[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic morphogenesis and formation of synapses at appropriate dendritic locations are essential for the establishment of proper neuronal connectivity. Recent imaging studies provide evidence for stabilization of dynamic distal branches of dendrites by the addition of new synapses. However, molecules involved in both dendritic growth and suppression of synapse maturation remain to be identified. Here we report two distinct functions of doublecortin-like kinases, chimeric proteins containing both a microtubule-binding domain and a kinase domain in postmitotic neurons. First, doublecortin-like kinases localize to the distal dendrites and promote their growth by enhancing microtubule bundling. Second, doublecortin-like kinases suppress maturation of synapses through multiple pathways, including reduction of PSD-95 by the kinase domain and suppression of spine structural maturation by the microtubule-binding domain. Thus, doublecortin-like kinases are critical regulators of dendritic development by means of their specific targeting to the distal dendrites, and their local control of dendritic growth and synapse maturation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The doublecortin (Dcx) and doublecortin-like kinase 1 (Dclk) genes are developmentally expressed neuronal microtubule-associated proteins. Humans with DCX mutations show a severe defect in hippocampal development, but targeted deletion in mouse shows only a defect in pyramidal neuron lamination. There is significant sequence overlap between Dcx and Dclk, suggesting functional redundancy. Here we show that the two genes display overlapping expression patterns in developing mouse hippocampus. Targeted deletion of Dclk shows no appreciable developmental defect in the hippocampus, but removal of both genes shows severe hippocampal lamination defects involving the entire cornu ammonis and dentate gyrus fields that mimic the human phenotype. These results suggest these genes are partially functionally redundant in the formation of the murine hippocampus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the mature mammalian nervous system to continually produce neuronal precursors is of considerable importance, as manipulation of this process might one day permit the replacement of cells lost as a result of injury or disease. In mammals, the anterior subventricular zone (SVZa) region is one of the primary sites of adult neurogenesis. Here we show that doublecortin (DCX), a widely used marker for newly generated neurons, when deleted in mice results in a severe morphological defect in the rostral migratory stream and delayed neuronal migration that is independent of direction or responsiveness to Slit chemorepulsion. DCX is required for nuclear translocation and maintenance of bipolar morphology during migration of these cells. Our data identifies a critical function for DCX in the movement of newly generated neurons in the adult brain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In comparison with other migratory cells, neurons exhibit a unique, highly polarized morphology and a distinctive pattern of movement. This migration consists of a repeating of three distinct phases: neurite outgrowth, movement of the centrosome into the leading process, and translocation of the nucleus towards the centrosome. The direction of movement is under the control of extracellular guidance cues, but mechanisms by which these determine neuronal polarity, centrosome position, and neuronal movement are not well understood. We found that in primary olfactory bulb neuronal precursors, Slit-mediated repolarization consisted of growth of a new process from the previous trailing edge, then reorientation of the centrosome followed by nuclear translocation in the reverse direction. Inhibition of cell polarity factors GSK3beta or PKCzeta resulted in impaired centrosome reorientation and process stabilization. Our findings suggest that activation of cell polarity signaling and positioning of the centrosome ahead of the nucleus are important steps in repolarization in response to guidance cues.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential role of doublecortin (Dcx), encoding a microtubule-associated protein, in brain development has remained controversial. Humans with mutations show profound alterations in cortical lamination, whereas in mouse, RNAi-mediated knockdown but not germline knockout shows abnormal positioning of cortical neurons. Here, we report that the doublecortin-like kinase (Dclk) gene functions in a partially redundant pathway with Dcx in the formation of axonal projections across the midline and migration of cortical neurons. Dosage-dependent genetic effects were observed in both interhemispheric connectivity and migration of cortically and subcortically derived neurons. Surprisingly, RNAi-mediated knockdown of either gene results in similar migration defects. These results indicate the Dcx microtubule-associated protein family is required for proper neuronal migration and axonal wiring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans with mutations in either DCX or LIS1 display nearly identical neuronal migration defects, known as lissencephaly. To define subcellular mechanisms, we have combined in vitro neuronal migration assays with retroviral transduction. Overexpression of wild-type Dcx or Lis1, but not patient-related mutant versions, increased migration rates. Dcx overexpression rescued the migration defect in Lis1+/- neurons. Lis1 localized predominantly to the centrosome, and after disruption of microtubules, redistributed to the perinuclear region. Dcx outlined microtubules extending from the perinuclear "cage" to the centrosome. Lis1+/- neurons displayed increased and more variable separation between the nucleus and the preceding centrosome during migration. Dynein inhibition resulted in similar defects in both nucleus-centrosome (N-C) coupling and neuronal migration. These N-C coupling defects were rescued by Dcx overexpression, and Dcx was found to complex with dynein. These data indicate Lis1 and Dcx function with dynein to mediate N-C coupling during migration, and suggest defects in this coupling may contribute to migration defects in lissencephaly.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2004; 165(5):709-21. DOI:10.1083/jcb.200309025 · 9.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The centrosome plays diverse roles throughout the cellular mitotic cycle and in post-mitotic cells. Analysis of centrosome position and dynamics in living murine cells has been limited due to a lack of adequate reporters and currently requires either cell fixation/immunostaining or transfection with centrosome reporters. Here we describe the generation and characterization of a transgenic mouse line that constitutively expresses green fluorescent protein-labeled Centrin-2 (GFP-CETN2). The phenotype of the mouse is indistinguishable from wild-type and it displays a single pair of fluorescent centrioles in cells of every organ and time point examined. This model will be helpful for visualizing the centrosome in multiple experimental conditions.
