Project description:The small GTPase ARL4C participates in the regulation of cell migration, cytoskeletal rearrangements, and vesicular trafficking in epithelial cells. The ARL4C signaling cascade starts by the recruitment of the ARF-GEF cytohesins to the plasma membrane, which, in turn, bind and activate the small GTPase ARF6. However, the role of ARL4C-cytohesin-ARF6 signaling during hippocampal development remains elusive. Here, we report that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cullin 5/RBX2 (CRL5) controls the stability of ARL4C and its signaling effectors to regulate hippocampal morphogenesis. Both RBX2 knockout and Cullin 5 knockdown cause hippocampal pyramidal neuron mislocalization and development of multiple apical dendrites. We used quantitative mass spectrometry to show that ARL4C, Cytohesin-1/3, and ARF6 accumulate in the RBX2 mutant telencephalon. Furthermore, we show that depletion of ARL4C rescues the phenotypes caused by Cullin 5 knockdown, whereas depletion of CYTH1 or ARF6 exacerbates overmigration. Finally, we show that ARL4C, CYTH1, and ARF6 are necessary for the dendritic outgrowth of pyramidal neurons to the superficial strata of the hippocampus. Overall, we identified CRL5 as a key regulator of hippocampal development and uncovered ARL4C, CYTH1, and ARF6 as CRL5-regulated signaling effectors that control pyramidal neuron migration and dendritogenesis.
Project description:The formation of a laminar structure such as the mammalian neocortex relies on the coordinated migration of different subtypes of excitatory pyramidal neurons in specific layers. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a master regulator of pyramidal neuron migration. Recently, we have shown that Cdk5 binds to the serotonin 6 receptor (5-HT6R), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Here, we investigated the role of 5-HT6R in the positioning and migration of pyramidal neurons during mouse corticogenesis. We report that constitutive expression of 5-HT6R controls pyramidal neuron migration through an agonist-independent mechanism that requires Cdk5 activity. These data provide the first in vivo evidence of a role for constitutive activity at a GPCR in neocortical radial migration.
Project description:The small GTPase Arf6 is a conserved protein that is expressed in all metazoans. Arf6 remodels cytoskeletal actin and mediates membrane protein trafficking between the plasma membrane in its active form and endosomal compartments in its inactive form. While a rich knowledge exists for the cellular functions of Arf6, relatively little is known about its physiological role in development. This study examines the function of Arf6 in mediating cellular morphogenesis in early development. We dissect the function of Arf6 with a loss-of-function morpholino and constitutively active Arf6-Q67L construct. We focus on the two cell types that undergo active directed migration: the primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) that give rise to the sea urchin skeleton and endodermal cells that form the gut. Our results indicate that Arf6 plays an important role in skeleton formation and PMC migration, in part due to its ability to remodel actin. We also found that embryos injected with Arf6 morpholino have gastrulation defects and embryos injected with constitutively active Arf6 have endodermal cells detached from the gut epithelium with decreased junctional cadherin staining, indicating that Arf6 may mediate the recycling of cadherin. Thus, Arf6 impacts cells that undergo coordinated movement to form embryonic structures in the developing embryo.
Project description:Neurons are compartmentalized into two morphologically, molecularly, and functionally distinct domains: axons and dendrites, and precise targeting and localization of proteins within these domains are critical for proper neuronal functions. It has been reported that several members of the Rab family small GTPases that are key mediators of membrane trafficking, regulate axon-specific trafficking events, but little has been elucidated regarding the molecular mechanisms that underlie dendrite-specific membrane trafficking. Here we show that Rab17 regulates dendritic morphogenesis and postsynaptic development in mouse hippocampal neurons. Rab17 is localized at dendritic growth cones, shafts, filopodia, and mature spines, but it is mostly absent in axons. We also found that Rab17 mediates dendrite growth and branching and that it does not regulate axon growth or branching. Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of Rab17 expression resulted in a dramatically reduced number of dendritic spines, probably because of impaired filopodia formation. These findings have revealed the first molecular link between membrane trafficking and dendritogenesis.
Project description:The intracellular mechanisms driving postmitotic development of cortical ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons are poorly understood. We have addressed the function of Rac GTPases in cortical and hippocampal interneuron development. Developing neurons express both Rac1 and Rac3. Previous work has shown that Rac1 ablation does not affect the development of migrating cortical interneurons. Analysis of mice with double deletion of Rac1 and Rac3 shows that these GTPases are required during postmitotic interneuron development. The number of parvalbumin-positive cells was affected in the hippocampus and cortex of double knockout mice. Rac depletion also influences the maturation of interneurons that reach their destination, with reduction of inhibitory synapses in both hippocampal CA1 and cortical pyramidal cells. The decreased number of cortical migrating interneurons and their altered morphology indicate a role of Rac1 and Rac3 in regulating the motility of cortical interneurons, thus interfering with their final localization. While electrophysiological passive and active properties of pyramidal neurons including membrane capacity, resting potential, and spike amplitude and duration were normal, these cells showed reduced spontaneous inhibitory currents and increased excitability. Our results show that Rac1 and Rac3 contribute synergistically to postmitotic development of specific populations of GABAergic cells, suggesting that these proteins regulate their migration and differentiation.
