The Reelin-Dab1 pathway plays important roles in the development of central nervous system. In the autosomal recessive mutant mouse yotari, there is a replacement of a part of Dab1 gene with a long interspersed nuclear element fragment, and it was previously suggested that no protein derived from this gene was present. We here show that an aberrant fragment of Dab1 protein (p64/60) is present in the brain of yotari mouse. The amount of p64/60 is relatively abundant in the embryonic stages and decreased in the postnatal ones. Unlike wild-type Dab1 protein, p64/60 is not phosphorylated by Fyn kinase and localizes considerably to the nucleus. These data suggested that some phenotypes of yotari may be attributable to the presence of p64/60. It also raises a caveat that a tissue from yotari is not a perfect control for immunostaining of Dab1 protein.
Reelin is a secreted glycoprotein that plays essential roles in the brain. Reelin is specifically cleaved at two distinct sites, called N-t and C-t, with the former being the major one. N-t cleavage can occur both in the extracellular space and in the endosomes, although the physiological importance of endosomal N-t cleavage has not been investigated. In this study, we first determined the exact N-t cleavage site catalyzed by a protease secreted by cerebral cortical neurons. Cleavage occurred between Pro-1244 and Ala-1245 within Reelin repeat 3. A Reelin mutant in which Pro-1244 was replaced with aspartate (Reelin-PD) was resistant to a protease secreted by cultured cerebral cortical neurons, and its biological activity stayed active longer than that of wild-type Reelin. Interestingly, Reelin-PD remained in the intracellular compartments longer than wild-type Reelin and persistently activated downstream signaling. Therefore, N-t cleavage of Reelin is required for halting the signaling machinery in the extracellular space as well as within endosomes of target neurons. We established a monoclonal antibody specific to uncleaved Reelin protein and found that it is localized in the vicinity of Reelin-producing cells, whereas the N-terminal fragment diffuses, or is transported, to distant regions. These data demonstrate that N-t cleavage of Reelin plays critical roles in regulating the duration and range of Reelin functions both in the extracellular milieu and in the intracellular compartments.
The structural maintenance of neural circuits is critical for higher brain functions in adulthood. Although several molecules have been identified as regulators for spine maintenance in hippocampal and cortical neurons, it is poorly understood how Purkinje cell (PC) spines are maintained in the mature cerebellum. Here we show that the calcium channel type 1 inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R1) in PCs plays a crucial role in controlling the maintenance of parallel fiber (PF)-PC synaptic circuits in the mature cerebellum in vivo. Significantly, adult mice lacking IP3R1 specifically in PCs (L7-Cre;Itpr1(flox/flox)) showed dramatic increase in spine density and spine length of PCs, despite having normal spines during development. In addition, the abnormally rearranged PF-PC synaptic circuits in mature cerebellum caused unexpectedly severe ataxia in adult L7-Cre;Itpr1(flox/flox) mice. Our findings reveal a specific role for IP3R1 in PCs not only as an intracellular mediator of cerebellar synaptic plasticity induction, but also as a critical regulator of PF-PC synaptic circuit maintenance in the mature cerebellum in vivo; this mechanism may underlie motor coordination and learning in adults.
Malformations of cortical development can arise when projection neurons generated in the germinal zones fail to migrate properly into the cortical plate. This process is critically dependent on the Reelin glycoprotein, which when absent leads to an inversion of cortical layers and blurring of borders. Reelin has other functions including supporting neuron migration and maintaining their trajectories; however, the precise role on glial fiber-dependent or -independent migration of neurons remains controversial. In this study, we wish to test the hypothesis that migrating cortical neurons at different levels of the cortical wall have differential responses to Reelin. We exposed neurons migrating across the cortical wall to exogenous Reelin and monitored their migratory behavior using time-lapse imaging. Our results show that, in the germinal zones, exogenous Reelin retarded neuron migration and altered their trajectories. This behavior is in contrast to the response of neurons located in the intermediate zone (IZ), possibly because Reelin receptors are not expressed in this zone. In the reeler cortex, Reelin receptors are expressed in the IZ and exposure to exogenous Reelin was able to rescue the migratory defect. These studies demonstrate that migrating neurons have nonequivalent responses to Reelin depending on their location within the cortical wall.
