PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-9 (9)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Year of Publication
1.  CCNF mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia 
Nature Communications  2016;7:11253.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping, fatal neurodegenerative disorders in which the molecular and pathogenic basis remains poorly understood. Ubiquitinated protein aggregates, of which TDP-43 is a major component, are a characteristic pathological feature of most ALS and FTD patients. Here we use genome-wide linkage analysis in a large ALS/FTD kindred to identify a novel disease locus on chromosome 16p13.3. Whole-exome sequencing identified a CCNF missense mutation at this locus. Interrogation of international cohorts identified additional novel CCNF variants in familial and sporadic ALS and FTD. Enrichment of rare protein-altering CCNF variants was evident in a large sporadic ALS replication cohort. CCNF encodes cyclin F, a component of an E3 ubiquitin–protein ligase complex (SCFCyclin F). Expression of mutant CCNF in neuronal cells caused abnormal ubiquitination and accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, including TDP-43 and a SCFCyclin F substrate. This implicates common mechanisms, linked to protein homeostasis, underlying neuronal degeneration.
Ian Blair and colleagues use genome-wide linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing to identify mutations in the CCNF gene in large cohorts of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia patients. In addition to validating the mutations in international cohorts, the authors also show that mutant CCNF gene product affects ubiquitination and protein degradation in cultured cells.
doi:10.1038/ncomms11253
PMCID: PMC4835537  PMID: 27080313
2.  Genetic basis of hindlimb loss in a naturally occurring vertebrate model 
Biology Open  2016;5(3):359-366.
ABSTRACT
Here we genetically characterise pelvic finless, a naturally occurring model of hindlimb loss in zebrafish that lacks pelvic fin structures, which are homologous to tetrapod hindlimbs, but displays no other abnormalities. Using a hybrid positional cloning and next generation sequencing approach, we identified mutations in the nuclear localisation signal (NLS) of T-box transcription factor 4 (Tbx4) that impair nuclear localisation of the protein, resulting in altered gene expression patterns during pelvic fin development and the failure of pelvic fin development. Using a TALEN-induced tbx4 knockout allele we confirm that mutations within the Tbx4 NLS (A78V; G79A) are sufficient to disrupt pelvic fin development. By combining histological, genetic, and cellular approaches we show that the hindlimb initiation gene tbx4 has an evolutionarily conserved, essential role in pelvic fin development. In addition, our novel viable model of hindlimb deficiency is likely to facilitate the elucidation of the detailed molecular mechanisms through which Tbx4 functions during pelvic fin and hindlimb development.
Summary: Here we genetically characterise mutations in tbx4 which underlie pelvic finless, a naturally occurring model of hindlimb loss in zebrafish that lacks pelvic fin structures.
doi:10.1242/bio.016295
PMCID: PMC4810746  PMID: 26892237
Pelvic fin; Development; TALENs; Hindlimb; Tbx4
3.  In vivo characterization of microglial engulfment of dying neurons in the zebrafish spinal cord 
Microglia are specialized phagocytes in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). As the resident immune cells of the CNS they play an important role in the removal of dying neurons during both development and in several neuronal pathologies. Microglia have been shown to prevent the diffusion of damaging degradation products of dying neurons by engulfment and ingestion. Here we describe a live imaging approach that uses UV laser ablation to selectively stress and kill spinal neurons and visualize the clearance of neuronal remnants by microglia in the zebrafish spinal cord. In vivo imaging confirmed the motile nature of microglia within the uninjured spinal cord. However, selective neuronal ablation triggered rapid activation of microglia, leading to phagocytic uptake of neuronal debris by microglia within 20–30 min. This process of microglial engulfment is highly dynamic, involving the extension of processes toward the lesion site and consequently the ingestion of the dying neuron. 3D rendering analysis of time-lapse recordings revealed the formation of phagosome-like structures in the activated microglia located at the site of neuronal ablation. This real-time representation of microglial phagocytosis in the living zebrafish spinal cord provides novel opportunities to study the mechanisms of microglia-mediated neuronal clearance.
