G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
dystrobrevin, alpha
G00000326 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

Curated Gene
OTTHUMG00000068849 (Vega human gene)
ENSG00000134769 (Ensembl human gene)
1837 (Entrez Gene)
670 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
DTNA (GeneCards)
601239 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:3057 (HGNC)
Protein Sequence
Q9Y4J8 (UniProt)

Synonyms (6)

  • D18S892E
  • DRP3
  • DTN
  • DTN-1
  • DTN-2
  • DTN-3

Literature (40)

Pubmed - other

  • Profound human/mouse differences in alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms: a novel syntrophin-binding site and promoter missing in mouse and rat.

    Böhm SV, Constantinou P, Tan S, Jin H and Roberts RG

    Division of Medical & Molecular Genetics, King's College London, London, UK. sabrina.boehm@genetics.kcl.ac.uk

    Background: The dystrophin glycoprotein complex is disrupted in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and many other neuromuscular diseases. The principal heterodimeric partner of dystrophin at the heart of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex in the main clinically affected tissues (skeletal muscle, heart and brain) is its distant relative, alpha-dystrobrevin. The alpha-dystrobrevin gene is subject to complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, generating a substantial range of isoforms by alternative promoter use, alternative polyadenylation and alternative splicing. The choice of isoform is understood, amongst other things, to determine the stoichiometry of syntrophins (and their ligands) in the dystrophin glycoprotein complex.

    Results: We show here that, contrary to the literature, most alpha-dystrobrevin genes, including that of humans, encode three distinct syntrophin-binding sites, rather than two, resulting in a greatly enhanced isoform repertoire. We compare in detail the quantitative tissue-specific expression pattern of human and mouse alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms, and show that two major gene features (the novel syntrophin-binding site-encoding exon and the internal promoter and first exon of brain-specific isoforms alpha-dystrobrevin-4 and -5) are present in most mammals but specifically ablated in mouse and rat.

    Conclusion: Lineage-specific mutations in the murids mean that the mouse brain has fewer than half of the alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms found in the human brain. Our finding that there are likely to be fundamental functional differences between the alpha-dystrobrevins (and therefore the dystrophin glycoprotein complexes) of mice and humans raises questions about the current use of the mouse as the principal model animal for studying Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other related disorders, especially the neurological aspects thereof.

    Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: S16843

    BMC biology 2009;7;85

  • Defining the human deubiquitinating enzyme interaction landscape.

    Sowa ME, Bennett EJ, Gygi SP and Harper JW

    Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Deubiquitinating enzymes (Dubs) function to remove covalently attached ubiquitin from proteins, thereby controlling substrate activity and/or abundance. For most Dubs, their functions, targets, and regulation are poorly understood. To systematically investigate Dub function, we initiated a global proteomic analysis of Dubs and their associated protein complexes. This was accomplished through the development of a software platform called CompPASS, which uses unbiased metrics to assign confidence measurements to interactions from parallel nonreciprocal proteomic data sets. We identified 774 candidate interacting proteins associated with 75 Dubs. Using Gene Ontology, interactome topology classification, subcellular localization, and functional studies, we link Dubs to diverse processes, including protein turnover, transcription, RNA processing, DNA damage, and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. This work provides the first glimpse into the Dub interaction landscape, places previously unstudied Dubs within putative biological pathways, and identifies previously unknown interactions and protein complexes involved in this increasingly important arm of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: AG085011, R01 AG011085, R01 AG011085-16; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM054137, GM67945, R01 GM054137, R01 GM054137-14, R01 GM067945

    Cell 2009;138;2;389-403

  • Aberrantly spliced alpha-dystrobrevin alters alpha-syntrophin binding in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    Nakamori M, Kimura T, Kubota T, Matsumura T, Sumi H, Fujimura H, Takahashi MP and Sakoda S

    Department of Neurology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.

    Background: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic disorder caused by a CTG repeat expansion in the DMPK gene. Aberrant messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing of several genes has been reported to explain some of the symptoms in DM1, but the cause of muscle wasting is still unknown. By contrast, many forms of muscular dystrophy are caused by abnormalities of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). alpha-Dystrobrevin is a key component of the DGC in striated muscle and plays important roles in maturation and signal transduction by interacting with alpha-syntrophin. The goal of this study was to investigate alternative splicing of alpha-dystrobrevin in DM1 and examine alpha-syntrophin binding of different alpha-dystrobrevin splice isoforms.

    Methods: Splicing patterns of alpha-dystrobrevin in DM1 muscle were studied by reverse-transcriptase PCR. Expression of the variant splice isoform was examined by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Alternatively spliced isoforms were expressed in cultured cells to investigate interaction with alpha-syntrophin. alpha-Syntrophin expression was examined by immunoblotting.

    Results: alpha-Dystrobrevin mRNA including exons 11A and 12 was increased in both skeletal and cardiac muscle of DM1 patients. The aberrantly spliced alpha-dystrobrevin isoform was localized to the sarcolemma, and showed increased binding with alpha-syntrophin. Furthermore, levels of alpha-syntrophin associated with the DGC were increased in DM1 muscle.

    Conclusion: Alternative splicing of alpha-dystrobrevin is dysregulated in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) muscle, resulting in changes in alpha-syntrophin binding. These results raise the possibility that effects on alpha-dystrobrevin splicing may influence signaling in DM1 muscle cells.

    Neurology 2008;70;9;677-85

  • A protein-protein interaction network for human inherited ataxias and disorders of Purkinje cell degeneration.

    Lim J, Hao T, Shaw C, Patel AJ, Szabó G, Rual JF, Fisk CJ, Li N, Smolyar A, Hill DE, Barabási AL, Vidal M and Zoghbi HY

    Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

    Many human inherited neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by loss of balance due to cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) degeneration. Although the disease-causing mutations have been identified for a number of these disorders, the normal functions of the proteins involved remain, in many cases, unknown. To gain insight into the function of proteins involved in PC degeneration, we developed an interaction network for 54 proteins involved in 23 inherited ataxias and expanded the network by incorporating literature-curated and evolutionarily conserved interactions. We identified 770 mostly novel protein-protein interactions using a stringent yeast two-hybrid screen; of 75 pairs tested, 83% of the interactions were verified in mammalian cells. Many ataxia-causing proteins share interacting partners, a subset of which have been found to modify neurodegeneration in animal models. This interactome thus provides a tool for understanding pathogenic mechanisms common for this class of neurodegenerative disorders and for identifying candidate genes for inherited ataxias.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD24064; NINDS NIH HHS: NS27699

    Cell 2006;125;4;801-14

  • Diversification of transcriptional modulation: large-scale identification and characterization of putative alternative promoters of human genes.

    Kimura K, Wakamatsu A, Suzuki Y, Ota T, Nishikawa T, Yamashita R, Yamamoto J, Sekine M, Tsuritani K, Wakaguri H, Ishii S, Sugiyama T, Saito K, Isono Y, Irie R, Kushida N, Yoneyama T, Otsuka R, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Kondo H, Wagatsuma M, Murakawa K, Ishida S, Ishibashi T, Takahashi-Fujii A, Tanase T, Nagai K, Kikuchi H, Nakai K, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Life Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd., Kokubunji, Tokyo, 185-8601, Japan.

