Pierre Drapeau

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (95)668.62 Total impact

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    Laura D Knogler, Pierre Drapeau
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    ABSTRACT: In all but the simplest monosynaptic reflex arcs, sensory stimuli are encoded by sensory neurons that transmit a signal via sensory interneurons to downstream partners in order to elicit a response. In the embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio), cutaneous Rohon-Beard (RB) sensory neurons fire in response to mechanical stimuli and excite downstream glutamatergic commissural primary ascending (CoPA) interneurons to produce a flexion response contralateral to the site of stimulus. In the absence of sensory stimuli, zebrafish spinal locomotor circuits are spontaneously active during development due to pacemaker activity resulting in repetitive coiling of the trunk. Self-generated movement must therefore be distinguishable from external stimuli in order to ensure the appropriate activation of touch reflexes. Here, we recorded from CoPAs during spontaneous and evoked fictive motor behaviors in order to examine how responses to self-movement are gated in sensory interneurons. During spontaneous coiling, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs coincident with contralateral flexions that shunted firing for the duration of the coiling event. Shunting inactivation of CoPAs was caused by a slowly deactivating chloride conductance that resulted in lowered membrane resistance and increased action potential threshold. During spontaneous burst swimming, which develops later, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs that arrived in phase with excitation to ipsilateral motoneurons and provided persistent shunting. During a touch stimulus, short latency glutamatergic inputs produced cationic currents through AMPA receptors that drove a single, large amplitude action potential in the CoPA before shunting inhibition began, providing a brief window for the activation of downstream neurons. We compared the properties of CoPAs to those of other spinal neurons and propose that glycinergic signaling onto CoPAs acts as a corollary discharge signal for reflex inhibition during movement.
    Frontiers in Neural Circuits 09/2014; 8:121. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous network activity is a highly stereotyped early feature of developing circuits throughout the nervous system, including in the spinal cord. Spinal locomotor circuits produce a series of behaviors during development before locomotion that reflect the continual integration of spinal neurons into a functional network, but how the circuitry is reconfigured is not understood. The first behavior of the zebrafish embryo (spontaneous coiling) is mediated by an electrical circuit that subsequently generates mature locomotion (swimming) as chemical neurotransmission develops. We describe here a new spontaneous behavior, double coiling, that consists of two alternating contractions of the tail in rapid succession. Double coiling was glutamate-dependent and required descending hindbrain excitation, similar to but preceding swimming, making it a discrete intermediary developmental behavior. At the cellular level, motoneurons had a distinctive glutamate-dependent activity pattern that correlated with double coiling. Two glutamatergic interneurons, CoPAs and CiDs, had different activity profiles during this novel behavior. CoPA neurons failed to show changes in activity patterns during the period in which double coiling appears, whereas CiD neurons developed a glutamate-dependent activity pattern that correlated with double coiling and they innervated motoneurons at that time. Additionally, double coils were modified after pharmacological reduction of glycinergic neurotransmission such that embryos produced three or more rapidly alternating coils. We propose that double coiling behavior represents an important transition of the motor network from an electrically coupled spinal cord circuit that produces simple periodic coils to a spinal network driven by descending chemical neurotransmission, which generates more complex behaviors.
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 07/2014; 34(29):9644-55.
