Pmp22, a member of the junction protein family Claudin/EMP/PMP22, plays an important role in myelin formation. Increase of pmp22 transcription causes peripheral neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type1A (CMT1A). The pathophysiological phenotype of CMT1A is aberrant axonal myelination which induces a reduction in nerve conduction velocity (NCV). Several CMT1A model rodents have been established by overexpressing pmp22. Thus, it is thought that pmp22 expression must be tightly regulated for correct myelin formation in mammals. Interestingly, the myelin sheath is also present in other jawed vertebrates. The purpose of this study is to analyze the evolutionary conservation of the association between pmp22 transcription level and vertebrate myelin formation, and to find the conserved non-coding sequences for pmp22 regulation by comparative genomics analyses between jawed fishes and mammals.
A transgenic pmp22 over-expression medaka fish line was established. The transgenic fish had approximately one fifth the peripheral NCV values of controls, and aberrant myelination of transgenic fish in the peripheral nerve system (PNS) was observed. We successfully confirmed that medaka fish pmp22 has the same exon-intron structure as mammals, and identified some known conserved regulatory motifs. Furthermore, we found novel conserved sequences in the first intron and 3'UTR.
Medaka fish undergo abnormalities in the PNS when pmp22 transcription increases. This result indicates that an adequate pmp22 transcription level is necessary for correct myelination of jawed vertebrates. Comparison of pmp22 orthologs between distantly related species identifies evolutionary conserved sequences that contribute to precise regulation of pmp22 expression.
Peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is associated with a subset of hereditary peripheral neuropathies. Although predominantly recognized as a transmembrane constituent of peripheral nerve myelin, PMP22 is localized to epithelial and endothelial cell-cell junctions, where its function remains unknown. In this report, we investigated the role of PMP22 in epithelial biology. Expression of human PMP22 (hPMP22) slows cell growth and induces a flattened morphology in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. The transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and paracellular flux of MDCK monolayers are elevated by hPMP22 expression. After calcium switch, peptides corresponding to the second, but not the first, extracellular loop of PMP22 perturb the recovery of TER and paracellular flux. Finally, subsequent to wounding, epithelial monolayers expressing hPMP22 fail to migrate normally. These results indicate that PMP22 is capable of modulating several aspects of epithelial cell biology, including junctional permeability and wound closure.
Successful myelination of the peripheral nervous system depends upon induction of major protein components of myelin, such as Peripheral Myelin Protein 22 (PMP22). Myelin stability is also sensitive to levels of PMP22, as a 1.4 Mb duplication on human chromosome 17, resulting in 3 copies of PMP22, is the most common cause of the peripheral neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The transcription factor Egr2/Krox20 is required for induction of high level expression of Pmp22 in Schwann cells but its activation elements have not yet been determined. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the rat Pmp22 locus, we find a major peak of Egr2 binding within the large intron of the Pmp22 gene. Analysis of a 250 bp region within the largest intron showed that it is strongly activated by Egr2 expression in reporter assays. Moreover, this region contains conserved binding sites for not only Egr2 but also Sox10, which is also required for Schwann cell development. Our analysis shows that Sox10 is required for optimal activity of the intronic site as well as PMP22 expression. Finally, mouse transgenic analysis revealed tissue-specific expression of this intronic sequence in peripheral nerve. Overall, these data show that Egr2 and Sox10 activity are directly involved in mediating the developmental induction of Pmp22 expression.
Peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is a dose-sensitive, disease-associated protein primarily expressed in myelinating Schwann cells. Either reduction or overproduction of PMP22 can result in hereditary neuropathy, suggesting a requirement for correct protein expression for peripheral nerve biology. PMP22 is post-transcriptionally regulated and the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) of the gene exerts a negative effect on translation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory molecules that function at a post-transcriptional level by targeting the 3′UTR in a reverse complementary manner. We used cultured Schwann cells to demonstrate that alterations in the miRNA biogenesis pathway affect PMP22 levels, and endogenous PMP22 is subjected to miRNA regulation. GW-body formation, the proposed cytoplasmic site for miRNA-mediated repression, and Dicer expression, an RNase III family ribonuclease involved in miRNA biogenesis, are co-regulated with the differentiation state of Schwann cells. Furthermore, the levels of Dicer inversely correlate with PMP22, while the inhibition of Dicer leads to elevated PMP22. Microarray analysis of actively-proliferating and differentiated Schwann cells, in conjunction with bioinformatics programs, identified several candidate PMP22-targeting miRNAs. Here we demonstrate that miR-29a binds and inhibits PMP22 reporter expression through a specific miRNA seed binding region. Over-expression of miR-29a enhances the association of PMP22 RNA with Argonaute 2, a protein involved in miRNA function, and reduces the steady-state levels of PMP22. In contrast, inhibition of endogenous miR-29a relieves the miRNA-mediated repression of PMP22. Correlation analyses of miR-29 and PMP22 in sciatic nerves reveal an inverse relationship, both developmentally and in post-crush injury. These results identify PMP22 as a target of miRNAs and suggest that myelin gene expression by Schwann cells is regulated by miRNAs.
Schwann cell; myelin; microRNA; gene regulation; myelination
Myelin insulates axons in the peripheral nervous system to allow rapid propagation of action potentials, and proper myelination requires the precise regulation of genes encoding myelin proteins, including PMP22. The correct gene dosage of PMP22 is critical; a duplication of PMP22 is the most common cause of the peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) (classified as type 1A), while a deletion of PMP22 leads to another peripheral neuropathy, hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies. Recently, duplications upstream of PMP22, but not containing the gene itself, were reported in patients with CMT1A like symptoms, suggesting that this region contains regulators of PMP22. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of two transcription factors known to upregulate PMP22—EGR2 and SOX10—we found several enhancers in this upstream region that contain open chromatin and direct reporter gene expression in tissue culture and in vivo in zebrafish. These studies provide a novel means to identify critical regulatory elements in genes that are required for myelination, and elucidate the functional significance of non-coding genomic rearrangements.
Gas3/PMP22 plays a crucial role in regulating myelin formation and maintenance, and different genetic alterations in gas3/PMP22 are responsible for a set of human peripheral neuropathies. We have previously demonstrated that Gas3/PMP22 could regulate susceptibility to apoptosis in NIH3T3 cells but not in REF 52 cells. In this report we demonstrate that when the apoptotic response triggered by gas3/PMP22 was counteracted by Bcl-2 coexpression, morphological changes were observed. Time-lapse analysis confirmed that Gas3/PMP22 can modulate cell spreading, and this effect was strengthened after inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Using the active form of the small GTPase RhoA, we have been able to dissect the different Gas3/PMP22 biological activities. RhoA counteracted the Gas3/PMP22-dependent morphological response but was unable to neutralize the apoptotic response. Treatment of NIH3T3 cells with cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1, which activates endogenous Rho, also counteracted Gas3/PMP22-mediated cell shape and spreading changes. Treatment of REF 52 cells, which are unresponsive to Gas3/PMP22 overexpression, with the C3 exoenzyme, inhibiting Rho activity, renders REF 52 cells responsive to Gas3/PMP22 overexpression for cell shape and spreading changes. Finally, assembly of stress fibers and focal adhesions complexes, in response to lysophosphatidic acid–induced endogenous Rho activation, was impaired in Gas3/PMP22-overexpressing cells. We hypothesize that cell shape and spreading regulated by Gas3/PMP22 through the Rho GTPase might have an important role during Schwann cells differentiation and myelinization.
