Alternative splicing and extensive RNA editing of human TPH2 transcripts.
ABSTRACT: Brain serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission plays a key role in the regulation of mood and has been implicated in a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of 5-HT. Recently, we discovered a second TPH isoform (TPH2) in vertebrates, including man, which is predominantly expressed in brain, while the previously known TPH isoform (TPH1) is primarly a non-neuronal enzyme. Overwhelming evidence now points to TPH2 as a candidate gene for 5-HT-related psychiatric disorders. To assess the role of TPH2 gene variability in the etiology of psychiatric diseases we performed cDNA sequence analysis of TPH2 transcripts from human post mortem amygdala samples obtained from individuals with psychiatric disorders (drug abuse, schizophrenia, suicide) and controls. Here we show that TPH2 exists in two alternatively spliced variants in the coding region, denoted TPH2a and TPH2b. Moreover, we found evidence that the pre-mRNAs of both splice variants are dynamically RNA-edited in a mutually exclusive manner. Kinetic studies with cell lines expressing recombinant TPH2 variants revealed a higher activity of the novel TPH2B protein compared with the previously known TPH2A, whereas RNA editing was shown to inhibit the enzymatic activity of both TPH2 splice variants. Therefore, our results strongly suggest a complex fine-tuning of central nervous system 5-HT biosynthesis by TPH2 alternative splicing and RNA editing. Finally, we present molecular and large-scale linkage data evidencing that deregulated alternative splicing and RNA editing is involved in the etiology of psychiatric diseases, such as suicidal behaviour.
Project description:Serotonin (5-HT) modulates the stress response by interacting with the hormonal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and neuronal sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in 5-HT biosynthesis, and the recent identification of a second, neuron-specific TPH isoform (TPH2) opened up a new area of research. While TPH2 genetic variance has been linked to numerous behavioral traits and disorders, findings on TPH2 gene expression have not only reinforced, but also provided new insights into, the long-recognized but not yet fully understood 5-HT-stress interaction. In this review, we summarize advances in TPH2 expression regulation and its relevance to the stress response and clinical implications. Particularly, based on findings on rhesus monkey TPH2 genetics and other relevant literature, we propose that: (i) upon activation of adrenal cortisol secretion, the cortisol surge induces TPH2 expression and de novo 5-HT synthesis; (ii) the induced 5-HT in turn inhibits cortisol secretion by modulating the adrenal sensitivity to ACTH via the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN)-SNS-adrenal system, such that it contributes to the feedback inhibition of cortisol production; (iii) basal TPH2 expression or 5-HT synthesis, as well as early-life experience, influence basal cortisol primarily via the hormonal HPA axis; and (iv) 5'- and 3'-regulatory polymorphisms of TPH2 may differentially influence the stress response, presumably due to their differential roles in gene expression regulation. Our increasing knowledge of TPH2 expression regulation not only helps us better understand the 5-HT-stress interaction and the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, but also provides new strategies for the treatment of stress-associated diseases.
Project description:Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) is a recently identified TPH isoform responsible for neuronal serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, and TPH2 polymorphisms are associated with a range of behavioral traits and psychiatric disorders. This study characterized cis-acting elements and three common polymorphisms (-703G/T, -473T/A, and 90A/G) in the 5' regulatory region of human TPH2 by using luciferase reporter assay, quantitative real-time PCR, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). The core promoter of human TPH2 was localized to the region between -107 and +7, and the segment of +8 to +53 within the 5'-UTR was found to exert a potent inhibitory effect on gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. In both RN46A and HEK-293 cell lines, the TTA (-703T/-473T/90A) haplotype of the three polymorphisms showed the lowest gene expression compared with other haplotypes, and the -703G/T and -473T/A polymorphisms tended to exert a synergic effect on gene expression dependent upon the sequence of the 5'-UTR. In RN46A, the 90A/G polymorphism significantly increased luciferase activity and mRNA level irrespective of the other two polymorphisms, while in HEK-293 cells the effect of 90A/G was dependent on the alleles at loci -703 and -473. EMSA showed that all the three polymorphisms potentially alter DNA-protein interactions, while the 90A/G polymorphism predictably alters the 5'-UTR secondary structure of mRNA and influences RNA-protein interactions. In conclusion, our present study demonstrates that both the 5'-UTR and common polymorphisms (especially the 90A/G) in the 5' regulatory region of human TPH2 have a significant impact on gene expression.