    By analyzing 1,780,295 5'-end sequences of human full-length cDNAs derived from 164 kinds of oligo-cap cDNA libraries, we identified 269,774 independent positions of transcriptional start sites (TSSs) for 14,628 human RefSeq genes. These TSSs were clustered into 30,964 clusters that were separated from each other by more than 500 bp and thus are very likely to constitute mutually distinct alternative promoters. To our surprise, at least 7674 (52%) human RefSeq genes were subject to regulation by putative alternative promoters (PAPs). On average, there were 3.1 PAPs per gene, with the composition of one CpG-island-containing promoter per 2.6 CpG-less promoters. In 17% of the PAP-containing loci, tissue-specific use of the PAPs was observed. The richest tissue sources of the tissue-specific PAPs were testis and brain. It was also intriguing that the PAP-containing promoters were enriched in the genes encoding signal transduction-related proteins and were rarer in the genes encoding extracellular proteins, possibly reflecting the varied functional requirement for and the restricted expression of those categories of genes, respectively. The patterns of the first exons were highly diverse as well. On average, there were 7.7 different splicing types of first exons per locus partly produced by the PAPs, suggesting that a wide variety of transcripts can be achieved by this mechanism. Our findings suggest that use of alternate promoters and consequent alternative use of first exons should play a pivotal role in generating the complexity required for the highly elaborated molecular systems in humans.

    Genome research 2006;16;1;55-65

  • The syntrophin-dystrobrevin subcomplex in human neuromuscular disorders.

    Compton AG, Cooper ST, Hill PM, Yang N, Froehner SC and North KN

    Institute for Neuromuscular Research, Children's Hospital at Westmead, NSW, Australia.

    The syntrophins and alpha-dystrobrevin form a subcomplex with dystrophin at the skeletal muscle membrane, and are also highly concentrated at the neuromuscular synapse. Here we demonstrate that the different syntrophins and alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms have distinct expression patterns during human skeletal muscle development, and are differentially affected by loss of dystrophin anchorage and denervation in human neuromuscular disease. During normal fetal development, and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and denervation disorders, alpha1-syntrophin and alpha-dystrobrevin are absent or markedly reduced at the sarcolemmal membrane. beta1-Syntrophin is the predominant syntrophin isoform expressed at the muscle membrane during development, and it undergoes upregulation in response to loss of alpha1-syntrophin in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and in denervation. Upregulation of beta1-syntrophin in neuromuscular disorders is associated with re-expression of the fetal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gamma-subunit, cardiac actin, and neonatal myosin, suggesting reversion of muscle fibers to an immature phenotype. We show that denervation specifically affects expression of the syntrophin-dystrobrevin subcomplex and does not affect levels or localization of other members of the dystrophin-associated protein complex. Our results confirm that dystrophin is required for anchorage of the syntrophin-dystrobrevin subcomplex and suggest that expression of the syntrophin-dystrobrevin complex may be independently regulated through neuromuscular transmission.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: R01 NS033145

    Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology 2005;64;4;350-61

  • Association of alpha-dystrobrevin with reorganizing tight junctions.

    Sjö A, Magnusson KE and Peterson KH

    Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, 581 85, Sweden. anisj@imk.liu.se

    Alpha-dystrobrevin (alpha-DB) has been described primarily as a cytoplasmic component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex in skeletal muscle cells. Isoforms of alpha-DB show different localization in cells and tissues; at basolateral membranes in epithelial cells, dystrobrevins mediate contact with the extracellular matrix, peripheral and transmembrane proteins and the filamentous actin cytoskeleton. Beside their structural role, alpha-DBs are assumed to be important in cell signalling and cell differentiation. We have primarily assessed the role of alpha-DB in two epithelial cell lines (MDCK I, HT 29), which represent different developmental stages and exhibit distinct permeability characteristics. Using a polyclonal anti-alpha-DB antibody, we have investigated its expression, localization and association with tight junction (TJ)- associated proteins (ZO-1, occludin) before and after protein kinase C (PKC) activation with phorbol myristate acetate. Distinct subsets of alpha-DB isoforms were detected in the two cell lines by immunoblotting. In both cell lines there was submembranous localization of alpha-DB both apically and basolaterally, shown with confocal imaging. PKC activation caused a reorganization of TJ, which was parallel to increased localization of alpha-DB to TJ areas, most pronounced in MDCK I cells. Moreover, actin and ZO-1 co-immunoprecipitated with a-DB, as displayed with immunoblotting. Our findings suggest that a-dystrobrevin specifically is associated with the tight junctions during their reorganization.

    The Journal of membrane biology 2005;203;1;21-30

  • Protein trafficking and anchoring complexes revealed by proteomic analysis of inward rectifier potassium channel (Kir2.x)-associated proteins.

    Leonoudakis D, Conti LR, Anderson S, Radeke CM, McGuire LM, Adams ME, Froehner SC, Yates JR and Vandenberg CA

    Department of Molecular, Cellular, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA.

    Inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels play important roles in the maintenance and control of cell excitability. Both intracellular trafficking and modulation of Kir channel activity are regulated by protein-protein interactions. We adopted a proteomics approach to identify proteins associated with Kir2 channels via the channel C-terminal PDZ binding motif. Detergent-solubilized rat brain and heart extracts were subjected to affinity chromatography using a Kir2.2 C-terminal matrix to purify channel-interacting proteins. Proteins were identified with multidimensional high pressure liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, N-terminal microsequencing, and immunoblotting with specific antibodies. We identified eight members of the MAGUK family of proteins (SAP97, PSD-95, Chapsyn-110, SAP102, CASK, Dlg2, Dlg3, and Pals2), two isoforms of Veli (Veli-1 and Veli-3), Mint1, and actin-binding LIM protein (abLIM) as Kir2.2-associated brain proteins. From heart extract purifications, SAP97, CASK, Veli-3, and Mint1 also were found to associate with Kir2 channels. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that components of the dystrophin-associated protein complex, including alpha1-, beta1-, and beta2-syntrophin, dystrophin, and dystrobrevin, interact with Kir2 channels, as demonstrated by immunoaffinity purification and affinity chromatography from skeletal and cardiac muscle and brain. Affinity pull-down experiments revealed that Kir2.1, Kir2.2, Kir2.3, and Kir4.1 all bind to scaffolding proteins but with different affinities for the dystrophin-associated protein complex and SAP97, CASK, and Veli. Immunofluorescent localization studies demonstrated that Kir2.2 co-localizes with syntrophin, dystrophin, and dystrobrevin at skeletal muscle neuromuscular junctions. These results suggest that Kir2 channels associate with protein complexes that may be important to target and traffic channels to specific subcellular locations, as well as anchor and stabilize channels in the plasma membrane.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS33145, NS43377

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;21;22331-46

  • DAMAGE, a novel alpha-dystrobrevin-associated MAGE protein in dystrophin complexes.

    Albrecht DE and Froehner SC

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-7290, USA.

    Mice rendered null for alpha-dystrobrevin, a component of the dystrophin complex, have muscular dystrophy, despite the fact that the sarcolemma remains relatively intact (Grady, R. M., Grange, R. W., Lau, K. S., Maimone, M. M., Nichol, M. C., Stull, J. T., and Sanes, J. R. (1999) Nat. Cell Biol. 1, 215-220) Thus, alpha-dystrobrevin may serve a signaling function that is important for the maintenance of muscle integrity. We have identified a new dystrobrevin-associated protein, DAMAGE, that may play a signaling role in brain, muscle, and peripheral nerve. In humans, DAMAGE is encoded by an intronless gene located at chromosome Xq13.1, a locus that contains genes involved in mental retardation. DAMAGE associates directly with alpha-dystrobrevin, as shown by yeast two-hybrid, and co-immunoprecipitates with the dystrobrevin-syntrophin complex from brain. This co-immunoprecipitation is dependent on the presence of alpha-dystrobrevin but not beta-dystrobrevin. The DAMAGE protein contains a potential nuclear localization signal, 30 12-amino acid repeats, and two MAGE homology domains. The domain structure of DAMAGE is similar to that of NRAGE, a MAGE protein that mediates p75 neurotrophin receptor signaling and neuronal apoptosis (Salehi, A. H., Roux, P. P., Kubu, C. J., Zeindler, C., Bhakar, A., Tannis, L. L., Verdi, J. M., and Barker, P. A. (2000) Neuron 27, 279-288). DAMAGE is highly expressed in brain and is present in the cell bodies and dendrites of hippocampal and Purkinje neurons. In skeletal muscle, DAMAGE is at the postsynaptic membrane and is associated with a subset of myonuclei. DAMAGE is also expressed in peripheral nerve, where it localizes along with other members of the dystrophin complex to the perineurium and myelin. These results expand the role of dystrobrevin and the dystrophin complex in membrane signaling and disease.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;8;7014-23

  • Complete sequencing and characterization of 21,243 full-length human cDNAs.

