The Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins (CRMPs) are highly expressed in the developing brain, and in adult brain areas that retain neurogenesis, ie: the olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate gyrus (DG). During brain development, CRMPs are essentially involved in signaling of axon guidance and neurite outgrowth, but their functions in the adult brain remain largely unknown. CRMP5 has been initially identified as the target of auto-antibodies involved in paraneoplasic neurological diseases and further implicated in a neurite outgrowth inhibition mediated by tubulin binding. Interestingly, CRMP5 is also highly expressed in adult brain neurogenic areas where its functions have not yet been elucidated. Here we observed in both neurogenic areas of the adult mouse brain that CRMP5 was present in proliferating and post-mitotic neuroblasts, while they migrate and differentiate into mature neurons. In CRMP5−/− mice, the lack of CRMP5 resulted in a significant increase of proliferation and neurogenesis, but also in an excess of apoptotic death of granule cells in the OB and DG. These findings provide the first evidence that CRMP5 is involved in the generation and survival of newly generated neurons in areas of the adult brain with a high level of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity.
In vitro studies have pointed to the collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) as key regulators of neurite outgrowth and axonal differentiation. CRMP3 is expressed mostly in the nervous system during development but remains at high levels in the hippocampus of adults. To explore CRMP3 function in vivo, we generated mice with targeted disruption of the CRMP3 gene. Immunohistochemistry and Golgi staining of CA1 showed abnormal dendrite and spine morphogenesis in the hippocampus of CRMP3-deficient mice. Apical dendrites displayed an increase in undulation and a reduction in length and branching points. Basal dendrites also exhibited a reduction in length with an alteration in soma stem distribution and an increased number of thick dendrites localized in stratum oriens (SO). Long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired in this area. These data indicate an important role for CRMP3 in dendrite arborization, guide-posts navigation, and neuronal plasticity.
Golgi analysis; gene targeting; neurite outgrowth; LTP
Lymphocyte migration into the central nervous system is a critical step in the physiopathology of a variety of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis and virus-induced neuroinflammation. To better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in cells migration, we focused our studies on collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs), a group of phosphoproteins that mediate neural cell motility. There is now evidence that collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) plays critical roles in the polarization (uropod formation) of T lymphocytes and their subsequent migration. CRMP2 was known to respond to semaphorin, ephrin and neurotrophin signaling in neurons. The link between the chemokine CXCL12, CRMP2 activity and cell migration has been demonstrated in T lymphocytes. These observations and comparisons of the activity of CRMPs in immune and non-immmune cells are summarized here. The ability of a human retrovirus to enhance lymphocyte migration through the modulation of CRMP2 activity is also discussed. In conclusion, viruses have the ability to manipulate the lymphocyte motility machinery, intensifying neural tissue invasion in infected patients.
retrovirus; chemokine; chronic viral infection; neuroimmune response; neuroinflammatory disease
Multiple sclerosis involves demyelination and axonal degeneration of the central nervous system. The molecular mechanisms of axonal degeneration are relatively unexplored in both multiple sclerosis and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. We previously reported that targeting the axonal growth inhibitor, Nogo-A, may protect against neurodegeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; however, the mechanism by which this occurs is unclear. We now show that the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2), an important tubulin-associated protein that regulates axonal growth, is phosphorylated and hence inhibited during the progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in degenerating axons. The phosphorylated form of CRMP-2 (pThr555CRMP-2) is localized to spinal cord neurons and axons in chronic-active multiple sclerosis lesions. Specifically, pThr555CRMP-2 is implicated to be Nogo-66 receptor 1 (NgR1)-dependent, since myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35–55-induced NgR1 knock-out (ngr1−/−) mice display a reduced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis disease progression, without a deregulation of ngr1−/− MOG35–55-reactive lymphocytes and monocytes. The limitation of axonal degeneration/loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis-induced ngr1−/− mice is associated with lower levels of pThr555CRMP-2 in the spinal cord and optic nerve during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Furthermore, transduction of retinal ganglion cells with an adeno-associated viral vector encoding a site-specific mutant T555ACRMP-2 construct, limits optic nerve axonal degeneration occurring at peak stage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Therapeutic administration of the anti-Nogo(623–640) antibody during the course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, associated with an improved clinical outcome, is demonstrated to abrogate the protein levels of pThr555CRMP-2 in the spinal cord and improve pathological outcome. We conclude that phosphorylation of CRMP-2 may be downstream of NgR1 activation and play a role in axonal degeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Blockade of Nogo-A/NgR1 interaction may serve as a viable therapeutic target in multiple sclerosis.
