Franck Polleux

Franck Polleux
Columbia University | CU · Department of Neuroscience

Ph.D.

About

164
Publications
20,582
Reads
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Introduction
My laboratory is interested in three questions: 1- determining some new cellular and molecular mechanisms patterning neuronal connectivity during development. 2- The genetic basis for human brain evolution and in particular, determining the role of human-specific gene duplications in the emergence of human-specific features of circuit development and function. 3- identify the role of the stress-response pathway CAMKK2-AMPK in synaptic maintenance during early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
Columbia University
Position
  • Professor
July 2010 - October 2013
The Scripps Research Institute
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 2008 - July 2010
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (164)
Article
Full-text available
Proper brain wiring during development is pivotal for adult brain function. Neurons display a high degree of polarization both morphologically and functionally, and this polarization requires the segregation of mRNA, proteins, and lipids into the axonal or somatodendritic domains. Recent discoveries have provided insight into many aspects of the ce...
Article
The molecular mechanisms underlying the axon arborization of mammalian neurons are poorly understood but are critical for the establishment of functional neural circuits. We identified a pathway defined by two kinases, LKB1 and NUAK1, required for cortical axon branching in vivo. Conditional deletion of LKB1 after axon specification or knockdown of...
Article
Amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42) oligomers are synaptotoxic for excitatory cortical and hippocampal neurons and might play a role in early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. Recent results suggested that Aβ42 oligomers trigger activation of AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), and its activation is increased in the brain of patients with AD. We show that...
Article
Dendritic calcium signaling is central to neural plasticity mechanisms that allow animals to adapt to the environment. Intracellular calcium release (ICR) from the endoplasmic reticulum has long been thought to shape these mechanisms. However, ICR has not been investigated in mammalian neurons in vivo. We combined electroporation of single CA1 pyra...
Article
We assembled a semi-automated reconstruction of L2/3 mouse primary visual cortex from ∼250 × 140 × 90 μm³ of electron microscopic images, including pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons, astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes and precursors, pericytes, vasculature, nuclei, mitochondria, and synapses. Visual responses of a subset of pyramidal cells a...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most salient features defining modern humans is our remarkable cognitive capacity, which is unrivaled by any other species. Although we still lack a complete understanding of how the human brain gives rise to these unique abilities, the past several decades have witnessed significant progress in uncovering some of the genetic, cellular,...
Article
Full-text available
Local circuit architecture facilitates the emergence of feature selectivity in the cerebral cortex¹. In the hippocampus, it remains unknown whether local computations supported by specific connectivity motifs² regulate the spatial receptive fields of pyramidal cells³. Here we developed an in vivo electroporation method for monosynaptic retrograde t...
Article
Hippocampal place cells underlie spatial navigation and memory. Remarkably, CA1 pyramidal neurons can form new place fields within a single trial by undergoing rapid plasticity. However, local feedback circuits likely restrict the rapid recruitment of individual neurons into ensemble representations. This interaction between circuit dynamics and ra...
Article
Full-text available
The cognitive abilities that characterize humans are thought to emerge from unique features of the cortical circuit architecture of the human brain, which include increased cortico–cortical connectivity. However, the evolutionary origin of these changes in connectivity and how they affected cortical circuit function and behaviour are currently unkn...
Article
Full-text available
Synaptic connectivity within adult circuits exhibits a remarkable degree of cellular and subcellular specificity. We report that the axon guidance receptor Robo2 plays a role in establishing synaptic specificity in hippocampal CA1. In vivo, Robo2 is present and required postsynaptically in CA1 pyramidal neurons (PNs) for the formation of excitatory...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dendritic Ca ²⁺ signaling is central to neural plasticity mechanisms allowing animals to adapt to the environment. Intracellular Ca ²⁺ release (ICR) from endoplasmic reticulum has long been thought to shape these mechanisms. However, ICR has not been investigated in mammalian neurons in vivo. We combined electroporation of single CA1 pyramidal neur...
Article
The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying complex axon morphogenesis are still poorly understood. We report a novel, evolutionary conserved function for the Drosophila Wnk kinase (dWnk) and its mammalian orthologs, WNK1 and 2, in axon branching. We uncover that dWnk, together with the neuroprotective factor Nmnat, antagonizes the axon-destab...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms controlling the post-natal maturation of astrocytes play a crucial role in ensuring correct synaptogenesis. We show that mitochondrial biogenesis in developing astrocytes is necessary for coordinating post-natal astrocyte maturation and synaptogenesis. The astrocytic mitochondrial biogenesis depends on the transient upregulation of m...