    Ota T, Suzuki Y, Nishikawa T, Otsuki T, Sugiyama T, Irie R, Wakamatsu A, Hayashi K, Sato H, Nagai K, Kimura K, Makita H, Sekine M, Obayashi M, Nishi T, Shibahara T, Tanaka T, Ishii S, Yamamoto J, Saito K, Kawai Y, Isono Y, Nakamura Y, Nagahari K, Murakami K, Yasuda T, Iwayanagi T, Wagatsuma M, Shiratori A, Sudo H, Hosoiri T, Kaku Y, Kodaira H, Kondo H, Sugawara M, Takahashi M, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Furuya T, Kikkawa E, Omura Y, Abe K, Kamihara K, Katsuta N, Sato K, Tanikawa M, Yamazaki M, Ninomiya K, Ishibashi T, Yamashita H, Murakawa K, Fujimori K, Tanai H, Kimata M, Watanabe M, Hiraoka S, Chiba Y, Ishida S, Ono Y, Takiguchi S, Watanabe S, Yosida M, Hotuta T, Kusano J, Kanehori K, Takahashi-Fujii A, Hara H, Tanase TO, Nomura Y, Togiya S, Komai F, Hara R, Takeuchi K, Arita M, Imose N, Musashino K, Yuuki H, Oshima A, Sasaki N, Aotsuka S, Yoshikawa Y, Matsunawa H, Ichihara T, Shiohata N, Sano S, Moriya S, Momiyama H, Satoh N, Takami S, Terashima Y, Suzuki O, Nakagawa S, Senoh A, Mizoguchi H, Goto Y, Shimizu F, Wakebe H, Hishigaki H, Watanabe T, Sugiyama A, Takemoto M, Kawakami B, Yamazaki M, Watanabe K, Kumagai A, Itakura S, Fukuzumi Y, Fujimori Y, Komiyama M, Tashiro H, Tanigami A, Fujiwara T, Ono T, Yamada K, Fujii Y, Ozaki K, Hirao M, Ohmori Y, Kawabata A, Hikiji T, Kobatake N, Inagaki H, Ikema Y, Okamoto S, Okitani R, Kawakami T, Noguchi S, Itoh T, Shigeta K, Senba T, Matsumura K, Nakajima Y, Mizuno T, Morinaga M, Sasaki M, Togashi T, Oyama M, Hata H, Watanabe M, Komatsu T, Mizushima-Sugano J, Satoh T, Shirai Y, Takahashi Y, Nakagawa K, Okumura K, Nagase T, Nomura N, Kikuchi H, Masuho Y, Yamashita R, Nakai K, Yada T, Nakamura Y, Ohara O, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Helix Research Institute, 1532-3 Yana, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0812, Japan.

    As a base for human transcriptome and functional genomics, we created the "full-length long Japan" (FLJ) collection of sequenced human cDNAs. We determined the entire sequence of 21,243 selected clones and found that 14,490 cDNAs (10,897 clusters) were unique to the FLJ collection. About half of them (5,416) seemed to be protein-coding. Of those, 1,999 clusters had not been predicted by computational methods. The distribution of GC content of nonpredicted cDNAs had a peak at approximately 58% compared with a peak at approximately 42%for predicted cDNAs. Thus, there seems to be a slight bias against GC-rich transcripts in current gene prediction procedures. The rest of the cDNAs unique to the FLJ collection (5,481) contained no obvious open reading frames (ORFs) and thus are candidate noncoding RNAs. About one-fourth of them (1,378) showed a clear pattern of splicing. The distribution of GC content of noncoding cDNAs was narrow and had a peak at approximately 42%, relatively low compared with that of protein-coding cDNAs.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;1;40-5

  • Deficiency of the syntrophins and alpha-dystrobrevin in patients with inherited myopathy.

    Jones KJ, Compton AG, Yang N, Mills MA, Peters MF, Mowat D, Kunkel LM, Froehner SC and North KN

    Institute for Neuromuscular Research, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, NSW 2145, Westmead, Australia.

    The syntrophins and dystrobrevins are members of the dystrophin-associated protein complex, and are thought to function as modular adaptors for signalling proteins recruited to the sarcolemmal membrane. We have characterised the expression of the syntrophins (alpha-, beta1-, and beta2-) and alpha-dystrobrevin by immunohistochemistry in normal human muscle and in biopsies from 162 patients with myopathies of unknown aetiology (with normal staining for dystrophin and other dystrophin-associated proteins). Unlike mice, beta2-syntrophin is expressed at the sarcolemma in post-natal human skeletal muscle. Deficiency of alpha-dystrobrevin +/- beta2-syntrophin was present in 16/162 (10%) patients, compared to age-matched controls. All patients presented with congenital-onset hypotonia and weakness, although there was variability in clinical severity. Two major clinical patterns emerged: patients with deficiency of beta2-syntrophin and alpha-dystrobrevin presented with severe congenital weakness and died in the first year of life, and two patients with deficiency of alpha-dystrobrevin had congenital muscular dystrophy with complete external ophthalmoplegia. We have sequenced the coding regions of alpha-dystrobrevin and beta2-syntrophin in these patients, and identified a new isoform of dystrobrevin, but have not identified any mutations. This suggests that disease causing mutations occur outside the coding region of these genes, in gene(s) encoding other components of the syntrophin-dystrobrevin subcomplex, or in gene(s) responsible for their post-translational modification and normal localisation.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS33145

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2003;13;6;456-67

  • Tyrosine-phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated isoforms of alpha-dystrobrevin: roles in skeletal muscle and its neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions.

    Grady RM, Akaaboune M, Cohen AL, Maimone MM, Lichtman JW and Sanes JR

    Dept. of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Pediatric Research Bldg., St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. grady@kids.wustl.edu

    alpha-Dystrobrevin (DB), a cytoplasmic component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, is found throughout the sarcolemma of muscle cells. Mice lacking alphaDB exhibit muscular dystrophy, defects in maturation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and, as shown here, abnormal myotendinous junctions (MTJs). In normal muscle, alternative splicing produces two main alphaDB isoforms, alphaDB1 and alphaDB2, with common NH2-terminal but distinct COOH-terminal domains. alphaDB1, whose COOH-terminal extension can be tyrosine phosphorylated, is concentrated at the NMJs and MTJs. alphaDB2, which is not tyrosine phosphorylated, is the predominant isoform in extrajunctional regions, and is also present at NMJs and MTJs. Transgenic expression of either isoform in alphaDB-/- mice prevented muscle fiber degeneration; however, only alphaDB1 completely corrected defects at the NMJs (abnormal acetylcholine receptor patterning, rapid turnover, and low density) and MTJs (shortened junctional folds). Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the effectiveness of alphaDB1 in stabilizing the NMJ depends in part on its ability to serve as a tyrosine kinase substrate. Thus, alphaDB1 phosphorylation may be a key regulatory point for synaptic remodeling. More generally, alphaDB may play multiple roles in muscle by means of differential distribution of isoforms with distinct signaling or structural properties.