Nogo receptor; Nogo-A; collapsin response mediator protein 2; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; axonal degeneration
Recent studies suggest that the pathogenic process in neurodegenerative disorders may disrupt mature neuronal circuitries and neurogenesis in the adult brain. Abnormal activation of CDK5 is associated with neurodegenerative disorders, and recently a critical role for CDK5 in adult neurogenesis has been identified. We have developed an in vitro model of abnormal CDK5 activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and here we used this model to investigate aberrantly phosphorylated downstream targets of CDK5.
Abnormal CDK5 activation in an in vitro model of adult neurogenesis results in hyperphosphorylation of collapsin-response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) and impaired neurite outgrowth. Inhibition of CDK5, or expression of a non-phosphorylatable (S522A) CRMP2 construct reduced CRMP2 hyperphosphorylation, and reversed neurite outgrowth deficits. CRMP2 plays a role in microtubule dynamics; therefore we examined the integrity of microtubules in this model using biochemical and electron microscopy techniques. We found that microtubule organization was disrupted under conditions of CDK5 activation. Finally, to study the relevance of these findings to neurogenesis in neurodegenerative conditions associated with HIV infection, we performed immunochemical analyses of the brains of patients with HIV and transgenic mice expressing HIV-gp120 protein. CDK5-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation was significantly increased in the hippocampus of patients with HIV encephalitis and in gp120 transgenic mice, and this effect was rescued by genetic down-modulation of CDK5 in the mouse model.
These results reveal a functional mechanism involving microtubule destabilization through which abnormal CDK5 activation and CRMP2 hyperphosphorylation might contribute to defective neurogenesis in neurodegenerative disorders such as HIV encephalitis.
neurogenesis; HIV; encephalitis; CRMP2; dpysl2; CDK5; microtubules; neurite outgrowth
Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3) has been implicated in regulating chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression but the physiological substrates mediating these GSK3-dependent effects have not been identified. Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 4 (CRMP4) is a cytosolic phosphoprotein known to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and is a known physiological substrate of GSK3. In this study, we investigate the role of CRMP4 during mitosis.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Here we demonstrate that during mitosis CRMP4 phosphorylation is regulated in a GSK3-dependent manner. We show that CRMP4 localizes to spindle microtubules during mitosis and loss of CRMP4 disrupts chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression. The effect of CRMP4 on chromosomal alignment is dependent on phosphorylation by GSK3 identifying CRMP4 as a critical GSK3 substrate during mitotic progression. We also provide mechanistic data demonstrating that CRMP4 regulates spindle microtubules consistent with its known role in the regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Conclusion and Significance
Our findings identify CRMP4 as a key physiological substrate of GSK3 in regulating chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression through its effect on spindle microtubules.
Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) have been reported to control axonal guidance during neuronal development and degeneration. Among these proteins, CRMP-5 has been indicated to play an important role in growth cone development. However, the mechanisms underlying the linkage between growth cone development and the cytoskeleton remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that CRMP-5 interacts with tubulin to mediate growth cone development in cultured hippocampal neurons. We found that CRMP-5 physically interacted with tubulin in the growth cones of developing neurons. CRMP-5 colocalized with tubulin in lamellipodia in HEK293 cells and in the growth cones of cultured hippocampal neurons. Genetic silencing of CRMP-5 using RNA interference led to abnormal growth cone morphology in neurons. Overexpression of CRMP-5 led to significantly increased filopodial formation and enlarged growth cones. These results suggest that CRMP-5 interacts with tubulin to regulate growth cone dynamics, thus complying with the restrictive intracellular guidance cues.
