Hyperactivating mutations in the CHN1 gene can cause supraduction deficits in the absence of Duane retraction syndrome.
Hyperactivating CHN1 mutations have been described in individuals with Duane retraction syndrome with or without vertical gaze abnormalities. This was a study of five family members with distinctive ocular dysmotility patterns that co-segregated with a novel hyperactivating CHN1 mutation.
Participating members of a family segregating pleomorphic incomitant strabismus underwent ophthalmic examinations, and several underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the orbits and brain stem. Participant DNA was extracted and amplified for haplotype analysis encompassing the CHN1 region on chromosome 2q31.1, and mutation analysis of the CHN1 gene, which encodes the Rac-GAP signaling protein α2-chimaerin. In vitro functional studies of the co-inherited mutation were performed, including a Rac-GTP activation assay, quantification of α2-chimaerin translocation, and co-immunoprecipitation.
All five clinically affected family members exhibited monocular or binocular supraduction deficits, three in the absence of Duane retraction syndrome. MRI in four affected individuals demonstrated small or absent abducens nerves in all four, small oculomotor nerve in one, and small optic nerves in three. Superior oblique muscle volume was also decreased in three of the individuals, supporting trochlear nerve hypoplasia. Strabismus segregated with the CHN1 locus and affected individuals harbored a c.443A>T CHN1 mutation (p.Y148F). In vitro, this novel mutation behaved similarly to previously reported CHN1 mutations underlying familial Duane syndrome, hyperactivating α2-chimaerin by enhancing its dimerization and membrane association and lowering total intracellular Rac-GTP.
Analysis of the current pedigree expands the phenotypic spectrum of hyperactivating CHN1 mutations to include vertical strabismus and supraduction deficits in the absence of Duane retraction syndrome.
To determine the genetic cause of Duane’s retraction syndrome (DRS) in two families segregating DRS as an autosomal dominant trait.
Members of two unrelated pedigrees were enrolled in an ongoing genetic study. Linkage analysis was performed using fluorescent microsatellite markers flanking the CHN1 locus. Probands and family members were screened for CHN1 mutations.
Of the six clinically affected individuals in the two pedigrees, three have bilateral and three have unilateral DRS. Both pedigrees are consistent with linkage to the DURS2 locus, one with complete and one with incomplete penetrance. Sequence analysis revealed the pedigrees segregate novel heterozygous missense CHN1 mutations, c.422C>T and c.754C>T, predicted to result in α2-chimaerin amino acid substitutions P141L and P252S, respectively.
Genetic analysis of two pedigrees segregating nonsyndromic DRS reveals two novel mutations in CHN1, bringing the number of DRS pedigrees know to harbor CHN1 mutations, and the number of unique CHN1 mutations, from seven to nine. Both mutations identified in this study alter residues that participate in intramolecular interactions that stabilize the inactive, closed conformation of α2-chimerin, and thus are predicted to result in its hyper-activation. Moreover, amino acid residue P252 was altered to a different residue in a previously reported DRS pedigree; thus, this is the first report of two CHN1 mutations altering the same residue, further supporting a gain-of-function etiology.
Members of families segregating DRS as an autosomal dominant trait should be screened for mutations in the CHN1 gene, enhancing genetic counseling and permitting earlier diagnosis.
Axon pruning and synapse elimination are critical for establishing neural connectivity and synaptic plasticity. Stereotyped pruning of axons that originate in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and extend in the infrapyramidal tract (IPT) occurs during postnatal murine development by neurite retraction and resembles axon repulsion. The chemorepellent Sema3F is required for IPT axon pruning, dendritic spine remodeling and repulsion of DG axons. However, the signaling events that regulate IPT pruning are not known. We find that inhibition of the small G-protein Rac1 by the Rac GTPase activating protein (GAP) β2-Chimaerin (β2Chn) is essential for Sema3F-mediated IPT pruning. β2Chn selectively binds to the Sema3F receptor neuropilin-2. Sema3F activation of β2Chn is necessary for pruning both in vitro and in vivo, but is dispensable for axon repulsion and spine remodeling. Therefore, β2Chn contributes to a mechanistic distinction among DG axon pruning, repulsion, and dendritic spine remodeling, all mediated by the repellent Sema3F.