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    ABSTRACT: Motor neuron disorders (MNDs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 07/2014; 7(7):799-809. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    Annie Angers, Pierre Drapeau
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    ABSTRACT: The zebrafish posterior lateral line is formed during early development by the deposition of neuromasts from a migrating primordium. The molecular mechanisms regulating the regional organization and migration of the primordium involve interactions between Fgf and Wnt/[Formula: see text]-catenin signaling and the establishment of specific cxcr4b and cxcr7b cytokine receptor expression domains. Itch has been identified as a regulator in several different signaling pathways, including Wnt and Cxcr4 signaling. We identified two homologous itch genes in zebrafish, itcha and itchb, with generalized expression patterns. By reducing itchb expression in particular upon morpholino knockdown, we demonstrated the importance of Itch in regulating lateral line development by perturbing the patterns of cxcr4b and cxcr7b expression. Itch knockdown results in a failure to down-regulate Wnt signaling and overexpression of cxcr4b in the primordium, slowing migration of the posterior lateral line primordium and resulting in abnormal development of the lateral line.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e111799. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Gary A B Armstrong, Pierre Drapeau
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) presents clinically in adulthood and is characterized by the loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord and cerebral cortex. Animal models of the disease suggest that significant neuronal abnormalities exist during preclinical stages of the disease. Mutations in the gene fused in sarcoma (FUS) are associated with ALS and cause impairment in motor function in animal models. However, the mechanism of neuromuscular dysfunction underling pathophysiological deficits causing impairment in locomotor function resulting from mutant FUS expression is unknown. To characterize the cellular pathophysiological defect, we expressed the wild type human gene (wtFUS) or the ALS-associated mutation R521H (mutFUS) gene in zebrafish larvae and characterized their motor (swimming) activity and function of their neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Additionally, we tested knockdown of zebrafish fus with an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (fus AMO). Expression of either mutFUS or knockdown of fus resulted in impaired motor activity and reduced NMJ synaptic fidelity with reduced quantal transmission. Primary motoneurons expressing mutFUS were found to be more excitable. These impairments in neuronal function could be partially restored in fus AMO larvae also expressing wtFUS (fus AMO+wtFUS) but not mutFUS (fus AMO+mutFUS). These results show that both a loss and gain of FUS function result in defective presynaptic function at the NMJ.
    Human Molecular Genetics 06/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: C. elegans and D. rerio expressing mutant TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) are powerful in vivo animal models for the genetics and pharmacology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using these small-animal models of ALS, we previously identified methylene blue (MB) as a potent suppressor of TDP-43 toxicity. Consequently here we investigated how MB might exert its neuroprotective properties and found that it acts through reduction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. We tested other compounds known to be active in the ER unfolded protein response in worms and zebrafish expressing mutant human TDP-43 (mTDP-43). We identified three compounds: salubrinal, guanabenz and a new structurally related compound phenazine, which also reduced paralysis, neurodegeneration and oxidative stress in our mTDP-43 models. Using C. elegans genetics, we showed that all four compounds act as potent suppressors of mTDP-43 toxicity through reduction of the ER stress response. Interestingly, these compounds operate through different branches of the ER unfolded protein pathway to achieve a common neuroprotective action. Our results indicate that protein-folding homeostasis in the ER is an important target for therapeutic development in ALS and other TDP-43-related neurodegenerative diseases.
    Neurobiology of Disease 04/2013; · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mutations P56S and T46I in the gene encoding vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B/C (VAPB) cause ALS8, a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Overexpression of mutant forms of VAPB leads to cytosolic aggregates, suggesting a gain of function of the mutant protein. However, recent work suggested that the loss of VAPB function could be the major mechanism leading to ALS8. Here, we used multiple genetic and experimental approaches to study whether VAPB loss of function might be sufficient to trigger motor neuron degeneration. In order to identify additional ALS-associated VAPB mutations, we screened the entire VAPB gene in a cohort of ALS patients and detected two mutations (A145V and S160Δ). To directly address the contribution of VAPB loss of function in ALS, we generated zebrafish and mouse models with either a decreased or a complete loss of Vapb expression. Vapb knockdown in zebrafish led to swimming deficits. Mice knocked-out for Vapb showed mild motor deficits after 18 months of age yet had innervated neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Importantly, overexpression of VAPB mutations were unable to rescue the motor deficit caused by Vapb knockdown in zebrafish and failed to cause a toxic gain-of-function defect on their own. Thus, Vapb loss of function weakens the motor system of vertebrate animal models but is on its own unable to lead to a complete ALS phenotype. Our findings are consistent with the notion that VAPB mutations constitute a risk factor for motor neuron disease through a loss of VAPB function.