CRMP-5; tubulin; growth cone; hippocampal neuron
Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) is known as a regulator of neuronal polarity and differentiation through microtubule assembly and trafficking. Here, we show that CRMP-2 is ubiquitously expressed and a splice variant (CRMP-2L), which is expressed mainly in epithelial cells among nonneuronal cells, regulates myosin II-mediated cellular functions, including cell migration. While the CRMP-2 short form (CRMP-2S) is recognized as a substrate of the Rho-GTP downstream kinase ROCK in neuronal cells, a CRMP-2 complex containing 2L not only bound the catalytic domain of ROCK II through two binding domains but also trapped and inhibited the kinase. CRMP-2L protein levels profoundly affected haptotactic migration and the actin-myosin cytoskeleton of carcinoma cells as well as nontransformed epithelial cell migration in a ROCK activity-dependent manner. Moreover, the ectopic expression of CRMP-2L but not -2S inhibited fibronectin matrix assembly in fibroblasts. Underlying these responses, CRMP-2L regulated the kinase activity of ROCK II but not ROCK I, independent of GTP-RhoA levels. This study provides a new insight into CRMP-2 as a controller of myosin II-mediated cellular functions through the inhibition of ROCK II in nonneuronal cells.
Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are a family of neuron-enriched proteins that regulate neurite outgrowth and growth cone dynamics. Here, we show that Cdk5 phosphorylates CRMP1, CRMP2, and CRMP4, priming for subsequent phosphorylation by GSK3 in vitro. In contrast, DYRK2 phosphorylates and primes CRMP4 only. The Cdk5 and DYRK2 inhibitor purvalanol decreases the phosphorylation of CRMP proteins in neurons, whereas CRMP1 and CRMP2, but not CRMP4, phosphorylation is decreased in Cdk5−/− cortices. Stimulation of neuroblastoma cells with IGF1 or TPA decreases GSK3 activity concomitantly with CRMP2 and CRMP4 phosphorylation. Conversely, increased GSK3 activity is not sufficient to increase CRMP phosphorylation. However, the growth cone collapse-inducing protein Sema3A increases Cdk5 activity and promotes phosphorylation of CRMP2 (but not CRMP4). Therefore, inhibition of GSK3 alters phosphorylation of all CRMP isoforms; however, individual isoforms can be differentially regulated by their respective priming kinase. This is the first GSK3 substrate found to be regulated in this manner and may explain the hyperphosphorylation of CRMP2 observed in Alzheimer's disease.
Collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) is one of the CRMP family members that are involved in various aspects of neuronal development such as axonal guidance and neuronal migration. Here we provide evidence that crmp1−/− mice exhibited behavioral abnormalities related to schizophrenia. The crmp1−/− mice exhibited hyperactivity and/or impaired emotional behavioral phenotype. These mice also exhibited impaired context-dependent memory and long-term memory retention. Furthermore, crmp1−/− mice exhibited decreased prepulse inhibition, and this phenotype was rescued by administration of chlorpromazine, a typical antipsychotic drug. In addition, in vivo microdialysis revealed that the methamphetamine-induced release of dopamine in prefrontal cortex was exaggerated in crmp1−/− mice, suggesting that enhanced mesocortical dopaminergic transmission contributes to their hyperactivity phenotype. These observations suggest that impairment of CRMP1 function may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. We propose that crmp1−/− mouse may model endophenotypes present in this neuropsychiatric disorder.
CRMP1; comprehensive behavioral test; knockout mouse; schizophrenia; mesocortical dopaminergic transmission; hyperactivity; prepulse inhibition
Elevated glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) activity is associated with Alzheimer disease. We have found that collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMP) 2 and 4 are physiological substrates of GSK-3. The amino acids targeted by GSK-3 comprise a hyperphosphorylated epitope first identified in plaques isolated from Alzheimer brain. Expression of wild type CRMP2 in primary hippocampal neurons or SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells promotes axon elongation. However, a GSK-3-insensitive CRMP2 mutant has dramatically reduced ability to promote axon elongation, a similar effect to pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3. Hence, we propose that phosphorylation of CRMP proteins by GSK-3 regulates axon elongation. This work provides a direct connection between hyperphosphorylation of these residues and elevated GSK-3 activity, both of which are observed in Alzheimer brain.
