[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staufen1 (Stau1) is a ribonucleic acid (RNA)-binding protein involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Recent studies indicate that Stau1-bound messenger RNAs (mRNAs) mainly code for proteins involved in transcription and cell cycle control. Consistently, we report here that Stau1 abundance fluctuates through the cell cycle in HCT116 and U2OS cells: it is high from the S phase to the onset of mitosis and rapidly decreases as cells transit through mitosis. Stau1 down-regulation is mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the E3 ubiquitin ligase anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C). Stau1 interacts with the APC/C co-activators Cdh1 and Cdc20 via its first 88 N-terminal amino acids. The importance of controlling Stau1(55) levels is underscored by the observation that its overexpression affects mitosis entry and impairs proliferation of transformed cells. Microarray analyses identified 275 Stau1(55)-bound mRNAs in prometaphase cells, an early mitotic step that just precedes Stau1 degradation. Interestingly, several of these mRNAs are more abundant in Stau1(55)-containing complexes in cells arrested in prometaphase than in asynchronous cells. Our results point out for the first time to the possibility that Stau1 participates in a mechanism of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression that is linked to cell cycle progression in cancer cells.
Nucleic Acids Research 06/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variations of dopamine (DA) levels induced by drugs of abuse or in the context of Parkinson's disease modulate the number of dendritic spines in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum, showing that DA plays a major role in the structural plasticity of MSNs. However, little is presently known regarding early spine development in MSNs occurring before the arrival of cortical inputs and in particular about the role of DA and D1 (D1R) and D2 (D2R) DA receptors. A cell culture model reconstituting early cellular interactions between MSNs, intrinsic cholinergic interneurons and DA neurons was used to study the role of DA in spine formation. After 5 or 10 days in vitro, the presence of DA neurons increased the number of immature spine-like protrusions. In MSN monocultures, chronic activation of D1R or D2R also increased the number of spines and spinophilin expression in MSNs, suggesting a direct role for these receptors. In DA-MSN cocultures, chronic blockade of D1R or D2R reduced the number of dendritic spines. Interestingly, the combined activation or blockade of both D1R and D2R failed to elicit more extensive spine formation, suggesting that both receptors act through a mechanism that is not additive. Finally, we found increased ionotropic glutamate receptor responsiveness and miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) frequency in DA-MSN co-cultures, in parallel with a higher number of spines containing PSD-95, suggesting that the newly formed spines present functional post-synaptic machinery preparing the MSNs to receive additional glutamatergic contacts. These results represent a first step in the understanding of how dopamine neurons promote the structural plasticity of MSNs during the development of basal ganglia circuits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), dystrophia myotonica protein kinase messenger ribonucleic acids (RNAs; mRNAs) with expanded CUG repeats (CUG(exp)) aggregate in the nucleus and become toxic to cells by sequestering and/or misregulating RNA-binding proteins, resulting in aberrant alternative splicing. In this paper, we find that the RNA-binding protein Staufen1 is markedly and specifically increased in skeletal muscle from DM1 mouse models and patients. We show that Staufen1 interacts with mutant CUG(exp) mRNAs and promotes their nuclear export and translation. This effect is critically dependent on the third double-stranded RNA-binding domain of Staufen1 and shuttling of Staufen1 into the nucleus via its nuclear localization signal. Moreover, we uncover a new role of Staufen1 in splicing regulation. Overexpression of Staufen1 rescues alternative splicing of two key pre-mRNAs known to be aberrantly spliced in DM1, suggesting its increased expression represents an adaptive response to the pathology. Altogether, our results unravel a novel function for Staufen1 in splicing regulation and indicate that it may positively modulate the complex DM1 phenotype, thereby revealing its potential as a therapeutic target.
The Journal of Cell Biology 03/2012; 196(6):699-712. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHosphate-regulating gene with homology to Endopeptidase on the X chromosome (PHEX) has been identified as the gene mutated in X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) syndrome, the most prevalent form of rickets in humans. The predominant expression of PHEX in bones and teeth, and the defective mineralization of these tissues in XLH patients indicate that PHEX is an important regulator of mineralization. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTH-related protein (PTHrP) are known to regulate the expression of numerous genes in osteoblastic cells through activation of the protein kinase A pathway, including repression of PHEX. PTH also activates the transcriptional repressor E4BP4 through the same pathway, suggesting that PTH or PTHrP-mediated repression of PHEX expression could involve E4BP4. To evaluate this possibility, we treated UMR-106 osteoblastic cells with PTHrP(1-34), and used RT-PCR and immunoblotting to analyze PHEX and E4BP4 expression. E4BP4 mRNA and protein levels were rapidly increased in cells treated with PTHrP(1-34), with a concomitant decrease in PHEX expression. This downregulation of PHEX could be reproduced by overexpression of E4BP4. Moreover, PTHrP(1-34)-mediated PHEX repression was blocked when cells were transfected with a siRNA targeting E4BP4 mRNA. Finally, DNA pull-down and luciferase assays showed that two E4BP4 response elements located in PHEX promoter were functional. These results underline the important role of E4BP4 in osteoblastic cells and further define the repression mechanism of PHEX gene by PTHrP(1-34).