    Human Molecular Genetics 03/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
  • Gary A B Armstrong, Pierre Drapeau
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    ABSTRACT: TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43, encoded by the TARDBP gene) has recently been shown to be associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the early pathophysiological deficits causing impairment in motor function are unknown. Here we expressed the wild-type human gene (wtTARDBP) or the ALS mutation G348C (mutTARDBP) in zebrafish larvae and characterized their motor (swimming) activity and the structure and function of their neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Of these groups only mutTARDBP larvae showed impaired swimming and increased motoneuron vulnerability with reduced synaptic fidelity, reduced quantal transmission, and more orphaned presynaptic and postsynaptic structures at the NMJ. Remarkably, all behavioral and cellular features were stabilized by chronic treatment with either of the L-type calcium channel agonists FPL 64176 or Bay K 8644. These results indicate that expression of mutTARDBP results in defective NMJs and that calcium channel agonists could be novel therapeutics for ALS.
    Journal of Neuroscience 01/2013; 33(4):1741-52. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 2 (HSNAII) is a rare pathology characterized by an early onset of severe sensory loss (all modalities) in the distal limbs. It is due to autosomal recessive mutations confined to exon "HSN2" of the WNK1 (with-no-lysine protein kinase 1) serine-threonine kinase. While this kinase is well studied in the kidneys, little is known about its role in the nervous system. We hypothesized that the truncating mutations present in the neural-specific HSN2 exon lead to a loss-of-function of the WNK1 kinase, impairing development of the peripheral sensory system. To investigate the mechanisms by which the loss of WNK1/HSN2 isoform function causes HSANII, we used the embryonic zebrafish model and observed strong expression of WNK1/HSN2 in neuromasts of the peripheral lateral line (PLL) system by immunohistochemistry. Knocking down wnk1/hsn2 in embryos using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides led to improper PLL development. We then investigated the reported interaction between the WNK1 kinase and neuronal potassium chloride cotransporter KCC2, as this transporter is a target of WNK1 phosphorylation. In situ hybridization revealed kcc2 expression in mature neuromasts of the PLL and semi-quantitative RT-PCR of wnk1/hsn2 knockdown embryos showed an increased expression of kcc2 mRNA. Furthermore, overexpression of human KCC2 mRNA in embryos replicated the wnk1/hsn2 knockdown phenotype. We validated these results by obtaining double knockdown embryos, both for wnk1/hsn2 and kcc2, which alleviated the PLL defects. Interestingly, overexpression of inactive mutant KCC2-C568A, which does not extrude ions, allowed a phenocopy of the PLL defects. These results suggest a pathway in which WNK1/HSN2 interacts with KCC2, producing a novel regulation of its transcription independent of KCC2's activation, where a loss-of-function mutation in WNK1 induces an overexpression of KCC2 and hinders proper peripheral sensory nerve development, a hallmark of HSANII.
    PLoS Genetics 01/2013; 9(1):e1003124. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycine and GABA are depolarizing during early development, but the purpose of this paradoxical chloride-mediated depolarization remains unclear, especially at early stages. It was previously reported that suppressing glycine signaling from the beginning of development in zebrafish embryos caused an abnormal maintenance of the progenitor population and a specific reduction of spinal interneurons but not of other cell populations. Here, we show that cells including progenitors in the embryonic spinal cord had occasional spontaneous, glycine-mediated calcium transients that were blocked by the glycine antagonist strychnine and the L-type calcium channel blocker nifedipine. As shown previously for chronic block by strychnine, block of these transients by nifedipine reduced interneuron differentiation. Our results indicate that glycinergic depolarization of neural progenitors evokes spontaneous calcium transients that may enhance the interneuron neurogenic program. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2012.
