Zuletzt publiziert

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    Precisely measured protein lifetimes in the mouse brain reveal differences across tissues and subcellular fractions. 

    Fornasiero, Eugenio F.; Mandad, Sunit; Wildhagen, Hanna; Alevra, Mihai; Rammner, Burkhard; Keihani, Sarva; Opazo, Felipe; Urban, Inga; Ischebeck, Till; Sakib, M. Sadman; et al.
    Fard, Maryam K.Kirli, KorayCenteno, Tonatiuh PenaVidal, Ramon O.Rahman, Raza-UrBenito, EvaFischer, AndréDennerlein, SvenRehling, PeterFeussner, IvoBonn, StefanSimons, MikaelUrlaub, HenningRizzoli, Silvio O.
    Nature Communications 2018; 9(1): Art. 4230
    The turnover of brain proteins is critical for organism survival, and its perturbations are linked to pathology. Nevertheless, protein lifetimes have been difficult to obtain in vivo. They are readily measured in vitro by feeding cells with isotopically labeled amino acids, followed by mass spectrometry analyses. In vivo proteins are generated from at least two sources: labeled amino acids from the diet, and non-labeled amino acids from the degradation of pre-existing proteins. This renders measurements difficult. Here we solved this problem rigorously with a workflow that combines mouse in vivo isotopic labeling, mass spectrometry, and mathematical modeling. We also established several independent approaches to test and validate the results. This enabled us to measure the accurate lifetimes of ~3500 brain proteins. The high precision of our data provided a large set of biologically significant observations, including pathway-, organelle-, organ-, or cell-specific effects, along with a comprehensive catalog of extremely long-lived proteins (ELLPs).
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    WDR1 is a novel EYA3 substrate and its dephosphorylation induces modifications of the cellular actin cytoskeleton 

    Mentel, Mihaela; Ionescu, Aura E; Puscalau-Girtu, Ioana; Helm, Martin S; Badea, Rodica A; Rizzoli, Silvio O; Szedlacsek, Stefan E
    Scientific Reports 2018; 8(1) p.2910-2910: Art.
    Eyes absent (EYA) proteins are unusual proteins combining in a single polypeptide chain transactivation, threonine phosphatase, and tyrosine phosphatase activities. They play pivotal roles in organogenesis and are involved in a variety of physiological and pathological processes including innate immunity, DNA damage repair or cancer metastasis. The molecular targets of EYA tyrosine phosphatase activity are still elusive. Therefore, we sought to identify novel EYA substrates and also to obtain further insight into the tyrosine-dephosphorylating role of EYA proteins in various cellular processes. We show here that Src kinase phosphorylates tyrosine residues in two human EYA family members, EYA1 and EYA3. Both can autodephosphorylate these residues and their nuclear and cytoskeletal localization seems to be controlled by Src phosphorylation. Next, using a microarray of phosphotyrosine-containing peptides, we identified a phosphopeptide derived from WD-repeat-containing protein 1 (WDR1) that is dephosphorylated by EYA3. We further demonstrated that several tyrosine residues on WDR1 are phosphorylated by Src kinase, and are efficiently dephosphorylated by EYA3, but not by EYA1. The lack of phosphorylation generates major changes to the cellular actin cytoskeleton. We, therefore, conclude that WDR1 is an EYA3-specific substrate, which implies that EYA3 is a key modulator of the cytoskeletal reorganization.
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    OTTO: a new strategy to extract mental disease-relevant combinations of GWAS hits from individuals. 