    The Journal of cell biology 2003;160;5;741-52

  • Characterization of human alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells undergoing granulocytic differentiation.

    Kulyte A, Navakauskiene R, Treigyte G, Gineitis A, Bergman T and Magnusson KE

    Division of Medical Microbiology, Linköpings Universitet, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. agne.kulyte@cgb.ki.se

    The biochemical properties and spatial localization of the protein alpha-dystrobrevin and other isoforms were investigated in cells of the human promyelocytic leukemia line HL-60 granulocytic differentiation as induced by retinoic acid (RA). Alpha-dystrobrevin was detected both in the cytosol and the nuclei of these cells, and a short isoform (gamma-dystrobrevin) was modified by tyrosine phosphorylation soon after the onset of the RA-triggered differentiation. Varying patterns of distribution of alpha-dystrobrevin and its isoforms could be discerned in HL-60 promyelocytes, RA-differentiated mature granulocytes, and human neutrophils. Moreover, the gamma-dystrobrevin isoform was found in association with actin and myosin light chain. The results provide new information about potential involvement of alpha-dystrobrevin and its splice isoforms in signal transduction in myeloid cells during induction of granulocytic differentiation and/or at the commitment stage of differentiation or phagocytic cells.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2002;13;12;4195-205

  • Dystrobrevin dynamics in muscle-cell signalling: a possible target for therapeutic intervention in Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

    Blake DJ

    Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3QT, UK. dblake@enterprise.molbiol.ox.ac.uk

    The dystrophin-protein complex forms one of the connections between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton of muscle. This link is disrupted in patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies. Dystrobrevin is a component of the dystrophin-protein complex that binds to the C-terminus of dystrophin and also to syntrophin. As its name suggests, dystrobrevin is a relative of dystrophin participating in similar intermolecular interactions. Dystrobrevin-deficient mice have a form of muscular dystrophy that leaves the sarcolemma and dystrophin-protein complex intact but affects an as yet unidentified signalling pathway in muscle. Given that the up-regulation of several genes has a beneficial effect on the muscle in some dystrophic mouse models, alpha-dystrobrevin has a number of properties that might be protective in muscular dystrophy. This article discusses the function of dystrobrevin in muscle and reviews its suitability as a therapeutic target for treating patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2002;12 Suppl 1;S110-7

  • Laminin-1 redistributes postsynaptic proteins and requires rapsyn, tyrosine phosphorylation, and Src and Fyn to stably cluster acetylcholine receptors.

    Marangi PA, Wieland ST and Fuhrer C

    Department of Neurochemistry, Brain Research Institute, University of Zürich, CH-8057, Switzerland.

    Clustering of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) is a critical step in neuromuscular synaptogenesis, and is induced by agrin and laminin which are thought to act through different signaling mechanisms. We addressed whether laminin redistributes postsynaptic proteins and requires key elements of the agrin signaling pathway to cause AChR aggregation. In myotubes, laminin-1 rearranged dystroglycans and syntrophins into a laminin-like network, whereas inducing AChR-containing clusters of dystrobrevin, utrophin, and, to a marginal degree, MuSK. Laminin-1 also caused extensive coclustering of rapsyn and phosphotyrosine with AChRs, but none of these clusters were observed in rapsyn -/- myotubes. In parallel with clustering, laminin-1 induced tyrosine phosphorylation of AChR beta and delta subunits. Staurosporine and herbimycin, inhibitors of tyrosine kinases, prevented laminin-induced AChR phosphorylation and AChR and phosphotyrosine clustering, and caused rapid dispersal of clusters previously induced by laminin-1. Finally, laminin-1 caused normal aggregation of AChRs and phosphotyrosine in myotubes lacking both Src and Fyn kinases, but these clusters dispersed rapidly after laminin withdrawal. Thus, laminin-1 redistributes postsynaptic proteins and, like agrin, requires tyrosine kinases for AChR phosphorylation and clustering, and rapsyn for AChR cluster formation, whereas cluster stabilization depends on Src and Fyn. Therefore, the laminin and agrin signaling pathways overlap intracellularly, which may be important for neuromuscular synapse formation.

    The Journal of cell biology 2002;157;5;883-95

  • The expression of alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin during skeletal muscle regeneration.

    Hoshino S, Ohkoshi N, Ishii A and Shoji S

    Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan.

    The expression of alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin in rat tibialis anterior muscles was chronologically evaluated during a cycle of regeneration after myonecrosis induced by the injection of cardiotoxin. In immunohistochemical studies, alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin were first stained weakly at the sarcolemma of some regenerating muscle fibers on day 5. On day 7, alpha-dystrobrevin was still stained weakly, whereas dystrophin was stained conspicuously. After day 10, alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin were both stained conspicuously on almost all regenerating muscle fibers. In the Western blot analysis, alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin were first detected as visible bands on days 5 and 7, respectively. The bands of alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin both darkened sequentially up to day 10. The protein levels based on the densitometrical analysis of the bands on each day were converted to the percentage of the protein level on day 28, which was taken as 100%. The sequential line based on these data showed that alpha-dystrobrevin and dystrophin reached 50% of the protein level on day 28 by 6.6 and 5.3 days, respectively. These data provide evidence that alpha-dystrobrevin regenerates more slowly than dystrophin in skeletal muscle.

    Journal of muscle research and cell motility 2002;23;2;131-8

  • Dysbindin, a novel coiled-coil-containing protein that interacts with the dystrobrevins in muscle and brain.

    Benson MA, Newey SE, Martin-Rendon E, Hawkes R and Blake DJ

    Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QX, United Kingdom.

    The dystrophin-associated protein complex (DPC) is required for the maintenance of muscle integrity during the mechanical stresses of contraction and relaxation. In addition to providing a membrane scaffold, members of the DPC such as the alpha-dystrobrevin protein family are thought to play an important role in intracellular signal transduction. To gain additional insights into the function of the DPC, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen for dystrobrevin-interacting proteins. Here we describe the identification of a dysbindin, a novel dystrobrevin-binding protein. Dysbindin is an evolutionary conserved 40-kDa coiled-coil-containing protein that binds to alpha- and beta-dystrobrevin in muscle and brain. Dystrophin and alpha-dystrobrevin are co-immunoprecipitated with dysbindin, indicating that dysbindin is DPC-associated in muscle. Dysbindin co-localizes with alpha-dystrobrevin at the sarcolemma and is up-regulated in dystrophin-deficient muscle. In the brain, dysbindin is found primarily in axon bundles and especially in certain axon terminals, notably mossy fiber synaptic terminals in the cerebellum and hippocampus. These findings have implications for the molecular pathology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and may provide an alternative route for anchoring dystrobrevin and the DPC to the muscle membrane.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;26;24232-41

  • Desmuslin, an intermediate filament protein that interacts with alpha -dystrobrevin and desmin.