Transgenic Research 05/2004; 13(2):155-64. DOI:10.1023/B:TRAG.0000026071.41735.8e · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the doublecortin (DCX) gene in human or targeted disruption of the cdk5 gene in mouse lead to similar cortical lamination defects in the developing brain. Here we show that Dcx is phosphorylated by Cdk5. Dcx phosphorylation is developmentally regulated and corresponds to the timing of expression of p35, the major activating subunit for Cdk5. Mass spectrometry and Western blot analysis indicate phosphorylation at Dcx residue Ser297. Phosphorylation of Dcx lowers its affinity to microtubules in vitro, reduces its effect on polymerization, and displaces it from microtubules in cultured neurons. Mutation of Ser297 blocks the effect of Dcx on migration in a fashion similar to pharmacological inhibition of Cdk5 activity. These results suggest that Dcx phosphorylation by Cdk5 regulates its actions on migration through an effect on microtubules.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During brain development, neurons migrate great distances from proliferative zones to generate the cortical gray matter. A series of studies has identified genes that are critical for migration and targeting of neurons to specific brain regions. These genes encode three basic groups of proteins and produce three distinct phenotypes. The first group encodes cytoskeletal molecules and produces graded and dosage-dependent effects, with a significant amount of functional redundancy. This group also appears to play important roles during the initiation and ongoing progression of neuronal movement. The second group encodes signaling molecules for which homozygous mutations lead to an inverted cortex. In addition, this group is responsible for movement of neurons through anatomic boundaries to specific cortical layers. The third group encodes enzymatic regulators of glycosylation and appears to delineate where neuronal migration will arrest. There is significant cross-talk among these different groups of molecules, suggesting possible points of pathway convergence.
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 02/2004; 20:593-618. DOI:10.1146/annurev.cellbio.20.082503.103047 · 20.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans with heterozygous inactivating mutations of the Lis1 gene display type I lissencephaly, a severe form of cortical dysplasia hypothesized to result from abnormal neuronal migration. Previously we reported the construction of an allelic series of the Lis1 gene in mice to analyze the effects of graded reduction of LIS1 protein on the pathogenesis of this disorder and demonstrated a cell autonomous defect in neuronal migration (Hirotsune et al., 1998). Here we report the systematic examination of the consequences of dosage reduction of LIS1 on neocortical development using wild-type, null heterozygous (45% LIS1 protein), and compound null/hypomorphic (35% LIS1 protein) mice. The development of the preplate, Cajal-Retzius cells, and the radial glial scaffold appeared unaffected by LIS1 levels. However, a dose-dependent morphologic change in disorganization of the subplate was noted. LIS1 dose-dependent defects in neuronal migration were found in vivo and in vitro. The position and number of mitotic cells in the ventricular zone were more abnormal as LIS1 levels decreased, suggesting defects in interkinetic nuclear migration and neuroblast proliferation. LIS1 dose-dependent progressive thinning of the cortex and ventricular zone occurred by programmed cell death. Thus, in addition to its requirement for cell autonomous neuronal migration, LIS1 influences the generation and survival of cortical ventricular zone neuroblasts. These studies reveal the importance of LIS1 levels in orderly cerebral cortical morphogenesis and suggest new insights into the pathogenesis of type I lissencephaly.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 04/2003; 23(5):1719-29. · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of the specific genes responsible for several childhood neurologic disorders has provided a framework with which to understand key development stages in human brain development. Common genetic disorders of brain development include septo-optic dysplasia, schizencephaly, holoprosencephaly, periventricular heterotopia, lissencephaly, and Joubert syndrome. For each of these disorders, a critical step in brain development is interrupted. The identification of the responsible genes is providing scientists a window into the key modulators of brain development, and providing clinicians the opportunity to offer genetic testing to individual patients and their families.
Current Opinion in Pediatrics 01/2001; 12(6):523-8. DOI:10.1097/00008480-200012000-00002 · 2.74 Impact Factor