Jeffrey D Molkentin

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

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Publications (3)18.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: New neurons generated in the adult dentate gyrus are constantly integrated into the hippocampal circuitry and activated during encoding and recall of new memories. Despite identification of extracellular signals that regulate survival and integration of adult-born neurons such as neurotrophins and neurotransmitters, the nature of the intracellular modulators required to transduce those signals remains elusive. Here, we provide evidence of the expression and transcriptional activity of nuclear factor of activated T cell c4 (NFATc4) in hippocampal progenitor cells. We show that NFATc4 calcineurin-dependent activity is required selectively for survival of adult-born neurons in response to BDNF signaling. Indeed, cyclosporin A injection and stereotaxic delivery of the BDNF scavenger TrkB-Fc in the mouse dentate gyrus reduce the survival of hippocampal adult-born neurons in wild-type but not in NFATc4(-/-) mice and do not affect the net rate of neural precursor proliferation and their fate commitment. Furthermore, associated with the reduced survival of adult-born neurons, the absence of NFATc4 leads to selective defects in LTP and in the encoding of hippocampal-dependent spatial memories. Thus, our data demonstrate that NFATc4 is essential in the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and identify NFATc4 as a central player of BDNF-driven prosurvival signaling in hippocampal adult-born neurons.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2012; 109(23):E1499-508. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1202068109 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Forkhead Box M1 (Foxm1) is a transcription factor essential for organ morphogenesis and development of various cancers. Although complete deletion of Foxm1 in Foxm1(-/-) mice caused embryonic lethality due to severe abnormalities in multiple organ systems, requirements for Foxm1 in cardiomyocytes remain to be determined. This study was designed to elucidate the cardiomyocyte-autonomous role of Foxm1 signaling in heart development. We generated a new mouse model in which Foxm1 was specifically deleted from cardiomyocytes (Nkx2.5-Cre/Foxm1(fl/f) mice). Deletion of Foxm1 from cardiomyocytes was sufficient to disrupt heart morphogenesis and induce embryonic lethality in late gestation. Nkx2.5-Cre/Foxm1(fl/fl) hearts were dilated with thinning of the ventricular walls and interventricular septum, as well as disorganization of the myocardium which culminated in cardiac fibrosis and decreased capillary density. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was diminished in Nkx2.5-Cre/Foxm1(fl/fl) hearts owing to altered expression of multiple cell cycle regulatory genes, such as Cdc25B, Cyclin B(1), Plk-1, nMyc and p21(cip1). In addition, Foxm1 deficient hearts displayed reduced expression of CaMKII╬┤, Hey2 and myocardin, which are critical mediators of cardiac function and myocardial growth. Our results indicate that Foxm1 expression in cardiomyocytes is critical for proper heart development and required for cardiomyocyte proliferation and myocardial growth.
    PLoS ONE 07/2011; 6(7):e22217. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0022217 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcineurin is a widely expressed and highly conserved Ser/Thr phosphatase. Calcineurin is inhibited by the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporine A (CsA) or tacrolimus (FK506). The critical role of CsA/FK506 as an immunosuppressant following transplantation surgery provides a strong incentive to understand the phosphatase calcineurin. Here we uncover a novel regulatory pathway for cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling by the phosphatase calcineurin which is also evolutionarily conserved in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that calcineurin binds directly to and inhibits the proteosomal degradation of cAMP-hydrolyzing phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D). We show that ubiquitin conjugation and proteosomal degradation of PDE4D are controlled by a cullin 1-containing E(3) ubiquitin ligase complex upon dual phosphorylation by casein kinase 1 (CK1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) in a phosphodegron motif. Our findings identify a novel signaling process governing G-protein-coupled cAMP signal transduction-opposing actions of the phosphatase calcineurin and the CK1/GSK3beta protein kinases on the phosphodegron-dependent degradation of PDE4D. This novel signaling system also provides unique functional insights into the complications elicited by CsA in transplant patients.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2010; 30(18):4379-90. DOI:10.1128/MCB.01193-09 · 5.04 Impact Factor