Journal of Cellular Physiology 08/2011; 227(6):2378-87. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The two members of the Staufen family of RNA-binding proteins, Stau1 and Stau2, are present in distinct ribonucleoprotein complexes and associate with different mRNAs. Stau1 is required for protein synthesis-dependent long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in hippocampal pyramidal cells. However, the role of Stau2 in synaptic plasticity remains unexplored. We found that unlike Stau1, Stau2 is not required for L-LTP. In contrast, Stau2, but not Stau1, is necessary for DHPG-induced protein synthesis-dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD). While Stau2 is involved in early development of spines, its down-regulation does not alter spine morphology or spontaneous miniature synaptic activity in older cultures where LTD occurs. In addition, Stau2, but not Stau1, knockdown reduces the dendritic localization of Map1b mRNA, a specific transcript involved in mGluR-LTD. Moreover, mGluR stimulation with DHPG induces Map1b, but not Map2, mRNA dissociation from mRNA granules containing Stau2 and the ribosomal protein P0. This dissociation was not observed in cells in which Stau2 was depleted. Finally, Stau2 knockdown reduces basal Map1b protein expression in dendrites and prevents DHPG-induced increases in dendritic Map1b protein level. We suggest a role for Stau2 in the generation and regulation of Map1b mRNA containing granules that are required for mGluR-LTD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteases that degrade the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) are important in protecting against Alzheimer's disease (AD), and understanding these proteases is critical to understanding AD pathology. Endopeptidases sensitive to inhibition by thiorphan and phosphoramidon are especially important, because these inhibitors induce dramatic Aβ accumulation (∼30- to 50-fold) and pathological deposition in rodents. The Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin (NEP) is the best known target of these inhibitors. However, genetic ablation of NEP results in only modest increases (∼1.5- to 2-fold) in Aβ, indicating that other thiorphan/phosphoramidon-sensitive endopeptidases are at work. Of particular interest is the NEP homolog neprilysin 2 (NEP2), which is thiorphan/phosphoramidon-sensitive and degrades Aβ. We investigated the role of NEP2 in Aβ degradation in vivo through the use of gene knockout and transgenic mice. Mice deficient for the NEP2 gene showed significant elevations in total Aβ species in the hippocampus and brainstem/diencephalon (∼1.5-fold). Increases in Aβ accumulation were more dramatic in NEP2 knockout mice crossbred with APP transgenic mice. In NEP/NEP2 double-knockout mice, Aβ levels were marginally increased (∼1.5- to 2-fold), compared with NEP(-/-)/NEP2(+/+) controls. Treatment of these double-knockout mice with phosphoramidon resulted in elevations of Aβ, suggesting that yet other NEP-like Aβ-degrading endopeptidases are contributing to Aβ catabolism.
