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1.  Characterization of HTT Inclusion Size, Location, and Timing in the zQ175 Mouse Model of Huntington´s Disease: An In Vivo High-Content Imaging Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123527.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. Major pathological hallmarks of HD include inclusions of mutant huntingtin (mHTT) protein, loss of neurons predominantly in the caudate nucleus, and atrophy of multiple brain regions. However, the early sequence of histological events that manifest in region- and cell-specific manner has not been well characterized. Here we use a high-content histological approach to precisely monitor changes in HTT expression and characterize deposition dynamics of mHTT protein inclusion bodies in the recently characterized zQ175 knock-in mouse line. We carried out an automated multi-parameter quantitative analysis of individual cortical and striatal cells in tissue slices from mice aged 2–12 months and confirmed biochemical reports of an age-associated increase in mHTT inclusions in this model. We also found distinct regional and subregional dynamics for inclusion number, size and distribution with subcellular resolution. We used viral-mediated suppression of total HTT in the striatum of zQ175 mice as an example of a therapeutically-relevant but heterogeneously transducing strategy to demonstrate successful application of this platform to quantitatively assess target engagement and outcome on a cellular basis.
PMCID: PMC4393127  PMID: 25859666
2.  Endoplasmic Reticulum Sorting and Kinesin-1 Command the Targeting of Axonal GABAB Receptors 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e44168.
In neuronal cells the intracellular trafficking machinery controls the availability of neurotransmitter receptors at the plasma membrane, which is a critical determinant of synaptic strength. Metabotropic γ amino-butyric acid (GABA) type B receptors (GABABRs) are neurotransmitter receptors that modulate synaptic transmission by mediating the slow and prolonged responses to GABA. GABABRs are obligatory heteromers constituted by two subunits, GABABR1 and GABABR2. GABABR1a and GABABR1b are the most abundant subunit variants. GABABR1b is located in the somatodendritic domain whereas GABABR1a is additionally targeted to the axon. Sushi domains located at the N-terminus of GABABR1a constitute the only difference between both variants and are necessary and sufficient for axonal targeting. The precise targeting machinery and the organelles involved in sorting and transport have not been described. Here we demonstrate that GABABRs require the Golgi apparatus for plasma membrane delivery but that axonal sorting and targeting of GABABR1a operate in a pre-Golgi compartment. In the axon GABABR1a subunits are enriched in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and their dynamic behavior and colocalization with other secretory organelles like the ER-to-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) suggest that they employ a local secretory route. The transport of axonal GABABR1a is microtubule-dependent and kinesin-1, a molecular motor of the kinesin family, determines axonal localization. Considering that progression of GABABRs through the secretory pathway is regulated by an ER retention motif our data contribute to understand the role of the axonal ER in non-canonical sorting and targeting of neurotransmitter receptors.
PMCID: PMC3428321  PMID: 22952914
3.  Regulation of bi-directional movement of single kinesin-5 Cin8 molecules 
Bioarchitecture  2012;2(2):70-74.
Kinesin-5 mechanoenzymes drive mitotic spindle dynamics as slow, processive microtubule (MT)-plus-end directed motors. Surprisingly, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinesin-5 Cin8 was recently found to be bi-directional: it can move processively in both directions on MTs. Two hypotheses have been suggested for the mechanism of the directionality switch: (1) single molecules of Cin8 are intrinsically minus-end directed, but mechanical coupling between two or more motors triggers the switch; (2) a single motor can switch direction, and “cargo binding” i.e., binding between two MTs triggers the switch to plus-end motility. Single-molecule fluorescence data we published recently, and augment here, favor hypothesis (2). In low-ionic-strength conditions, single molecules of Cin8 move in both minus- and plus-end directions. Fluorescence photo bleaching data rule out aggregation of Cin8 while they move in the plus and in the minus direction. The evidence thus points toward cargo regulation of directionality, which is likely to be related to cargo regulation in other kinesins. The molecular mechanisms of this regulation, however, remain to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC3383724  PMID: 22754632
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cin8; kinesin directionality; kinesin-5; microtubules; mitosis

Results 1-3 (3)