Epileptogenesis following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is likely due to a combination of increased excitability, disinhibition, and increased excitatory connectivity via aberrant axon sprouting. Targeting these pathways could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of posttraumatic epilepsy. Here, we tested this possibility using the novel anticonvulsant (R)-N-benzyl 2-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-lacosamide (LCM) which acts on both voltage-gated sodium channels and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an axonal growth/guidance protein. LCM inhibited CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth, an effect phenocopied by CRMP2 knockdown. Mutation of LCM binding sites in CRMP2 reduced the neurite inhibitory effect of LCM by ~8-fold. LCM also reduced CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization. Thus, LCM selectively impairs CRMP2-mediated microtubule polymerization which underlies its neurite outgrowth and branching. To determine whether LCM inhibits axon sprouting in vivo, LCM was injected into rats subjected to partial cortical isolation, an animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis that exhibits axon sprouting in cortical pyramidal neurons. Two weeks following injury, excitatory synaptic connectivity of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons was mapped using patch clamp recordings and laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate. In comparison to injured control animals, there was a significant decrease in the map size of excitatory synaptic connectivity in LCM-treated rats, suggesting that LCM treatment prevented enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity due to posttraumatic axon sprouting. These findings suggest, for the first time, that LCM’s mode of action involves interactions with CRMP2 to inhibit posttraumatic axon sprouting.
Epileptogenesis; Posttraumatic sprouting; CRMP2; Neurite outgrowth; Sholl analysis; Tubulin polymerization; Lacosamide
Semaphorin activation of Plexin (Plex) receptors provides axonal guidance during neuronal development. Two families of cytoplasmic proteins, collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) and molecules interacting with CasL (MICALs), have been implicated in Plexin function. The relationship between CRMP and MICAL signaling has not been defined nor is the mechanism by which Plexin activates MICAL clear. Here, we show that CRMP and MICAL physically associate and that Sema signaling promotes this association. MICAL enzymatic activity is inhibited by the C-terminal domain of MICAL. CRMP and Plexin associate with nonenzymatic and enzymatic domains of MICAL and together release MICAL enzymatic autoinhibition. In addition to acting as an upstream MICAL activator, CRMP functions downstream of MICAL, inhibiting the catalytic domain. A constitutively active CRMP mutant inhibits MICAL activity more potently than does wild-type CRMP, suggesting that CRMP or a CRMP-associated factor is a MICAL substrate. Thus, complex Plex/CRMP/MICAL interactions transduce Semaphorin signaling into axon guidance.
plexin; neuropilin; semaphorin; MICAL; axonal guidance; growth cone collapse; CRMP
The mechanisms underlying neuronal pathology and death in the spinal cord (SC) during inflammation remain elusive. We previously showed the important role of plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) in the survival of SC neurons, in vitro. We also postulated that a decrease in PMCA2 expression could cause neuronal death during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. The current studies were undertaken to define the specific contribution of PMCA2 to degeneration of SC neurons, the effectors downstream to PMCA2 mediating neuronal death and the triggers that reduce PMCA2 expression. We report that knockdown of PMCA2 in SC neurons decreases collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) levels. This is followed by cell death. Silencing of CRMP1 expression also leads to neuronal loss. Kainic acid reduces both PMCA2 and CRMP1 levels and induces neuronal death. Administration of an α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA)/kainate receptor antagonist, at onset or peak of EAE, restores the decreased PMCA2 and CRMP1 levels to control values and ameliorates clinical deficits. Thus, our data link the reduction in PMCA2 expression with perturbations in the expression of CRMP1 and the ensuing death of SC neurons. This represents an additional mechanism underlying AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity with relevance to neurodegeneration in EAE.
multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury; ATP2B2; neuroprotection; excitotoxicity
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental in origin, affecting an estimated 1 in 88 children in the United States. We previously described ASD-specific maternal autoantibodies that recognize fetal brain antigens. Herein, we demonstrate that lactate dehydrogenase A and B (LDH), cypin, stress-induced phosphoprotein 1 (STIP1), collapsin response mediator proteins 1 and 2 (CRMP1, CRMP2) and Y-box-binding protein to comprise the seven primary antigens of maternal autoantibody-related (MAR) autism. Exclusive reactivity to specific antigen combinations was noted in 23% of mothers of ASD children and only 1% of controls. ASD children from mothers with specific reactivity to LDH, STIP1 and CRMP1 and/or cypin (7% vs 0% in controls; P<0.0002; odds ratios of 24.2 (95% confidence interval: 1.45–405)) had elevated stereotypical behaviors compared with ASD children from mothers lacking these antibodies. We describe the first panel of clinically significant biomarkers with over 99% specificity for autism risk thereby advancing our understanding of the etiologic mechanisms and therapeutic possibilities for MAR autism.
