Proteomics analysis reveals overlapping functions of clustered protocadherins.
ABSTRACT: The three tandem-arrayed protocadherin (Pcdh) gene clusters, namely Pcdh-alpha, Pcdh-beta, and Pcdh-gamma, play important roles in the development of the vertebrate central nervous system. To gain insight into the molecular action of PCDHs, we performed a systematic proteomics analysis of PCDH-gamma-associated protein complexes. We identified a list of 154 non-redundant proteins in the PCDH-gamma complexes. This list includes nearly 30 members of clustered Pcdh-alpha, -beta, and -gamma families as core components of the complexes and additionally over 120 putative PCDH-associated proteins. We validated a selected subset of PCDH-gamma-associated proteins using specific antibodies. Analysis of the identities of PCDH-associated proteins showed that the majority of them overlap with the proteomic profile of postsynaptic density preparations. Further analysis of membrane protein complexes revealed that several validated PCDH-gamma-associated proteins exhibit reduced levels in Pcdh-gamma-deficient brain tissues. Therefore, PCDH-gamma s are required for the integrity of the complexes. However, the size of the overall complexes and the abundance of many other proteins remained unchanged, raising a possibility that PCDH-alphas and PCDH-betas might compensate for PCDH-gamma function in complex formation. As a test of this idea, RNA interference knockdown of both PCDH-alphas and PCDH-gamma s showed that PCDHs have redundant functions in regulating neuronal survival in the chicken spinal cord. Taken together, our data provide evidence that clustered PCDHs coexist in large protein complexes and have overlapping functions during vertebrate neural development.
Project description:Fifty-eight cadherin-related protocadherin (Pcdh) genes are tandemly arrayed in three clusters (alpha, beta, and gamma) on mouse chromosome 18. The large number of clustered Pcdh family members, their presence at synapses, and the known binding specificities of other cadherin superfamily members all suggest that these Pcdhs play roles in specifying synaptic connectivity. Consistent with this idea, mice lacking all 22 genes of the Pcdh-gamma cluster have decreased numbers of spinal cord synapses and are nearly immobile. Interpretation of this phenotype was complicated, however, by the fact that Pcdh-gamma loss also led to apoptosis of many spinal interneurons. Here, we used two methods to circumvent apoptosis and neurodegeneration in Pcdh-gamma mutant mice. First, we analyzed mutants lacking both Pcdh-gamma proteins and the proapoptotic protein Bax. Second, we generated a hypomorphic allele of Pcdh-gamma in which apoptosis was minimal. In both cases, spinal interneurons were preserved but the mice bore dramatically decreased numbers of spinal cord synapses and exhibited profound neurological defects. Moreover, synaptic function was compromised in neurons cultured from the hypomorphs. These results provide evidence for a direct role of gamma-Pcdhs in synaptic development and establish genetic tools for elucidating their contribution to synaptic specificity.
Project description:Stochastic cell-surface expression of ?-, ?-, and ?-clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) provides vertebrate neurons with single-cell identities that underlie neuronal self-recognition. Here we report crystal structures of ectodomain fragments comprising cell-cell recognition regions of mouse ?-Pcdhs ?A1, ?A8, ?B2, and ?B7 revealing trans-homodimers, and of C-terminal ectodomain fragments from ?-Pcdhs ?A4 and ?B2, which depict cis-interacting regions in monomeric form. Together these structures span the entire ?-Pcdh ectodomain. The trans-dimer structures reveal determinants of ?-Pcdh isoform-specific homophilic recognition. We identified and structurally mapped cis-dimerization mutations to the C-terminal ectodomain structures. Biophysical studies showed that Pcdh ectodomains from ?B-subfamily isoforms formed cis dimers, whereas ?A isoforms did not, but both ?A and ?B isoforms could interact in cis with ?-Pcdhs. Together, these data show how interaction specificity is distributed over all domains of the ?-Pcdh trans interface, and suggest that subfamily- or isoform-specific cis-interactions may play a role in the Pcdh-mediated neuronal self-recognition code.