Reelin-Dab1 signaling is indispensable for proper positioning of neurons in mammalian brain. Reelin is a glycoprotein secreted from Cajal-Reztuis cells in marginal zone of cerebral cortex, and its receptors are Apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) or very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) expressed on migrating neurons. When Reelin binds to ApoER2 or VLDLR, an adaptor protein Dab1 bound to the receptors undergoes Tyr phosphorylation that is essential for Reelin signaling. We reported previously that Cdk5-p35 phosphorylates Dab1 at Ser400 and Ser491 and the phosphorylation regulates its binding to CIN85, which is an SH3-containing multiadaptor protein involved in endocytic downregulation of receptor-tyrosine kinases. However, the interaction of CIN85 with Dab1 has not been addressed in neurons. We examined here a possibility that CIN85 has a role in Reelin signaling. We found nonpho-sphorylated Dab1-mediated colocalization of CIN85 with ApoER2. The colocalization of CIN85 with ApoER2 was increased in neurons stimulated with Reelin repeats 3-6, an active Reelin fragment. The stimulation recruited CIN85 to domains in plasma membrane where it colocalized with ApoER2 and Dab1 and then to EEA1-labeled early endosomes in the cytoplasm. In addition, Tyr phosphorylation of Dab1 strengthened the binding to CIN85. These results suggest that CIN85 participates in Reelin signaling through the binding to Dab1.
The type 1 inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate receptor (IP3R1) is a Ca(2+) channel on the endoplasmic reticulum and is a predominant isoform in the brain among the three types of IP3Rs. Mice lacking IP3R1 show seizure-like behavior; however the cellular and neural circuit mechanism by which IP3R1 deletion causes the abnormal movements is unknown. Here, we found that the conditional knockout mice lacking IP3R1 specifically in the cerebellum and brainstem experience dystonia and show that cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) firing patterns were coupled to specific dystonic movements. Recordings in freely behaving mice revealed epochs of low and high frequency PC complex spikes linked to body extension and rigidity, respectively. Remarkably, dystonic symptoms were independent of the basal ganglia, and could be rescued by inactivation of the cerebellum, inferior olive or in the absence of PCs. These findings implicate IP3R1-dependent PC firing patterns in cerebellum in motor coordination and the expression of dystonia through the olivo-cerebellar pathway.
Sphingomyelin (SM) plays important roles in regulating structure and function of plasma membrane, but how intracellular localization of SM is regulated in neuronal cells is not understood. Here we show that two isoforms of SM synthase (SMS) are differentially expressed in neuronal subtypes and that only SMS2 proteins localize in neurites of hippocampal neurons. Moreover, SMS proteins induce Lysenin-binding SM clusters exclusively in their vicinity although neurons hardly contain such cluster under control condition. These findings indicate three important notions about SM metabolism in neurons. First, the activity of SMS is the rate-limiting step of SM cluster formation. Second, the SM content or clustering can be modulated by SMS activity. Third, SMS1 and SMS2 play distinct roles in regulating local SM clustering. Particularly, SMS2, rather than SMS1, is likely to be the major enzyme that is important for SM synthesis in the long neurites and its tip, the growth cone.
Reelin is a 3461-residue secreted glycoprotein that plays a critical role in brain development through its action on target neurons. Although it is known that functional reelin protein exists as multimer formed by interchain disulfide bond(s) as well as through non-covalent interactions, the chemical nature of the multimer assembly has been elusive. In the present study, we identified, among 122 cysteines present in full-length reelin, the single critical cysteine residue (Cys(2101)) responsible for the covalent multimerization. C2101A mutant reelin failed to assemble into disulfide-bonded multimers, whereas it still exhibited non-covalently associated high molecular weight oligomeric states in solution. Detailed analysis of tryptic fragments produced from the purified reelin proteins revealed that the minimum unit of the multimer is a homodimeric reelin linked via Cys(2101) present in the central region and that this cysteine does not connect to the N-terminal region of reelin, which had been postulated as the primary oligomerization domain. A surface plasmon resonance binding assay confirmed that C2101A mutant reelin retained binding capability toward two neuronal receptors apolipoprotein E receptor 2 and very low density lipoprotein receptor. However, it failed to show signaling activity in the assay using the cultured neurons. These results indicate that an intact higher order architecture of reelin multimer maintained by both Cys(2101)-mediated homodimerization and other non-covalent association present elsewhere in the reelin primary structure are essential for exerting its full biological activity.