autism; autoantibodies; fetal brain; neurodevelopment
Metastasis is a predominant cause of death in patients with cancer. It is a complex multistep process that needs to be better understood if we are to develop new approaches to managing tumor metastasis. Tumor cell invasion of the local stroma is suppressed by collapsin response mediator protein-1 (CRMP-1). Recently, we identified a long isoform of CRMP-1 (LCRMP-1), expression of which correlates with cancer cell invasiveness and poor clinical outcome in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we report that LCRMP-1 overexpression in noninvasive human cell lines enhanced filopodia formation, cancer cell migration, and invasion via stabilization of actin. This effect required a highly conserved N-terminal region of LCRMP-1 as well as the WASP family verprolin-homologous protein-1/actin nucleation pathway (WAVE-1/actin nucleation pathway). Furthermore, LCRMP-1 appeared to act downstream of Cdc42, a Rho family protein known to be involved in actin rearrangement. In addition, LCRMP-1 associated with CRMP-1, which downregulated cancer cell metastasis by interrupting the association of LCRMP-1 and WAVE-1. Finally, we found that high-level expression of LCRMP-1 and low-level expression of CRMP-1 were associated with lymph node metastasis and poor survival in patients with NSCLC. In sum, we show that LCRMP-1 and CRMP-1 have opposing functions in regulating cancer cell invasion and metastasis and propose that this pathway may serve as a potential anticancer target.
Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) enhances the advance of growth cones by regulating microtubule assembly and Numb-mediated endocytosis. We previously showed that Rho kinase phosphorylates CRMP-2 during growth cone collapse; however, the roles of phosphorylated CRMP-2 in growth cone collapse remain to be clarified. Here, we report that CRMP-2 phosphorylation by Rho kinase cancels the binding activity to the tubulin dimer, microtubules, or Numb. CRMP-2 binds to actin, but its binding is not affected by phosphorylation. Electron microscopy revealed that CRMP-2 localizes on microtubules, clathrin-coated pits, and actin filaments in dorsal root ganglion neuron growth cones, while phosphorylated CRMP-2 localizes only on actin filaments. The phosphomimic mutant of CRMP-2 has a weakened ability to enhance neurite elongation. Furthermore, ephrin-A5 induces phosphorylation of CRMP-2 via Rho kinase during growth cone collapse. Taken together, these results suggest that Rho kinase phosphorylates CRMP-2, and inactivates the ability of CRMP-2 to promote microtubule assembly and Numb-mediated endocytosis, during growth cone collapse.
Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) can lead to irreversible central nervous system (CNS) damage. However, the pathogenesis of the developmental brain disorders caused by CH has not been completely elucidated. ARPC5 and CRMP2 are closely associated with neurite outgrowth in brain development. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine whether CRMP2B and ARPC5 expression is altered in the developing cerebral cortex of rats with CH. Control rats and rats with hypothyroidism were sacrificed at birth and at 15 days postpartum. We performed qRT-PCR to detect differences in the crmp2B and arpc5 mRNA expression in the right half of the frontal cortex of these rats. Western blotting was then used to detect differences in CRMP2B and ARPC5 protein expression. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis was performed on the left half of the frontal cortex to detect abnormal localization of CRMP2B and ARPC5. Results showed increased expression of the nuclear short isoform of CRMP2B and decreased expression of full-length CRMP2B and ARPC5 in cortical neurons of rats with hypothyroidism. These findings demonstrate that reduced levels of thyroid hormones can inhibit the expression of full-length CRMP2B and ARPC5 and promote nuclear transformation of the short isoform of CRMP2B. CRMP2B and ARPC5 may participate in CNS injury mediated by hypothyroidism by inducing neurite outgrowth inhibition and cytoskeletal protein disorganization.
CRMP2B; ARPC5; congenital hypothyroidism; frontal cortex; rat.
Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2), traditionally viewed as an axon/dendrite specification and axonal growth protein, has emerged as nidus in regulation of both pre- and post-synaptic Ca2+ channels. Building on our discovery of the interaction and regulation of Ca2+ channels by CRMP-2, we recently identified a short sequence in CRMP-2 which, when appended to the transduction domain of HIV TAT protein, suppressed acute, inflammatory and neuropathic pain in vivo by functionally uncoupling CRMP-2 from the Ca2+ channel. Remarkably, we also found that this region attenuated Ca2+ influx via N-methylD-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and reduced neuronal death in a moderate controlled cortical impact model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here, we sought to extend these findings by examining additional neuroprotective effects of this peptide (TAT-CBD3) and exploring the biochemical mechanisms by which TAT-CBD3 targets NMDARs. We observed that an intraperitoneal injection of TAT-CBD3 peptide significantly reduced infarct volume in an animal model of focal cerebral ischemia. Neuroprotection was observed when TAT-CBD3 peptide was given either prior to or after occlusion but just prior to reperfusion. Surprisingly, a direct biochemical complex was not resolvable between the NMDAR subunit NR2B and CRMP-2. Intracellular application of TAT-CBD3 failed to inhibit NMDAR current. NR2B interactions with the post synaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) remained intact and were not disrupted by TAT-CBD3. Peptide tiling of intracellular regions of NR2B revealed two 15-mer sequences, in the carboxyl-terminus of NR2B, that may confer binding between NR2B and CRMP-2 which supports CRMP-2's role in excitotoxicity and neuroprotection.
N-methylD-aspartate receptor; CRMP-2; focal cerebral ischemia; MCAO model; peptide
Ferulic acid, a component of the plants Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels and Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort, exerts a neuroprotective effect by regulating various signaling pathways. This study showed that ferulic acid treatment prevents the injury-induced increase of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) in focal cerebral ischemia. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) regulates CRMP-2 function through phosphorylation of CRMP-2. Moreover, the pro-apoptotic activity of GSK-3β is inactivated by phosphorylation by Akt. This study investigated whether ferulic acid modulates the expression of CRMP-2 and its upstream targets, Akt and GSK-3β, in focal cerebral ischemia. Male rats were treated immediately with ferulic acid (100 mg/kg, i.v.) or vehicle after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and then cerebral cortices were collected 24 hr after MCAO. MCAO resulted in decreased levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-GSK-3β, while ferulic acid treatment prevented the decrease in the levels of these proteins. Moreover, phospho-CRMP-2 and CRMP-2 levels increased during MCAO, whereas ferulic acid attenuated these injury-induced increases. These results demonstrate that ferulic acid regulates the Akt/GSK-3β/CRMP-2 signaling pathway in focal cerebral ischemic injury, thereby protecting against brain injury.
Ferulic acid; neuroprotection; Akt; GSK-3β; CRMP-2
Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) have been implicated in signaling of axonal guidance, including semaphorins. We have previously identified a unique member of this gene family, CRMP-associated molecule CRAM (CRMP-5), which is phylogenetically divergent from the other four CRMPs. In this study, we have examined the distribution and function of CRAM in developing neurons. Immunohistochemical analysis showed accumulation of CRAM in the filopodia of growth cones. Experiments using cytochalasin D indicated that filopodial localization of CRAM was independent of filamentous actin. Overexpression of CRAM in neuronal cells significantly promoted filopodial growth and led to the formation of supernumerary growth cones, which acquired resistance to semaphorin-3A stimulation. Finally, knockdown of CRAM by using RNA interference blocked filopodial formation and revealed an aberrant morphology of growth cones. We propose that CRAM regulates filopodial dynamics and growth cone development, thereby restricting the response of growth cone to repulsive guidance cues.
Schizophrenia is a chronic illness of heterogenous biological origin. We hypothesized that, similar to chronic progressive brain conditions, persistent functional disturbances of neurons would result in disturbed proteostasis in the brains of schizophrenia patients, leading to increased abundance of specific misfolded, insoluble proteins. Identification of such proteins would facilitate the elucidation of molecular processes underlying these devastating conditions. We therefore generated antibodies against pooled insoluble proteome of post-mortem brains from schizophrenia patients in order to identify unique, disease-specific epitopes. We successfully identified such an epitope to be present on collapsin-response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) in biochemically purified, insoluble brain fractions. A genetic association analysis for the CRMP1 gene in a large Finnish population cohort (n = 4651) corroborated the association of physical and social anhedonia with the CRMP1 locus in a DISC1 (Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1)-dependent manner. Physical and social anhedonia are heritable traits, present as chronic, negative symptoms of schizophrenia and severe major depression, thus constituting serious vulnerability factors for mental disease. Strikingly, lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from schizophrenia patients mirrored aberrant CRMP1 immunoreactivity by showing an increase of CRMP1 expression, suggesting its potential role as a blood-based diagnostic marker. CRMP1 is a novel candidate protein for schizophrenia traits at the intersection of the reelin and DISC1 pathways that directly and functionally interacts with DISC1. We demonstrate the impact of an interdisciplinary approach where the identification of a disease-associated epitope in post-mortem brains, powered by a genetic association study, is rapidly translated into a potential blood-based diagnostic marker.
