[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated Na(+) channel β-subunits are multifunctional molecules that modulate Na(+) channel activity and regulate cell adhesion, migration and neurite outgrowth. β-subunits including β4 are known to be highly concentrated in the nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments in myelinated axons. Here we show diffuse β4 localization in striatal projection fibres using transgenic mice that express fluorescent protein in those fibres. These axons are unmyelinated, forming large, inhibitory fibre bundles. Furthermore, we report β4 dimer expression in the mouse brain, with high levels of β4 dimers in the striatal projection fascicles, suggesting a specific role of β4 in those fibres. Scn4b-deficient mice show a resurgent Na(+) current reduction, decreased repetitive firing frequency in medium spiny neurons and increased failure rates of inhibitory postsynaptic currents evoked with repetitive stimulation, indicating an in vivo channel regulatory role of β4 in the striatum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ISG15 conjugation (ISGylation) to proteins is a multistep process involving interferon (IFN)-inducible UBE1L (E1), UbcH8 (E2), and ISG15 E3 ligases (E3s). Studies performed over the past several years have shown that ISGylation plays a pivotal role in the host antiviral response against certain viruses. Recent in vitro studies revealed that human Herc5 and mouse Herc6 are major ISG15 E3 ligases, respectively. However, the global function of Herc5/6 proteins in vivo still remains unclear. Here, we report generation and initial characterization of Herc6 knockout mice. Substantial reductions of ISGylation were observed in Herc6-deficient cells after polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid double-stranded RNA injection of mice or IFN treatment of cells. On the other hand, Herc6-deficient cells and wild-type (WT) cells had similar responses to IFN stimulation, Sendai virus (Z strain) infection, and vesicular stomatitis virus infection. These results indicate that Herc6 does not play a critical role in antiviral defense of these viral infections in mice. Interestingly, male Herc6-deficient mice showed seminal vesicle hypertrophy. No such problem was detected in WT and ISG15 activating enzyme Ube1L-deficient mice. These results suggest that in addition to promoting protein ISGylation, Herc6 has a novel and protein ISGylation-independent function in the male reproductive system.
Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research 11/2014; · 3.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) 1 is thought to affect the morphologies of organelles, such as the Golgi apparatus, and regulate protein trafficking pathways. Mice have six Arf isoforms. In knockdown experiments with HeLa cells, no single Arf isoform among Arf1-5 is required for organelle morphologies or any membrane trafficking step. This suggests that the cooperation of two or more Arfs is a general feature. Although many cell biological and biochemical analyses have proven the importance of Arf1, the physiological roles of Arf1 in mice remain unknown. To investigate the activity of Arf1 in vivo, we established Arf1-deficient mice. Arf(-/-) blastocysts were identified at the expected Mendelian ratio. The appearance of these blastocysts was indistinguishable from that of wild-type and Arf(+/-) blastocysts, and they grew normally in an in vitro culture system. However, Arf(-/-) embryos were degenerated at E5.5, and none survived to E12.5, suggesting that they died soon after implantation. These data establish for the first time that the Arf1 gene is indispensable for mouse embryonic development after implantation.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the process of neuronal wiring, axons derived from the same functional group typically extend together, resulting in fascicle formation. How these axons communicate with one another remains largely unknown. Here, we show that protocadherin-17 (Pcdh17) supports this group extension by recruiting actin polymerization regulators to interaxonal contact sites. Pcdh17 is expressed by a subset of amygdala neurons, and it accumulates at axon-axon boundaries because of homophilic binding. Pcdh17 knockout in mice suppressed the extension of these axons. Ectopically expressed Pcdh17 altered the pattern of axon extension. In in vitro cultures, wild-type growth cones normally migrate along other axons, whereas Pcdh17 null growth cones do not. Pcdh17 recruits the WAVE complex, Lamellipodin, and Ena/VASP to cell-cell contacts, converting these sites into motile structures. We propose that, through these mechanisms, Pcdh17 maintains the migration of growth cones that are in contact with other axons, thereby supporting their collective extension.