[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cellular distribution of utrophin, the autosomal homologue of dystrophin, was investigated in developing and adult rat and mouse brain by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Digoxigenin-labeled cRNA probes complementary to N-terminal, rod-domain, and C-terminal encoding sequences of utrophin were used to differentiate between full-length and short C-terminal isoforms. Largely overlapping distribution patterns were seen for the three probes in neurons of cerebral cortex, accessory olfactory bulb, and several sensory and motor brainstem nuclei as well as in blood vessels, pia mater, and choroid plexus. The C-terminal probe was detected in addition in the main olfactory bulb, striatum, thalamic reticular nucleus, and hypothalamus, suggesting a selective expression of G-utrophin in these neurons. Western blot analysis with isoform-specific antisera confirmed the expression of both full-length and G-utrophin in brain. Immunohistochemically, only full-length utrophin was detected in neurons, in close association with the plasma membrane. In addition, intense staining was seen in blood vessels, meninges, and choroid plexus, selectively localized in the basolateral membrane of immunopositive epithelial cells. The expression pattern of utrophin was already established at early postnatal stages and did not change thereafter. Double-labeling analysis revealed that utrophin and dystrophin are differentially expressed on the cellular and subcellular levels in juvenile and adult brain. Likewise, in mice lacking full-length dystrophin isoforms (mdx mice), no change in utrophin expression and distribution could be detected in brain, although utrophin was markedly up-regulated in muscle cells. These results suggest that utrophin and dystrophin are independently regulated and have distinct functional roles in CNS neurons.
No preview · Article · Aug 2000 · The Journal of Comparative Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dystrophin and utrophin are known to link the intracellular cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix via a transmembraneous glycoprotein complex. Four short C-terminal isoforms (Dp71, Dp116, Dp140, and Dp260) are described for dystrophin and three for utrophin (Up71, Up113, and Up140). We describe here for the first time the existence of a 3.7-kb transcript and a 62-kDa protein in C6 glioma cells representing a short N-terminal isoform unique for utrophin (N-utrophin). More than 20 clones covering the entire coding region of utrophin were isolated from a rat C6 glioma cell cDNA library. Two clones were found to code for a protein with 539 amino acids. Its sequence is identical to that of the full-length utrophin, except for the last residue where Cys is replaced by Val. This isoform contains the actin binding domain (consisting of two calponin homology subdomains), followed by two spectrin-like repeats. A recombinant fragment corresponding to N-utrophin binds to F-actin in vitro with an equilibrium constant (affinity) K of 4.5 x 10(5) M(-1) and a stoichiometry of one fragment per around five actin monomers. Immunocytochemical staining of C6 glioma cells with antisera specific for different utrophin regions localised full-length utrophin in the submembraneous cortical actin layer as revealed by confocal microscopy. A distinct staining pattern for the N-utrophin was not detectable, although it was expected to localise at the actin stress fibers. It is assumed that it co-localises via the two spectrin-like repeats with the full-length utrophin at the cell membrane.
No preview · Article · May 2000 · Journal of Cellular Biochemistry