Project description:Parvalbumin (PV) interneuron dysfunction is associated with various brain disorders, including Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, we asked whether early PV neuron hyperexcitability primes the hippocampus for amyloid beta-induced functional impairment. We show that prolonged chemogenetic activation of PV neurons induces long-term hyperexcitability of these cells, disrupts synaptic transmission, and causes spatial memory deficits on the short-term. On the long-term, pyramidal cells also become hyperexcitable, and synaptic transmission and spatial memory are restored. However, under these conditions of increased excitability of both PV and pyramidal cells, a single low-dose injection of amyloid beta directly into the hippocampus significantly impairs PV neuron function, increases pyramidal neuron excitability, and reduces synaptic transmission, resulting in significant spatial memory deficits. Taken together, our data show that an initial hyperexcitable state of PV neurons renders hippocampal function vulnerable to amyloid beta and may contribute to an increased risk for developing AD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase 1B1 (LIS1), a critical mediator of neuronal migration in developing brain, is expressed throughout life. However, relatively little is known about LIS1 function in the mature brain. We previously demonstrated that LIS1 involvement in the formation and turnover of synaptic protrusions and synapses of young brain after neuronal migration is complete. Here we examine the requirement for LIS1 to maintain hippocampal circuit function in adulthood. METHODS:Effects of conditional Lis1 inactivation in excitatory pyramidal neurons, starting in juvenile mouse brain, were probed using high-resolution approaches combining mouse genetics, designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug technology to specifically manipulate CA1 pyramidal neuron excitatory activity, electrophysiology, hippocampus-selective behavioral testing, and magnetic resonance imaging tractography to examine the connectivity of LIS1-deficient neurons. RESULTS:We found progressive excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic dysfunction as soon as 10 days after conditional inactivation of Lis1 targeting CA1 pyramidal neurons. Surprisingly, by postnatal day 60 it also caused CA1 histological disorganization, with a selective decline in parvalbumin-expressing interneurons and further reduction in inhibitory neurotransmission. Accompanying these changes were behavioral and cognitive deficits that could be rescued by either designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug-directed specific increases in CA1 excitatory transmission or pharmacological enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid transmission. Lagging behind electrophysiological changes was a progressive, selective decline in neural connectivity, affecting hippocampal efferent pathways documented by magnetic resonance imaging tractography. CONCLUSIONS:LIS1 supports synaptic function and plasticity of mature CA1 neurons. Postjuvenile loss of LIS1 disrupts the structure and cellular composition of the hippocampus, its connectivity with other brain regions, and cognition dependent on hippocampal circuits.
Project description:Egr3 is a nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced transcriptional regulator that is essential for normal sympathetic nervous system development. Mice lacking Egr3 in the germline have sympathetic target tissue innervation abnormalities and physiologic sympathetic dysfunction similar to humans with dysautonomia. However, since Egr3 is widely expressed and has pleiotropic function, it has not been clear whether it has a role within sympathetic neurons and if so, what target genes it regulates to facilitate target tissue innervation. Here, we show that Egr3 expression within sympathetic neurons is required for their normal innervation since isolated sympathetic neurons lacking Egr3 have neurite outgrowth abnormalities when treated with NGF and mice with sympathetic neuron-restricted Egr3 ablation have target tissue innervation abnormalities similar to mice lacking Egr3 in all tissues. Microarray analysis performed on sympathetic neurons identified many target genes deregulated in the absence of Egr3, with some of the most significantly deregulated genes having roles in axonogenesis, dendritogenesis, and axon guidance. Using a novel genetic technique to visualize axons and dendrites in a subpopulation of randomly labeled sympathetic neurons, we found that Egr3 has an essential role in regulating sympathetic neuron dendrite morphology and terminal axon branching, but not in regulating sympathetic axon guidance to their targets. Together, these results indicate that Egr3 has a sympathetic neuron autonomous role in sympathetic nervous system development that involves modulating downstream target genes affecting the outgrowth and branching of sympathetic neuron dendrites and axons.
Project description:Jacob, the protein encoded by the Nsmf gene, is involved in synapto-nuclear signaling and docks an N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-derived signalosome to nuclear target sites like the transcription factor cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB). Several reports indicate that mutations in NSMF are related to Kallmann syndrome (KS), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) associated with anosmia or hyposmia. It has also been reported that a protein knockdown results in migration deficits of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) positive neurons from the olfactory bulb to the hypothalamus during early neuronal development. Here we show that mice that are constitutively deficient for the Nsmf gene do not present phenotypic characteristics related to KS. Instead, these mice exhibit hippocampal dysplasia with a reduced number of synapses and simplification of dendrites, reduced hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) at CA1 synapses and deficits in hippocampus-dependent learning. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activation of CREB-activated gene expression plays a documented role in hippocampal CA1 synapse and dendrite formation. We found that BDNF induces the nuclear translocation of Jacob in an NMDAR-dependent manner in early development, which results in increased phosphorylation of CREB and enhanced CREB-dependent Bdnf gene transcription. Nsmf knockout (ko) mice show reduced hippocampal Bdnf mRNA and protein levels as well as reduced pCREB levels during dendritogenesis. Moreover, BDNF application can rescue the morphological deficits in hippocampal pyramidal neurons devoid of Jacob. Taken together, the data suggest that the absence of Jacob in early development interrupts a positive feedback loop between BDNF signaling, subsequent nuclear import of Jacob, activation of CREB and enhanced Bdnf gene transcription, ultimately leading to hippocampal dysplasia.