Article
Full-text available
Synaptic connectivity within neural circuits is characterized by high degrees of cellular and subcellular specificity. This precision arises from the combined action of several classes of molecular cues, transmembrane receptors, secreted cues and extracellular matrix components, coordinating transitions between axon guidance, dendrite patterning, a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The complex cellular architecture of neurons combined with their longevity makes maintaining a healthy mitochondrial network particularly important and challenging. One of the many roles of mitochondrial-ER contact sites (MERCs) is to mediate mitochondrial quality control through regulating mitochondrial turn over. Pdzd8 is a newly discovered MERC...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present a semi-automated reconstruction of L2/3 mouse primary visual cortex from 3 million cubic microns of electron microscopic images, including pyramidal and inhibitory neurons, astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes and precursors, pericytes, vasculature, mitochondria, and synapses. Visual responses of a subset of pyramidal cells are includ...
Preprint
mRNA localization and local translation enable exquisite spatial and temporal control of gene expression, particularly in highly polarized and elongated cells. These features are especially prominent in radial glial cells (RGCs), which serve as neural and glial precursors of the developing cerebral cortex, and scaffolds for migrating neurons. Yet t...
Article
The balance between excitatory and inhibitory (E and I) synapses is thought to be critical for information processing in neural circuits. However, little is known about the spatial principles of E and I synaptic organization across the entire dendritic tree of mammalian neurons. We developed a new open-source reconstruction platform for mapping the...
Article
Full-text available
Human-specific gene duplications (HSGDs) have recently emerged as key modifiers of brain development and evolution. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of HSGDs remain often poorly understood. In humans, a truncated duplication of SRGAP2A led to the emergence of two human-specific paralogs: SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C. The ancestral c...
Article
The Rac1‐specific GTPase activating protein Slit‐Robo GAP2 (Srgap2) is dramatically up regulated during RANKL‐induced osteoclastogenesis. Srgap2 interacts with the cell membrane to locally inhibit activity of Rac1. In this study, we determined the role of Srgap2 in the myeloid lineage on bone homeostasis and the osteoclastic response to TNFα treatm...
Preprint
Full-text available
The remarkable cognitive abilities characterizing humans has been linked to unique patterns of connectivity characterizing the neocortex. Comparative studies have shown that human cortical pyramidal neurons (PN) receive a significant increase of synaptic inputs when compared to other mammals, including non-human primates and rodents, but how this m...
Preprint
The developmental transition between axon guidance and synapse formation is critical for circuit assembly but still poorly understood at the molecular level. We hypothesized that this key transition could be regulated by axon guidance cues switching their function to regulate synaptogenesis with subcellular specificity. Here, we report evidence for...
Article
Localized protein synthesis is fundamental for neuronal development, maintenance, and function. Transcriptomes in axons and soma are distinct, but the mechanisms governing the composition of axonal transcriptomes and their developmental regulation are only partially understood. We found that the binding motif for the RNA-binding proteins Pumilio 1...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in both mouse models and human patients, soluble forms of Amyloidβ1-42 oligomers (Aβ42o) trigger loss of excitatory synapses (synaptotoxicity) in cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons (PNs) prior to the formation of insoluble Aβ plaques. We observed a spatially restricted structural remodelin...
Article
Cell polarization is important for various biological processes. However, its regulation, particularly initiation, is incompletely understood. Here, we investigated mechanisms by which neutrophils break their symmetry and initiate their cytoskeleton polarization from an apolar state in circulation for their extravasation during inflammation. We sho...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human-specific gene duplications (HSGD) have recently emerged as key modifiers of brain development and evolution. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of HSGDs remain often poorly understood. In humans, a truncated duplication of SRGAP2A led to the emergence of two human-specific paralogs: SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C. The ancestral co...
Article
Full-text available
Neurons display extreme degrees of polarization, including compartment-specific organelle morphology. In cortical, long-range projecting, pyramidal neurons (PNs), dendritic mitochondria are long and tubular whereas axonal mitochondria display uniformly short length. Here we explored the functional significance of maintaining small mitochondria for...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, numerous rare de novo mutations have been identified in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, despite the predicted loss-of-function nature of some of these de novo mutations, the affected individuals are heterozygous carriers, which would suggest that most of these candidate genes are haploinsufficient and/or...