American Journal Of Pathology 01/2011; 178(1):306-12. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staufens (Stau) are RNA-binding proteins involved in mRNA transport, localization, decay and translational control. The Staufen 1 (Stau1) isoform was recently identified as necessary for the protein synthesis-dependent late phase long-term potentiation (late-LTP) and for the maintenance of mature dendritic spines and synaptic activity in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, strongly suggesting a role of mRNA regulation by Stau1 in these processes. However, the causal relationship between these impairments in synaptic function (spine shape and basal synaptic activity) and plasticity (late-LTP) remains unclear. Here, we determine that the effects of Stau1 knockdown on spine shape and size are mimicked by blocking NMDA receptors (or elevating extracellular Mg2+) and that Stau1 knockdown in the presence of NMDA receptor blockade (or high Mg2+) has no further effect on spine shape and size. Moreover, the effect of Stau1 knockdown on late-LTP cannot be explained by these effects, since when tested in normal medium, slice cultures that had been treated with high Mg2+ (to impair NMDA receptor function) in combination with a control siRNA still exhibited late-LTP, while siRNA to Stau1 was still effective in blocking late-LTP. Our results indicate that Stau1 involvement in spine morphogenesis is dependent on ongoing NMDA receptor-mediated plasticity, but its effects on late-LTP are independent of these changes. These findings clarify the role of Stau1-dependent mRNA regulation in physiological and morphological changes underlying long-term synaptic plasticity in pyramidal cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The formation and storage of memories in neuronal networks relies on new protein synthesis, which can occur locally at synapses using translational machinery present in dendrites and at spines. These new proteins support long-lasting changes in synapse strength and size in response to high levels of synaptic activity. To ensure that proteins are made at the appropriate time and location to enable these synaptic changes, messenger RNA (mRNA) translation is tightly controlled by dendritic RNA-binding proteins. Fragile X Related Protein 1 (FXR1P) is an RNA-binding protein with high homology to Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) and is known to repress and activate mRNA translation in non-neuronal cells. However, unlike FMRP, very little is known about the role of FXR1P in the central nervous system. To understand if FXR1P is positioned to regulate local mRNA translation in dendrites and at synapses, we investigated the expression and targeting of FXR1P in developing hippocampal neurons in vivo and in vitro. We found that FXR1P was highly expressed during hippocampal development and co-localized with ribosomes and mRNAs in the dendrite and at a subset of spines in mouse hippocampal neurons. Our data indicate that FXR1P is properly positioned to control local protein synthesis in the dendrite and at synapses in the central nervous system.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26120. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) are used to transport mRNAs along neuronal dendrites to their site of translation. Staufen2 is an mRNA-binding protein expressed in the cell bodies and cellular processes of different brain cells. It is notably involved in the transport of dendritic mRNAs along microtubules. Its knockdown expression was shown to change spine morphology and impair synaptic functions. However, the identity of Staufen2-bound mRNAs in brain cells is still completely unknown. As a mean to identify these mRNAs, we immunoprecipitated Staufen2-containing mRNPs from embryonic rat brains and used a genome wide approach to identify Staufen2-associated mRNAs. The genome wide approach identified 1780 mRNAs in Staufen2-containing mRNPs that code for proteins involved in cellular processes such as post-translational protein modifications, RNA metabolism, intracellular transport and translation. These results represent an additional and important step in the characterization of Staufen2- mediated neuronal functions in rat brains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs) repress translation initiation by preventing eIF4F complex formation. Of the three mammalian 4E-BPs, only 4E-BP2 is enriched in the mammalian brain and plays an important role in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory formation. Here we describe asparagine deamidation as a brain-specific posttranslational modification of 4E-BP2. Deamidation is the spontaneous conversion of asparagines to aspartates. Two deamidation sites were mapped to an asparagine-rich sequence unique to 4E-BP2. Deamidated 4E-BP2 exhibits increased binding to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-binding protein raptor, which effects its reduced association with eIF4E. 4E-BP2 deamidation occurs during postnatal development, concomitant with the attenuation of the activity of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling pathway. Expression of deamidated 4E-BP2 in 4E-BP2(-/-) neurons yielded mEPSCs exhibiting increased charge transfer with slower rise and decay kinetics relative to the wild-type form. 4E-BP2 deamidation may represent a compensatory mechanism for the developmental reduction of PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transport of mRNA is an efficient mechanism to target proteins to specific regions of a cell. Although it is well documented that mRNAs are transported in ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes, several of the mechanisms involved in complex formation and localization are poorly understood. Staufen (Stau) 1, a double-stranded RNA-binding protein, is a well accepted marker of mRNA transport complexes. In this manuscript, we