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1.  β-III spectrin is critical for development of Purkinje cell dendritic tree and spine morphogenesis 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2011;31(46):16581-16590.
Mutations in the gene encoding β-III spectrin give rise to spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 (SCA5), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive thinning of the molecular layer, loss of Purkinje cells and increasing motor deficits. A mouse lacking full-length β-III spectrin (β-III−/−) displays a similar phenotype. In vitro and in vivo analyses of Purkinje cells lacking β-III spectrin, reveal a critical role for β-III spectrin in Purkinje cell morphological development. Disruption of the normally well-ordered dendritic arborization occurs in Purkinje cells from β-III−/− mice, specifically showing a loss of monoplanar organization, smaller average dendritic diameter and reduced densities of Purkinje cell spines and synapses. Early morphological defects appear to affect distribution of dendritic, but not axonal, proteins. This study confirms that thinning of the molecular layer associated with disease pathogenesis is a consequence of Purkinje cell dendritic degeneration, as Purkinje cells from 8-month old β-III−/− mice have drastically reduced dendritic volumes, surface areas and total dendritic lengths compared to 5–6 week old β-III−/− mice. These findings highlight a critical role of β-III spectrin in dendritic biology and are consistent with an early developmental defect in β-III−/− mice, with abnormal Purkinje cell dendritic morphology potentially underlying disease pathogenesis.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3332-11.2011
PMCID: PMC3374928  PMID: 22090485
2.  Pre-synaptic regulation of astroglial excitatory neurotransmitter transporter GLT1 
Neuron  2009;61(6):880-894.
SUMMARY
The neuron-astrocyte synaptic complex is a fundamental operational unit of the nervous system. Astroglia play a central role in the regulation of synaptic glutamate, via neurotransmitter transport by GLT1/EAAT2. The astroglial mechanisms underlying this essential neuron-glial communication are not known. Here we show that presynaptic terminals are sufficient and necessary for GLT1/EAAT2 transcriptional activation and have identified the molecular pathway that regulates astroglial responses to presynaptic input. Presynaptic terminals regulate astroglial GLT1/EAAT2 via kappa B-motif binding phosphoprotein (KBBP), the mouse homologue of human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K), which binds to an essential element of GLT1/EAAT2 promoter. This neuron-stimulated factor is required for GLT1/EATT2 transcriptional activation and is responsible for astroglial alterations in neural injury. Denervation of neuron-astrocyte signaling in vivo, by acute corticospinal tract transection, ricin-induced motor neuron death, or chronic neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) all result in reduced astroglial KBBP expression and transcriptional dysfunction of astroglial transporter expression. Our studies indicate that presynaptic elements dynamically coordinate normal astroglial function and also provide a fundamental signaling mechanism by which altered neuronal function and injury leads to dysregulated astroglia in CNS disease.
doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.02.010
PMCID: PMC2743171  PMID: 19323997
3.  Multiplexed RNA trafficking in oligodendrocytes and neurons 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2008;1779(8):453-458.
Summary
In oligodendrocytes and neurons genetic information is transmitted from nucleus to dendrites in the form of RNA granules. Here we describe how transport of multiple different RNA molecules in individual granules is analogous to the process of multiplexing in telecommunications. In both cases multiple messages are combined into a composite signal for transmission on a single carrier. Multiplexing provides a mechanism to coordinate local expression of ensembles of genes in myelin in oligodendrocytes and at synapses in neurons.
doi:10.1016/j.bbagrm.2008.04.002
PMCID: PMC2584806  PMID: 18442491
HnRNP A2; myelin; RNA granules; synapse; TOG
4.  Multiplexed Dendritic Targeting of α Calcium Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase II, Neurogranin, and Activity-regulated Cytoskeleton-associated Protein RNAs by the A2 Pathway 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(5):2311-2327.
In neurons, many different RNAs are targeted to dendrites where local expression of the encoded proteins mediates synaptic plasticity during learning and memory. It is not known whether each RNA follows a separate trafficking pathway or whether multiple RNAs are targeted to dendrites by the same pathway. Here, we show that RNAs encoding α calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, neurogranin, and activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein are coassembled into the same RNA granules and targeted to dendrites by the same cis/trans-determinants (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein [hnRNP] A2 response element and hnRNP A2) that mediate dendritic targeting of myelin basic protein RNA by the A2 pathway in oligodendrocytes. Multiplexed dendritic targeting of different RNAs by the same pathway represents a new organizing principle for coordinating gene expression at the synapse.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E07-09-0914
PMCID: PMC2366844  PMID: 18305102

Results 1-4 (4)