The structural integrity of myelin formed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is required for proper nerve conduction and is dependent on adequate expression of myelin genes including peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22). Consequently, excess PMP22 resulting from its genetic duplication and overexpression has been directly associated with the peripheral neuropathy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), the most prevalent type of CMT. Here, in an attempt to identify transcriptional inhibitors with therapeutic value towards CMT1A, we developed a cross-validating pair of orthogonal reporter - firefly luciferase (FLuc) and β-lactamase (βLac) - assays capable of recapitulating PMP22 expression, utilizing the intronic regulatory element of the human PMP22 gene. Each compound from a collection of approximately 3,000 approved drugs was tested at multiple titration points to achieve a pharmacological endpoint in a 1536-well plate quantitative high-throughput screen (qHTS) format. In conjunction with an independent counter-screen for cytotoxicity, the design of our orthogonal screen platform effectively contributed to selection and prioritization of active compounds, among which three drugs (fenretinide, olvanil, and bortezomib) exhibited marked reduction of endogenous Pmp22 mRNA and protein. Overall, the findings of this study provide a strategic approach to assay development for gene-dosage diseases such as CMT1A.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is caused by a 1.4 Mb duplication on chromosome 17p11.2, which contains the peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) gene. Increased levels of PMP22 in compact myelin of peripheral nerves have been demonstrated and presumed to cause the phenotype of CMT1A. The objective of the present study was to determine whether an extra copy of the PMP22 gene in CMT1A disrupts the normally coordinated expression of PMP22 protein in peripheral nerve myelin and to evaluate PMP22 over-expression in patients with CMT1A and determine whether levels of PMP22 are molecular markers of disease severity. PMP22 expression was measured by taking skin biopsies from patients with CMT1A (n = 20) and both healthy controls (n = 7) and patients with Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP) (n = 6), in which patients have only a single copy of PMP22. Immunological electron microscopy was performed on the skin biopsies to quantify PMP22 expression in compact myelin. Similar biopsies were analysed by real time PCR to measure PMP22 mRNA levels. Results were also correlated with impairment in CMT1A, as measured by the validated CMT Neuropathy Score. Most, but not all patients with CMT1A, had elevated PMP22 levels in myelin compared with the controls. The levels of PMP22 in CMT1A were highly variable, but not in HNPP or the controls. However, there was no correlation between neurological disabilities and the level of over-expression of PMP22 protein or mRNA in patients with CMT1A. The extra copy of PMP22 in CMT1A results in disruption of the tightly regulated expression of PMP22. Thus, variability of PMP22 levels, rather than absolute level of PMP22, may play an important role in the pathogenesis of CMT1A.
PMP22; CMT1A; CMTNS; HNPP; Schwann cell; myelin; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
The peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is a tetraspan
membrane protein which is localised in the compact myelin of the
peripheral nerves. In fibroblasts, where it was originally identified
as growth arrest related factor 3 (Gas3), PMP22 has been shown to modulate cell proliferation; in the peripheral nervous system its roles
are still debated. The duplication of PMP22 is the most common cause of
the demyelinating form of the autosomal dominant Charcot-Marie-Tooth
neuropathy (CMT1A); rarer missense mutations of PMP22 also cause CMT1A
or severe dehypomyelinating neuropathies of infancy grouped under the
heading of Dejerine-Sottas syndrome (DSS). Here, a sporadic patient
affected with DSS is described; nerve biopsy disclosed a picture of
hypomyelination/amyelination with basal laminae onion bulbs and no
florid demyelination and it was consistent with congenital
hypomyelination neuropathy (CHN); molecular analysis disclosed a novel
point mutation of PMP22 that causes a non-conservative arginine for
cysteine substitution at codon 109, in the third transmembrane domain.
CHN is the rarest and severest form of DSS and it is thought to reflect
dysmyelination rather than demyelination. The reported case suggests
that missense point mutations may alter a putative role of PMP22 in
modulating Schwann cell growth and differentiation.
Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is a hereditary demyelinating neuropathy linked with duplication of the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) gene. Transgenic C22 mice, a model of CMT1A, display many features of the human disease, including slowed nerve conduction velocity and demyelination of peripheral nerves. How overproduction of PMP22 leads to compromised myelin and axonal pathology is not fully understood, but likely involves subcellular alterations in protein homoeostatic mechanisms within affected Schwann cells. The subcellular response to abnormally localized PMP22 includes the recruitment of the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS), autophagosomes and heat-shock proteins (HSPs). Here we assessed biochemical markers of these protein homoeostatic pathways in nerves from PMP22-overexpressing neuropathic mice between the ages of 2 and 12 months to ascertain their potential contribution to disease progression. In nerves of 3-week-old mice, using endoglycosidases and Western blotting, we found altered processing of the exogenous human PMP22, an abnormality that becomes more prevalent with age. Along with the ongoing accrual of misfolded PMP22, the activity of the proteasome becomes compromised and proteins required for autophagy induction and lysosome biogenesis are up-regulated. Moreover, cytosolic chaperones are consistently elevated in nerves from neuropathic mice, with the most prominent change in HSP70. The gradual alterations in protein homoeostatic response are accompanied by Schwann cell de-differentiation and macrophage infiltration. Together, these results show that while subcellular protein quality control mechanisms respond appropriately to the presence of the overproduced PMP22, with aging they are unable to prevent the accrual of misfolded proteins.