    Ehrenreich, H.; Mitjans, M.; Van der Auwera, S.; Centeno, T. P.; Begemann, M.; Grabe, H. J.; Bonn, S.; Nave, K.-A.
    Molecular Psychiatry 2018; 23(2) p.476-486
    Despite high heritability of schizophrenia, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have not yet revealed distinct combinations of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), relevant for mental disease-related, quantifiable behavioral phenotypes. Here we propose an individual-based model to use genome-wide significant markers for extracting first genetic signatures of such behavioral continua. 'OTTO' (old Germanic=heritage) marks an individual characterized by a prominent phenotype and a particular load of phenotype-associated risk SNPs derived from GWAS that likely contributed to the development of his personal mental illness. This load of risk SNPs is shared by a small squad of 'similars' scattered under the genetically and phenotypically extremely heterogeneous umbrella of a schizophrenia end point diagnosis and to a variable degree also by healthy subjects. In a discovery sample of >1000 deeply phenotyped schizophrenia patients and several independent replication samples, including the general population, a gradual increase in the severity of 'OTTO's phenotype' expression is observed with an increasing share of 'OTTO's risk SNPs', as exemplified here by autistic and affective phenotypes. These data suggest a model in which the genetic contribution to dimensional behavioral traits can be extracted from combinations of GWAS SNPs derived from individuals with prominent phenotypes. Even though still in the 'model phase' owing to a world-wide lack of sufficiently powered, deeply phenotyped replication samples, the OTTO approach constitutes a conceptually novel strategy to delineate biological subcategories of mental diseases starting from GWAS findings and individual subjects.
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    Synaptic Alterations in Mouse Models for Alzheimer Disease—A Special Focus on N-Truncated Abeta 4-42 

    Dietrich, Katharina; Bouter, Yvonne; Müller, Michael; Bayer, Thomas
    Molecules 2018; 23(4) p.1-14: Art. 718
    This commentary reviews the role of the Alzheimer amyloid peptide Aβ on basal synaptic transmission, synaptic short-term plasticity, as well as short- and long-term potentiation in transgenic mice, with a special focus on N-terminal truncated Aβ4-42. Aβ4-42 is highly abundant in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. It demonstrates increased neurotoxicity compared to full length Aβ, suggesting an important role in the pathogenesis of AD. Transgenic Tg4-42 mice, a model for sporadic AD, express human Aβ4-42 in Cornu Ammonis (CA1) neurons, and develop age-dependent hippocampal neuron loss and neurological deficits. In contrast to other transgenic AD mouse models, the Tg4-42 model exhibits synaptic hyperexcitability, altered synaptic short-term plasticity with no alterations in short- and long-term potentiation. The outcomes of this study are discussed in comparison with controversial results from other AD mouse models.
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    ATP-Dependent Chromatin Remodeling During Cortical Neurogenesis 

    Sokpor, Godwin; Castro-Hernandez, Ricardo; Rosenbusch, Joachim; Staiger, Jochen F.; Tuoc, Tran
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 2018; 12 p.1-25: Art. 226
    The generation of individual neurons (neurogenesis) during cortical development occurs in discrete steps that are subtly regulated and orchestrated to ensure normal histogenesis and function of the cortex. Notably, various gene expression programs are known to critically drive many facets of neurogenesis with a high level of specificity during brain development. Typically, precise regulation of gene expression patterns ensures that key events like proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitors, specification of neuronal subtypes, as well as migration and maturation of neurons in the developing cortex occur properly. ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes regulate gene expression through utilization of energy fromATP hydrolysis to reorganize chromatin structure. These chromatin remodeling complexes are characteristically multimeric, with some capable of adopting functionally distinct conformations via subunit reconstitution to perform specific roles in major aspects of cortical neurogenesis. In this review, we highlight the functions of such chromatin remodelers during cortical development. We also bring together various proposed mechanisms by which ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers function individually or in concert, to specifically modulate vital steps in cortical neurogenesis.
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    Sumoylation Protects Against β-Synuclein Toxicity in Yeast. 