Recent studies established that the Rac-GAP β2-chimaerin plays important roles in development, neuritogenesis, and cancer progression. A unique feature of β2-chimaerin is that it can be activated by phorbol esters and the lipid second messenger diacylglycerol (DAG), which bind with high affinity to its C1 domain and promote β2-chimaerin translocation to membranes, leading to the inactivation of the small G-protein Rac. Crystallographic evidence and cellular studies suggest that β2-chimaerin remains in an inactive conformation in the cytosol with the C1 domain inaccessible to ligands. We developed a series of β2-chimaerin point mutants in which intramolecular contacts that occlude the C1 domain have been disrupted. These mutants showed enhanced translocation in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) in cells. Binding assays using [3H]phorbol 12, 13-dibutyrate ([3H]PDBu) revealed that internal contact mutants have a reduced acidic phospholipid requirement for phorbol ester binding. Moreover, disruption of intramolecular contacts enhances binding of β2-chimaerin to acidic phospholipid vesicles and confers enhanced Rac-GAP activity in vitro. These studies suggest that β2-chimaerin must undergo a conformational rearrangement in order to expose its lipid binding sites and become activated.
β2-chimaerin; C1 domain; phorbol esters; Rac
Chimaerins are GTPase-activating proteins that inactivate the GTP-hydrolase Rac1 in a diacylglycerol-dependent manner. To date, the study of chimaerins has been done mostly in neuronal cells. Here, we show that α2- and β2-chimaerin are expressed at different levels in T-cells and that they participate in T-cell receptor signaling. In agreement with this, we have observed that α2- and β2-chimaerins translocate to the T-cell/B-cell immune synapse and, using both gain- and loss-of-function approaches, demonstrated that their catalytic activity is important for the inhibition of the T-cell receptor- and Vav1-dependent stimulation of the transcriptional factor NF-AT. Mutagenesis-based approaches have revealed the molecular determinants that contribute to the biological program of chimaerins during T-cell responses. Unexpectedly, we have found that the translocation of chimaerins to the T-cell/B-cell immune synapse does not rely on the canonical binding of diacylglycerol to the C1 region of these GTPase-activating proteins. Taken together, these results identify chimaerins as candidates for the downmodulation of Rac1 in T-lymphocytes and, in addition, uncover a novel regulatory mechanism that mediates their activation in T-cells.
chimaerin; Rac1; T-cell receptor; cell signaling; Vav1; cytoskeleton; diacylglycerol; immune synapse
This article reviews symptoms and signs of aberrant axon connectivity in humans, and summarizes major human genetic disorders that result, or have been proposed to result, from defective axon guidance. These include corpus callosum agenesis, L1 syndrome, Joubert syndrome and related disorders, horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis, Kallmann syndrome, albinism, congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1, Duane retraction syndrome, and pontine tegmental cap dysplasia. Genes mutated in these disorders can encode axon growth cone ligands and receptors, downstream signaling molecules, and axon transport motors, as well as proteins without currently recognized roles in axon guidance. Advances in neuroimaging and genetic techniques have the potential to rapidly expand this field, and it is feasible that axon guidance disorders will soon be recognized as a new and significant category of human neurodevelopmental disorders.
Mutations in axon guidance receptors, their ligands, and downstream signaling molecules lead to Duane syndrome and various other disorders characterized by errors in muscle innervation.
n-Chimaerin is a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) mainly for Rac1 and less so for Cdc42Hs in vitro. The GAP activity of n-chimaerin is regulated by phospholipids and phorbol esters. Microinjection of Rac1 and Cdc42Hs into mammalian cells induces formation of the actin-based structures lamellipodia and filopodia, respectively, with the former being prevented by coinjection of the chimaerin GAP domain. Strikingly, microinjection of the full-length n-chimaerin into fibroblasts and neuroblastoma cells induces the simultaneous formation of lamellipodia and filopodia. These structures undergo cycles of dissolution and formation, resembling natural morphological events occurring at the leading edge of fibroblasts and neuronal growth cones. The effects of n-chimaerin on formation of lamellipodia and filopodia were inhibited by dominant negative Rac1(T17N) and Cdc42Hs(T17N), respectively. n-Chimaerin's effects were also inhibited by coinjection with Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor or by treatment with phorbol ester. A mutant n-chimaerin with no GAP activity and impaired p21 binding was ineffective in inducing morphological changes, while a mutant lacking GAP activity alone was effective. Microinjected n-chimaerin colocalized in situ with F-actin. Taken together, these results suggest that n-chimaerin acts synergistically with Rac1 and Cdc42Hs to induce actin-based morphological changes and that this action involves Rac1 and Cdc42Hs binding but not GAP activity. Thus, GAPs may have morphological functions in addition to downregulation of GTPases.