In peripheral nerves of neuropathic C22 mice the frequency of cytosolic PMP22 aggregates increases with age, which elicits a response from protein quality control mechanisms. The combined effects of aging and neuropathic genotype exacerbate disease progression leading to nerve defects.
autophagy; chaperone; ubiquitin; myelin; protein aggregation; Schwann cell.; AMC, amino-methyl coumarin; CathD, Cathepsin D; CMT1A, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A; di-8-ANEPPS, 4-[2-(6-dibutylamino)-2-naphthalenyl)ethenyl]-1-(3-sulfopropyl) hydroxide; Egr2, early growth response 2; endoH, endoglycosidase H; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; HRP, horseradish peroxidase; HSF1, heat-shock factor 1; Hsp, heat-shock protein; IgG, immunoglobulin; LAMP1, lysosomal membrane-associated protein 1; LC3, light chain 3; MCP-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1; MS, multiple sclerosis; Oct6, octamer-binding transcription factor 6; PMP22, peripheral myelin protein 22; PNGaseF, N-glycosidase F; pUb, polyubiquitinated; TFEB, transcription factor EB; UPS, ubiquitin–proteasome system; Wt, wild-type
Chlamydophila abortus is the aetiological agent of ovine enzootic abortion. Sequencing, annotation and comparative analysis of the genome of C. abortus strain S26/3 has revealed variation in the loci encoding the polymorphic membrane proteins (Pmps). These Pmps resemble autotransporter proteins of the type V secretion system, suggesting an important role in chlamydial pathogenesis. The purpose of this study was to characterise the transcriptional expression patterns of this family during the developmental cycle of C. abortus. McCoy cells were infected with C. abortus and analysed for pmp mRNA expression over a 72 h period. Few pmp transcripts were detected in the early stages of the developmental cycle. Peak expression occurred at 48 h post-infection (p.i.) other than for pmp5E, where it was observed at 24 h p.i. Overall, expression of pmps 5E, 18D and 10G were found to be 40 to 100-fold higher than the lowest expressing pmps (6H, 13G and 15G) at 24 h p.i., while pmps 18D and 17G were 14 to 16-fold higher than the lowest (11G, 14G and 15G) at 48 h. Levels of expression for all the other pmp genes were below one copy per genome at any time point. The expression of all the pmps reduced to near base-line levels by 60 h p.i. These results demonstrate that pmp expression in C. abortus is mid to late cycle, consistent with conversion of the reticulate body to the elementary body. The low level of pmp transcription may be indicative of heterogeneity in expression, suggesting a possible role for some of the Pmps in antigenic variation and chlamydial pathogenesis.
Chlamydophila abortus; pmp; gene expression; antigenic variation
Misexpression and intracellular retention of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is associated with hereditary neuropathies in humans, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A). Mice expressing extra copies of the human PMP22, termed C22, display morphologic and behavioral characteristics of CMT1A. In neuropathic Schwann cells, the turnover of the newly-synthesized PMP22 is decreased, leading to the formation of cytosolic protein aggregates. To aid the processing of PMP22 and alleviate the associated myelin defects, we pharmacologically stimulated the expression of protein chaperones by synthetic small-molecule inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). The exposure of Schwann cells to these compounds enhanced the levels of cytosolic chaperones in a time- and dose-dependent manner, with minimal cytotoxicity. Treatment of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants from neuropathic mice improved myelin formation and the processing of PMP22. These results warrant further studies with HSP90 inhibitors as potential therapeutic candidates for hereditary demyelinating neuropathies.