provide evidence that Stau1 self-associates in live cells using immunoprecipitation and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assays. The double-stranded RNA-binding domains dsRBD3 and dsRBD4 contributed about half of the signal, suggesting that Stau1 RNA-binding activity is involved in Stau1 self-association. Protein-protein interaction also occurred, via dsRBD5 and dsRBD2, as shown by in vitro pull-down, yeast two-hybrid, and BRET assays in live cells. Interestingly, Stau1 self-association contributes to the formation of oligomeric complexes as evidenced by the coexpression of split Renilla luciferase halves covalently linked to Stau1 in a protein complementation assay (PCA) combined with a BRET assay with Stau1-YFP. Moreover, we showed that these higher-order Stau1-containing complexes carry RNAs when the RNA stain SYTO 14 was used as the energy acceptor in the PCA/BRET assay. The oligomeric composition of Stau1-containing complexes and the presence of specific mRNAs have been confirmed by biochemical approaches involving two successive immunoprecipitations of Stau1-tagged molecules followed by qRT-PCR amplification. Altogether, these results indicate that Stau1 self-associates in mRNPs via its multiple functional domains that can select mRNAs to be transported and establish protein-protein interaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag selects for and mediates genomic RNA (vRNA) encapsidation into progeny virus particles. The host protein, Staufen1 interacts directly with Gag and is found in ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes containing vRNA, which provides evidence that Staufen1 plays a role in vRNA selection and encapsidation. In this work, we show that Staufen1, vRNA and Gag are found in the same RNP complex. These cellular and viral factors also colocalize in cells and constitute novel Staufen1 RNPs (SHRNPs) whose assembly is strictly dependent on HIV-1 expression. SHRNPs are distinct from stress granules and processing bodies, are preferentially formed during oxidative stress and are found to be in equilibrium with translating polysomes. Moreover, SHRNPs are stable, and the association between Staufen1 and vRNA was found to be evident in these and other types of RNPs. We demonstrate that following Staufen1 depletion, apparent supraphysiologic-sized SHRNP foci are formed in the cytoplasm and in which Gag, vRNA and the residual Staufen1 accumulate. The depletion of Staufen1 resulted in reduced Gag levels and deregulated the assembly of newly synthesized virions, which were found to contain several-fold increases in vRNA, Staufen1 and other cellular proteins. This work provides new evidence that Staufen1-containing HIV-1 RNPs preferentially form over other cellular silencing foci and are involved in assembly, localization and encapsidation of vRNA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) are used to transport mRNAs along neuronal dendrites to their site of translation. Numerous mRNA-binding and regulatory proteins within mRNPs finely regulate the fate of bound-mRNAs. Their specific combination defines different types of mRNPs that in turn are related to specific synaptic functions. One of these mRNA-binding proteins, Staufen2 (Stau2), was shown to transport dendritic mRNAs along microtubules. Its knockdown expression in neurons was shown to change spine morphology and synaptic functions. To further understand the molecular mechanisms by which Stau2 modulates synaptic function in neurons, it is important to identify and characterize protein co-factors that regulate the fate of Stau2-containing mRNPs. To this end, a proteomic approach was used to identify co-immunoprecipitated proteins in Staufen2-containing mRNPs isolated from embryonic rat brains. The proteomic approach identified mRNA-binding proteins (PABPC1, hnRNP H1, YB1 and hsc70), proteins of the cytoskeleton (alpha- and beta-tubulin) and RUFY3 a poorly characterized protein. While PABPC1 and YB1 associate with Stau2-containing mRNPs through RNAs, hsc70 is directly bound to Stau2 and this interaction is regulated by ATP. PABPC1 and YB1 proteins formed puncta in dendrites of embryonic rat hippocampal neurons. However, they poorly co-localized with Stau2 in the large dendritic complexes suggesting that they are rather components of Stau2-containing mRNA particles. All together, these results represent a further step in the characterization of Stau2-containing mRNPs in neurons and provide new tools to study and understand how Stau2-containing mRNPs are transported, translationally silenced during transport and/or locally expressed according to cell needs.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e11350. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian proteins hnRNP A1 and hnRNP H control many splicing decisions in viral and cellular primary transcripts. To explain some of these activities, we have proposed that self-interactions between bound proteins create an RNA loop that represses internal splice sites while simultaneously activating the external sites that are brought in closer proximity. Here we show that a variety of hnRNP H binding sites can affect 5' splice site selection. The addition of two sets of hnRNP H sites in a model pre-mRNA modulates 5' splice site selection cooperatively, consistent with the looping model. Notably, binding sites for hnRNP A1 and H on the same pre-mRNA can similarly collaborate to modulate 5' splice site selection. The C-terminal portion of hnRNP H that contains the glycine-rich domains (GRD) is essential for splicing activity, and it can be functionally replaced by the GRD of hnRNP A1. Finally, we used the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) technology to document the existence of homotypic and heterotypic interactions between hnRNP H and hnRNP A1 in live cells. Overall, our study suggests that interactions between different hnRNP