    Developmental Neurobiology 08/2012; · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    Sebastien Côté, Pierre Drapeau
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    ABSTRACT: Glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are depolarizing during early development but the purpose is unclear. We tested the effect of altering glycine signaling in zebrafish embryos by overexpressing the potassium-chloride co-transporter type 2 (KCC2) to reverse the chloride gradient or by blocking glycine receptors with strychnine or by selectively knocking down the embryonic glycine receptor (GlyR KD). Using a variety of markers we observed in all three cases a reduction of all types of spinal interneuron populations examined, indicating that glycine modulates their overall differentiation rather than choice of cell fate. Other cell populations (motor, sensory, and glial cells) were unaffected. As glycine appeared to act preceding neural and synaptic development, we examined the bandoneon (beo) mutant in which glycine receptors are functional but not clustered at synapses. Neural populations in beo embryos appeared normal, suggesting a paracrine action of circulating glycine in promoting interneuron differentiation.
    Developmental Neurobiology 02/2012; 72(2):208-14. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA/RNA-binding proteins TDP-43 and FUS are found in protein aggregates in a growing number of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related dementia, but little is known about the neurotoxic mechanisms. We have generated Caenorhabditis elegans and zebrafish animal models expressing mutant human TDP-43 (A315T or G348C) or FUS (S57Δ or R521H) that reflect certain aspects of ALS including motor neuron degeneration, axonal deficits, and progressive paralysis. To explore the potential of our humanized transgenic C. elegans and zebrafish in identifying chemical suppressors of mutant TDP-43 and FUS neuronal toxicity, we tested three compounds with potential neuroprotective properties: lithium chloride, methylene blue and riluzole. We identified methylene blue as a potent suppressor of TDP-43 and FUS toxicity in both our models. Our results indicate that methylene blue can rescue toxic phenotypes associated with mutant TDP-43 and FUS including neuronal dysfunction and oxidative stress.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e42117. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CHARGE syndrome is caused by mutations in the CHD7 gene. Several organ systems including the retina, cranial nerves, inner ear and heart are affected in CHARGE syndrome. However, the mechanistic link between mutations in CHD7 and many of the organ systems dysfunction remains elusive. Here, we show that Chd7 is required for the organization of the neural retina in zebrafish. We observe an abnormal expression or a complete absence of molecular markers for the retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors, indicating that Chd7 regulates the differentiation of retinal cells and plays an essential role in retinal cell development. In addition, zebrafish with reduced Chd7 display an abnormal organization and clustering of cranial motor neurons. We also note a pronounced reduction in the facial branchiomotor neurons and the vagal motor neurons display aberrant positioning. Further, these fish exhibit a severe loss of the facial nerves. Knock-down of Chd7 results in a curvature of the long body axis and these fish develop irregular shaped vertebrae and have a reduction in bone mineralization. Chd7 knockdown also results in a loss of proper segment polarity illustrated by flawed efnb2a and ttna expression, which is associated with later vascular segmentation defects. These critical roles for Chd7 in retinal and vertebral development were previously unrecognized and our results provide new insights into the role of Chd7 during development and in CHARGE syndrome pathogenesis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31650. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the DNA/RNA binding proteins TDP-43 and FUS are associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration. Intracellular accumulations of wild type TDP-43 and FUS are observed in a growing number of late-onset diseases suggesting that TDP-43 and FUS proteinopathies may contribute to multiple neurodegenerative diseases. To better understand the mechanisms of TDP-43 and FUS toxicity we have created transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains that express full-length, untagged human TDP-43 and FUS in the worm's GABAergic motor neurons. Transgenic worms expressing mutant TDP-43 and FUS display adult-onset, age-dependent loss of motility, progressive paralysis and neuronal degeneration that is distinct from wild type alleles. Additionally, mutant TDP-43 and FUS proteins are highly insoluble while wild type proteins remain soluble suggesting that protein misfolding may contribute to toxicity. Populations of mutant TDP-43 and FUS transgenics grown on solid media become paralyzed over 7 to 12 days. We have developed a liquid culture assay where the paralysis phenotype evolves over several hours. We introduce C. elegans transgenics for mutant TDP-43 and FUS motor neuron toxicity that may be used for rapid genetic and pharmacological suppressor screening.