Project description:The clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs), Pcdh-?, -?, and -?, are transmembrane proteins constituting a subgroup of the cadherin superfamily. Each Pcdh cluster is arranged in tandem on the same chromosome. Each of the three Pcdh clusters shows stochastic and combinatorial expression in individual neurons, thus generating a hugely diverse set of possible cell surface molecules. Therefore, the clustered Pcdhs are candidates for determining neuronal molecular diversity. Here, we showed that the targeted deletion of DNase I hypersensitive (HS) site HS5-1, previously identified as a Pcdh-? regulatory element in vitro, affects especially the expression of specific Pcdh-? isoforms in vivo. We also identified a Pcdh-? cluster control region (CCR) containing six HS sites (HS16, 17, 17', 18, 19, and 20) downstream of the Pcdh-? cluster. This CCR comprehensively activates the expression of the Pcdh-? gene cluster in cis, and its deletion dramatically decreases their expression levels. Deleting the CCR nonuniformly down-regulates some Pcdh-? isoforms and does not affect Pcdh-? expression. Thus, the CCR effect extends beyond the 320-kb region containing the Pcdh-? cluster to activate the upstream Pcdh-? genes. Thus, we concluded that the CCR is a highly specific regulatory unit for Pcdh-? expression on the clustered Pcdh genomic locus. These findings suggest that each Pcdh cluster is controlled by distinct regulatory elements that activate their expression and that the stochastic gene regulation of the clustered Pcdhs is controlled by the complex chromatin architecture of the clustered Pcdh locus.
Project description:The protocadherins (Pcdhs), which make up the most diverse group within the cadherin superfamily, were first discovered in the early 1990s. Data implicating the Pcdhs, including ~60 proteins encoded by the tandem Pcdha, Pcdhb, and Pcdhg gene clusters and another ~10 non-clustered Pcdhs, in the regulation of neural development have continually accumulated, with a significant expansion of the field over the past decade. Here, we review the many roles played by clustered and non-clustered Pcdhs in multiple steps important for the formation and function of neural circuits, including dendrite arborization, axon outgrowth and targeting, synaptogenesis, and synapse elimination. We further discuss studies implicating mutation or epigenetic dysregulation of Pcdh genes in a variety of human neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders. With recent structural modeling of Pcdh proteins, the prospects for uncovering molecular mechanisms of Pcdh extracellular and intracellular interactions, and their role in normal and disrupted neural circuit formation, are bright.
Project description:Clustered protocadherin proteins (?-, ?-, and ?-Pcdhs) provide a high level of cell-surface diversity to individual vertebrate neurons, engaging in highly specific homophilic interactions to mediate important roles in mammalian neural circuit development. How Pcdhs bind homophilically through their extracellular cadherin (EC) domains among dozens of highly similar isoforms has not been determined. Here, we report crystal structures for extracellular regions from four mouse Pcdh isoforms (?4, ?7, ?6, and ?8), revealing a canonical head-to-tail interaction mode for homophilic trans dimers comprising primary intermolecular EC1:EC4 and EC2:EC3 interactions. A subset of trans interface residues exhibit isoform-specific conservation, suggesting roles in recognition specificity. Mutation of these residues, along with trans-interacting partner residues, altered the specificities of Pcdh interactions. Together, these data show how sequence variation among Pcdh isoforms encodes their diverse strict homophilic recognition specificities, which are required for their key roles in neural circuit assembly.
Project description:Clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) mediate numerous neural patterning functions, including neuronal self-recognition and non-self-discrimination to direct self-avoidance among vertebrate neurons. Individual neurons stochastically express a subset of Pcdh isoforms, which assemble to form a stochastic repertoire of cis-dimers. We describe the structure of a Pcdh?B7 cis-homodimer, which includes the membrane-proximal extracellular cadherin domains EC5 and EC6. The structure is asymmetric with one molecule contributing interface surface from both EC5 and EC6, and the other only from EC6. Structural and sequence analyses suggest that all Pcdh isoforms will dimerize through this interface. Site-directed mutants at this interface interfere with both Pcdh cis-dimerization and cell surface transport. The structure explains the known restrictions of cis-interactions of some Pcdh isoforms, including ?-Pcdhs, which cannot form homodimers. The asymmetry of the interface approximately doubles the size of the recognition repertoire, and restrictions on cis-interactions among Pcdh isoforms define the limits of the Pcdh recognition unit repertoire.
Project description:The clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) are a large family of cadherin-like transmembrane proteins expressed in the nervous system. Stochastic expression of Pcdh genes and alternative splicing of their pre-mRNAs have the potential to generate enormous protein diversity at the cell surface of neurons. At present, the regulation and function of Pcdh proteins are largely unknown. Here, we show that Pcdhs form a heteromeric signaling complex(es), consisting of multiple Pcdh isoforms, receptor tyrosine kinases, phosphatases, and cell adhesion molecules. In particular, we find that the receptor tyrosine kinase rearranged during transformation (Ret) binds to Pcdhs in differentiated neuroblastoma cells and is required for stabilization and differentiation-induced phosphorylation of Pcdh proteins. In addition, the Ret ligand glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor induces phosphorylation of Pcdhgamma in motor neurons and phosphorylation of Pcdhalpha and Pcdhgamma in sympathetic neurons. Conversely, Pcdh proteins are also required for the stabilization of activated Ret in neuroblastoma cells and sympathetic ganglia. Thus, Pcdhs and Ret are functional components of a phosphorylation-dependent signaling complex.