    Popova, Blagovesta; Kleinknecht, Alexandra; Arendarski, Patricia; Mischke, Jasmin; Wang, Dan; Braus, Gerhard H.
    Frontiers in molecular neuroscience 2018; 11 p.1-17: Art. 94
    Aggregation of α-synuclein (αSyn) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae serves as reference cell to study the interplay between αSyn misfolding, cytotoxicity and post-translational modifications (PTMs). The synuclein family includes α, β and γ isoforms. β-synuclein (βSyn) and αSyn are found at presynaptic terminals and both proteins are presumably involved in disease pathogenesis. Similar to αSyn, expression of βSyn leads to growth deficiency and formation of intracellular aggregates in yeast. Co-expression of αSyn and βSyn exacerbates the cytotoxicity. This suggests an important role of βSyn homeostasis in PD pathology. We show here that the small ubiquitin-like modifier SUMO is an important determinant of protein stability and βSyn-induced toxicity in eukaryotic cells. Downregulation of sumoylation in a yeast strain, defective for the SUMO-encoding gene resulted in reduced yeast growth, whereas upregulation of sumoylation rescued growth of yeast cell expressing βSyn. This corroborates a protective role of the cellular sumoylation machinery against βSyn-induced toxicity. Upregulation of sumoylation significantly reduced βSyn aggregate formation. This is an indirect molecular process, which is not directly linked to βSyn sumoylation because amino acid substitutions in the lysine residues required for βSyn sumoylation decreased aggregation without changing yeast cellular toxicity. αSyn aggregates are more predominantly degraded by the autophagy/vacuole than by the 26S ubiquitin proteasome system. We demonstrate a vice versa situation for βSyn, which is mainly degraded in the 26S proteasome. Downregulation of sumoylation significantly compromised the clearance of βSyn by the 26S proteasome and increased protein stability. This effect is specific, because depletion of functional SUMO did neither affect βSyn aggregate formation nor its degradation by the autophagy/vacuolar pathway. Our data support that cellular βSyn toxicity and aggregation do not correlate in their cellular impact as for αSyn but rather represent two distinct independent molecular functions and molecular mechanisms. These insights into the relationship between βSyn-induced toxicity, aggregate formation and degradation demonstrate a significant distinction between the impact of αSyn compared to βSyn on eukaryotic cells.
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    Glyoxal as an alternative fixative to formaldehyde in immunostaining and super-resolution microscopy 

    Richter, Katharina N.; Revelo, Natalia H.; Seitz, Katharina J.; Helm, Martin S.; Sarkar, Deblina; Saleeb, Rebecca S.; D'Este, Elisa; Eberle, Jessica; Wagner, Eva; Vogl, Christian; et al.
    Lazaro, Diana F.Richter, FrankCoy-Vergara, JavierCoceano, GiovannaBoyden, Edward S.Duncan, Rory R.Hell, Stefan W.Lauterbach, Marcel A.Lehnart, Stephan E.Moser, TobiasOuteiro, Tiago F.Rehling, PeterSchwappach, BlancheTesta, IlariaZapiec, BolekRizzoli, Silvio O.
    The EMBO Journal 2018; 37(1) p.139-159
    Paraformaldehyde (PFA) is the most commonly used fixative for immunostaining of cells, but has been associated with various problems, ranging from loss of antigenicity to changes in morphology during fixation. We show here that the small dialdehyde glyoxal can successfully replace PFA Despite being less toxic than PFA, and, as most aldehydes, likely usable as a fixative, glyoxal has not yet been systematically tried in modern fluorescence microscopy. Here, we tested and optimized glyoxal fixation and surprisingly found it to be more efficient than PFA-based protocols. Glyoxal acted faster than PFA, cross-linked proteins more effectively, and improved the preservation of cellular morphology. We validated glyoxal fixation in multiple laboratories against different PFA-based protocols and confirmed that it enabled better immunostainings for a majority of the targets. Our data therefore support that glyoxal can be a valuable alternative to PFA for immunostaining.
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    Collapsin response mediator protein-2 plays a major protective role in acute axonal degeneration. 