    Mizuno Y, Thompson TG, Guyon JR, Lidov HG, Brosius M, Imamura M, Ozawa E, Watkins SC and Kunkel LM

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Division of Genetics, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dystrobrevin is a component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex and has been shown to interact directly with dystrophin, alpha1-syntrophin, and the sarcoglycan complex. The precise role of alpha-dystrobrevin in skeletal muscle has not yet been determined. To study alpha-dystrobrevin's function in skeletal muscle, we used the yeast two-hybrid approach to look for interacting proteins. Three overlapping clones were identified that encoded an intermediate filament protein we subsequently named desmuslin (DMN). Sequence analysis revealed that DMN has a short N-terminal domain, a conserved rod domain, and a long C-terminal domain, all common features of type 6 intermediate filament proteins. A positive interaction between DMN and alpha-dystrobrevin was confirmed with an in vitro coimmunoprecipitation assay. By Northern blot analysis, we find that DMN is expressed mainly in heart and skeletal muscle, although there is some expression in brain. Western blotting detected a 160-kDa protein in heart and skeletal muscle. Immunofluorescent microscopy localizes DMN in a stripe-like pattern in longitudinal sections and in a mosaic pattern in cross sections of skeletal muscle. Electron microscopic analysis shows DMN colocalized with desmin at the Z-lines. Subsequent coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed an interaction with desmin. Our findings suggest that DMN may serve as a direct linkage between the extracellular matrix and the Z-discs (through plectin) and may play an important role in maintaining muscle cell integrity.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001;98;11;6156-61

  • Novel gene mutations in patients with left ventricular noncompaction or Barth syndrome.

    Ichida F, Tsubata S, Bowles KR, Haneda N, Uese K, Miyawaki T, Dreyer WJ, Messina J, Li H, Bowles NE and Towbin JA

    Department of Pediatrics, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.

    Background: Mutations in the gene G4.5 result in a wide spectrum of severe infantile cardiomyopathic phenotypes, including isolated left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC), as well as Barth syndrome (BTHS) with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The purpose of this study was to investigate patients with LVNC or BTHS for mutations in G4.5 or other novel genes.

    DNA was isolated from 2 families and 3 individuals with isolated LVNC or LVNC with congenital heart disease (CHD), as well as 4 families with BTHS associated with LVNC or DCM, and screened for mutations by single-strand DNA conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. In 1 family with LVNC and CHD, a C-->T mutation was identified at nucleotide 362 of alpha-dystrobrevin, changing a proline to leucine (P121L). Mutations in G4.5 were identified in 2 families with isolated LVNC: a missense mutation in exon 4 (C118R) in 1 and a splice donor mutation (IVS10+2T-->A) in intron 10 in the other. In a family with cardiomyopathies ranging from BTHS or fatal infantile cardiomyopathy to asymptomatic DCM, a splice acceptor mutation in exon 2 of G4.5 (398-2 A-->G) was identified, and a 1-bp deletion in exon 2 of G4.5, resulting in a stop codon after amino acid 41, was identified in a sporadic case of BTHS.

    Conclusions: These data demonstrate genetic heterogeneity in LVNC, with mutation of a novel gene, alpha-dystrobrevin, identified in LVNC associated with CHD. In addition, these results confirm that mutations in G4.5 result in a wide phenotypic spectrum of cardiomyopathies.

    Circulation 2001;103;9;1256-63

  • Syncoilin, a novel member of the intermediate filament superfamily that interacts with alpha-dystrobrevin in skeletal muscle.

    Newey SE, Howman EV, Ponting CP, Benson MA, Nawrotzki R, Loh NY, Davies KE and Blake DJ

    Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QX, United Kingdom.

    Dystrophin coordinates the assembly of a complex of structural and signaling proteins that are required for normal muscle function. A key component of the dystrophin protein complex is alpha-dystrobrevin, a dystrophin-associated protein whose absence results in neuromuscular junction defects and muscular dystrophy. To gain further insights into the role of alpha-dystrobrevin in skeletal muscle, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to identify a novel alpha-dystrobrevin-binding partner called syncoilin. Syncoilin is a new member of the intermediate filament superfamily and is highly expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscle. In normal skeletal muscle, syncoilin is concentrated at the neuromuscular junction, where it colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with alpha-dystrobrevin-1. Expression studies in mammalian cells demonstrate that, while alpha-dystrobrevin and syncoilin associate directly, overexpression of syncoilin does not result in the self-assembly of intermediate filaments. Finally, unlike many components of the dystrophin protein complex, we show that syncoilin expression is up-regulated in dystrophin-deficient muscle. These data suggest that alpha-dystrobrevin provides a link between the dystrophin protein complex and the intermediate filament network at the neuromuscular junction, which may be important for the maintenance and maturation of the synapse.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;9;6645-55

  • Dystrobrevin localization in photoreceptor axon terminals and at blood-ocular barrier sites.

    Ueda H, Baba T, Kashiwagi K, Iijima H and Ohno S

    Departments of Anatomy and. Ophthalmology, Yamanashi Medical University, Japan. hueda@res.yamanashi-med.ac.jp

    Purpose: Dystrobrevin is a newly discovered dystrophin-associated protein with multiple sites for phosphorylation on tyrosine residues. In the present study, the cellular distribution and subcellular localization of dystrobrevin were examined in the adult rat retina, cornea, lens, iris, ciliary body, and cultured Müller cells.

    Methods: Immunoblot analysis, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and immunoelectron microscopy were used to examine dystrobrevin expression.

    Results: Immunoblot analysis showed that an approximately 87-kDa band was expressed predominantly in the lens, retina, iris and ciliary body, whereas an approximately 60-kDa band was expressed in cultured Müller cells, cornea, retina, iris, and ciliary body. Confocal microscopy demonstrated dystrobrevin in the inner limiting membrane, outer plexiform layer, and retinal pigment epithelium and around blood vessels in the retina. At the ultrastructural level, dystrobrevin was localized under cell membranes of rod spherules and cone pedicles of photoreceptor cell terminals but often was found in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells and Müller cells. Furthermore, dystrobrevin was colocalized with beta-dystroglycan in corneal endothelium; lens, iris, and ciliary epithelia; and cultured Müller cells.

    Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that dystrobrevin is expressed in neurons, glia, and endothelial cells in the rat retina. In addition, dystrobrevin is localized at the blood-ocular barrier sites in extraocular tissue. These data suggest that dystrobrevin plays an important role in visual function.

    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 2000;41;12;3908-14

  • Alternative splicing of dystrobrevin regulates the stoichiometry of syntrophin binding to the dystrophin protein complex.

    Newey SE, Benson MA, Ponting CP, Davies KE and Blake DJ

    Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK.

    Dystrophin coordinates the assembly of a complex of structural and signalling proteins that is required for normal muscle function. A key component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DPC) is alpha-dystrobrevin, a dystrophin-related and -associated protein whose absence results in muscular dystrophy and neuromuscular junction defects [1,2]. The current model of the DPC predicts that dystrophin and dystrobrevin each bind a single syntrophin molecule [3]. The syntrophins are PDZ-domain-containing proteins that facilitate the recruitment of signalling proteins such as nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) to the DPC [4]. Here we show, using yeast two-hybrid analysis and biochemical binding studies, that alpha-dystrobrevin in fact contains two independent syntrophin-binding sites in tandem. The previously undescribed binding site is situated within an alternatively spliced exon of alpha-dystrobrevin, termed the variable region-3 (vr3) sequence, which is specifically expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscle [5,6]. Analysis of the syntrophin-binding region of dystrobrevin reveals a tandem pair of predicted alpha helices with significant sequence similarity. These alpha helices, each termed a syntrophin-binding motif, are also highly conserved in dystrophin and utrophin. Together these data show that there are four potential syntrophin-binding sites per dystrophin complex in skeletal muscle: two on dystrobrevin and two on dystrophin or utrophin. Furthermore, alternative splicing of dystrobrevin provides a mechanism for regulating the stoichiometry of syntrophin association with the DPC. This is likely to have important consequences for the recruitment of specific signalling molecules to the DPC and ultimately for its function.

    Current biology : CB 2000;10;20;1295-8

  • Gamma1- and gamma2-syntrophins, two novel dystrophin-binding proteins localized in neuronal cells.