Deranged Ca(2+) signaling and an accumulation of aberrant proteins cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is a hallmark of cell death implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are elusive. Here, we report that dysfunction of an ER-resident Ca(2+) channel, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP(3)R), promotes cell death during ER stress. Heterozygous knockout of brain-dominant type1 IP(3)R (IP(3)R1) resulted in neuronal vulnerability to ER stress in vivo, and IP(3)R1 knockdown enhanced ER stress-induced apoptosis via mitochondria in cultured cells. The IP(3)R1 tetrameric assembly was positively regulated by the ER chaperone GRP78 in an energy-dependent manner. ER stress induced IP(3)R1 dysfunction through an impaired IP(3)R1-GRP78 interaction, which has also been observed in the brain of Huntingtons disease model mice. These results suggest that IP(3)R1 senses ER stress through GRP78 to alter the Ca(2+) signal to promote neuronal cell death implicated in neurodegenerative diseases.
Reelin is a very large secreted glycoprotein that is essential for brain formation and function, but the mechanism by which it affects the dynamics and morphology of neuronal cells remains unsolved. One previous study claimed that Reelin has a proteolytic activity against extracellular matrix proteins, which might explain many of the actions of Reelin. Therefore, in this study wild-type Reelin protein and its mutant in which a supposedly critical serine residue was replaced were expressed and tested for their self-degrading and laminin-degrading activities. We found that both of these proteins generated totally the same cleaved fragments and that neither of them is capable of degrading laminin. It is thus likely that Reelin is not a serine protease and is unable to degrade extracellular matrix.
Reelin signaling is essential for correct development of the mammalian brain. Reelin binds to apolipoprotein E receptor 2 and very low-density lipoprotein receptor and induces phosphorylation of Dab1. However, when and where these reactions occur is essentially unknown, and the primary function(s) of Reelin remain unclear. Here, we used alkaline phosphatase fusion of the receptor-binding region of Reelin to quantitatively investigate the localization of functional Reelin receptors (i.e., those on the plasma membrane as mature forms) in the developing brain. In the wild-type cerebral cortex, they are mainly present in the intermediate and subventricular zones, as well as in radial fibers, but much less in the cell bodies of the cortical plate. Functional Reelin receptors are much more abundant in the Reelin-deficient cortical plate, indicating that Reelin induces their downregulation and that it begins before the neurons migrate out of the intermediate zone. In the wild-type cerebellum, functional Reelin receptors are mainly present in the cerebellar ventricular zone but scarcely expressed by Purkinje cells that have migrated out of it. It is thus strongly suggested that Reelin exerts critical actions on migrating projection neurons at their early/premigratory stages en route to their final destinations, in the developing cerebral cortex and cerebellum.
Reelin is a secreted glycoprotein that plays pivotal roles in the development and function of the brain, but how it activates downstream intracellular signaling is not fully understood. We have recently reported that the highly conserved C-terminal region (CTR) of Reelin is required for its full signaling activity, although the underlying mechanism remains unknown. During biochemical study of Reelin, we serendipitously found that one commercially available anti-Reelin antibody G20 can bind to CTR-lacking mutant Reelin proteins, but not wild-type Reelin, on Western blotting. The G20 epitope resides in the last 19 residues of Reelin-repeat 8 (RR8), and neither posttranslational modification nor proteolysis can explain this effect. Furthermore, when an unrelated sequence, such as FLAG-tag, is inserted between RR8 and CTR, the reactivity of the corresponding antibody greatly decreases. These results suggest that RR8 and CTR form a tight structure that makes the surrounding sequence inaccessible to an antibody. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, we show the existence of CTR-lacking Reelin isoform in vivo for the first time and estimate its contribution to the total amount of secreted Reelin. Importantly, the extent to which Reelin mutants react with G20 is inversely correlated with their signaling activity, indicating that the CTR-induced structural change of RR8 is a prerequisite for downstream signaling activation, presumably via binding to a certain neuronal membrane molecule(s).