    Zhang, Jian-Nan; Koch, Jan C
    Neural regeneration research 2017-05; 12(5) p.692-695
    Axonal degeneration is a key pathological feature in many neurological diseases. It often leads to persistent deficits due to the inability of axons to regenerate in the central nervous system. Therefore therapeutic approaches should optimally both attenuate axonal degeneration and foster axonal regeneration. Compelling evidence suggests that collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) might be a molecular target fulfilling these requirements. In this mini-review, we give a compact overview of the known functions of CRMP2 and its molecular interactors in neurite outgrowth and in neurodegenerative conditions. Moreover, we discuss in detail our recent findings on the role of CRMP2 in acute axonal degeneration in the optic nerve. We found that the calcium influx induced by the lesion activates the protease calpain which cleaves CRMP2, leading to impairment of axonal transport. Both calpain inhibition and CRMP2 overexpression effectively protected the proximal axons against acute axonal degeneration. Taken together, CRMP2 is further characterized as a central molecular player in acute axonal degeneration and thus evolves as a promising therapeutic target to both counteract axonal degeneration and foster axonal regeneration in neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic diseases.
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    Three-dimensional mouse brain cytoarchitecture revealed by laboratory-based x-ray phase-contrast tomography. 

    Töpperwien, Mareike; Krenkel, Martin; Vincenz, Daniel; Stöber, Franziska; Oelschlegel, Anja M.; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Salditt, Tim
    Scientific reports 2017-02-27; 7: Art. 42847
    Studies of brain cytoarchitecture in mammals are routinely performed by serial sectioning of the specimen and staining of the sections. The procedure is labor-intensive and the 3D architecture can only be determined after aligning individual 2D sections, leading to a reconstructed volume with non-isotropic resolution. Propagation-based x-ray phase-contrast tomography offers a unique potential for high-resolution 3D imaging of intact biological specimen due to the high penetration depth and potential resolution. We here show that even compact laboratory CT at an optimized liquid-metal jet microfocus source combined with suitable phase-retrieval algorithms and a novel tissue preparation can provide cellular and subcellular resolution in millimeter sized samples of mouse brain. We removed water and lipids from entire mouse brains and measured the remaining dry tissue matrix in air, lowering absorption but increasing phase contrast. We present single-cell resolution images of mouse brain cytoarchitecture and show that axons can be revealed in myelinated fiber bundles. In contrast to optical 3D techniques our approach does neither require staining of cells nor tissue clearing, procedures that are increasingly difficult to apply with increasing sample and brain sizes. The approach thus opens a novel route for high-resolution high-throughput studies of brain architecture in mammals.
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    RIM-Binding Protein 2 Promotes a Large Number of CaV1.3 Ca2+-Channels and Contributes to Fast Synaptic Vesicle Replenishment at Hair Cell Active Zones. 

    Krinner, Stefanie; Butola, Tanvi; Jung, SangYong; Wichmann, Carolin; Moser, Tobias
    Frontiers in cellular neuroscience 2017; 11: Art. 334
    Ribbon synapses of inner hair cells (IHCs) mediate high rates of synchronous exocytosis to indefatigably track the stimulating sound with sub-millisecond precision. The sophisticated molecular machinery of the inner hair cell active zone realizes this impressive performance by enabling a large number of synaptic voltage-gated CaV1.3 Ca2+-channels, their tight coupling to synaptic vesicles (SVs) and fast replenishment of fusion competent SVs. Here we studied the role of RIM-binding protein 2 (RIM-BP2)-a multidomain cytomatrix protein known to directly interact with Rab3 interacting molecules (RIMs), bassoon and CaV1.3-that is present at the inner hair cell active zones. We combined confocal and stimulated emission depletion (STED) immunofluorescence microscopy, electron tomography, patch-clamp and confocal Ca2+-imaging, as well as auditory systems physiology to explore the morphological and functional effects of genetic RIM-BP2 disruption in constitutive RIM-BP2 knockout mice. We found that RIM-BP2 (1) positively regulates the number of synaptic CaV1.3 channels and thereby facilitates synaptic vesicle release and (2) supports fast synaptic vesicle recruitment after readily releasable pool (RRP) depletion. However, Ca2+-influx-exocytosis coupling seemed unaltered for readily releasable SVs. Recordings of auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and of single auditory nerve fiber firing showed that RIM-BP2 disruption results in a mild deficit of synaptic sound encoding.
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    Posttranslational modifications of blood-derived alpha-synuclein as biochemical markers for Parkinson's disease. 