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kidney develops from reciprocal interactions between the metanephric mesenchyme and ureteric bud. The mesenchyme transforms into epithelia and forms complicated nephron structures, whereas the ureteric bud extends its pre-existing epithelial ducts. Although the roles are well established for extracellular stimuli, such as Wnt and Notch, it is unclear how the intracellular cytoskeleton regulates these morphogenetic processes. Myh9 and Myh10 encode nonmuscle myosin II heavy chains, and Myh9 mutations in humans are implicated in congenital kidney diseases and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in adults. Here, we analyzed the roles of Myh9 and Myh10 in the developing kidney. Ureteric bud-specific depletion of Myh9 resulted in no apparent phenotypes, whereas mesenchyme-specific Myh9 deletion caused proximal tubule dilations and renal failure. Mesenchyme-specific Myh9/Myh10 mutant mice died shortly after birth and showed a severe defect in nephron formation. The nascent mutant nephrons failed to form a continuous lumen, which likely resulted from impaired apical constriction of the elongating tubules. In addition, nephron progenitors lacking Myh9/Myh10 or the possible interactor Kif26b were less condensed at midgestation and reduced at birth. Taken together, nonmuscle myosin II regulates the morphogenesis of immature nephrons derived from the metanephric mesenchyme and the maintenance of nephron progenitors. Our data also suggest that Myh9 deletion in mice results in failure to maintain renal tubules but not in glomerulosclerosis.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 08/2014; · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PKA phosphorylates multiple molecules involved in calcium (Ca2+) handling in cardiac myocytes and is considered to be the predominant regulator of β-adrenergic receptor-mediated enhancement of cardiac contractility; however, recent identification of exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC), which is independently activated by cAMP, has challenged this paradigm. Mice lacking Epac1 (Epac1 KO) exhibited decreased cardiac contractility with reduced phospholamban (PLN) phosphorylation at serine-16, the major PKA-mediated phosphorylation site. In Epac1 KO mice, intracellular Ca2+ storage and the magnitude of Ca2+ movement were decreased; however, PKA expression remained unchanged, and activation of PKA with isoproterenol improved cardiac contractility. In contrast, direct activation of EPAC in cardiomyocytes led to increased PLN phosphorylation at serine-16, which was dependent on PLC and PKCε. Importantly, Epac1 deletion protected the heart from various stresses, while Epac2 deletion was not protective. Compared with WT mice, aortic banding induced a similar degree of cardiac hypertrophy in Epac1 KO; however, lack of Epac1 prevented subsequent cardiac dysfunction as a result of decreased cardiac myocyte apoptosis and fibrosis. Similarly, Epac1 KO animals showed resistance to isoproterenol- and aging-induced cardiomyopathy and attenuation of arrhythmogenic activity. These data support Epac1 as an important regulator of PKA-independent PLN phosphorylation and indicate that Epac1 regulates cardiac responsiveness to various stresses.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 06/2014; 124(6):2785-2801. · 13.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systems-level identification and analysis of cellular circuits in the brain will require the development of whole-brain imaging with single-cell resolution. To this end, we performed comprehensive chemical screening to develop a whole-brain clearing and imaging method, termed CUBIC (clear, unobstructed brain imaging cocktails and computational analysis). CUBIC is a simple and efficient method involving the immersion of brain samples in chemical mixtures containing aminoalcohols, which enables rapid whole-brain imaging with single-photon excitation microscopy. CUBIC is applicable to multicolor imaging of fluorescent proteins or immunostained samples in adult brains and is scalable from a primate brain to subcellular structures. We also developed a whole-brain cell-nuclear counterstaining protocol and a computational image analysis pipeline that, together with CUBIC reagents, enable the visualization and quantification of neural activities induced by environmental stimulation. CUBIC enables time-course expression profiling of whole adult brains with single-cell resolution.
[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: 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: 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 03/2014; 9(3):e92848. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[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; · 12.64 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: 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: 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: 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