CMT1A neuropathy; demyelination; Schwann cells; protein misfolding; heat shock response; heat shock proteins; HSP90 inhibitors; myelination; myelin; peripheral myelin protein 22
The selective RNA-binding protein QKI play a key role in advancing oligodendrocyte-dependent myelination, which is essential for the function and development of the CNS. The emerging evidence that QKI abnormalities are associated with schizophrenia and may underlie myelin impairment in this devastating disease has greatly increased interest in understanding the function of QKI. Despite the discovery of the biochemical basis for QKI-RNA interaction, a comprehensive model is currently missing regarding how QKI regulates its mRNA ligands to promote normal myelinogenesis and how deficiency of the QKI pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases that affect CNS myelin. In this review, we will focus on the role of QKI in regulating distinct mRNA targets at critical developmental steps to promote oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation. In addition, we will discuss molecular mechanisms that control QKI expression and activity during normal myelinogenesis as well as the pathological impact of QKI deficiency in dysmyelination mutant animals and in human myelin disorders.
CNS myelination; myelin disorders; oligodendrocytes; post-transcriptional regulation; QKI; RNA-binding protein; schizophrenia
It has been suggested that polymorphic membrane proteins (Pmps) belonging to the Type V autotransporter protein family play an important role in the pathogenesis of Chlamydia abortus (C. abortus; formerly Chlamydophila abortus) infection. In a previous study we demonstrated the expression of all the pmps at the transcriptional level. The purpose of this study was to measure the number of Pmp positive inclusions throughout the C. abortus developmental cycle to investigate heterogeneity in expression patterns. McCoy cells were infected with C. abortus and analysed for Pmp expression over a 72 h period by fluorescent immunocytochemistry. Pmp18D could be detected at all analysed time points, and could only be accurately quantified from 36 hpi while Pmp10G positive inclusions could be visualised from 36 hpi. Expression of Pmps 13G, 16G and 17G could only be visualised later in the cycle and within less than half of visualised inclusions. These results indicate that while expression of specific Pmps is constitutive (Pmp18D), the pattern of expression of other Pmps is more variable. This suggests that different members of the Pmp family may play different roles within the developmental cycle of the organism, with some (Pmps10G and 18D) having roles throughout the cycle, while the heterogeneity of expression of others may aid in antigenic variation.
Chlamydia abortus; Polymorphic membrane protein; Antigenic variation
Patients with PMP22 deficiency present with focal sensory and motor deficits when peripheral nerves are stressed by mechanical force. It has been hypothesized that these focal deficits are due to mechanically induced conduction block (CB). To test this hypothesis, we induced 60-70% CB (defined by electrophysiological criteria) by nerve compression in an authentic mouse model of HNPP with an inactivation of one of the two pmp22 alleles (pmp22+/−). Induction time for the CB was significantly shorter in pmp22+/− mice than that in pmp22+/+ mice. This shortened induction was not found in the mice with deficiency of myelin protein zero (MPZ), a major structural protein of compact myelin. Pmp22+/− nerves showed intact tomacula with no segmental demyelination in both non-compressed and compressed conditions, normal molecular architecture, and normal concentration of voltage-gated sodium channels by H3-saxitoxin binding assay. However, focal constrictions were observed in the axonal segments enclosed by tomacula, a pathological hallmark of HNPP. The constricted axons increase axial-resistance to action potential propagation, which should hasten the induction of CB in pmp22 deficiency. Taken together, these results demonstrate that a function of Pmp22 is to protect the nerve from mechanical injury.
PMP22; conduction block; paranode; tomacula; hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP); Schwann cell; myelin; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; axonal constriction
Misexpression and cytosolic retention of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) within Schwann cells (SCs) is associated with a genetically heterogeneous group of demyelinating peripheral neuropathies. PMP22 overproducer C22 and spontaneous mutant Trembler J (TrJ) mice display neuropathic phenotypes and affected nerves contain abnormally localized PMP22. Nutrient deprivation-induced autophagy is able to suppress the formation of PMP22 aggregates in a toxin-induced cellular model, and improve locomotor performance and myelination in TrJ mice. As a step toward therapies, we assessed whether pharmacological activation of autophagy by rapamycin (RM) could facilitate the processing of PMP22 within neuropathic SCs and enhance their capacity to myelinate peripheral axons. Exposure of mouse SCs to RM induced autophagy in a dose- and time-dependent manner and decreased the accumulation of poly-ubiquitinated substrates. The treatment of myelinating dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explant cultures from neuropathic mice with RM (25 nM) improved the processing of PMP22 and increased the abundance and length of myelin internodes, as well as the expression of myelin proteins. Notably, RM is similarly effective in both the C22 and TrJ model, signifying that the benefit overlaps among distinct genetic models of PMP22 neuropathies. Furthermore, lentivirus-mediated shRNA knockdown of the autophagy-related gene 12 (Atg12) abolished the activation of autophagy and the increase in myelin proteins, demonstrating that autophagy is critical for the observed improvement. Together, these results support the potential use of RM and other autophagy-enhancing compounds as therapeutic agents for PMP22-associated demyelinating neuropathies.