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31321. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological, genetic and expression studies implicate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction in schizophrenia (SCZ). Similarly, several lines of evidence suggest that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) could be due to an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. As part of a project aimed at exploring rare and/or de novo mutations in neurodevelopmental disorders, we have sequenced the seven genes encoding for NMDA receptor subunits (NMDARs) in a large cohort of individuals affected with SCZ or ASD (n=429 and 428, respectively), parents of these subjects and controls (n=568). Here, we identified two de novo mutations in patients with sporadic SCZ in GRIN2A and one de novo mutation in GRIN2B in a patient with ASD. Truncating mutations in GRIN2C, GRIN3A and GRIN3B were identified in both subjects and controls, but no truncating mutations were found in the GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B and GRIN2D genes, both in patients and controls, suggesting that these subunits are critical for neurodevelopment. The present results support the hypothesis that rare de novo mutations in GRIN2A or GRIN2B can be associated with cases of sporadic SCZ or ASD, just as it has recently been described for the related neurodevelopmental disease intellectual disability. The influence of genetic variants appears different, depending on NMDAR subunits. Functional compensation could occur to counteract the loss of one allele in GRIN2C and GRIN3 family genes, whereas GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B and GRIN2D appear instrumental to normal brain development and function.Keywords: autism; mutation; NMDA; schizophrenia
    Translational Psychiatry. 10/2011; 1(11):e55.
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    ABSTRACT: The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls the process of convergent extension (CE) during gastrulation and neural tube closure, and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs) in animal models and human cohorts. In this study, we analyzed the role of one core PCP gene PRICKLE1 in these malformations. We screened this gene in 810 unrelated NTD patients and identified seven rare missense heterozygous mutations that were absent in all controls analyzed and predicted to be functionally deleterious using bioinformatics. Functional validation of five PRICKLE1 variants in a zebrafish model demonstrated that one variant, p.Arg682Cys, antagonized the CE phenotype induced by the wild-type zebrafish prickle1a (zpk1a) in a dominant fashion. Our study demonstrates that PRICKLE1 could act as a predisposing factor to human NTDs and further expands our knowledge of the role of PCP genes in the pathogenesis of these malformations.
    Human Mutation 09/2011; 32(12):1371-5. · 5.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) are two common neurodevelopmental syndromes that result from the combined effects of environmental and genetic factors. We set out to test the hypothesis that rare variants in many different genes, including de novo variants, could predispose to these conditions in a fraction of cases. In addition, for both disorders, males are either more significantly or more severely affected than females, which may be explained in part by X-linked genetic factors. Therefore, we directly sequenced 111 X-linked synaptic genes in individuals with ASD (n = 142; 122 males and 20 females) or SCZ (n = 143; 95 males and 48 females). We identified >200 non-synonymous variants, with an excess of rare damaging variants, which suggest the presence of disease-causing mutations. Truncating mutations in genes encoding the calcium-related protein IL1RAPL1 (already described in Piton et al. Hum Mol Genet 2008) and the monoamine degradation enzyme monoamine oxidase B were found in ASD and SCZ, respectively. Moreover, several promising non-synonymous rare variants were identified in genes encoding proteins involved in regulation of neurite outgrowth and other various synaptic functions (MECP2, TM4SF2/TSPAN7, PPP1R3F, PSMD10, MCF2, SLITRK2, GPRASP2, and OPHN1).