    Piluso G, Mirabella M, Ricci E, Belsito A, Abbondanza C, Servidei S, Puca AA, Tonali P, Puca GA and Nigro V

    Istituto di Patologia Generale ed Oncologia, Facoltà di Medicina, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, 80138 Napoli, Italy.

    Dystrophin is the scaffold of a protein complex, disrupted in inherited muscular dystrophies. At the last 3' terminus of the gene, a protein domain is encoded, where syntrophins are tightly bound. These are a family of cytoplasmic peripheral membrane proteins. Three genes have been described encoding one acidic (alpha1) and two basic (beta1 and beta2) proteins of approximately 57-60 kDa. Here, we describe the characterization of two novel putative members of the syntrophin family, named gamma1- and gamma2-syntrophins. The human gamma1-syntrophin gene is composed of 19 exons and encodes a brain-specific protein of 517 amino acids. The human gamma2-syntrophin gene is composed of at least 17 exons, and its transcript is expressed in brain and, to a lesser degree, in other tissues. We mapped the gamma1-syntrophin gene to human chromosome 8q11 and the gamma2-syntrophin gene to chromosome 2p25. Yeast two-hybrid experiments and pull-down studies showed that both proteins can bind the C-terminal region of dystrophin and related proteins. We raised antibodies against these proteins and recognized expression in both rat and human central neurons, coincident with RNA in situ hybridization of adjacent sections. Our present findings suggest a differentiated role of a modified dystrophin-associated complex in the central nervous system.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2000;275;21;15851-60

  • Contribution of the different modules in the utrophin carboxy-terminal region to the formation and regulation of the DAP complex.

    Tommasi di Vignano A, Di Zenzo G, Sudol M, Cesareni G and Dente L

    Department of Biology 'Enrico Calef', University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133, Rome, Italy.

    The carboxy-terminal region of utrophin, like the homologous proteins dystrophin, Drp2 and dystrobrevins, contains structural domains frequently involved in protein-protein interaction. These domains (WW, EF hands, ZZ and H1-H2) mediate recognition and binding to a multicomponent complex of proteins, also known as dystrophin-associated proteins (DAPs) for their association with dystrophin, the product of the gene, mutated in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We have exploited phage display and in vitro binding assays to study the recognition specificity of the different domains of the utrophin carboxy-terminus. We found that none of the carboxy-terminal domains of utrophin, when isolated from its structural context, selects specific ligand peptides from a phage-displayed peptide library. By contrast, panning with an extended region containing the WW, EF hands, and ZZ domain defines the consensus binding motif, PPxY which is also found in beta-dystroglycan, a component of the DAP complex that interacts with utrophin in several tissues. WW-mediated binding to PPxY peptides and to beta-dystroglycan requires the presence of the EF hands and ZZ domain. When the ZZ domain is either deleted or engaged in binding to calmodulin, the utrophin beta-dystroglycan complex cannot be formed. These findings suggest a potential regulatory mechanism by means of which the attachment of utrophin to the DAP complex can be modulated by the Ca(2+)-dependent binding of calmodulin. The remaining two motifs found in the carboxy-terminus (H1-H2) mediate the formation of utrophin-dystrobrevin hybrids but do not select ligands in a repertoire of random nonapeptides.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA01605; Telethon: TI_902

    FEBS letters 2000;471;2-3;229-34

  • Biochemical evidence for association of dystrobrevin with the sarcoglycan-sarcospan complex as a basis for understanding sarcoglycanopathy.

    Yoshida M, Hama H, Ishikawa-Sakurai M, Imamura M, Mizuno Y, Araishi K, Wakabayashi-Takai E, Noguchi S, Sasaoka T and Ozawa E

    Department of Cell Biology, National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP, Ogawahigashi-chou, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan. yoshida@ncnp.go.jp

    The sarcoglycan complex is composed of four membrane-spanning dystrophin-associated proteins (DAPs) and is essential for skeletal muscle survival, since the absence or markedly reduced expression of this complex due to mutation of any one of the sarcoglycan genes causes a group of muscular dystrophies, collectively termed sarcoglycanopathy. Although one of the putative functions of the sarcoglycan complex is its participation in signaling processes, detailed studies have been scarce. Very recently, it was shown that gene knockout mice for a DAP, alpha-dystrobrevin, exhibit a dystrophic phenotype, possibly due to defects in muscle cell signaling. To clarify the putative function of the sarcoglycan complex, it is essential to determine whether or not there is a link between it and the intracellular signaling molecules. To elucidate this, we developed new methods for preparing various DAP complexes containing the sarcoglycan complex from the purified dystrophin-DAP complex. It was suggested from one of the complexes prepared that the sarco-glycan-sarcospan complex (the sarcoglycan complex associated with sarcospan) is associated with syntrophin and/or dystrobrevin. Further analysis of this complex revealed that the N-terminal half of dystrobrevin participates in this association. It is thus considered that the sarcoglycan-sarcospan complex is linked to the signaling protein neuronal nitric oxide synthase via alpha-syntrophin associated with dystrobrevin.

    Human molecular genetics 2000;9;7;1033-40

  • Different dystrophin-like complexes are expressed in neurons and glia.

    Blake DJ, Hawkes R, Benson MA and Beesley PW

    Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX, United Kingdom. dblake@enterprise.molbiol.ox.ac.uk

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a fatal muscle disease that is often associated with cognitive impairment. Accordingly, dystrophin is found at the muscle sarcolemma and at postsynaptic sites in neurons. In muscle, dystrophin forms part of a membrane-spanning complex, the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DPC). Whereas the composition of the DPC in muscle is well documented, the existence of a similar complex in brain remains largely unknown. To determine the composition of DPC-like complexes in brain, we have examined the molecular associations and distribution of the dystrobrevins, a widely expressed family of dystrophin-associated proteins, some of which are components of the muscle DPC. beta-Dystrobrevin is found in neurons and is highly enriched in postsynaptic densities (PSDs). Furthermore, beta-dystrobrevin forms a specific complex with dystrophin and syntrophin. By contrast, alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is found in perivascular astrocytes and Bergmann glia, and is not PSD-enriched. alpha-Dystrobrevin-1 is associated with Dp71, utrophin, and syntrophin. In the brains of mice that lack dystrophin and Dp71, the dystrobrevin-syntrophin complexes are still formed, whereas in dystrophin-deficient muscle, the assembly of the DPC is disrupted. Thus, despite the similarity in primary sequence, alpha- and beta-dystrobrevin are differentially distributed in the brain where they form separate DPC-like complexes.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    The Journal of cell biology 1999;147;3;645-58

  • Characterisation of alpha-dystrobrevin in muscle.

    Nawrotzki R, Loh NY, Ruegg MA, Davies KE and Blake DJ

    Genetics Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU, UK.

    Dystrophin-related and associated proteins are important for the formation and maintenance of the mammalian neuromuscular junction. Initial studies in the electric organ of Torpedo californica showed that the dystrophin-related protein dystrobrevin (87K) co-purifies with the acetylcholine receptors and other postsynaptic proteins. Dystrobrevin is also a major phosphotyrosine-containing protein in the postsynaptic membrane. Since inhibitors of tyrosine protein phosphorylation block acetylcholine receptor clustering in cultured muscle cells, we examined the role of alpha-dystrobrevin during synapse formation and in response to agrin. Using specific antibodies, we show that C2 myoblasts and early myotubes only produce alpha-dystrobrevin-1, the mammalian orthologue of Torpedo dystrobrevin, whereas mature skeletal muscle expresses three distinct alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms. In myotubes, alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is found on the cell surface and also in acetylcholine receptor-rich domains. Following agrin stimulation, alpha-dystrobrevin-1 becomes re-localised beneath the cell surface into macroclusters that contain acetylcholine receptors and another dystrophin-related protein, utrophin. This redistribution is not associated with tyrosine phosphorylation of alpha-dystrobrevin-1 by agrin. Furthermore, we show that alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is associated with both utrophin in C2 cells and dystrophin in mature skeletal muscle. Thus alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is a component of two protein complexes in muscle, one with utrophin at the neuromuscular junction and the other with dystrophin at the sarcolemma. These results indicate that alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is not involved in the phosphorylation-dependent, early stages of receptor clustering, but rather in the stabilisation and maturation of clusters, possibly via an interaction with utrophin.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    Journal of cell science 1998;111 ( Pt 17);2595-605

  • From dystrophinopathy to sarcoglycanopathy: evolution of a concept of muscular dystrophy.