CMT1A neuropathy; demyelination; Schwann cells; autophagy; rapamycin; myelin; peripheral myelin protein 22
Haploinsufficiency of PMP22 causes hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP). However, the biological functions of PMP22 in humans are largely unexplored due to the absence of patients with PMP22 null mutations.
Design, Setting and Participants
We have evaluated a 7-year-old boy with PMP22 null. Findings were compared with those from nerves of Pmp22 null mice.
Motor and sensory deficits in the proband were non-length dependent. Weakness was found in cranial muscles, but not in the limbs. Large fiber sensory modalities were profoundly abnormal, which started prior to the maturation of myelin. This is in line with the temporal pattern of PMP22 expression predominantly in cranial motor neurons and DRG during embryonic development, becoming undetectable in adulthood. Moreover, there were conspicuous maturation defects of myelinating Schwann cells that were more significant in motor nerve fibers than in sensory nerve fibers.
Taken together, these data suggest that PMP22 is important for the normal function of neurons that express PMP22 during early development, such as cranial motor neurons and spinal sensory neurons. Moreover, PMP22 deficiency differentially affects myelination between motor and sensory nerves, which may have contributed to the unique clinical phenotype in the patient with absence of PMP22.
Gas3/PMP22 is a tetraspan membrane protein highly expressed
in myelinating Schwann cells. Point mutations in the
gas3/PMP22 gene account for the dominant
inherited peripheral neuropathies Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 1A disease
(CMT1A) and Dejerine–Sottas syndrome (DSS). Gas3/PMP22 can regulate
apoptosis and cell spreading in cultured cells.
Gas3/PMP22 point mutations, which are
responsible for these diseases, are defective in this respect. In this
report, we demonstrate that Gas3/PMP22-WT is exposed at the cell
surface, while its point-mutated derivatives are intracellularly
retained, colocalizing mainly with the endoplasmic reticulum
(ER). The putative retrieval motif present in the carboxyl
terminus of Gas3/PMP22 is not sufficient for the intracellular
sequestration of its point-mutated forms. On the contrary, the
introduction of a retrieval signal at the carboxyl terminus of
Gas3/PMP22-WT leads to its intracellular accumulation, which is
accompanied by a failure to trigger cell death as well as by changes in
cell spreading. In addition, by substituting the Asn at position 41
required for N-glycosylation, we provide evidence that N-glycosylation
is required for the full effect on cell spreading, but it is not
necessary for triggering cell death. In conclusion, we suggest that the
DSS and the CMT1A neuropathies derived from point mutations of
Gas3/PMP22 might arise, at the molecular
level, from a reduced exposure of Gas3/PMP22 at the cell surface, which
is required to exert its biological functions.
The myelin sheath insulates axons and allows for rapid saltatory conduction in the nervous system of all vertebrates. The formation of peripheral myelin requires expression of the transcription factor, Egr2 which is responsible for inducing such essential myelin-associated genes as Mpz, Mbp, Pmp22 and Mag. Using microarray analysis to compare gene expression patterns in peripheral nerve during development, re-myelination after nerve injury, and in a congenital hypomyelinating mouse model, we identified an evolutionarily conserved novel component of myelin called Mp11 (Myelin Protein of 11 kDa). The Mp11 genomic locus contains multiple conserved Egr binding sites and Mp11 induction is regulated by the expression of Egr2. Similar to other Egr2-dependent genes, it is induced during developmental myelination and re-myelination after nerve injury. Mp11 is a glycoprotein expressed preferentially in the myelin of the peripheral versus central nervous system and is specifically localized to the Schmidt-Lanterman incisures and paranodes of peripheral nerve. The Mp11 protein contains no identifiable similarity to other known protein domains or motifs. However, like other myelin genes, strict Mp11 expression levels are a requirement for the in vitro myelination of DRG neurons indicating that this previously uncharacterized gene product is a critical component of peripheral nervous system myelin.