Epithelial organs are made of a well-polarized monolayer of epithelial cells, and their morphology is maintained strictly for their proper functions. Previously, we showed that Rac1 activation is suppressed at the apical membrane in the mature organoid, and that such spatially biased Rac1 activity is required for the polarity maintenance. Here we identify Chimaerin, a GTPase activating protein for Rac1, as a suppressor of Rac1 activity at the apical membrane. Depletion of Chimaerin causes over-activation of Rac1 at the apical membrane in the presence of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), followed by luminal cell accumulation. Importantly, Chimaerin depletion did not inhibit extension formation at the basal membrane. These observations suggest that Chimaerin functions as the apical-specific Rac1 GAP to maintain epithelial morphology.
The ER/Golgi protein p23/Tmp21 acts as a C1 domain-docking protein that mediates perinuclear translocation of β-chimaerin. C1 domains from PKC isozymes can also interact with p23/Tmp21. Our study highlights the relevance of C1 domains in protein-protein interactions in addition to their well-established lipid-binding properties.
The C1 domains in protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes and other signaling molecules are responsible for binding the lipid second messenger diacylglycerol and phorbol esters, and for mediating translocation to membranes. Previous studies revealed that the C1 domain in α- and β-chimaerins, diacylglycerol-regulated Rac-GAPs, interacts with the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi protein p23/Tmp21. Here, we found that p23/Tmp21 acts as a C1 domain-docking protein that mediates perinuclear translocation of β2-chimaerin. Glu227 and Leu248 in the β2-chimaerin C1 domain are crucial for binding p23/Tmp21 and perinuclear targeting. Interestingly, isolated C1 domains from individual PKC isozymes differentially interact with p23/Tmp21. For PKCε, it interacts with p23/Tmp21 specifically via its C1b domain; however, this association is lost in response to phorbol esters. These results demonstrate that p23/Tmp21 acts as an anchor that distinctively modulates compartmentalization of C1 domain-containing proteins, and it plays an essential role in β2-chimaerin relocalization. Our study also highlights the relevance of C1 domains in protein–protein interactions in addition to their well-established lipid-binding properties.
We describe the clinical phenotype of a Mexican family segregating Duane syndrome as an autosomal dominant trait linked to chromosome 2q31 (DURS2) and previously reported to harbor a heterozygous α2-chimaerinmissense mutation.
A five-generation Mexican family was analyzed. Ten affected subjects were available for clinical examination. Participating subjects were tested for visual acuity, ocular alignment by prism cover testing, ocular ductions and versions, and globe retraction. In children, alignment was measured with the Krimsky test in cardinal positions of gaze.
Ten cases were included, 6 females and 4 males. Five cases presented with bilateral and 5 with unilateral Duane syndrome. Right side was the most commonly affected side on unilateral cases. Five cases exhibited exotropia, 4 esotropia, and 1 hypotropia. Seven patients had important limitation of abduction; two, moderate limitation. Four patients had mild adduction limitation and 4 had moderate limitation. No additional anomalies such as fourth (trochlear) nerve palsy, blepharoptosis, or dense amblyopia, reported in previous Duane syndrome families, were observed. All 3 cases that exhibited vertical dysfunction had upgaze limitation. One instance of nonpenetrance was recorded.
Considerable intrafamilial clinical variability was observed in this Duane syndrome pedigree carrying a α2-chimaerin mutation. The presence of bilateral involvement and associated vertical movements, commonly observed in this and others DURS2 families, could suggest the occurrence of CHN1 mutations as the source of the disease in isolated or familial DURS cases.
