were able to observe dynamic Ca(2+) signals in the node in live mouse embryos. Pharmacological disruption of Ca(2+) signals did not affect ciliary movements or nodal flow, but did alter the expression patterns of the Nodal and Cerl-2 genes. Quantitative analyses of Ca(2+) signal frequencies and distributions showed that during left-right axis establishment, formerly symmetric Ca(2+) signals became biased to the left side. In iv/iv mutant embryos that showed randomized laterality due to ciliary immotility, Ca(2+) signals were found to be variously left-sided, right-sided, or bilateral, and thus symmetric on average. In Pkd2 mutant embryos, which lacked polycystin-2, a Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel necessary for left-right axis formation, the Ca(2+) signal frequency was lower than in wild-type embryos. Our data support a model in which dynamic Ca(2+) signals in the node are involved in left-right patterning.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dystroglycanopathy is a major class of congenital muscular dystrophy that is caused by a deficiency of functional glycans on α-dystroglycan (α-DG) with laminin-binding activity. A product of a recently identified causative gene for dystroglycanopathy, AGO61, acted in vitro as a protein O-mannose β-1, 4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, although it was not functionally characterized. Here we show the phenotypes of AGO61-knockout mice and demonstrate that AGO61 is indispensable for the formation of laminin-binding glycans of α-DG. AGO61-knockout mouse brain exhibited abnormal basal lamina formation and a neuronal migration defect due to a lack of laminin-binding glycans. Furthermore, our results indicate that functional α-DG glycosylation was primed by AGO61-dependent GlcNAc modifications of specific threonine-linked mannosyl moieties of α-DG. These findings provide a key missing link for understanding how the physiologically critical glycan motif is displayed on α-DG and provides new insights on the pathological mechanisms of dystroglycanopathy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a novel spontaneous mouse mutant, laggard (lag), characterized by a flat head, motor impairment and growth retardation. The mutation is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, and lag/lag mice suffer from cerebellar ataxia and die before weaning. lag/lag mice exhibit a dramatic reduction in brain size and slender optic nerves. By positional cloning, we identify a splice site mutation in Kif14. Transgenic complementation with wild-type Kif14-cDNA alleviates ataxic phenotype in lag/lag mice. To further confirm that the causative gene is Kif14, we generate Kif14 knockout mice and find that all of the phenotypes of Kif14 knockout mice are similar to those of lag/lag mice. The main morphological abnormality of lag/lag mouse is severe hypomyelination in central nervous system. The lag/lag mice express an array of myelin-related genes at significantly reduced levels. The disrupted cytoarchitecture of the cerebellar and cerebral cortices appears to result from apoptotic cell death. Thus, we conclude that Kif14 is essential for the generation and maturation of late-developing structures such as the myelin sheath, cerebellar and cerebral cortices. So far, no Kif14-deficient mice or mutation in Kif14 has ever been reported and we firstly define the biological function of Kif14 in vivo. The discovery of mammalian models, laggard, has opened up horizons for researchers to add more knowledge regarding the etiology and pathology of brain malformation.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53490. · 3.73 Impact Factor