Temporal and spatial assembly of signal transduction machinery determines dendrite branch patterning, a process crucial for proper synaptic transmission. Our laboratory previously cloned and characterized cypin, a protein that decreases PSD-95 family member localization and regulates dendrite number. Cypin contains zinc binding, collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) homology, and PSD-95, Discs large, zona occludens-1 binding domains. Both the zinc binding and CRMP homology domains are needed for dendrite patterning. In addition, cypin binds tubulin via its CRMP homology domain to promote microtubule assembly. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen of a rat brain cDNA library with cypin lacking the carboxyl terminal eight amino acids as bait, we identified snapin as a cypin binding partner. Here, we show by affinity chromatography and coimmunoprecipitation that the carboxyl-terminal coiled-coil domain (H2) of snapin is required for cypin binding. In addition, snapin binds to cypin's CRMP homology domain, which is where tubulin binds. We also show that snapin competes with tubulin for binding to cypin, resulting in decreased microtubule assembly. Subsequently, overexpression of snapin in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons results in decreased primary dendrites present on these neurons and increased probability of branching. Together, our data suggest that snapin regulates dendrite number in developing neurons by modulating cypin-promoted microtubule assembly.
This study was undertaken to assay the effect of lovastatin on the glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β) and collapsin responsive mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) signaling pathway and mossy fiber sprouting (MFS) in epileptic rats. MFS in the dentate gyrus (DG) is an important feature of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and is highly related to the severity and the frequency of spontaneous recurrent seizures. However, the molecular mechanism of MFS is mostly unknown. GSK-3β and CRMP-2 are the genes responsible for axonal growth and neuronal polarity in the hippocampus, therefore this pathway is a potential target to investigate MFS. Pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus animal model was taken as our researching material. Western blot, histological and electrophysiological techniques were used as the studying tools. The results showed that the expression level of GSK-3β and CRMP-2 were elevated after seizure induction, and the administration of lovastatin reversed this effect and significantly reduced the extent of MFS in both DG and CA3 region in the hippocampus. The alteration of expression level of GSK-3β and CRMP-2 after seizure induction proposes that GSK-3β and CRMP-2 are crucial for MFS and epiletogenesis. The fact that lovastatin reversed the expression level of GSK-3β and CRMP-2 indicated that GSK-3β and CRMP-2 are possible to be a novel mechanism of lovatstain to suppress MFS and revealed a new therapeutic target and researching direction for studying the mechanism of MFS and epileptogenesis.
The CRMP proteins were originally identified as mediators of Sema3A signaling and neuronal differentiation. Much has been learned about the mechanism by which CRMPs regulate cellular responses to Sema3A. In this review, the evidence for CRMP as a component of the Sema3A signaling cascade and the modulation of CRMP by plexin and phosphorylation are considered. In addition, current knowledge of the function of CRMP in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of the cytoskeleton and endocytosis, is discussed in relationship to the mechanisms of axonal growth cone Sema3A response.
The secreted protein Sema3A (collapsin-1) was the first identified vertebrate semaphorin. Sema3A acts primarily as a repulsive axon guidance cue, and can cause a dramatic collapse of the growth cone lamellipodium. This process results from the redistribution of the F-actin cytoskeleton1,2 and endocytosis of the growth cone cell membrane.2–4 Neuropilin-1 (NP1) and members of the class A plexins (PlexA) form a Sema3A receptor complex, with NP1 serving as a high-affinity ligand binding partner, and PlexA transducing the signal into the cell via its large intracellular domain. Although the effect of Sema3A on growth cones was first described nearly 15 years ago, the intracellular signaling pathways that lead to the cellular effects have only recently begun to be understood. Monomeric G-proteins, various kinases, the redox protein, MICAL, and protein turnover have all been implicated in PlexA transduction. In addition, the collapsin-response-mediator protein (CRMP) family of cytosolic phosphoproteins plays a crucial role in Sema3A/NP1/PlexA signal transduction. Current knowledge regarding CRMP functions are reviewed here.