Reelin is a large secreted glycoprotein essential for brain formation, but its trafficking and function at the molecular level remain incompletely understood. After binding to its receptor, Reelin is internalized by endocytosis. Here we show that internalized Reelin is subject to specific proteolysis within the cell and its N-terminal fragment is re-secreted. This re-secretion is inhibited by bafilomycin A(1) or by expression of a mutant of Rab11, a regulator of the recycling pathway. As the N-terminal fragment does not bind to Reelin receptor but has homology to F-spondin, its recycling may be involved in the regulation of extracellular matrix.
The mammalian cerebral cortex has a remarkable laminated structure, which is derived from the pallium, the dorsal part of the embryonic telencephalon. Recent studies indicate that the pallium is developed as a homologous structure in all vertebrate species. However, the cellular and molecular mechanism for making architectural diversity of the pallium is not fully understood. Here we introduce recent progress in comparative analysis of pallial development, and our data on the role of Reelin protein in the developing avian pallium. These experimental approaches to pallial development in non-mammalian species will provide a new insight into evolution of the cerebral cortex.
Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked ephrin-As play important roles in various biological events, such as neuronal development and immune responses. Because the surface amount of ephrin-As is critical in these events, the trafficking of ephrin-As must be regulated by intracellular machinery. In particular, Src family protein-tyrosine kinases regulate the intracellular trafficking of several membrane molecules and act downstream of ephrin-As; whether they affect the trafficking of ephrin-As, however, has remained unexplored. Here, we report that the activity of Src family protein-tyrosine kinases, particularly Fyn, negatively regulates the cell-surface amount of ephrin-As. The expression of constitutively active Fyn decreases the surface amount of ephrin-As. Conversely, the expression of dominant-negative Fyn or the application of a Src-family inhibitor increases the surface amount of ephrin-A2. The total cellular amount of ephrin-A is inversely correlated with its amount on the surface, suggesting that ephrin-As are more stable in the intracellular compartment. The expression of constitutively active Fyn increases the amount of sphingomyelin clusters on the plasma membrane, whereas inhibiting Fyn decreases it. Moreover, the inhibition of sphingomyelin synthesis greatly increases the surface amount of ephrin-As. Altogether, these results suggest that Fyn regulates the surface amount of ephrin-As by modulating the metabolism of sphingomyelin, which presumably inhibits the trafficking of ephrin-As from endosomes to the plasma membrane. The signaling cascade described here may function as part of the negative feedback loop of ephrin-A function.
Reelin is a secreted glycoprotein essential for normal brain development and function. In the extracellular milieu, Reelin is subject to specific cleavage at two (N-t and C-t) sites. The N-t cleavage of Reelin is implicated in psychiatric and Alzheimers diseases, but the molecular mechanism and physiological significance of this cleavage are not completely understood. Particularly, whether the N-t cleavage affects the signaling activity of Reelin remains controversial. Here, we show that the protease in charge of the N-t cleavage of Reelin requires the activity of certain proprotein convertase family for maturation and has strong affinity for heparin. By taking advantage of these observations, we for the first time succeeded in obtaining "Uncleaved" and "Completely Cleaved" Reelin proteins. The N-t cleavage splits Reelin into two distinct fragments and virtually abolishes its signaling activity. These findings provide an important biochemical basis for the function of Reelin proteolysis in brain development and function.
Reelin plays critical roles in brain formation by binding to apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and very low-density lipoprotein receptor. Several isoforms and fragments of Reelin are generated by alternative splicing and proteolytic cleavage. In addition, two splice variants of ApoER2 have been recognized, namely, LA1237 and LA12378, that differ in the number of ligand-binding type A (LA) repeats. Here, we quantitatively investigated the affinity between various isoforms/fragments of Reelin and the ApoER2 splice variants. ApoER2-LA1237 bound rather strongly to the Reelin central fragment than to the fragment bearing Reelin repeat 8 (RR8). ApoER2-LA12378 bound comparably to all Reelin fragments without the C-terminal region. These findings suggest that LA8 of ApoER2 and RR8 interfere with the interaction between the Reelin central fragment and ApoER2. Using a monoclonal antibody that only recognizes ApoER2-LA12378, we found that this variant of ApoER2 was expressed in the cerebral cortical wall and in the internal granule cells of the cerebellum during development. Primary-cultured cortical neurons did not express ApoER2-LA12378, and the extent of signal activation by Reelin fragments was well correlated with their affinity for ApoER2-LA1237. Therefore, proteolytic cleavage of Reelin and alternative splicing of ApoER2 may be involved in the fine regulation of Reelin signaling.