doi:10.3389/fncel.2015.00321
PMCID: PMC4553390  PMID: 26379496
zebrafish; apoptosis; necrosis; imaging; M1; M2; glia; neuron
4.  The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia 
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two progressive, fatal neurodegenerative syndromes with considerable clinical, genetic and pathological overlap. Clinical symptoms of FTD can be seen in ALS patients and vice versa. Recent genetic discoveries conclusively link the two diseases, and several common molecular players have been identified (TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72). The definitive etiologies of ALS and FTD are currently unknown and both disorders lack a cure. Glia, specifically astrocytes and microglia are heavily implicated in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration witnessed in ALS and FTD. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the role of microglia and astrocytes involved in ALS and FTD, highlighting their recent implications in neuroinflammation, alterations in waste clearance involving phagocytosis and the newly described glymphatic system, and vascular abnormalities. Elucidating the precise mechanisms of how astrocytes and microglia are involved in ALS and FTD will be crucial in characterizing these two disorders and may represent more effective interventions for disease progression and treatment options in the future.
doi:10.3389/fncel.2015.00414
PMCID: PMC4621294  PMID: 26578880
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia; astrocyte; microglia; neuroinflammation; phagocytosis; glymphatic; vasculature
5.  Mutant Human FUS Is Ubiquitously Mislocalized and Generates Persistent Stress Granules in Primary Cultured Transgenic Zebrafish Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e90572.
FUS mutations can occur in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS), a neurodegenerative disease with cytoplasmic FUS inclusion bodies in motor neurons. To investigate FUS pathology, we generated transgenic zebrafish expressing GFP-tagged wild-type or fALS (R521C) human FUS. Cell cultures were made from these zebrafish and the subcellular localization of human FUS and the generation of stress granule (SG) inclusions examined in different cell types, including differentiated motor neurons. We demonstrate that mutant FUS is mislocalized from the nucleus to the cytosol to a similar extent in motor neurons and all other cell types. Both wild-type and R521C FUS localized to SGs in zebrafish cells, demonstrating an intrinsic ability of human FUS to accumulate in SGs irrespective of the presence of disease-associated mutations or specific cell type. However, elevation in relative cytosolic to nuclear FUS by the R521C mutation led to a significant increase in SG assembly and persistence within a sub population of vulnerable cells, although these cells were not selectively motor neurons.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090572
PMCID: PMC4049593  PMID: 24912067
6.  Otx2 expression and implications for olfactory imprinting in the anemonefish, Amphiprion percula 
Biology Open  2013;2(9):907-915.
Summary
The otx2 gene encodes a transcription factor (OTX2) essential in the formation of the brain and sensory systems. Specifically, OTX2-positive cells are associated with axons in the olfactory system of mice and otx2 is upregulated in odour-exposed zebrafish, indicating a possible role in olfactory imprinting. In this study, otx2 was used as a candidate gene to investigate the molecular mechanisms of olfactory imprinting to settlement cues in the coral reef anemonefish, Amphiprion percula. The A. percula otx2 (Ap-otx2) gene was elucidated, validated, and its expression tested in settlement-stage A. percula by exposing them to behaviourally relevant olfactory settlement cues in the first 24 hours post-hatching, or daily throughout the larval phase. In-situ hybridisation revealed expression of Ap-otx2 throughout the olfactory epithelium with increased transcript staining in odour-exposed settlement-stage larval fish compared to no-odour controls, in all scenarios. This suggests that Ap-otx2 may be involved in olfactory imprinting to behaviourally relevant settlement odours in A. percula.
doi:10.1242/bio.20135496
PMCID: PMC3773337  PMID: 24143277
Olfaction; Coral reef fish; Habitat selection; Memory; Candidate gene; In-situ hybridisation
7.  Shaping muscle bioarchitecture for the fin to limb transition 
Bioarchitecture  2012;2(3):98-103.