proteins bound to distinct locations on a pre-mRNA can change its conformation to affect splicing decisions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transport of mRNAs to axons and dendrites in neurons is important for growth, polarization and plasticity. Recent proteomic studies in neurons have identified a number of DEAD box proteins as components of RNA granules. Using DEAD box proteins as markers, we have defined classes of RNA:protein structures present in neurons. In particular, we demonstrate that the conjunction of DEAD box 1 and DEAD box 3 identifies a motile ribosome-containing RNA granule present in both axons and dendrites that is similar to the biochemically isolated RNA granule. Conjunction of DEAD box 1 and the novel protein CGI-99 defines a distinct complex in neurons. Attempts to define a P-body like structure with expression of DEAD box 6 and decapping enzymes suggest that this structure may be more complex in neuronal processes than in other compartments. These studies hint at a great complexity in RNA transport and storage in neuronal processes.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 03/2009; · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic blockade or activation of dopamine receptors is critical for the pharmacological treatment of diseases like schizophrenia, Parkinson's or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. However, the long-term impact of such treatments on dopamine neurons is unclear. Chronic blockade of the dopamine D2 receptor in vivo triggers an increase in the axonal arborization of dopamine neurons [European Journal of Neuroscience, 2002, 16, 787-794]. However, the specific involvement of presynaptic (autoreceptors) vs. postsynaptic D2 receptors as well as the molecular mechanisms involved have not been determined. Here, we examined the role of D2 autoreceptors in regulating the ability of mouse dopamine neurons to establish axon terminals. Chronic activation of this receptor with quinpirole, a specific agonist, decreased the number of axon terminals established by isolated dopamine neurons. This effect was accompanied by a decrease in dopamine release and was mediated through inhibition of protein kinase A. The decrease in axon terminal number induced by D2 receptor activation was also occluded when the mammalian Target of Rapamycin pathway of mRNA translation was blocked. Our results suggest that chronic activation of the D2 autoreceptor inhibits synaptogenesis by mesencephalic dopamine neurons through translational regulation of the synthesis of proteins required for synapse formation. This study provides a better understanding of the impact of long-term pharmacological interventions acting through the D2 receptor.
European Journal of Neuroscience 11/2008; 28(8):1480-90. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The late phase of long-term potentiation (LTP) requires activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and synthesis of new proteins. mTOR regulates protein synthesis via phosphorylation of 4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs) and S6K, and via selective up-regulation of 5' terminal oligopyrimidine (5' TOP) mRNAs that encode components of the translational machinery. In this study, we explored the regulation of 5' TOP mRNAs during late-LTP (L-LTP). Synaptic plasticity was studied at Schaffer collateral--CA1 pyramidal cell synapses in rat organotypic hippocampal slices. Forskolin, an adenylate cyclase activator, induced L-LTP in organotypic slices that was mTOR-dependent. To determine if 5' TOP mRNAs are specifically up-regulated during L-LTP, we generated a 5' TOP-myr-dYFP reporter to selectively monitor 5' TOP translation. Confocal imaging experiments in cultured slices revealed an increase in somatic and dendritic fluorescence after forskolin treatment. This up-regulation was dependent on an intact TOP sequence and was mTOR, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent. Our findings indicate that forskolin induces L-LTP in hippocampal neurons and up-regulates 5' TOP mRNAs translation via mTOR, suggesting that up-regulation of the translational machinery is a candidate mechanism for the stabilization of LTP.
Journal of Neurochemistry 06/2008; 106(3):1160-74. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staufen1 (Stau1) is an RNA-binding protein involved in transport, localization, decay, and translational control of mRNA. In neurons, it is present in cell bodies and also in RNA granules which are transported along dendrites. Dendritic mRNA localization might be involved in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory. To determine the role of Stau1 in synaptic function, we examined the effects of Stau1 down-regulation in hippocampal slice cultures using small interfering RNA (siRNA). Biolistic transfection of Stau1 siRNA resulted in selective down-regulation of Stau1 in slice cultures. Consistent with a role of Stau1 in transporting mRNAs required for synaptic plasticity, Stau1 down-regulation impaired the late form of chemically induced long-term potentiation (L-LTP) without affecting early-LTP, mGluR1/5-mediated long-term depression, or basal evoked synaptic transmission. Stau1 down-regulation decreased the amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, suggesting a role in maintaining efficacy at hippocampal synapses. At the cellular level, Stau1 down-regulation shifted spine shape from regular to elongated spines, without changes in spine density. The change in spine shape could be rescued by an RNA interference-resistant Stau1 isoform. Therefore, Stau1 is important for processing and/or transporting in dendrites mRNAs that are critical in regulation of synaptic strength and maintenance of functional connectivity changes underlying hippocampus-dependent learning and memory.
Molecular and cellular biology 06/2008; 28(9):2896-907. · 6.06 Impact Factor