Transcriptional profiling reveals roles of intercellular Fgf9 signaling in astrocyte maturation and synaptic refinement during brainstem developmentNeural tissue maturation is a coordinated process under tight transcriptional control. We previously analyzed the kinetics of gene expression in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) in the brainstem during the critical postnatal phase of its development. While this work revealed timed execution of transcriptional programs, it was blind to the specific cells where gene expression changes occurred. Here, we utilized single-cell RNA-Seq to determine transcriptional profiles of each major MNTB cell type.
Caspr2 interacts with type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor in the developing cerebellum and regulates Purkinje cell morphologyContactin-associated protein-like 2 (Caspr2) is a neurexin-like protein that has been associated with numerous neurological conditions. However, the specific functional roles that Caspr2 plays in the central nervous system and their underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we report on a functional role for Caspr2 in the developing cerebellum. Using a combination of confocal microscopy, biochemical analyses, and behavioral testing, we show that loss of Caspr2 in the Cntnap2−/− knockout mouse results in impaired Purkinje cell dendritic development, altered intracellular signaling, and motor coordination deficits.
δ-Catenin engages the autophagy pathway to sculpt the developing dendritic arborThe development of the dendritic arbor in pyramidal neurons is critical for neural circuit function. Here, we uncovered a pathway in which δ-catenin, a component of the cadherin–catenin cell adhesion complex, promotes coordination of growth among individual dendrites and engages the autophagy mechanism to sculpt the developing dendritic arbor. Using a rat primary neuron model, time-lapse imaging, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy, we found that apical and basolateral dendrites are coordinately sculpted during development.
Calsyntenin-3 interacts with both α- and β-neurexins in the regulation of excitatory synaptic innervation in specific Schaffer collateral pathwaysCalsyntenin-3 (Clstn3) is a postsynaptic adhesion molecule that induces presynaptic differentiation via presynaptic neurexins (Nrxns), but whether Nrxns directly bind to Clstn3 has been a matter of debate. Here, using LC–MS/MS–based protein analysis, confocal microscopy, RNAscope assays, and electrophysiological recordings, we show that β-Nrxns directly interact via their LNS domain with Clstn3 and Clstn3 cadherin domains. Expression of splice site 4 (SS4) insert–positive β-Nrxn variants, but not insert–negative variants, reversed the impaired Clstn3 synaptogenic activity observed in Nrxn-deficient neurons.
GAIN domain–mediated cleavage is required for activation of G protein–coupled receptor 56 (GPR56) by its natural ligands and a small-molecule agonistAdhesion G protein–coupled receptors (aGPCRs) represent a distinct family of GPCRs that regulate several developmental and physiological processes. Most aGPCRs undergo GPCR autoproteolysis-inducing domain–mediated protein cleavage, which produces a cryptic tethered agonist (termed Stachel (stinger)), and cleavage-dependent and -independent aGPCR signaling mechanisms have been described. aGPCR G1 (ADGRG1 or G protein–coupled receptor 56 (GPR56)) has pleiotropic functions in the development of multiple organ systems, which has broad implications for human diseases.
24(S),25-Epoxycholesterol and cholesterol 24S-hydroxylase (CYP46A1) overexpression promote midbrain dopaminergic neurogenesis in vivoThe liver X receptors Lxrα/NR1H3 and Lxrβ/NR1H2 are ligand-dependent nuclear receptors critical for midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neuron development. We found previously that 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol (24,25-EC), the most potent and abundant Lxr ligand in the developing mouse midbrain, promotes mDA neurogenesis in vitro. In this study, we demonstrate that 24,25-EC promotes mDA neurogenesis in an Lxr-dependent manner in the developing mouse midbrain in vivo and also prevents toxicity induced by the Lxr inhibitor geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.
Isoform-independent and -dependent phosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau in mouse brain during postnatal developmentTau is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein that regulates MT dynamics in the axons of neurons. Tau binds to MTs via its C-terminal MT-binding repeats. There are two types of tau, those with three (3R) or four (4R) MT-binding repeats; 4R tau has a stronger MT-stabilizing activity than 3R tau. The MT-stabilizing activity of tau is regulated by phosphorylation. Interestingly, both the isoform and phosphorylation change at the time of neuronal circuit formation during postnatal development; highly phosphorylated 3R tau is replaced with 4R tau, which is less phosphorylated.
Neuroligin 4 regulates synaptic growth via the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at the Drosophila neuromuscular junctionThe neuroligin (Nlg) family of neural cell adhesion molecules is thought to be required for synapse formation and development and has been linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders in humans. In Drosophila melanogaster, mutations in the neuroligin 1–3 genes have been reported to induce synapse developmental defects at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), but the role of neuroligin 4 (dnlg4) in synapse development has not been determined. Here, we report that the Drosophila neuroligin 4 (DNlg4) is different from DNlg1–3 in that it presynaptically regulates NMJ synapse development.
Histone Deacetylase 1 Is Essential for Rod Photoreceptor Differentiation by Regulating Acetylation at Histone H3 Lysine 9 and Histone H4 Lysine 12 in the Mouse RetinaHistone acetylation has a regulatory role in gene expression and is necessary for proper tissue development. To investigate the specific roles of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in rod differentiation in neonatal mouse retinas, we used a pharmacological approach that showed that inhibition of class I but not class IIa HDACs caused the same phenotypic changes seen with broad spectrum HDAC inhibitors, most notably a block in the differentiation of rod photoreceptors. Inhibition of HDAC1 resulted in increase of acetylation of lysine 9 of histone 3 (H3K9) and lysine 12 of histone 4 (H4K12) but not lysine 27 of histone 3 (H3K27) and led to maintained expression of progenitor-specific genes such as Vsx2 and Hes1 with concomitant block of expression of rod-specific genes.
Microprocessor Complex Subunit DiGeorge Syndrome Critical Region Gene 8 (Dgcr8) Is Required for Schwann Cell Myelination and Myelin MaintenanceBackground: Dgcr8 regulates primary miRNA processing in the nucleus.Results: Conditionally ablating Dgcr8 in Schwann cells during development or in adulthood causes defects in myelin formation and gene expression characteristic of immature and denervated (injured) Schwann cells.Conclusion: Dgcr8 is needed for myelin formation and maintenance.Significance: miRNAs synchronize the translation of genes essential to myelin formation.