Mp11; Egr2; myelination; Schmidt-Lanterman incisures; paranode; expression profiling
Demyelinating peripheral neuropathies associated with abnormal expression of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) involve the formation of cytosolic protein aggregates within Schwann cells. Towards developing a therapy for these progressive neurodegenerative diseases, we assessed whether pharmacological activation of autophagy by rapamycin (RM) could prevent protein aggregation and enhance Schwann cell myelination. Indeed, we found that glial cells from neuropathic mice activate autophagy in response to RM and produce abundant myelin internodes. Lentivirus-mediated shRNA shutdown of Atg12 abrogates the improvements in myelin production, demonstrating that autophagy is critical for the observed benefits.
myelination; protein aggregation; neuropathy; neurodegeneration; Schwann cell
Current theories on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia suggest altered brain plasticity such as decreased neural proliferation and migration, delayed myelination, and abnormal synaptic modeling, in the brain of subjects with schizophrenia. Though functional alterations in BDNF, which plays important role in neuroplasticity, are implicated in many abnormalities found in schizophrenia, the regulatory mechanism(s) involved in the abnormal signaling of BDNF in schizophrenia is not clear. The present study investigated whether Sprouty2, a regulator of growth factor signaling, is abnormally expressed in schizophrenia, and is associated with the changes in BDNF mRNA in this disorder. The potential effect of antipsychotic drugs on Sprouty2 expression was tested in adult rats.
Methods and Findings
Sprouty2 and BDNF gene expression were analyzed in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from the Stanley Array Collection. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of RNA in 100 individuals (35 with schizophrenia, 31 with bipolar disorder, and 34 psychiatrically normal controls) showed significantly decreased expression of Sprouty2 and BDNF in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Moreover, a significant correlation between these two genes existed in control, schizophrenia and bipolar subjects. Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs, haloperidol and olanzapine, showed differential effects on both Sprouty2 and BDNF mRNA and protein levels in the frontal cortex of rats.
These findings demonstrating decreased expression of Sprouty2 associated with changes in BDNF, suggest the possibility that these decreases are secondary to treatment rather than to factors that are significant in the disease process of either schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder. Further exploration of Sprouty2-related signal transduction pathways may be helpful to design novel treatment strategies for these disorders.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1A (CMT1A) neuropathies linked to the misexpression of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) are progressive demyelinating disorders of the peripheral nervous system. In this study we asked whether dietary restriction by intermittent fasting (IF) could alleviate the neuropathic phenotype in the Trembler J (TrJ) mouse model of CMT1A. Our results show that neuropathic mice kept on a five month long IF regimen had improved locomotor performance compared to ad libitum (AL) fed littermates. The functional benefits of this dietary intervention are associated with an increased expression of myelin proteins combined with a thicker myelin sheath, less redundant basal lamina, and a reduction in aberrant Schwann cell proliferation. These morphological improvements are accompanied by a decrease in PMP22 protein aggregates, and enhanced expression of cytosolic chaperones and constituents of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway. These results indicate that dietary restriction is beneficial for peripheral nerve function in TrJ neuropathic mice, as it promotes the maintenance of locomotor performance.
neuropathy; myelin; dietary regimen; autophagy; chaperones; Schwann cells
Gene expression of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) and the epithelial membrane proteins (EMPs) was found to be differentially expressed in invasive and non-invasive breast cell lines in a previous study. We want to evaluate the prognostic impact of the expression of these genes on breast cancer.
In a retrospective multicenter study, gene expression of PMP22 and the EMPs was measured in 249 primary breast tumors by real-time PCR. Results were statistically analyzed together with clinical data.