Our recent paper examined how pelvic fins and their musculature form developmentally and how these mechanisms have evolved within the vertebrate lineage, a process fundamental to the tetrapod transition. The transition from the water onto the land is among one of the most well studied steps in the evolutionary history of vertebrates, yet the genetic basis of this evolutionary transition is little studied and ill-defined. The advent of these terrestrial species resulted in a shift in locomotor strategies from the rhythmic undulating muscles of the fish body to a reliance upon powerful weight bearing muscles of the limbs to generate movement. We demonstrated that the pelvic fin muscles of bony fish are generated by a mechanism that has features of both of limb/fin muscle formation in tetrapods and primitive cartilaginous fish. We hypothesize that the adoption of the fully derived mode of hindlimb muscle formation, was a further modification of the mode of development deployed to generate pelvic fin muscles, a shift in overall muscle bioarchitecture we believe was critical to the success of the tetrapod transition.
doi:10.4161/bioa.20969
PMCID: PMC3414388  PMID: 22880150
muscle; evolution; fin; limb; zebrafish; tetrapod
8.  Development and Evolution of the Muscles of the Pelvic Fin 
PLoS Biology  2011;9(10):e1001168.
Locomotor strategies in terrestrial tetrapods have evolved from the utilisation of sinusoidal contractions of axial musculature, evident in ancestral fish species, to the reliance on powerful and complex limb muscles to provide propulsive force. Within tetrapods, a hindlimb-dominant locomotor strategy predominates, and its evolution is considered critical for the evident success of the tetrapod transition onto land. Here, we determine the developmental mechanisms of pelvic fin muscle formation in living fish species at critical points within the vertebrate phylogeny and reveal a stepwise modification from a primitive to a more derived mode of pelvic fin muscle formation. A distinct process generates pelvic fin muscle in bony fishes that incorporates both primitive and derived characteristics of vertebrate appendicular muscle formation. We propose that the adoption of the fully derived mode of hindlimb muscle formation from this bimodal character state is an evolutionary innovation that was critical to the success of the tetrapod transition.
Author Summary
The transition of vertebrates from water to land is a fundamental step in the evolution of terrestrial life. Innovations that were critical to this transition were the evolution of a weight bearing pelvis, hindlimbs and their associated musculature, and the development of the “rear wheel drive” strategy that predominates in terrestrial locomotion. The fossil record can reveal how the skeletal framework of the load-bearing limbs of tetrapods (animals descended from fish) has evolved, but as soft tissues are rarely preserved within the fossil record, it can shed little light on how the accompanying dramatic alterations of the limb musculature arose developmentally. To examine this question we determined the mechanisms that generate fin muscles within larvae of living species representing several clades of fish across the vertebrate phylogeny. Using this comparative approach and a novel somite transplantation technique in zebrafish, we determine that the pelvic fin muscles of bony fish are generated by a bimodal mechanism that has features of limb/fin muscle formation in tetrapods and primitive cartilaginous fish. Using these data, we propose a unifying evolutionary hypothesis on the origins of the muscle of the paired fins and limbs, and speculate that the adoption of tetrapod mode of hindlimb muscle formation was also an evolutionary innovation critical to the success of the tetrapod transition.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001168
PMCID: PMC3186808  PMID: 21990962
9.  FishNet: an online database of zebrafish anatomy 
BMC Biology  2007;5:34.
Background
Over the last two decades, zebrafish have been established as a genetically versatile model system for investigating many different aspects of vertebrate developmental biology. With the credentials of zebrafish as a developmental model now well recognized, the emerging new opportunity is the wider application of zebrafish biology to aspects of human disease modelling. This rapidly increasing use of zebrafish as a model for human disease has necessarily generated interest in the anatomy of later developmental phases such as the larval, juvenile, and adult stages, during which many of the key aspects of organ morphogenesis and maturation take place. Anatomical resources and references that encompass these stages are non-existent in zebrafish and there is therefore an urgent need to understand how different organ systems and anatomical structures develop throughout the life of the fish.
Results
To overcome this deficit we have utilized the technique of optical projection tomography to produce three-dimensional (3D) models of larval fish. In order to view and display these models we have created FishNet http://www.fishnet.org.au, an interactive reference of zebrafish anatomy spanning the range of zebrafish development from 24 h until adulthood.
Conclusion
FishNet contains more than 36 000 images of larval zebrafish, with more than 1 500 of these being annotated. The 3D models can be manipulated on screen or virtually sectioned. This resource represents the first complete embryo to adult atlas for any species in 3D.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-5-34
PMCID: PMC2031877  PMID: 17705855

Results 1-9 (9)