The surgical correction of anomalous movement such as upshoot in Duane syndrome is challenging. Lateral rectus muscle disinsertion and reattachment to the lateral orbital wall is a new approach used to minimize or eliminate the effects of co-contraction including globe retraction, palpebral fissure narrowing and anomalous vertical movement.
We report a case of a 7-year-old boy who underwent this procedure for severe upshoot, globe retraction and exotropia in the left eye due to Duane syndrome. The patient achieved satisfactory ocular alignment following surgery. Upshoot and globe retraction were substantially improved.
Lateral rectus muscle disinsertion and reattachment to the lateral orbital wall is a safe and effective procedure for weakening of the anomalous lateral rectus muscle in Exotropic Duane Syndrome.
To determine the molecular etiologies of Duane’s retraction syndrome (DRS), we are investigating its genetic bases. We have previously identified the transcription factors SALL4 and HOXA1 as the genes mutated in DRS with radial anomalies, and in DRS with deafness, vascular anomalies, and cognitive deficits, respectively. We know less, however, about the genetic etiology of DRS when it occurs in isolation, and only one genetic locus for isolated DRS, the DURS2 locus on chromosome 2, has been mapped to date. Toward the goal of identifying the DURS2 gene, we have ascertained and studied two pedigrees that segregate DRS as a dominant trait.
We enrolled members of two large dominant DRS pedigrees into our ongoing study of the genetic basis of the congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders, and conducted linkage analysis to determine if their DRS phenotype maps to the DURS2 locus.
By haplotype analysis, the DRS phenotype in each family co-segregates with markers spanning the DURS2 region, and linkage analysis reveals maximum lod scores of >2, establishing that the DRS phenotype in these two pedigrees maps to the DURS2 locus.
These two pedigrees double the published pedigrees known to map to the DURS2 locus, and can thus contribute toward the search for the DURS2 gene. The affected members represent a genetically defined population of DURS2-linked DRS individuals, and hence studies of their clinical and structural features can enhance our understanding of the DURS2 phenotype, as described in the companion paper.
Duane’s syndrome; linkage analysis; DUR2
The Bosley-Salih-Alorainy syndrome (BSAS) variant of the congenital human HOXA1 syndrome results from autosomal recessive truncating HOXA1 mutations. We describe the currently recognized spectrum of ocular motility, inner ear malformations, cerebrovascular anomalies, and cognitive function.
We examined nine affected individuals from five consanguineous Saudi Arabian families, all of whom harbored the same I75-I76insG homozygous mutation in the HOXA1 gene. Patients underwent complete neurologic, neuro-ophthalmologic, orthoptic, and neuropsychological examinations. Six individuals had CT, and six had MRI of the head.
All nine individuals had bilateral Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) type 3, but extent of abduction and adduction varied between eyes and individuals. Eight patients were deaf with the common cavity deformity of the inner ear, while one patient had normal hearing and skull base development. Six had delayed motor milestones, and two had cognitive and behavioral abnormalities meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for autism spectrum disorder. MRI of the orbits, extraocular muscles, brainstem, and supratentorial brain appeared normal. All six appropriately studied patients had cerebrovascular malformations ranging from unilateral internal carotid artery hypoplasia to bilateral agenesis.
This report extends the Bosley-Salih-Alorainy syndrome phenotype and documents the clinical variability resulting from identical HOXA1 mutations within an isolated ethnic population. Similarities between this syndrome and thalidomide embryopathy suggest that the teratogenic effects of early thalidomide exposure in humans may be due to interaction with the HOX cascade.
We employed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study extraocular muscles (EOMs) and nerves in Duane-radial ray (Okihiro) syndrome (DRRS) due to mutations in the transcription factor SALL4.
We examined four male and two female affected members of a pedigree previously reported to co-segregate DRRS and a heterozygous SALL4 mutation. Coronal T1 weighted MRI of the orbits and heavily T2 weighted images in the plane of the cranial nerves were obtained in four subjects. MRI findings were correlated with motility examinations, and published norms obtained using identical technique.