In univariable Cox regression analyses PMP22 and the EMPs were not associated with disease-free survival or tumor-related mortality. However, multivariable Cox regression revealed that patients with higher than median PMP22 gene expression have a 3.47 times higher risk to die of cancer compared to patients with equal values on clinical covariables but lower PMP22 expression. They also have a 1.77 times higher risk to relapse than those with lower PMP22 expression. The proportion of explained variation in overall survival due to PMP22 gene expression was 6.5% and thus PMP22 contributes equally to prognosis of overall survival as nodal status and estrogen receptor status. Cross validation demonstrates that 5-years survival rates can be refined by incorporating PMP22 into the prediction model.
PMP22 gene expression is a novel independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival and overall survival for breast cancer patients. Including it into a model with established prognostic factors will increase the accuracy of prognosis.
Neuronal circuitry relies to a large extent on the presence of functional myelin produced in the brain by oligodendrocytes. Schizophrenia has been proposed to arise partly from altered brain connectivity. Brain imaging and neuropathologic studies have revealed changes in white matter and reduction in myelin content in patients with schizophrenia. In particular, alterations in the directionality and alignment of axons have been documented in schizophrenia. Moreover, the expression levels of several myelin-related genes are decreased in postmortem brains obtained from patients with schizophrenia. These findings have led to the formulation of the oligodendrocyte/myelin dysfunction hypothesis of schizophrenia. In this review, we present a brief overview of the neuropathologic findings obtained on white matter and oligodendrocyte status observed in schizophrenia patients, and relate these changes to the processes of brain maturation and myelination. We also review recent data on oligodendrocyte/myelin genes, and present some recent mouse models of myelin deficiencies. The use of transgenic and mutant animal models offers a unique opportunity to analyze oligodendrocyte and neuronal changes that may have a clinical impact. Lastly, we present some recent morphological findings supporting possible causal involvement of white and grey matter abnormalities, in the aim of determining the morphologic characteristics of the circuits whose alteration leads to the cortical dysfunction that possibly underlies the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
myelin; myelin-related genes; development; anterior cingulate cortex; cingulum bundle
PMP22 (peripheral myelin protein 22), also known as GAS 3 (growth-arrest-specific protein 3), is a disease-linked tetraspan glycoprotein of peripheral nerve myelin and constituent of intercellular junctions in epithelia. To date, our knowledge of the post-translational modification of PMP22 is limited. Using the CSS-Palm 2.0 software we predicted that C85 (cysteine 85), a highly conserved amino acid located between the second and third transmembrane domains, is a potential site for palmitoylation. To test this, we mutated C85S (C85 to serine) and established stable cells lines expressing the WT (wild-type) or the C85S-PMP22. In Schwann and MDCK (Madin–Darby canine kidney) cells mutating C85 blocked the palmitoylation of PMP22, which we monitored using 17-ODYA (17-octadecynoic acid). While palmitoylation was not necessary for processing the newly synthesized PMP22 through the secretory pathway, overexpression of C85S-PMP22 led to pronounced cell spreading and uneven monolayer thinning. To further investigate the functional significance of palmitoylated PMP22, we evaluated MDCK cell migration in a wound-healing assay. While WT-PMP22 expressing cells were resistant to migration, C85S cells displayed lamellipodial protrusions and migrated at a similar rate to vector control. These findings indicate that palmitoylation of PMP22 at C85 is critical for the role of the protein in modulating epithelial cell shape and motility.
lipid modification; myelin; protein trafficking; Schwann cell; tetraspan; Con A, concavalin A; C85, cysteine 85; C85S, C85 to serine; Endo H, endoglycosidase H; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GAS3, growth-arrest-specific protein 3; GFP, green fluorescent protein; HA, haemagglutinin; HN, hydroxylamine; HRP, horseradish peroxidase; MDCK, Madin–Darby canine kidney; ODYA, octadecynoic acid; PLP, proteolipid protein; Palm-YFP, palmitoylatable yellow fluorescent protein; PMP22, peripheral myelin protein 22; PNGaseF, peptide N-glycosidase F; RIPA, radioimmunoprecipitation assay; TX-100, Triton X-100; VVL, Viciavillosa lectin; WT, wild-type