Project description:Alterations in serotonin (5-HT) are suspected in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin and has two isoforms: TPH1 and TPH2. Genetic variants in both genes have been studied in various disorders related to serotonin dysregulation. The aim of this study was to examine whether TPH gene variants were associated with IBS and IBS-related gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the TPH1 and one SNP from the TPH2 were genotyped in 199 IBS patients and 79 healthy controls. All subjects were Caucasian women of European origin. Irritable bowel syndrome patients filled in a daily diary with five GI symptoms and stool characteristics for 28 days.The TPH1 SNPs showed no association with the diagnosis of IBS. However, among IBS patients, all five TPH1 SNPs showed some association with diarrhea and loose type of stool consistency, with P-values rating from 0.01 to 0.20. The TPH2 SNP showed a trend towards a reduced risk of IBS and possible associations with stool characteristics, both hard and loose stools. However, no P-values were less than the conservative multiple-comparison-adjusted threshold of 0.001 and hence these results must be interpreted cautiously.This study is the first to assess associations of TPH gene variants with IBS-related GI symptoms and stool characteristics. The possible association of TPH gene variants with diarrhea needs to be verified in an independent sample.
Project description:The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The biosynthesis of serotonin is regulated by two rate-limiting enzymes, tryptophan hydroxylase-1 and -2 (TPH1 and TPH2). We used a gene-targeting approach to generate mice with selective and complete elimination of the two known TPH isoforms. This resulted in dramatically reduced central 5-HT levels in Tph2 knockout (TPH2KO) and Tph1/Tph2 double knockout (DKO) mice; and substantially reduced peripheral 5-HT levels in DKO, but not TPH2KO mice. Therefore, differential expression of the two isoforms of TPH was reflected in corresponding depletion of 5-HT content in the brain and periphery. Surprisingly, despite the prominent and evolutionarily ancient role that 5-HT plays in both vertebrate and invertebrate physiology, none of these mutations resulted in an overt phenotype. TPH2KO and DKO mice were viable and normal in appearance. Behavioral alterations in assays with predictive validity for antidepressants were among the very few phenotypes uncovered. These behavioral changes were subtle in the TPH2KO mice; they were enhanced in the DKO mice. Herein, we confirm findings from prior descriptions of TPH1 knockout mice and present the first reported phenotypic evaluations of Tph2 and Tph1/Tph2 knockout mice. The behavioral effects observed in the TPH2 KO and DKO mice strongly confirm the role of 5-HT and its synthetic enzymes in the etiology and treatment of affective disorders.
Project description:Serotonin (5-HT) is one of the principal neurotransmitters in the nervous system of vertebrates. It is initially synthesized by hydroxylation of tryptophan (Trp) by means of tryptophan hydroxylase or TPH which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of 5-HT. In most vertebrates, there are two isoforms of TPH present, TPH1 and TPH2, which exhibit different catalytic or substrate specificity as well as different expression domains. Studies carried out in mammals show that only tph2 is expressed in the brain whereas tph1-mRNA is primarily localized in the enterochromaffin cells and pineal gland. A large number of neurons are also considered to be serotonergic or "pseudo-serotonergic" as they accumulate and release 5-HT yet do not produce it as no amine-synthetic enzymes are expressed, yet a combination of 5-HT transporters is observed. Therefore, tph expression is considered to be the only specific marker of 5-HT-producing neurons that can discriminate true 5-HT from pseudo-serotonergic neurons. This work examined in situ hybridization to study the mRNA distribution of one paralogue for tph1 and tph2 in the central nervous system of rainbow trout. Results show a segregated expression for both paralogues that predominantly match previous immunocytochemical studies. This study thus adds valuable information to the scarce analyses focusing on the central distribution of the expression of serotonergic markers, particularly tphs, in the vertebrate brain thus characterizing the true serotonergic brain territories.
Project description:Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) dysfunction is associated with the pathophysiology of depression. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), the rate-limiting enzyme in 5-HT biosynthesis, is believed to have essential role in many mental disorders, including depression. In the present study, we generated a rat model of depression by exposing the animals to stress, and the rats were then treated with paroxetine. The results indicated that the concentration of 5-HT in the brain and liver tissues were significantly lower in the rat model of depression than in healthy or treated rats. Immunohistochemical analyses of TPH1/2 showed less TPH1 and TPH2 expression, specifically TPH2, in the brain, liver and kidney of the depressive rats than in the healthy rats; In addition, the two TPH isoforms, TPH1 and TPH2, had different spatial distributions,the mRNAs of the TPH1/2 genes were significantly decreased and TPH1/2 were highly methylated in the depressive model rat, but treatment with paroxetine ameliorated the expression and methylation of TPH1/2. All together, stress was able to inhibit expression of TPH1/2 in brain tissue and decrease concentration of 5-HT, the mechanism maybe involve in increasing the methylation of TPH2 genes promoter; Paroxetine has a role in confronting the effect of stress in depressive rat model.
Project description:The aims of this exploratory study were to examine whether tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) gene polymorphisms are associated with psychosocial factors in women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). TPH is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin and has two isoforms, TPH1 and TPH2. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TPH1 gene and one SNP in the TPH2 gene were selected based on previous studies investigating associations between these SNPs and psychiatric or behavioral disorders. One hundred ninety-nine Caucasian women with IBS were included. Results of univariate analysis showed no association between TPH1and TPH2 gene SNPs and current level of psychological distress or psychiatric illness. However, TPH1 gene SNPs were associated with IBS-related cognitions (rs4537731 and rs21105) and quality of life (rs684302 and rs1800532), in particular the mental health and energy subscales. These associations were independent of the subjects' levels of gastrointestinal symptoms. These results suggest that patients' perception of their illness, and of the impact it has on their lives, may be subject to genetic influences, in this case sequence variants in TPH1. However, caution should be used in interpreting these results given the large number of hypothesis tests performed in this exploratory hypothesis-generating study, and the results should be considered tentative until confirmed in an independent sample.
