• Decreased expression of Sprouty2 in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a correlation with BDNF expression.

      Pillai, Anilkumar; Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior (2008-03-12)
      BACKGROUND: Current theories on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia suggest altered brain plasticity such as decreased neural proliferation and migration, delayed myelination, and abnormal synaptic modeling, in the brain of subjects with schizophrenia. Though functional alterations in BDNF, which plays important role in neuroplasticity, are implicated in many abnormalities found in schizophrenia, the regulatory mechanism(s) involved in the abnormal signaling of BDNF in schizophrenia is not clear. The present study investigated whether Sprouty2, a regulator of growth factor signaling, is abnormally expressed in schizophrenia, and is associated with the changes in BDNF mRNA in this disorder. The potential effect of antipsychotic drugs on Sprouty2 expression was tested in adult rats. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Sprouty2 and BDNF gene expression were analyzed in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from the Stanley Array Collection. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of RNA in 100 individuals (35 with schizophrenia, 31 with bipolar disorder, and 34 psychiatrically normal controls) showed significantly decreased expression of Sprouty2 and BDNF in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Moreover, a significant correlation between these two genes existed in control, schizophrenia and bipolar subjects. Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs, haloperidol and olanzapine, showed differential effects on both Sprouty2 and BDNF mRNA and protein levels in the frontal cortex of rats. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrating decreased expression of Sprouty2 associated with changes in BDNF, suggest the possibility that these decreases are secondary to treatment rather than to factors that are significant in the disease process of either schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder. Further exploration of Sprouty2-related signal transduction pathways may be helpful to design novel treatment strategies for these disorders.
    • Disease-Associated Mutations Prevent GPR56-Collagen III Interaction

      Luo, Rong; Jin, Zhaohui; Deng, Yiyu; Strokes, Natalie; Piao, Xianhua; Mei, Lin; Department of Neurology (2012-01-4)
      GPR56 is a member of the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Mutations in GPR56 cause a devastating human brain malformation called bilateral frontoparietal polymicrogyria (BFPP). Using the N-terminal fragment of GPR56 (GPR56N) as a probe, we have recently demonstrated that collagen III is the ligand of GPR56 in the developing brain. In this report, we discover a new functional domain in GPR56N, the ligand binding domain. This domain contains four disease-associated mutations and two N-glycosylation sites. Our study reveals that although glycosylation is not required for ligand binding, each of the four disease-associated mutations completely abolish the ligand binding ability of GPR56. Our data indicates that these four single missense mutations cause BFPP mostly by abolishing the ability of GPR56 to bind to its ligand, collagen III, in addition to affecting GPR56 protein surface expression as previously shown.
    • Switched alternative splicing of oncogene CoAA during embryonal carcinoma stem cell differentiation.

      Yang, Zheqiong; Sui, Yang; Xiong, Shiqin; Liour, Sean S; Phillips, Andrew C; Ko, Lan; Department of Pathology (2007-04-23)
      Alternative splicing produces functionally distinct proteins participating in cellular processes including differentiation and development. CoAA is a coactivator that regulates transcription-coupled splicing and its own pre-mRNA transcript is alternatively spliced. We show here that the CoAA gene is embryonically expressed and alternatively spliced in multiple tissues to three splice variants, CoAA, CoAM and CoAR. During retinoic-acid-induced P19 stem cell differentiation, the expression of CoAA undergoes a rapid switch to its dominant negative splice variant CoAM in the cavity of the embryoid body. CoAM functionally inhibits CoAA, and their switched expression up-regulates differentiation marker Sox6. Using a CoAA minigene cassette, we find that the switched alternative splicing of CoAA and CoAM is regulated by the cis-regulating sequence upstream of the CoAA basal promoter. Consistent to this, we show that p54(nrb) and PSF induce CoAM splice variant through the cis-regulating sequence. We have previously shown that the CoAA gene is amplified in human cancers with a recurrent loss of this cis-regulating sequence. These results together suggest that the upstream regulatory sequence contributes to alternative splicing of the CoAA gene during stem cell differentiation, and its selective loss in human cancers potentially deregulates CoAA alternative splicing and alters stem cell differentiation.
    • TSP-1 secreted by bone marrow stromal cells contributes to retinal ganglion cell neurite outgrowth and survival.

      Yu, Keming; Ge, Jian; Summers, James Bradley; Li, Fan; Liu, Xuan; Ma, Ping; Kaminski, Joseph; Zhuang, Jing; Department of Radiology (2008-06-25)
      BACKGROUND: Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) are pluripotent and thereby a potential candidate for cell replacement therapy for central nervous system degenerative disorders and traumatic injury. However, the mechanism of their differentiation and effect on neural tissues has not been fully elucidated. This study evaluates the effect of BMSCs on neural cell growth and survival in a retinal ganglion cell (RGCs) model by assessing the effect of changes in the expression of a BMSC-secreted protein, thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), as a putative mechanistic agent acting on RGCs. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The effect of co-culturing BMSCs and RGCs in vitro was evaluated by measuring the following parameters: neurite outgrowth, RGC survival, BMSC neural-like differentiation, and the effect of TSP-1 on both cell lines under basal secretion conditions and when TSP-1 expression was inhibited. Our data show that BMSCs improved RGC survival and neurite outgrowth. Synaptophysin, MAP-2, and TGF-beta expression are up-regulated in RGCs co-cultured with BMSCs. Interestingly, the BMSCs progressively displayed neural-like morphology over the seven-day study period. Restriction display polymerase chain reaction (RD-PCR) was performed to screen for differentially expressed genes in BMSCs cultured alone or co-cultured with RGCs. TSP-1, a multifactorial extracellular matrix protein, is critically important in the formation of neural connections during development, so its function in our co-culture model was investigated by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection. When TSP-1 expression was decreased with siRNA silencing, BMSCs had no impact on RGC survival, but reduced neurite outgrowth and decreased expression of synaptophysin, MAP-2 and TGF-beta in RGCs. Furthermore, the number of BMSCs with neural-like characteristics was significantly decreased by more than two-fold using siRNA silencing. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the TSP-1 signaling pathway might have an important role in neural-like differentiation in BMSCs and neurite outgrowth in RGCs. This study provides new insights into the potential reparative mechanisms of neural cell repair.