    Ozawa E, Noguchi S, Mizuno Y, Hagiwara Y and Yoshida M

    National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.

    Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are collectively termed dystrophinopathy. Dystrophinopathy and severe childhood autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy (SCARMD) are clinically very similar and had not been distinguished in the early 20th century. SCARMD was first classified separately from dystrophinopathy due to differences in the mode of inheritance. Studies performed several years ago clarified some immunohistochemical and genetic characteristics of SCARMD, but many remained to be clarified. In 1994, the sarcoglycan complex was discovered among dystrophin-associated proteins. Subsequently, on the basis of our immunohistochemical findings which indicated that all components of the sarcoglycan complex are absent in SCARMD muscles, and the previous genetic findings, we proposed that a mutation of any one of the sarcoglycan genes leads to SCARMD. This hypothesis explained and predicted various characteristics of SCARMD at the molecular level, most of which have been verified by subsequent discoveries in our own as well as various other laboratories. SCARMD is now called sarcoglycanopathy, which is caused by a defect of any one of four different sarcoglycan genes, and thus far mutations in sarcoglycan genes have been documented in the SCARMD patients. In this review, the evolution of the concept of sarcoglycanopathy separate from that of dystrophinopathy is explained by comparing studies on these diseases.

    Muscle & nerve 1998;21;4;421-38

  • beta-dystrobrevin, a member of the dystrophin-related protein family.

    Blake DJ, Nawrotzki R, Loh NY, Górecki DC and Davies KE

    Genetics Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU, United Kingdom. dblake@worf.molbiol.ox.ac.uk

    The importance of dystrophin and its associated proteins in normal muscle function is now well established. Many of these proteins are expressed in nonmuscle tissues, particularly the brain. Here we describe the characterization of beta-dystrobrevin, a dystrophin-related protein that is abundantly expressed in brain and other tissues, but is not found in muscle. beta-dystrobrevin is encoded by a 2.5-kb alternatively spliced transcript that is found throughout the brain. In common with dystrophin, beta-dystrobrevin is found in neurons of the cortex and hippocampal formation but is not found in the brain microvasculature. In the brain, beta-dystrobrevin coimmunoprecipitates with the dystrophin isoforms Dp71 and Dp140. These data provide evidence that the composition of the dystrophin-associated protein complex in the brain differs from that in muscle. This finding may be relevant to the cognitive dysfunction affecting many patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1998;95;1;241-6

  • Dystrobrevin and dystrophin: an interaction through coiled-coil motifs.

    Sadoulet-Puccio HM, Rajala M and Kunkel LM

    Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dystrobrevin, a dystrophin-related and -associated protein, has been proposed to be important in the formation and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction. Dystrobrevin coprecipitates with both the acetylcholine receptor complex as well as the dystrophin glycoprotein complex. Although the nature of dystrobrevin's association with the dystrophin glycoprotein complex remains unclear, it is known that dystrobrevin binds directly to the syntrophins, a heterologous group of dystrophin-associated proteins. Using the yeast two-hybrid system to identify protein-protein interactions, we present evidence for the heterodimerization of dystrobrevin directly with dystrophin. The C terminus of dystrobrevin binds specifically to the C terminus of dystrophin. We further refined this site of interaction to these proteins' homologous coiled-coil motifs that flank their respective syntrophin-binding sites. We also show that the interaction between the dystrobrevin and dystrophin coiled-coil domains is specific and is not due to a nonspecific coiled-coil domain interaction. From the accumulated evidence of protein-protein interactions presented here and elsewhere, we propose a partially revised model of the organization of the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS23740

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997;94;23;12413-8

  • Dystrobrevin deficiency at the sarcolemma of patients with muscular dystrophy.

    Metzinger L, Blake DJ, Squier MV, Anderson LV, Deconinck AE, Nawrotzki R, Hilton-Jones D and Davies KE

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK.

    Mutations in the genes encoding dystrophin or dystrophin-associated proteins are responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy or various forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophies respectively. We have recently cloned the gene for the murine 87 kDa postsynaptic protein dystrobrevin, a dystrophin-associated protein. Anti-dystrobrevin antibodies stain the sarcolemma in normal skeletal muscle indicating that dystrobrevin co-localises with dystrophin and the dystrophin-associated protein complex. By contrast, dystrobrevin membrane staining is severely reduced in muscles of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, consistent with dystrobrevin being a dystrophin-associated protein. Interestingly, dystrobrevin staining at the sarcolemma is dramatically reduced in patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy arising from the loss of one or all of the sarcoglycan components. Normal dystrobrevin staining is observed in patients with other forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy where dystrophin and the rest of the dystrophin-associated protein complex are normally expressed and in other neuromuscular disorders. Our results show that dystrobrevin-deficiency is a generic feature of dystrophies linked to dystrophin and the dystrophin-associated proteins. This is the first indication that a cytoplasmic component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex may be involved in the pathogenesis of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    Human molecular genetics 1997;6;7;1185-91

  • The genomic organization of human dystrobrevin.

    Sadoulet-Puccio HM, Feener CA, Schaid DJ, Thibodeau SN, Michels VV and Kunkel LM

    Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dystrophin-related and dystrophin-associated proteins (DAPs) are thought to play an important role in the stability and maintenance of the plasma membrane during muscle contraction and relaxation. Studies conducted on the electric organ of Torpedo californica have shown that some of the DAPs are also involved in the formation and maintenance of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). In addition, dystrophin and several DAPs have been shown to be the primary genetic defect in a number of phenotypically similar muscular dystrophies. We previously reported the identification and characterization of human dystrobrevin, a protein which is unique in being both homologous to dystrophin and a dystrophin-associated protein. Here we describe the genomic organization of the human dystrobrevin gene. It is encoded by 23 exons spanning at least 180 kb of chromosome 18q12. Three different C-termini of dystrobrevin are generated by the mutually exclusive mRNA splicing of three exons. Two alternatively spliced exons (exons 11A and 12) are utilized exclusively in striated muscles. A comparison between the genomic organization of dystrophin and human dystrobrevin shows that the two genes have significant similarities in their genomic structure, implying an ancestral or evolutionary relationship. Based on intronic sequence, a primer set was designed to specifically amplify each exon of dystrobrevin to screen for mutations by SSCP in patients with neuromuscular diseases for which dystrobrevin could be a candidate.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: 5 R01 NS 23740-11

    Neurogenetics 1997;1;1;37-42

  • Muscular dystrophies and the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex.

    Straub V and Campbell KP

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.

    Efforts to understand the function of dystrophin, the protein product for the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene, resulted in the purification of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Over the past year several novel components of this complex have been identified. Recent studies have extended the number of muscular dystrophies associated with the oligomeric complex to six genetically distinct diseases, including three new forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and one form of congenital muscular dystrophy.

    Current opinion in neurology 1997;10;2;168-75

  • Genomic organization of the mouse dystrobrevin gene: comparative analysis with the dystrophin gene.