Project description:Serotonin (5-HT) is a hormone and neurotransmitter that modulates neural activity as well as a wide range of other physiological processes including cardiovascular function, bowel motility, and platelet aggregation. 5-HT synthesis is catalyzed by tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) which exists as two distinct isoforms; TPH1 and TPH2, which are responsible for peripheral and central 5-HT, respectively. Due to the implication of 5-HT in a number of pathologies, including depression, anxiety, autism, sexual dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and carcinoid syndrome, there has been a growing interest in finding modulators of these enzymes in recent years. We thus performed high-throughput screening (HTS) using a fluorescence-based thermal shift assay (DSF) to search the Prestwick Chemical Library containing 1,280 compounds, mostly FDA-approved drugs, for TPH1 binders. We here report the identification of omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, as an inhibitor of TPH1 and TPH2 with low micromolar potency and high selectivity over the other aromatic amino acid hydroxylases. The S-enantiomer of omeprazole, esomeprazole, has recently also been described as an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A), the main enzyme responsible for 5-HT degradation, albeit with lower potency compared to the effect on TPH1 and TPH2. In order to investigate the net effect of simultaneous inhibition of TPH and MAO-A <i>in vivo</i>, we administered high-dose (100 mg/kg) omeprazole to CD-1 mice for 4 days, after which the animals were subjected to the tail suspension test. Finally, central (whole brain) and peripheral (serum) 5-HT content was measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Omeprazole treatment significantly increased 5-HT concentrations, both in brain and in serum, and reduced the time spent immobile in the tail suspension test relative to vehicle control. Thus, the MAO-A inhibition afforded by high-dose omeprazole appears to overcome the opposing effect on 5-HT produced by inhibition of TPH1 and TPH2. Further modification of proton pump inhibitor scaffolds may yield more selective modulators of 5-HT metabolism.
Project description:The brain serotonergic system has an essential role in the physiological functions of the central nervous system and dysregulation of serotonin (5-HT) homeostasis has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. The tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) gene is the rate-limiting enzyme in brain 5-HT synthesis, and thus is an ideal candidate gene for understanding the role of dysregulation of brain serotonergic homeostasis. Here, we characterized a common, but functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs1386493) in the TPH2 gene, which decreases efficiency of normal RNA splicing, resulting in a truncated TPH2 protein (TPH2-TR) by alternative splicing. TPH2-TR, which lacks TPH2 enzyme activity, dominant-negatively affects full-length TPH2 function, causing reduced 5-HT production. The predicted mRNA for TPH2-TR is present in postmortem brain of rs1386493 carriers. The rs13864923 variant does not appear to be overrepresented in either global or multiplex depression cohorts. However, in combination with other gene variants linked to 5-HT homeostasis, this variant may exhibit important epistatic influences.
Project description:Paracrine signaling between cholangiocytes and stromal cells regulates biliary remodeling. Cholangiocytes have neuroepithelial characteristics and serotonin receptor agonists inhibit their growth, but whether they are capable of serotonin biosynthesis is unknown. We hypothesized that cholangiocytes synthesize serotonin and that cross talk between liver myofibroblasts (MF) and cholangiocytes regulates this process to influence biliary remodeling. Transwell cultures of cholangiocytes ± MF, and tryptophan hydroxylase-2 knockin (TPH2KI) mice with an inactivating mutation of the neuronal tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) isoform, TPH2, were evaluated. Results in the cell culture models confirm that cholangiocytes have serotonin receptors and demonstrate for the first time that these cells express TPH2 and produce serotonin, which autoinhibits their growth but stimulates MF production of TGF-?(1). Increased TGF-?(1), in turn, counteracts autocrine inhibition of cholangiocyte growth by repressing cholangiocyte TPH2 expression. Studies of TPH2KI mice confirm that TPH2-mediated production of serotonin plays an important role in remodeling damaged bile ducts because mice with decreased TPH2 function have reduced biliary serotonin levels and exhibit excessive cholangiocyte proliferation, accumulation of aberrant ductules and liver progenitors, and increased liver fibrosis after bile duct ligation. This new evidence that cholangiocytes express the so-called neuronal isoform of TPH, synthesize serotonin de novo, and deploy serotonin as an autocrine/paracrine signal to regulate regeneration of the biliary tree complements earlier work that revealed that passive release of serotonin from platelets stimulates hepatocyte proliferation. Given the prevalent use of serotonin-modulating drugs, these findings have potentially important implications for recovery from various types of liver damage.