[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene WFS1 encodes a protein with unknown function although its functional deficiency causes different neuropsychiatric and neuroendocrine syndromes. In the present study, we aimed to find the functional networks influenced by the time-dependent silencing of WFS1 in HEK cells. We performed whole genome gene expression profiling (Human Gene 1.0 ST Arrays) in HEK cells 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours after transfection with three different WFS1 siRNAs. In order to verify silencing we performed quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analysis. Analysis was conducted in two ways. First we analyzed the overall effect of the siRNA treatment on the gene expression profile. As a next step we performed time-course analysis separately for different siRNAs and combined for all siRNAs. Quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analysis confirmed clear silencing of the expression of WFS1 after 48 hours. Significant (FDR value less than 10%) changes in the expression of eleven genes was identified with most of these genes being related to the mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis. Time-course analysis confirmed significant correlations between WFS1 silencing and changes in the expression profiles of several genes. The pathways that were influenced significantly by WFS1 silencing were related to mitochondrial damage and neurodegenerative diseases. Our findings suggest a role of WSF1 gene in cell survival and its involvement in degenerative diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme for dopamine catabolism and COMT is a candidate gene for human psychiatric disorders. In mouse it is located on chromosome 16 in a large genomic region of extremely low variation among the classical inbred strains, with no confirmed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between strains C57BL/6J and DBA/2J within a 600-kB window. We found a B2 SINE in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of Comt1 which is present in C57BL/6J (Comt1(B2i)) and other strains including 129 (multiple sublines), but is not found in DBA/2J (Comt1(+)) and many other strains including wild-derived Mus domesticus, M. musculus, M. molossinus, M.castaneus and M. spretus. Comt1(B2i) is absent in strains closely related to C57BL/6, such as C57L and C57BR, indicating that it was polymorphic in the cross that gave rise to these strains. The strain distribution of Comt1(B2i) indicates a likely origin of the allele in the parental Lathrop stock. A stringent association test, using 670 highly outbred mice (Boulder Heterogeneous Stock), indicates that this insertion allele may be responsible for a difference in behavior related to exploration. Gene expression differences at the mRNA and enzyme activity level (1.7-fold relative to wild type) indicate a mechanism for this behavioral effect. Taken together, these findings show that Comt1(B2i) (a B2 SINE insertion) results in a relatively modest difference in Comt1 expression and enzyme activity (comparable to the human Val-Met polymorphism) which has a demonstrable behavioral phenotype across a variety of outbred genetic backgrounds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of present study was to describe changes in gene expression in the temporal lobe of mice induced by deletion of the Wfs1 gene. Temporal lobes samples were analyzed using Affymetrix Mouse Genome 420 2 GeneChips and expression profiles were functionally annotated with GSEA and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. We found that Wfs1 mutant mice are significantly smaller (20.9 +/- 1.6 g) than their wild-type counterparts (31.0 +/- 0.6 g, P < 0.0001). This difference existed in 129S6 and C57B6 backgrounds. Interestingly, microarray analysis identified upregulation of growth hormone (GH) transcripts and functional analysis revealed activation of GH pathways. In line with microarray data, the level of IGF-1 in the plasma of Wfs1 mutant mice was significantly increased (P < 0.05). Thus, Wfs1 deletion induces growth retardation, whereas the GH pathway is activated. To test the interaction between the Wfs1 deletion and genomic background, mutant mice were backcrossed to two different genetic backgrounds. In line with previous studies, an interaction between a gene knockout and genetic background was found in gene expression profiles in the congenic region. However, genetic background did not alter the effect of the Wfs1 mutation on either body weight or GH pathway activation. Further studies are needed to describe biochemical and molecular changes of the growth hormone axis as well as in other hormones to clarify their role in growth retardation in the Wfs1 mutant mice.