Project description:The cadherin family is classified into classical cadherins, desmosomal cadherins and protocadherins (PCDHs). Genomic structures distinguish between PCDHs and other cadherins, and between clustered and non-clustered PCDHs. The phylogenetic analysis with full sequences of non-clustered PCDHs enabled them to be further classified into three subgroups: δ1 (PCDH1, PCDH7, PCDH9, PCDH11 and PCDH20), δ2 (PCDH8, PCDH10, PCDH12, PCDH17, PCDH18 and PCDH19) and ε (PCDH15, PCDH16, PCDH21 and MUCDHL). ε-PCDH members except PCDH21 have either higher or lower numbers of cadherin repeats than those of other PCDHs. Non-clustered PCDHs are expressed predominantly in the nervous system and have spatiotemporally diverse expression patterns. Especially, the region-specific expressions of non-clustered PCDHs have been observed in cortical area of early postnatal stage and in caudate putaman and/or hippocampal formation of mature brains, suggesting that non-clustered PCDHs play roles in the circuit formation and maintenance. The non-clustered PCDHs appear to have homophilic/heterophilc cell-cell adhesion properties, and each member has diverse cell signaling partnership distinct from those of other members (PCDH7/TAF1; PCDH8/TAO2β; PCDH10/Nap1; PCDH11/β-catenin; PCDH18/mDab1). Furthermore, each PCDH has several isoforms with differential cytoplasmic sequences, suggesting that one PCDH isoform could activate intracellular signaling differential from other isoforms. These facts suggest that non-clustered PCDHs play roles as a mediator of a regulator of other molecules as well as cell-cell adhesion. Furthermore, some non-clustered PCDHs have been considered to be involved in neuronal diseases such as autism-spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and female-limited epilepsy and cognitive impairment, suggesting that they play multiple, tightly regulated roles in normal brain function. In addition, some non-clustered PCDHs have been suggested as candidate tumor suppressor genes in several tissues. Although molecular adhesive and regulatory properties of some PCDHs began to be unveiled, the endeavor to understand the molecular mechanism of non-clustered PCDH is still in its infancy and requires future study.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clustered protocadherins (PCDHs) map in tandem at human chromosome 5q31 and comprise three multi-genes clusters: ?-, ?- and ?-PCDH. The expression of this cluster consists of a complex mechanism involving DNA hub formation through DNA-CCTC binding factor (CTCF) interaction. Methylation alterations can affect this interaction, leading to transcriptional dysregulation. In cancer, clustered PCDHs undergo a mechanism of long-range epigenetic silencing by hypermethylation. RESULTS:In this study, we detected frequent methylation alterations at CpG islands associated to these clustered PCDHs in all the solid tumours analysed (colorectal, gastric and biliary tract cancers, pilocytic astrocytoma), but not hematologic neoplasms such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Importantly, several altered CpG islands were associated with CTCF binding sites. Interestingly, our analysis revealed a hypomethylation event in pilocytic astrocytoma, suggesting that in neuronal tissue, where PCDHs are highly expressed, these genes become hypomethylated in this type of cancer. On the other hand, in tissues where PCDHs are lowly expressed, these CpG islands are targeted by DNA methylation. In fact, PCDH-associated CpG islands resulted hypermethylated in gastrointestinal tumours. CONCLUSIONS:Our study highlighted a strong alteration of the clustered PCDHs methylation pattern in the analysed solid cancers and suggested these methylation aberrations in the CpG islands associated with PCDH genes as powerful diagnostic biomarkers.
Project description:Protocadherins (Pcdhs) are cell adhesion and signaling proteins used by neurons to develop and maintain neuronal networks, relying on trans homophilic interactions between their extracellular cadherin (EC) repeat domains. We present the structure of the antiparallel EC1-4 homodimer of human Pcdh?B3, a member of the ? subfamily of clustered Pcdhs. Structure and sequence comparisons of ?, ?, and ? clustered Pcdh isoforms illustrate that subfamilies encode specificity in distinct ways through diversification of loop region structure and composition in EC2 and EC3, which contains isoform-specific conservation of primarily polar residues. In contrast, the EC1/EC4 interface comprises hydrophobic interactions that provide non-selective dimerization affinity. Using sequence coevolution analysis, we found evidence for a similar antiparallel EC1-4 interaction in non-clustered Pcdh families. We thus deduce that the EC1-4 antiparallel homodimer is a general interaction strategy that evolved before the divergence of these distinct protocadherin families.