    Vicente Miranda, Hugo; Cássio, Rafaela; Correia-Guedes, Leonor; Gomes, Marcos António; Chegão, Ana; Miranda, Elisa; Soares, Tiago; Coelho, Miguel; Rosa, Mário Miguel; Ferreira, Joaquim J; et al.
    Outeiro, Tiago Fleming
    Scientific reports 2017-10-20; 7(1): Art. 13713
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder known for the typical motor features associated. Pathologically, it is characterized by the intracellular accumulation of alpha-synuclein (aSyn) in Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. Currently, there are no established biochemical markers for diagnosing or for following disease progression, a major limitation for the clinical practice. Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) in aSyn have been identified and implicated on its pathobiology. Since aSyn is abundant in blood erythrocytes, we aimed to evaluate whether PTMs of aSyn in the blood might hold value as a biomarker for PD. We examined 58 patients with PD and 30 healthy age-matched individuals. We found that the levels of Y125 phosphorylated, Y39 nitrated, and glycated aSyn were increased in PD, while those of SUMO were reduced. A combinatory analysis of the levels of these PTMs resulted in an increased sensitivity, with an area under curve (AUC) of 0.843 for PD versus healthy controls, and correlated with disease severity and duration. We conclude that the levels of these selected PTMs hold strong potential as biochemical markers for PD. Ultimately, our findings might facilitate the monitoring of disease progression in clinical trials, opening the possibility for developing more effective therapies against PD.
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    The Insect Ortholog of the Human Orphan Cytokine Receptor CRLF3 Is a Neuroprotective Erythropoietin Receptor. 

    Hahn, Nina; Knorr, Debbra Y.; Liebig, Johannes; Wüstefeld, Liane; Peters, Karsten; Büscher, Marita; Bucher, Gregor; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Heinrich, Ralf
    Frontiers in molecular neuroscience 2017; 10: Art. 223
    The cytokine erythropoietin (Epo) mediates various cell homeostatic responses to environmental challenges and pathological insults. While stimulation of vertebrate erythrocyte production is mediated by homodimeric "classical" Epo receptors, alternative receptors are involved in neuroprotection. However, their identity remains enigmatic due to complex cytokine ligand and receptor interactions and conflicting experimental results. Besides the classical Epo receptor, the family of type I cytokine receptors also includes the poorly characterized orphan cytokine receptor-like factor 3 (CRLF3) present in vertebrates including human and various insect species. By making use of the more simple genetic makeup of insect model systems, we studied whether CRLF3 is a neuroprotective Epo receptor in animals. We identified a single ortholog of CRLF3 in the beetle Tribolium castaneum, and established protocols for primary neuronal cell cultures from Tribolium brains and efficient in vitro RNA interference. Recombinant human Epo as well as the non-erythropoietic Epo splice variant EV-3 increased the survival of serum-deprived brain neurons, confirming the previously described neuroprotective effect of Epo in insects. Moreover, Epo completely prevented hypoxia-induced apoptotic cell death of primary neuronal cultures. Knockdown of CRLF3 expression by RNA interference with two different double stranded RNA (dsRNA) fragments abolished the neuroprotective effect of Epo, indicating that CRLF3 is a crucial component of the insect Epo-responsive receptor. This suggests that a common urbilaterian ancestor of the orphan human and insect cytokine receptor CRLF3 served as a neuroprotective receptor for an Epo-like cytokine. Our work also suggests that vertebrate CRLF3, like its insect ortholog, might represent a tissue protection-mediating receptor.
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    Imaging of neuronal tissues by x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence microscopy: evaluation of contrast and biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases. 

    Carboni, Eleonora; Nicolas, Jan-David; Töpperwien, Mareike; Stadelmann-Nessler, Christine; Lingor, Paul; Salditt, Tim
    Biomedical optics express 2017-10-01; 8(10) p.4331-4347
    We have used scanning X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) with micro-focused synchrotron radiation to study histological sections from human substantia nigra (SN). Both XRF and XRD mappings visualize tissue properties, which are inaccessible by conventional microscopy and histology. We propose to use these advanced tools to characterize neuronal tissue in neurodegeneration, in particular in Parkinson's disease (PD). To this end, we take advantage of the recent experimental progress in x-ray focusing, detection, and use automated data analysis scripts to enable quantitative analysis of large field of views. XRD signals are recorded and analyzed both in the regime of small-angle (SAXS) and wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS). The SAXS signal was analyzed in view of the local myelin structure, while WAXS was used to identify crystalline deposits. PD tissue scans exhibited increased amounts of crystallized cholesterol. The XRF analysis showed increased amounts of iron and decreased amounts of copper in the PD tissue compared to the control.
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    The Serotonin Receptor Subtype 5b Specifically Interacts with Serotonin Receptor Subtype 1A. 

    Niebert, Sabine; van Belle, Gijsbert J.; Vogelgesang, Steffen; Manzke, Till; Niebert, Marcus
    Frontiers in molecular neuroscience 2017; 10: Art. 299
    Previously, we described the dysregulation of serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtype 5b (5-ht5b) in a mouse model of Rett syndrome (RTT). 5-ht5b has not been extensively studied, so we set out to characterize it in more detail. Unlike common cell surface receptors, 5-ht5b displays no membrane expression, while receptor clusters are located in endosomes. This unusual subcellular localization is at least in part controlled by glycosylation of the N-terminus, with 5-ht5b possessing fewer glycosylation sites than related receptors. We analyzed whether the localization to endosomes has any functional relevance and found that 5-ht5b receptors can specifically interact with 5-HT1A receptors and retain them in endosomal compartments. This interaction reduces 5-HT1A surface expression and is mediated by interactions between the fourth and fifth trans-membrane domain (TMD). This possibly represents a mechanism by which 5-ht5b receptors regulate the activity of other 5-HT receptor.
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    Activating de novo mutations in NFE2L2 encoding NRF2 cause a multisystem disorder. 

    Huppke, Peter; Weissbach, Susann; Church, Joseph A.; Schnur, Rhonda; Krusen, Martina; Dreha-Kulaczewski, Steffi; Kühn-Velten, W. Nikolaus; Wolf, Annika; Huppke, Brenda; Millan, Francisca; et al.
    Begtrup, AmberAlmusafri, FatimaThiele, HolgerAltmüller, JanineNürnberg, PeterMüller, MichaelGärtner, Jutta
    Nature communications 2017-10-10; 8(1): Art. 818
    Transcription factor NRF2, encoded by NFE2L2, is the master regulator of defense against stress in mammalian cells. Somatic mutations of NFE2L2 leading to NRF2 accumulation promote cell survival and drug resistance in cancer cells. Here we show that the same mutations as inborn de novo mutations cause an early onset multisystem disorder with failure to thrive, immunodeficiency and neurological symptoms. NRF2 accumulation leads to widespread misregulation of gene expression and an imbalance in cytosolic redox balance. The unique combination of white matter lesions, hypohomocysteinaemia and increased G-6-P-dehydrogenase activity will facilitate early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of this novel disorder.The NRF2 transcription factor regulates the response to stress in mammalian cells. Here, the authors show that activating mutations in NRF2, commonly found in cancer cells, are found in four patients with a multisystem disorder characterized by immunodeficiency and neurological symptoms.
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    Sexual dimorphism of AMBRA1-related autistic features in human and mouse. 

    Mitjans, M.; Begemann, M.; Ju, A.; Dere, E.; Wüstefeld, L.; Hofer, S.; Hassouna, I.; Balkenhol, J.; Oliveira, B.; van der Auwera, S.; et al.
    Tammer, R.Hammerschmidt, K.Völzke, H.Homuth, G.Cecconi, F.Chowdhury, K.Grabe, H.Frahm, J.Boretius, S.Dandekar, T.Ehrenreich, H.
    Translational psychiatry 2017-10-10; 7(10): Art. e1247
    Ambra1 is linked to autophagy and neurodevelopment. Heterozygous Ambra1 deficiency induces autism-like behavior in a sexually dimorphic manner. Extraordinarily, autistic features are seen in female mice only, combined with stronger Ambra1 protein reduction in brain compared to males. However, significance of AMBRA1 for autistic phenotypes in humans and, apart from behavior, for other autism-typical features, namely early brain enlargement or increased seizure propensity, has remained unexplored. Here we show in two independent human samples that a single normal AMBRA1 genotype, the intronic SNP rs3802890-AA, is associated with autistic features in women, who also display lower AMBRA1 mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells relative to female GG carriers. Located within a non-coding RNA, likely relevant for mRNA and protein interaction, rs3802890 (A versus G allele) may affect its stability through modification of folding, as predicted by in silico analysis. Searching for further autism-relevant characteristics in Ambra1(+/-) mice, we observe reduced interest of female but not male mutants regarding pheromone signals of the respective other gender in the social intellicage set-up. Moreover, altered pentylentetrazol-induced seizure propensity, an in vivo readout of neuronal excitation-inhibition dysbalance, becomes obvious exclusively in female mutants. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals mild prepubertal brain enlargement in both genders, uncoupling enhanced brain dimensions from the primarily female expression of all other autistic phenotypes investigated here. These data support a role of AMBRA1/Ambra1 partial loss-of-function genotypes for female autistic traits. Moreover, they suggest Ambra1 heterozygous mice as a novel multifaceted and construct-valid genetic mouse model for female autism.
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    In vivo mouse and live cell STED microscopy of neuronal actin plasticity using far-red emitting fluorescent proteins. 

    Wegner, Waja; Ilgen, Peter; Gregor, Carola; van Dort, Joris; Mott, Alexander C.; Steffens, Heinz; Willig, Katrin I.
    Scientific reports 2017-09-18; 7(1) p.1-10: Art. 11781
    The study of proteins in dendritic processes within the living brain is mainly hampered by the diffraction limit of light. STED microscopy is so far the only far-field light microscopy technique to overcome the diffraction limit and resolve dendritic spine plasticity at superresolution (nanoscopy) in the living mouse. After having tested several far-red fluorescent proteins in cell culture we report here STED microscopy of the far-red fluorescent protein mNeptune2, which showed best results for our application to superresolve actin filaments at a resolution of ~80 nm, and to observe morphological changes of actin in the cortex of a living mouse. We illustrate in vivo far-red neuronal actin imaging in the living mouse brain with superresolution for time periods of up to one hour. Actin was visualized by fusing mNeptune2 to the actin labels Lifeact or Actin-Chromobody. We evaluated the concentration dependent influence of both actin labels on the appearance of dendritic spines; spine number was significantly reduced at high expression levels whereas spine morphology was normal at low expression.
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    EV-3, an endogenous human erythropoietin isoform with distinct functional relevance 

    Bonnas, Christel; Wüstefeld, Liane; Winkler, Daniela; Kronstein-Wiedemann, Romy; Dere, Ekrem; Specht, Katja; Boxberg, Melanie; Tonn, Torsten; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Stadler, Herbert; et al.
    Sillaber, Inge
    Scientific Reports 2017; 7(1): Art. 3684
    Generation of multiple mRNAs by alternative splicing is well known in the group of cytokines and has recently been reported for the human erythropoietin (EPO) gene. Here, we focus on the alternatively spliced EPO transcript characterized by deletion of exon 3 (hEPOΔ3). We show co-regulation of EPO and hEPOΔ3 in human diseased tissue. The expression of hEPOΔ3 in various human samples was low under normal conditions, and distinctly increased in pathological states. Concomitant up-regulation of hEPOΔ3 and EPO in response to hypoxic conditions was also observed in HepG2 cell cultures. Using LC-ESI-MS/MS, we provide first evidence for the existence of hEPOΔ3 derived protein EV-3 in human serum from healthy donors. Contrary to EPO, recombinant EV-3 did not promote early erythroid progenitors in cultures of human CD34+ haematopoietic stem cells. Repeated intraperitoneal administration of EV-3 in mice did not affect the haematocrit. Similar to EPO, EV-3 acted anti-apoptotic in rat hippocampal neurons exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation. Employing the touch-screen paradigm of long-term visual discrimination learning, we obtained first in vivo evidence of beneficial effects of EV-3 on cognition. This is the first report on the presence of a naturally occurring EPO protein isoform in human serum sharing non-erythropoietic functions with EPO.
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    Increased Mitochondrial Mass and Cytosolic Redox Imbalance in Hippocampal Astrocytes of a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome: Subcellular Changes Revealed by Ratiometric Imaging of JC-1 and roGFP1 Fluorescence 