Five of the six subjects with DRRS had radial ray abnormalities including thumb, radial artery, radial bone, and pectoral muscle hypoplasia. Three had bi- and three unilateral ocular involvement. Seven eyes had limitation of both ab- and adduction, while two had limitation only of abduction. Most affected eyes had lid fissure narrowing and retraction in adduction. Intraorbital and intracranial abducens nerves (CN6) were small to absent, particularly ipsilateral to abduction deficiency. All cases undergoing MRI had normal intracranial oculomotor nerves (CN3). Optic nerve (ON) cross section was similar to normal. EOMs and pulleys were structurally normal in most cases. In some affected orbits, a branch of CN3 closely approximated and presumably innervated the LR.
DRRS has a Duane syndrome phenotype, with a variable and asymmetric endophenotype including marked CN6 hypoplasia and probable innervation or co-innervation of the LR by CN3. This endophenotype is more limited than reported in DURS2-linked Duane syndrome and CFEOM1, which are clinically similar congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders that feature, in addition, CN3 hypoplasia and more widespread EOM abnormalities.
Duane syndrome; extra-ocular muscle; cranial nerve; optic nerve; pulley
Specific pathways linking heterotrimeric G proteins and Fcγ receptors to the actin-based cytoskeleton are poorly understood. To test a requirement for Rho family members in cytoskeletal events mediated by structurally diverse receptors in leukocytes, we transfected the full-length human chemotactic peptide receptor in RAW 264.7 cells and examined cytoskeletal alterations in response to the chemotactic peptide formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), colony stimulating factor–1 (CSF-1), IgG-coated particles, and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Expression of Rac1 N17, Cdc42 N17, or the GAP domain of n-chimaerin inhibited cytoskeletal responses to FMLP and CSF-1, and blocked phagocytosis. Accumulation of F-actin– rich “phagocytic cups” was partially inhibited by expression of Rac1 N17 or Cdc42 N17. In contrast, PMA-induced ruffling was not inhibited by expression of Rac1 N17, but was blocked by expression of Cdc42 N17, indicating that cytoskeletal inhibition by these constructs was nonoverlapping. These results demonstrate differential requirements for Rho family GTPases in leukocyte motility, and indicate that both Rac1 and Cdc42 are required for Fcγ receptor– mediated phagocytosis and for membrane ruffling mediated by structurally distinct receptors in macrophages.
High-resolution, multipositional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to demonstrate extraocular muscles (EOMs) and associated motor nerves in Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) linked to the DURS2 locus on chromosome 2.
Five male and three female affected members of two autosomal dominant DURS2 pedigrees were enrolled in the study. Coronal T1-weighted MRI of the orbits was obtained in multiple gaze positions, as well as with heavy T2 weighting in the plane of the cranial nerves. MRI findings were correlated with motility.
All subjects had unilateral or bilateral limitation of abduction, or of both abduction and adduction, with palpebral fissure narrowing and globe retraction in adduction. Orbital motor nerves were typically small, with the abducens nerve (cranial nerve [CN]6) often nondetectable. Lateral rectus (LR) muscles were structurally abnormal in seven subjects, with structural and motility evidence of oculomotor nerve (CN3) innervation from vertical rectus EOMs leading to A or V patterns of strabismus in three cases. Four cases had superior oblique, two cases superior rectus, and one case levator EOM hypoplasia. Only the medial and inferior rectus and inferior oblique EOMs were spared. Two cases had small CN3s.
DRS linked to the DURS2 locus is associated with bilateral abnormalities of many orbital motor nerves, and structural abnormalities of all EOMs except those innervated by the inferior division of CN3. The LR may be coinnervated by CN3 branches normally destined for any other rectus EOMs. Therefore, DURS2-linked DRS is a diffuse congenital cranial dysinnervation disorder involving but not limited to CN6.