    Molecular Psychiatry 08/2011; 16(8):867-80. · 15.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the SOD1 and TARDBP genes have been commonly identified in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the Fused in sarcoma gene (FUS) were identified in familial (FALS) ALS cases and sporadic (SALS) patients. Similarly to TDP-43 (coded by TARDBP gene), FUS is an RNA binding protein. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio), we examined the consequences of expressing human wild-type (WT) FUS and three ALS-related mutations, as well as their interactions with TARDBP and SOD1. Knockdown of zebrafish Fus yielded a motor phenotype that could be rescued upon co-expression of wild-type human FUS. In contrast, the two most frequent ALS-related FUS mutations, R521H and R521C, unlike S57Δ, failed to rescue the knockdown phenotype, indicating loss of function. The R521H mutation caused a toxic gain of function when expressed alone, similar to the phenotype observed upon knockdown of zebrafish Fus. This phenotype was not aggravated by co-expression of both mutant human TARDBP (G348C) and FUS (R521H) or by knockdown of both zebrafish Tardbp and Fus, consistent with a common pathogenic mechanism. We also observed that WT FUS rescued the Tardbp knockdown phenotype, but not vice versa, suggesting that TARDBP acts upstream of FUS in this pathway. In addition we observed that WT SOD1 failed to rescue the phenotype observed upon overexpression of mutant TARDBP or FUS or upon knockdown of Tardbp or Fus; similarly, WT TARDBP or FUS also failed to rescue the phenotype induced by mutant SOD1 (G93A). Finally, overexpression of mutant SOD1 exacerbated the motor phenotype caused by overexpression of mutant FUS. Together our results indicate that TARDBP and FUS act in a pathogenic pathway that is independent of SOD1.
    PLoS Genetics 08/2011; 7(8):e1002214. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vangl2 forms part of the planar cell polarity signalling pathway and is the gene defective in the Looptail (Lp) mouse mutant. Two previously described alleles, Lp and Lp(m1Jus) , segregate in a semi-dominant fashion, with heterozygotes displaying the looped-tail appearance, while homozygotes show the neural tube defect called craniorachischisis. Here, we report a novel experimentally induced allele, Lp(m2Jus) , that carries a missense mutation, R259L, in Vangl2. This mutation was specific to the Lp phenotype and absent from both parental strains and 28 other inbred strains. Notably, this mutation segregates in a recessive manner with all heterozygotes appearing normal and 47% of homozygotes showing a looped-tail. Homozygous Lp(m2Jus) embryos showed spina bifida in 12%. Lp(m2Jus) genetically interacts with Lp with 77% of compound heterozygotes displaying craniorachischisis. Vangl2(R259L) behaved like the wild-type allele in overexpression and morpholino knockdown/rescue assays in zebrafish embryos. These data suggest that Lp(m2Jus) represents a new hypomorphic allele of Lp.
    Developmental Dynamics 04/2011; 240(4):839-49. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Growing genetic evidence is converging in favor of common pathogenic mechanisms for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability (ID or mental retardation) and schizophrenia (SCZ), three neurodevelopmental disorders affecting cognition and behavior. Copy number variations and deleterious mutations in synaptic organizing proteins including NRXN1 have been associated with these neurodevelopmental disorders, but no such associations have been reported for NRXN2 or NRXN3. From resequencing the three neurexin genes in individuals affected by ASD (n = 142), SCZ (n = 143) or non-syndromic ID (n = 94), we identified a truncating mutation in NRXN2 in a patient with ASD inherited from a father with severe language delay and family history of SCZ. We also identified a de novo truncating mutation in NRXN1 in a patient with SCZ, and other potential pathogenic ASD mutations. These truncating mutations result in proteins that fail to promote synaptic differentiation in neuron coculture and fail to bind either of the established postsynaptic binding partners LRRTM2 or NLGN2 in cell binding assays. Our findings link NRXN2 disruption to the pathogenesis of ASD for the first time and further strengthen the involvement of NRXN1 in SCZ, supporting the notion of a common genetic mechanism in these disorders.
    Human Genetics 03/2011; 130(4):563-73. · 4.63 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
668.62 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2008–2014
    • Université de Montréal
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology and Cell Biology
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2010–2012
    • Université du Québec à Montréal
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1989–2010
    • McGill University Health Centre
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2009
    • Centre jeunesse de Montréal-Institut universitaire
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1989–2008
    • McGill University
      • • Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
      • • Centre for Research in Neuroscience
      • • Department of Biology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2007
    • Hôpital Notre-Dame
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2003
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2001
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2000
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1995
    • Iowa State University
      Ames, Iowa, United States
    • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
      • Institute of Cellular Physiology
      Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico