Matching Items (5)

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Delineating the role of methionyl-tRNA-formyltransferase (MTFMT) splice mutation (c.626C>T ) in OXPHOS and Energy Metabolism

Description

Mitochondrial methionyl-tRNA-formyltransferase (MTFMT) is essential for mitochondrial protein translation. The MTFMT gene encodes for an enzyme of the same name, which acts to formylate the methionine of mitochondrial

Mitochondrial methionyl-tRNA-formyltransferase (MTFMT) is essential for mitochondrial protein translation. The MTFMT gene encodes for an enzyme of the same name, which acts to formylate the methionine of mitochondrial Met-tRNA(Met). In Homo sapiens, MTFMT-formylated-tRNA is an initiator and elongator for the synthesis of 13 mitochondrially-encoded proteins in complexes I, III and IV of the ETC. To understand this mechanism, it is necessary to perform a comprehensive analysis of energy metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) among impacted patients. Alterations to this gene vary, with the most documented as a single-splice-site mutation (c.626C>T). Here, we discuss MTFMT involvement in mitochondrial protein translation and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Leigh Syndrome and combined OXPHOS deficiency, in two families. We aim to delineate the impact of OXPHOS dysfunction in patients presenting with MTFMT mutation.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Characterization of mTOR Pathway and Reduced Neuronal Size Phenotype in Rett Syndrome Model

Description

Rett syndrome is a genetically based, X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 live female births. Approximately 95-97% of Rett syndrome cases are attributed to a mutation in the

Rett syndrome is a genetically based, X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 live female births. Approximately 95-97% of Rett syndrome cases are attributed to a mutation in the MECP2 gene. In the laboratory setting, key neuropathological phenotypes of Rett syndrome include small neuronal soma and nuclear size, increased cell packing density, and abnormal dendritic branching. Our lab previously created and characterized the A140V mouse model of atypical Rett syndrome in which the males are viable. Hippocampal and cerebellar granule neurons in A140V male mice have reduced soma and nuclear size compared to wild type. We also found that components of the mTOR pathway including rictor, 4E-BP-1, and mTOR, were reduced in A140V mutant mice. Quantitative PCR analysis also showed reduced IGFPB2 expression in A140V mice along with an upward trend in AKT levels that did not meet statistical significance. The objective of this study is i) to characterize the down regulation of AKT-mTOR pathway, and ii) to examine the effect of a genetic strategy to rescue mTOR pathway deficiencies in Mecp2 mutant mouse model. Genetic rescue of the mTOR pathway downregulation was done by crossing heterozygous female A140V mice with heterozygous male Tsc2 mice. Quantitative PCR analysis of A140V_Tsc2 RNA expression supported genetic rescue of mTOR pathway components, however, more testing is needed to fully characterize the rescue effect. Western blot analysis also showed reduction in phosphorylated AKT in Mecp2 A140V and T158A mutant mice, however, more testing is still needed to characterize the mTOR pathway in A140V_Tsc2 mice. Finally, other methods, such as a pharmacological approach, or transfection to increase mTOR pathway activity in cell lines, will be tested to determine if rescue of mTOR pathway activity ameliorate the Rett syndrome phenotype.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Abnormalities of cell packing density and dendritic complexity in the MeCP2 A140V mouse model of Rett syndrome/X-linked mental retardation

Description

Background
Rett syndrome (RTT), a common cause of mental retardation in girls, is associated with mutations in the MECP2 gene. Most human cases of MECP2 mutation in girls result in

Background
Rett syndrome (RTT), a common cause of mental retardation in girls, is associated with mutations in the MECP2 gene. Most human cases of MECP2 mutation in girls result in classical or variant forms of RTT. When these same mutations occur in males, they often present as severe neonatal encephalopathy. However, some MECP2 mutations can also lead to diseases characterized as mental retardation syndromes, particularly in boys. One of these mutations, A140V, is a common, recurring missense mutation accounting for about 0.6% of all MeCP2 mutations and ranking 21st by frequency. It has been described in familial X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), PPM- X syndrome (Parkinsonism, Pyramidal signs, Macroorchidism, X-linked mental retardation) and in other neuropsychiatric syndromes. Interestingly, this mutation has been reported to preserve the methyl-CpG binding function of the MeCP2 protein while compromising its ability to bind to the mental retardation associated protein ATRX.
Results
We report the construction and initial characterization of a mouse model expressing the A140V MeCP2 mutation. These initial descriptive studies in male hemizygous mice have revealed brain abnormalities seen in both RTT and mental retardation. The abnormalities found include increases in cell packing density in the brain and a significant reduction in the complexity of neuronal dendritic branching. In contrast to some MeCP2 mutation mouse models, the A140V mouse has an apparently normal lifespan and normal weight gain patterns with no obvious seizures, tremors, breathing difficulties or kyphosis.
Conclusion
We have identified various neurological abnormalities in this mouse model of Rett syndrome/X-linked mental retardation which may help to elucidate the manner in which MECP2 mutations cause neuronal changes resulting in mental retardation without the confounding effects of seizures, chronic hypoventilation, or other Rett syndrome associated symptoms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010-02-17

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The dissection of signaling cascades in neural stem cell proliferation & GBM promotion

Description

Cells live in complex environments and must be able to adapt to environmental changes in order to survive. The ability of a cell to survive and thrive in a changing

Cells live in complex environments and must be able to adapt to environmental changes in order to survive. The ability of a cell to survive and thrive in a changing environment depends largely on its ability to receive and respond to extracellular signals. Initiating with receptors, signal transduction cascades begin translating extracellular signals into intracellular messages. Such signaling cascades are responsible for the regulation of cellular metabolism, cell growth, cell movement, transcription, translation, proliferation and differentiation. This dissertation seeks to dissect and examine critical signaling pathways involved in the regulation of proliferation in neural stem cells (Chapter 2) and the regulation of Glioblastoma Multiforme pathogenesis (GBM; Chapter 3). In Chapter 2 of this dissertation, we hypothesize that the mTOR signaling pathway plays a significant role in the determination of neural stem cell proliferation given its control of cell growth, metabolism and survival. We describe the effect of inhibition of mTOR signaling on neural stem cell proliferation using animal models of aging. Our results show that the molecular method of targeted inhibition may result in differential effects on neural stem cell proliferation as the use of rapamycin significantly reduced proliferation while the use of metformin did not. Abnormal signaling cascades resulting in unrestricted proliferation may lead to the development of brain cancer, such as GBM. In Chapter 3 of this dissertation, we hypothesize that the inhibition of the protein kinase, aPKCλ results in halted GBM progression (invasion and proliferation) due to its central location in multiple signaling cascades. Using in-vitro and in-vivo models, we show that aPKCλ functions as a critical node in GBM signaling as both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous signaling converge on aPKCλ resulting in pathogenic downstream effects. This dissertation aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms involved in cell signaling pathways which are responsible for critical cellular effects such as proliferation, invasion and transcriptional regulation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Drosophila as a translational model for MECP2 gain-of-function in neurons

Description

Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) is a widely abundant, multifunctional regulator of gene expression with highest levels of expression in mature neurons. In humans, both loss- and gain-of-function mutations of

Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) is a widely abundant, multifunctional regulator of gene expression with highest levels of expression in mature neurons. In humans, both loss- and gain-of-function mutations of MECP2 cause mental retardation and motor dysfunction classified as either Rett Syndrome (RTT, loss-of-function) or MECP2 Duplication Syndrome (MDS, gain-of-function). At the cellular level, MECP2 mutations cause both synaptic and dendritic defects. Despite identification of MECP2 as a cause for RTT nearly 16 years ago, little progress has been made in identifying effective treatments. Investigating major cellular and molecular targets of MECP2 in model systems can help elucidate how mutation of this single gene leads to nervous system and behavioral defects, which can ultimately lead to novel therapeutic strategies for RTT and MDS. In the work presented here, I use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system to study specific cellular and molecular functions of MECP2 in neurons. First, I show that targeted expression of human MECP2 in Drosophila flight motoneurons causes impaired dendritic growth and flight behavioral performance. These effects are not caused by a general toxic effect of MECP2 overexpression in Drosophila neurons, but are critically dependent on the methyl-binding domain of MECP2. This study shows for the first time cellular consequences of MECP2 gain-of-function in Drosophila neurons. Second, I use RNA-Seq to identify KIBRA, a gene associated with learning and memory in humans, as a novel target of MECP2 involved in the dendritic growth phenotype. I confirm bidirectional regulation of Kibra by Mecp2 in mouse, highlighting the translational utility of the Drosophila model. Finally, I use this system to identify a novel role for the C-terminus in regulating the function of MECP in apoptosis and verify this finding in mammalian cell culture. In summary, this work has established Drosophila as a translational model to study the cellular effects of MECP2 gain-of-function in neurons, and provides insight into the function of MECP2 in dendritic growth and apoptosis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015