    Ambrose HJ, Blake DJ, Nawrotzki RA and Davies KE

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

    Dystrobrevin, the mammalian orthologue of the Torpedo 87-kDa postsynaptic protein, is a member of the dystrophin gene family with homology to the cysteine-rich carboxy-terminal domain of dystrophin. Torpedo dystrobrevin copurifies with the acetylcholine receptors and is thought to form a complex with dystrophin and syntrophin. This complex is also found at the sarcolemma in vertebrates and defines the cytoplasmic component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex. Previously we have cloned several dystrobrevin isoforms from mouse brain and muscle. Here we show that these transcripts are the products of a single gene located on proximal mouse chromosome 18. To investigate the diversity of dystrobrevin transcripts we have determined that the mouse dystrobrevin gene is organized into 24 coding exons that span between 130 and 170 kb at the genomic level. The gene encodes at least three distinct protein isoforms that are expressed in a tissue-specific manner. Interestingly, although there is only 27% amino acid identity between the homologous regions of dystrobrevin and dystrophin, the positions of 8 of the 15 exon-intron junctions are identical.

    Genomics 1997;39;3;359-69

  • Cloning and characterization of the human homologue of a dystrophin related phosphoprotein found at the Torpedo electric organ post-synaptic membrane.

    Sadoulet-Puccio HM, Khurana TS, Cohen JB and Kunkel LM

    Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dystrophin is the protein product which is absent in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In mammalian skeletal muscle, dystrophin is found in association with several integral and peripheral membrane proteins, forming a complex known as the dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC). In an expressed sequence tag (EST) database search to identify new dystrophin related genes, we isolated EST00891 which showed 57% homology to the cysteine-rich domain of dystrophin and localized to 18q12.1-12.2. This EST is also highly homologous (90%) to the Torpedo californica post-synaptic 87 kDa phosphoprotein. Screening human adult brain and skeletal muscle cDNA libraries with this EST resulted in cloning multiple cDNAs which encode several splice forms all homologous to the C-terminal domain of dystrophin. The largest open reading frame isolated shows 94% homology (86% identity) to the Torpedo 87 kDa protein and 50% homology to the cysteine-rich and carboxy-terminal domains of dystrophin. The other cDNAs isolated encode smaller splice forms of this gene which we have named dystrobrevin. The tissue distribution of dystrobrevin mRNA shows five distinct transcripts which are preferentially expressed between different tissues. In addition, antibodies against either the Torpedo 87 kDa protein or human dystrobrevin demonstrate that at least three of the splice forms are translated as proteins in human brain tissue extracts.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: 5 R01 NS 23740-10, NS29343

    Human molecular genetics 1996;5;4;489-96

  • Isoform diversity of dystrobrevin, the murine 87-kDa postsynaptic protein.

    Blake DJ, Nawrotzki R, Peters MF, Froehner SC and Davies KE

    Molecular Genetics Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.

    Dystrophin-related and -associated proteins are important in the formation and maintenance of the mammalian neuromuscular junction. We have characterized mouse cDNA clones encoding isoforms of the dystrophin-homologous 87-kDa postsynaptic protein, dystrobrevin. In Torpedo, the 87-kDa protein is multiply phosphorylated and closely associated with proteins in the postsynaptic cytoskeleton, including the acetylcholine receptor. In contrast to Torpedo, where only a single transcript is seen, the mouse expresses several mRNAs encoding different isoforms. A 6.0-kilobase transcript in brain encodes a 78-kDa protein (dystrobrevin-2) that has a different C terminus, lacking the putative tyrosine kinase substrate domain. In skeletal and cardiac muscle, transcripts of 1.7 and 3.3/3.5 kilobases predominate and encode additional isoforms. Alternative splicing within the coding region and differential usage of untranslated regions produce additional variation. Multiple dystrobrevin-immunoreactive proteins copurify with syntrophin from mouse tissues. In skeletal muscle, dystrobrevin immunoreactivity is restricted to the neuromuscular junction and sarcolemma. The occurrence of many dystrobrevin isoforms is significant because alternative splicing and phosphorylation often have profound effects upon the biological activity of synaptic proteins.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;13;7802-10

  • The three human syntrophin genes are expressed in diverse tissues, have distinct chromosomal locations, and each bind to dystrophin and its relatives.

    Ahn AH, Freener CA, Gussoni E, Yoshida M, Ozawa E and Kunkel LM

    Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    The syntrophins are a biochemically heterogeneous group of 58-kDa intracellular membrane-associated dystrophin-binding proteins. We have cloned and characterized human acidic (alpha 1-) syntrophin and a second isoform of human basic (beta 2-) syntrophin. Comparison of the deduced amino acid structure of the three human isoforms of syntrophin (together with the previously reported human beta 1-syntrophin) demonstrates their overall similarity. The deduced amino acid sequences of human alpha 1- and beta 2-syntrophin are nearly identical to their homologues in mouse, suggesting a strong functional conservation among the individual isoforms, Much like beta 1-syntrophin, human beta 2-syntrophin has multiple transcript classes and is expressed widely, although in a distinct pattern of relative abundance. In contrast, human alpha 1-syntrophin is most abundant in heart and skeletal muscle, and less so in other tissues. Somatic cell hybrids and fluorescent in situ hybridization were both used to determine their chromosomal locations: beta 2-syntrophin to chromosome 16q22-23 and alpha 1-syntrophin to chromosome 20q11.2. Finally, we used in vitro translated proteins in an immunoprecipitation assay to show that, like beta 1-syntrophin, both beta 2- and alpha 1-syntrophin interact with peptides encoding the syntrophin-binding region of dystrophin, utrophin/dystrophin related protein, and the Torpedo 87K protein.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;5;2724-30

  • Syntrophin binds to an alternatively spliced exon of dystrophin.

    Ahn AH and Kunkel LM

    Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

    Dystrophin, the protein product of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy locus, is a protein of the membrane cytoskeleton that associates with a complex of integral and membrane-associated proteins. Of these, the 58-kD intracellular membrane-associated protein, syntrophin, was recently shown to consist of a family of three related but distinct genes. We expressed the cDNA of human beta 1-syntrophin and the COOH terminus of human dystrophin in reticulocyte lysates using an in vitro transcription/translation system. Using antibodies to dystrophin we immunoprecipitated these two interacting proteins in a variety of salt and detergent conditions. We demonstrate that the 53 amino acids encoded on exon 74 of dystrophin, an alternatively spliced exon, are necessary and sufficient for interaction with translated beta 1-syntrophin in our assay. On the basis of its alternative splicing, dystrophin may thus be present in two functionally distinct populations. In this recombinant expression system, the dystrophin relatives, human dystrophin related protein (DRP or utrophin) and the 87K postsynaptic protein from Torpedo electric organ, also bind to translated beta 1-syntrophin. We have found a COOH-terminal 37-kD fragment of beta 1-syntrophin sufficient to interact with translated dystrophin and its homologues, suggesting that the dystrophin binding site on beta 1-syntrophin occurs on a region that is conserved among the three syntrophin homologues.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD18658; NIGMS NIH HHS: 2T32GM07753, T32 GM007753

    The Journal of cell biology 1995;128;3;363-71

  • (CA) repeat polymorphism in the chromosome 18 encoded dystrophin-like protein.

    Khurana TS, Engle EC, Bennett RR, Silverman GA, Selig S, Bruns GA and Kunkel LM

    Division of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD 18658; NINDS NIH HHS: NS 23740

    Human molecular genetics 1994;3;5;841

Gene lists (4)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000009 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSD Human orthologues of mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000016 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSP Human orthologues of mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000069 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list 1461
L00000071 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list (ortho) 1556
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

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