Reelin and its receptor machinery are well known to be required for the migration and positioning of neocortical projection neurons. More recently, reelin has been shown both necessary and sufficient to determine the rate of neocortical neurogenesis. The molecular links underlying its seemingly distinct proliferative and post-proliferative functions remain unknown. Here we reveal an enriched expression of functional reelin receptors, largely of Apolipoprotein E Receptor 2 (ApoER2), in radial glia basal processes and intermediate progenitor cells during mid/late cortical development. In vivo, ApoER2 overexpression inhibits neuronal migration. In contrast, precluding excessive levels of ApoER2 in reelin-deficient cortices, by either ApoER2 knock-down or the transgenic expression of reelin in neural progenitor cells, improves neuronal migration and positioning. Our study provides groundwork for the highly orchestrated clearance of neocortical neurons from their birth site, suggesting that a reelin-dependent ApoER2 downregulation mechanism uncouples newborn neurons from progenitor cells, thereby enabling neurons to migrate.
Dietary arachidonic acid (AA) has roles in growth, neuronal development, and cognitive function in infants. AA is remarkably enriched in phosphatidylinositol (PI), an important constituent of biological membranes in mammals; however, the physiological significance of AA-containing PI remains unknown. In an RNA interference-based genetic screen using Caenorhabditis elegans, we recently cloned mboa-7 as an acyltransferase that selectively incorporates AA into PI. Here we show that lysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase 1 (LPIAT1, also known as MBOAT7), the closest mammalian homologue, plays a crucial role in brain development in mice. Lpiat1(-/-) mice show almost no LPIAT activity with arachidonoyl-CoA as an acyl donor and show reduced AA contents in PI and PI phosphates. Lpiat1(-/-) mice die within a month and show atrophy of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Immunohistochemical analysis reveals disordered cortical lamination and delayed neuronal migration in the cortex of E18.5 Lpiat1(-/-) mice. LPIAT1 deficiency also causes disordered neuronal processes in the cortex and reduced neurite outgrowth in vitro. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AA-containing PI/PI phosphates play an important role in normal cortical lamination during brain development in mice.
Birthdate-dependent neuronal layering is fundamental to neocortical functions. The extracellular protein Reelin is essential for the establishment of the eventual neuronal alignments. Although this Reelin-dependent neuronal layering is mainly established by the final neuronal migration step called "terminal translocation" beneath the marginal zone (MZ), the molecular mechanism underlying the control by Reelin of terminal translocation and layer formation is largely unknown. Here, we show that after Reelin binds to its receptors, it activates integrin ?5?1 through the intracellular Dab1-Crk/CrkL-C3G-Rap1 pathway. This intracellular pathway is required for terminal translocation and the activation of Reelin signaling promotes neuronal adhesion to fibronectin through integrin ?5?1. Since fibronectin is localized in the MZ, the activated integrin ?5?1 then controls terminal translocation, which mediates proper neuronal alignments in the mature cortex. These data indicate that Reelin-dependent activation of neuronal adhesion to the extracellular matrix is crucial for the eventual birth-date-dependent layering of the neocortex.
Reelin is a glycoprotein essential for brain development and functions. Reelin is subject to specific proteolysis at two distinct (N-t and C-t) sites, and these cleavages significantly diminish Reelin activity. The decrease of Reelin activity is detrimental for brain function, but the protease that catalyzes specific cleavage of Reelin remains elusive. Here we found that a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 4 (ADAMTS-4) cleaves Reelin in an isoform-specific manner. Among ADAMTS-4 isoforms, p50 cleaves the N-t site only, while p75 cleaves both sites. This is the first report identifying a protease that can specifically cleave Reelin.
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