    Bebensee, Dörthe F.; Can, Karolina; Müller, Michael
    Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2017; 2017 p.1-15
    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with mutations in the MECP2 gene. Mostly girls are affected, and an apparently normal development is followed by cognitive impairment, motor dysfunction, epilepsy, and irregular breathing. Various indications suggest mitochondrial dysfunction. In Rett mice, brain ATP levels are reduced, mitochondria are leaking protons, and respiratory complexes are dysregulated. Furthermore, we found in MeCP2-deficient mouse (Mecp2−/y) hippocampus an intensified mitochondrial metabolism and ROS generation. We now used emission ratiometric 2-photon imaging to assess mitochondrial morphology, mass, and membrane potential (ΔΨm) in Mecp2−/y hippocampal astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes were labeled with the ΔΨm marker JC-1, and semiautomated analyses yielded the number of mitochondria per cell, their morphology, and ΔΨm. Mecp2−/y astrocytes contained more mitochondria than wild-type (WT) cells and were more oxidized. Mitochondrial size, ΔΨm, and vulnerability to pharmacological challenge did not differ. The antioxidant Trolox opposed the oxidative burden and decreased the mitochondrial mass, thereby dampening the differences among WT and Mecp2−/y astrocytes; mitochondrial size and ΔΨm were not markedly affected. In conclusion, mitochondrial alterations and redox imbalance in RTT also involve astrocytes. Mitochondria are more numerous in Mecp2−/y than in WT astrocytes. As this genotypic difference is abolished by Trolox, it seems linked to the oxidative stress in RTT.
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    Loss of Neuroligin3 specifically downregulates retinal GABAAα2 receptors without abolishing direction selectivity. 

    Hoon, Mrinalini; Krishnamoorthy, Vidhyasankar; Gollisch, Tim; Falkenburger, Bjoern; Varoqueaux, Frederique
    PloS one 2017; 12(7): Art. e0181011
    The postsynaptic adhesion proteins Neuroligins (NLs) are essential for proper synapse function, and their alterations are associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. It is increasingly clear that each NL isoform occupies specific subsets of synapses and is able to regulate the function of discrete networks. Studies of NL2 and NL4 in the retina in particular have contributed towards uncovering their role in inhibitory synapse function. In this study we show that NL3 is also predominantly expressed at inhibitory postsynapses in the retinal inner plexiform layer (IPL), where it colocalizes with both GABAA- and glycinergic receptor clusters in a 3:2 ratio. In the NL3 deletion-mutant (knockout or KO) mouse, we uncovered a dramatic reduction of the number of GABAAα2-subunit containing GABAA receptor clusters at the IPL. Retinal activity was thereafter assessed in KO and wild-type (WT) littermates by multi-electrode-array recordings of the output cells of retina, the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RGCs in the NL3 KO showed reduced spontaneous activity and an altered response to white noise stimulation. Moreover, upon application of light flashes, the proportion of cells firing at light offset (OFF RGCs) was significantly lower in the NL3 KO compared to WT littermates, whereas the relative number of cells firing at light onset (ON RGCs) increased. Interestingly, although GABAAα2-bearing receptors have been related to direction-selective circuits of the retina, features of direction selective-retinal ganglion cells recorded remained unperturbed in the NL3 KO. Together our data underscore the importance of NL3 for the integrity of specific GABAAergic retinal circuits and identifies NL3 as an important regulator of retinal activity.
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