Article
Full-text available
A challenging aspect of neuroscience revolves around mapping the synaptic connections within neural circuits (connectomics) over scales spanning several orders of magnitude (nanometers to meters). Despite significant improvements in serial section electron microscopy (SSEM) technologies, several major roadblocks have impaired its general applicabil...
Preprint
Full-text available
The balance between excitatory and inhibitory (E and I) synaptic inputs is thought to be critical for information processing in neural circuits. However, little is known about the principles of spatial organization of E and I synapses across the entire dendritic tree of mammalian neurons. We developed a new, open-source, reconstruction platform for...
Data
Table S2. HS Genes Identified in the Steps of Transcriptome Screening, Related to Figure 1
Data
Table S3. Detailed Information of Probes Used for In Situ Hybridization, Related to Figure 2
Data
Table S1. Transcriptome of HS Genes during Human Corticogenesis, Related to Figure 1
Article
Understanding the mechanisms establishing the complex but precise pattern of connectivity characterizing neural circuits remains an immense challenge. In a recent issue of Neuron, Mao and colleagues (2018) provide new insights by showing that the activation kinetics of EphB2, a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase, control whether dendritic filop...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebral cortex underwent rapid expansion and increased complexity during recent hominid evolution. Gene duplications constitute a major evolutionary force, but their impact on human brain development remains unclear. Using tailored RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we profiled the spatial and temporal expression of hominid-specific duplicated (HS) gen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurons display extreme degrees of polarization, including compartment-specific organelle morphology. In cortical pyramidal neurons, dendritic mitochondria are long and tubular whereas axonal mitochondria display uniformly short length. Here, we explored the functional significance of maintaining small mitochondria for axonal development in vitro a...
Article
Mitochondria play numerous critical physiological functions in neurons including ATP production, Ca²⁺ regulation, lipid synthesis, ROS signaling, and the ability to trigger apoptosis. Recently developed technologies, including in vivo 2-photon imaging in awake behaving mice revealed that unlike in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), mitochondrial...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recently, numerous rare de novo mutations have been identified in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, despite the predicted loss-of-function nature of some of these de novo mutations, the affected individuals are heterozygous carriers, which would suggest that most of these candidate genes are haploinsufficient and/or...
Article
Full-text available
Organelle interface emerges as a dynamic platform for a variety of biological responses. However, their study has been limited by the lack of tools to manipulate their occurrence in live cells spatiotemporally. Here, we report the development of a genetically-encoded light-inducible tethering (LIT) system allowing the induction of contacts between...
Preprint
The human cerebral cortex has undergone rapid expansion and increased complexity during recent evolution. Hominid-specific gene duplications represent a major driving force of evolution, but their impact on human brain evolution remains unclear. Using tailored RNA sequencing (RNAseq), we profiled the spatial and temporal expression of Hominid-speci...
Article
Full-text available
Interfaces between organelles are emerging as critical platforms for many biological responses in eukaryotic cells. In yeast, the ERMES complex is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–mitochondria tether composed of four proteins, three of which contain a SMP (synaptotagmin-like mitochondrial-lipid binding protein) domain. No functional ortholog for any E...
Preprint
Full-text available
A challenging aspect of neuroscience revolves around mapping the synaptic connections within neural circuits (connectomics) over scales spanning several orders of magnitude (nanometers to meters). Despite significant improvements in serial section electron microscopy (SSEM) technologies, several major roadblocks have impaired its general applicabil...
Article
Full-text available
The vertebrate clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) cell surface proteins are encoded by three closely linked gene clusters (Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ). Here, we show that all three gene clusters functionally cooperate to provide individual mouse olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) with the cell surface diversity required for their assembly into distinct glom...
Article
Full-text available
p>In many mammals, the gene Ostn is expressed in muscles and bones. The discovery that the primate OSTN gene has been repurposed to also act in neurons provides clues to how humans evolved their cognitive abilities. See Article p.242</p
Article
Full-text available
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a neurodevelopmental disease caused by TSC1 or TSC2 mutations and subsequent activation of the mTORC1 kinase. Upon mTORC1 activation, anabolic metabolism, which requires mitochondria, is induced, yet at the same time the principal pathway for mitochondrial turnover, autophagy, is compromised. How mTORC1 activatio...
Article
Full-text available
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a neurodevelopmental disease caused by TSC1 or TSC2 mutations and subsequent activation of the mTORC1 kinase. Upon mTORC1 activation, anabolic metabolism, which requires mitochondria, is induced, yet at the same time the principal pathway for mitochondrial turnover, autophagy, is compromised. How mTORC1 activatio...