We report a case of pseudo-Duane's retraction syndrome with entrapment of the medial rectus muscle in an old medial orbital wall fracture presenting identical clinical symptoms as Duane's retraction syndrome. A 15-year-old boy presented with persistent limited right eye movement since a young age. Examination showed marked limited abduction, mildly limited adduction, and globe retraction accompanied by narrowing of the palpebral fissure during attempted adduction in the right eye. He showed a right esotropia of 16 prism diopters and his head turned slightly to the right. A slight enophthalmos was noted in his right eye. A computed tomography scan demonstrated entrapment of the medial rectus muscle and surrounding tissues in an old medial orbital wall fracture. A forced duction test revealed a marked restriction of abduction in the right eye. A 5 mm recession of the right medial rectus muscle was performed. Postoperatively, the patient's head turn and esotropia in the primary position were successfully corrected, but there was still some limitations to his ocular movement. The importance of several tests such as the forced duction test and an imaging study should be emphasized in making a diagnosis for limitation of eye movement.
Duane's retraction syndrome; Medial orbital wall fracture; Pseudo-Duane's retraction syndrome
Congenital loss of innervation to the extra-ocular muscles (EOMs) can have a profound effect on the target muscle. This has been well recognised in Duane's retraction syndrome. However, it has been less emphasised in other congenital oculo-motor disorders. Such congenital ocular motor defects have been expanded to include DRS, congenital fibrosis of EOMs, monocular elevation defect, Möbius syndrome, as well as several other non-ocular muscles supplied by cranial nerves such as facial muscles. Such loss of innervation to motor muscles can be unified as a defined clinical entity, which can be labelled as congenital innervation dysgenesis syndrome or CID for short. CID may also affect other muscles supplied by nerves other than the cranial nerves and may be sensory as well as motor.
congenital innervation disorder; congenital innervation dysgenesis (CID); congenital cranial dysinnervation disorder (CCDD); congenital ocular motility defects; congenital fibrosis of extra-ocular muscles (CFEOM); Duane's syndrome
The rotund (rn) locus of Drosophila melanogaster at cytogenetic position 84D3,4 has been isolated and cloned on the basis of the mutant phenotype: an absence of structures in the subdistal regions of the appendages. The shortened appendages are the consequence of a localized cell death in the imaginal discs, precursors of the adult appendages. Physical characterization of the rn locus has demonstrated that it is relatively large, occupying a minimum of 50 kb. There are two major transcripts of 1.7 kb (m1.7) and 5.3 kb (m5.3). We present here the sequence analysis of m1.7 and its putative product, rnprot1.7, and show that rnprot1.7 is similar to the product of the human n-chimaerin gene, which is expressed in brain and testes. Recently, the GAP activity of n-chimaerin was demonstrated and shown to be specific for the Rac subfamily of the Ras oncoproteins. The Rac proteins have been implicated in the regulation of secretory processes. In addition to being expressed in the imaginal discs, the m1.7 racGAP transcript was detected in developmentally specific germ line cells of the testes, the primary spermatocytes.
We studied two patients with a peculiar congenital disturbance of ocular motility in which the horizontal movements of the left eye were always opposite the normal expected direction. The common features were: (1) congenital monocular adduction palsy and exotropia of the left eye; (2) simultaneous abduction of both eyes (divergence) on attempted dextroversion; (3) ocular torticollis, head turned to the right; and (4) inverse nystagmus of the left eye, occurring spontaneously as well as during optokinetic and vestibular testing. Clinical and electrooculographic findings suggested a close relationship to Duane's retraction syndrome and supported the concept that innervational mechanisms were responsible for the phenomenon.
Carboxypeptidase A6 (CPA6) is an extracellular protease that cleaves carboxy-terminal hydrophobic amino acids and has been implicated in the defective innervation of the lateral rectus muscle by the VIth cranial nerve in Duane syndrome. In order to investigate the role of CPA6 in development, in particular its potential role in axon guidance, the zebrafish ortholog was identified and cloned. Zebrafish CPA6 was secreted and interacted with the extracellular matrix where it had a neutral pH optimum and specificity for C-terminal hydrophobic amino acids. Transient mRNA expression was found in newly formed somites, pectoral fin buds, the stomodeum and a conspicuous condensation posterior to the eye. Markers showed this tissue was not myogenic in nature. Rather, the CPA6 localization overlapped with a chondrogenic site which subsequently forms the walls of a myodome surrounding the lateral rectus muscle. No other zebrafish CPA gene exhibited a similar expression profile. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of CPA6 combined with retrograde labeling and horizontal eye movement analyses demonstrated that deficiency of CPA6 alone did not affect either VIth nerve development or function in the zebrafish. We suggest that mutations in other genes and/or enhancer elements, together with defective CPA6 expression, may be required for altered VIth nerve pathfinding. If mutations in CPA6 contribute to Duane syndrome, our results also suggest that Duane syndrome can be a chondrogenic rather than a myogenic or neurogenic developmental disorder.
The signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (Stat3) is a member of the STAT family of cytoplasmic transcription factors. Overactivation of Stat3 is detected with high frequency in human cancer and is considered a molecular abnormality that supports the tumor phenotype. Despite concerted investigative efforts, the molecular mechanisms leading to the aberrant Stat3 activation and Stat3-mediated transformation and tumorigenesis are still not clearly defined. Recent evidence reveals a crosstalk close relationship between Stat3 signaling and members of the Rho family of small GTPases, including Rac1, Cdc42 and RhoA. Specifically, Rac1, acting in a complex with the MgcRacGAP (male germ cell RacGAP), promotes tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat3 by the IL6-receptor family/Jak kinase complex, as well as its translocation to the nucleus. Studies have further revealed that the mutational activation of Rac1 and Cdc42 results in Stat3 activation, which occurs in part through the upregulation of IL6 family cytokines that in turn stimulates Stat3 through the Jak kinases. Interestingly, evidence also shows that the engagement of cadherins, cell to cell adhesion molecules, specifically induces a striking increase in Rac1 and Cdc42 protein levels and activity, which in turn results in Stat3 activation. In this review we integrate recent findings clarifying the role of the Rho family GTPases in Stat3 activation in the context of malignant progression.
Rho GTPases; MgcRacGAP; Stat3
SALL4 is a homologue of the Drosophila homeotic gene spalt, a zinc finger transcription factor, required for inner cell mass proliferation in early embryonic development. It also interacts with other transcription factors to control the development of the anorectal region, kidney, heart, limbs, and brain. Truncating mutations in SALL4 cause Okihiro syndrome, manifest as Duane anomaly, radial ray defects and sensorineural and conductive deafness. We report the characterization of a novel murine Sall4 null allele created by bacterial recombineering in ES cells. Homozygous mutant mice exhibit early embryonic lethality. Heterozygous mutant mice recapitulate phenotypic features of Okihiro syndrome including deafness, lower anogenital tract abnormalities, renal hypoplasia, anencephaly, Hirschprung’s disease, and skeletal defects. This phenotype shows important differences in cardiac and ear manifestations to previously characterized Sall4 mutant alleles and should prove useful for the investigation of the influence of modifier alleles and protein interactions on the transcriptional regulatory function of Sall4.
bacterial recombineering; Sall4; Okihiro syndrome; mouse; organogenesis; embryonic stem cells
In 1952, Wildervanck described the first case of what he styled the cervico-oculo-acoustic (COA) syndrome. This comprises Klippel Feil's (KF) anomaly (congenitally fused cervical vertebrae), congenital sensorineural deafness and Duane's retraction syndrome (deficient abduction with retraction on adduction). Since that original paper, there have been further reports describing this triad, either completely or incompletely. A further case of this syndrome is reported and the first report of MRI head scan findings in this condition is presented. In addition, the origin of mirror movements observed as part of the KF syndrome are discussed.
We report that eight heterozygous missense mutations in TUBB3, encoding the neuron-specific β-tubulin isotype III, result in a spectrum of human nervous system disorders we now call the TUBB3 syndromes. Each mutation causes the ocular motility disorder CFEOM3, whereas some also result in intellectual and behavioral impairments, facial paralysis, and/or later-onset axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Neuroimaging reveals a spectrum of abnormalities including hypoplasia of oculomotor nerves, and dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, and corticospinal tracts. A knock-in disease mouse model reveals axon guidance defects without evidence of cortical cell migration abnormalities. We show the disease-associated mutations can impair tubulin heterodimer formation in vitro, although folded mutant heterodimers can still polymerize into microtubules. Modeling each mutation in yeast tubulin demonstrates that all alter dynamic instability whereas a subset disrupts the interaction of microtubules with kinesin motors. These findings demonstrate normal TUBB3 is required for axon guidance and maintenance in mammals.