G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
VGF nerve growth factor inducible
G00001231 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

Curated Gene
OTTHUMG00000023240 (Vega human gene)
ENSG00000128564 (Ensembl human gene)
7425 (Entrez Gene)
712 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
VGF (GeneCards)
602186 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:12684 (HGNC)
Protein Sequence
O15240 (UniProt)

Literature (12)

Pubmed - other

  • Genes related to sex steroids, neural growth, and social-emotional behavior are associated with autistic traits, empathy, and Asperger syndrome.

    Chakrabarti B, Dudbridge F, Kent L, Wheelwright S, Hill-Cawthorne G, Allison C, Banerjee-Basu S and Baron-Cohen S

    Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge University, UK. bhisma@cantab.net

    Genetic studies of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have mostly focused on the "low functioning" severe clinical subgroup, treating it as a rare disorder. However, ASC is now thought to be relatively common ( approximately 1%), and representing one end of a quasi-normal distribution of autistic traits in the general population. Here we report a study of common genetic variation in candidate genes associated with autistic traits and Asperger syndrome (AS). We tested single nucleotide polymorphisms in 68 candidate genes in three functional groups (sex steroid synthesis/transport, neural connectivity, and social-emotional responsivity) in two experiments. These were (a) an association study of relevant behavioral traits (the Empathy Quotient (EQ), the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ)) in a population sample (n=349); and (b) a case-control association study on a sample of people with AS, a "high-functioning" subgroup of ASC (n=174). 27 genes showed a nominally significant association with autistic traits and/or ASC diagnosis. Of these, 19 genes showed nominally significant association with AQ/EQ. In the sex steroid group, this included ESR2 and CYP11B1. In the neural connectivity group, this included HOXA1, NTRK1, and NLGN4X. In the socio-responsivity behavior group, this included MAOB, AVPR1B, and WFS1. Fourteen genes showed nominally significant association with AS. In the sex steroid group, this included CYP17A1 and CYP19A1. In the socio-emotional behavior group, this included OXT. Six genes were nominally associated in both experiments, providing a partial replication. Eleven genes survived family wise error rate (FWER) correction using permutations across both experiments, which is greater than would be expected by chance. CYP11B1 and NTRK1 emerged as significantly associated genes in both experiments, after FWER correction (P<0.05). This is the first candidate-gene association study of AS and of autistic traits. The most promising candidate genes require independent replication and fine mapping.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0600977, MC_U105292688

    Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research 2009;2;3;157-77

  • Replication of linkage on chromosome 7q22 and association of the regional Reelin gene with working memory in schizophrenia families.

    Wedenoja J, Loukola A, Tuulio-Henriksson A, Paunio T, Ekelund J, Silander K, Varilo T, Heikkilä K, Suvisaari J, Partonen T, Lönnqvist J and Peltonen L

    Department of Molecular Medicine, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

    Schizophrenia is a common and complex mental disorder. Hereditary factors are important for its etiology, but despite linkage signals reported to several chromosomal regions in different populations, final identification of predisposing genes has remained a challenge. Utilizing a large family-based schizophrenia study sample from Finland, we have identified several linked loci: 1q32.2-q42, 2q, 4q31, 5q and 7q22. In this study, an independent sample of 352 nuclear schizophrenia families (n=1626) allowed replication of linkage on 7q21-32. In a sample of 245 nuclear families (n=1074) originating from the same geographical region as the families revealing the linkage, SNP and microsatellite association analyses of the four regional candidate genes, GRM3, RELN, SEMA3A and VGF, revealed no significant association to the clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. Instead, quantifiable trait component analyses with neuropsychological endophenotypes available from 186 nuclear families (n=861) of the sample showed significant association to RELN variants for traits related to verbal (P=0.000003) and visual working memory (P=0.002), memory (P=0.002) and executive functioning (P=0.002). Trait-associated allele-positive subjects scored lower in the tests measuring working memory (P=0.0004-0.0000000004), memory (P=0.02-0.0001) and executive functioning (P=0.001). Our findings suggest that allelic variants of RELN contribute to the endophenotypes of schizophrenia.

    Molecular psychiatry 2008;13;7;673-84

  • Vgf is a novel biomarker associated with muscle weakness in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with a potential role in disease pathogenesis.

    Zhao Z, Lange DJ, Ho L, Bonini S, Shao B, Salton SR, Thomas S and Pasinetti GM

    James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468, USA.

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Previous proteomic evidence revealed that the content of certain peptide fragments including Vgf-derived peptide aa 398-411 (Vgf(398-411)) of the precursor Vgf protein in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) correctly identified patients with ALS from normal and disease controls. Using quantitative ELISA immunoassay we found that the CSF levels of Vgf decreases with muscle weakness in patients with ALS. In SOD1 G93A transgenic mice, loss of full-length Vgf content in CSF, serum and in SMI-32 immunopositive spinal cord motor neurons is noted in asymptomatic animals (approximately 75 days old) and continues to show a progressive decline as animals weaken. In vitro studies show that viral-mediated exogenous Vgf expression in primary mixed spinal cord neuron cultures attenuates excitotoxic injury. Thus, while Vgf may be a reliable biomarker of progression of muscle weakness in patients with ALS, restoration of Vgf expression in spinal cord motor neurons may therapeutically rescue spinal cord motorneurons against excitotoxic injury.

    Funded by: NCCIH NIH HHS: 1R21 AT003632-01A1, 5R21 AT002602-02, R21 AT002602, R21 AT003632; NIDDK NIH HHS: R01 DK071308

    International journal of medical sciences 2008;5;2;92-9

  • Peptide products of the neurotrophin-inducible gene vgf are produced in human neuroendocrine cells from early development and increase in hyperplasia and neoplasia.

    Rindi G, Licini L, Necchi V, Bottarelli L, Campanini N, Azzoni C, Favret M, Giordano G, D'Amato F, Brancia C, Solcia E and Ferri GL

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Parma, 43100 Parma, Italy. guido.rindi@unipr.it

    Background: Although the neurotrophin-inducible gene vgf is expressed in mammalian neurons and endocrine cells, limited data is available in man.

    Aim: The objective of the study was to map proVGF peptides in human endocrine cells during development, adulthood, hyperplasia, and tumors.

    Methods: Antisera were generated against peptides related to internal cleavage or cleavage-amidation sites (rat proVGF(422-430) and human proVGF(298-306)-NH2) and the proVGF C-terminal ending (human proVGF(607-615)). Developing and normal adult endocrine cells, hyperplastic endocrine lesions (thyroid, parathyroid, lung, and stomach), and 120 tumors (102 endocrine) were studied. Immunogold electron microscopy was performed on normal adult pancreas and gut, and Western blotting was performed on extracts of control tissues and endocrine tumors.

    Results: proVGF fragments were revealed in developing pituitary, gut, pancreas, and adrenal medulla from 10 gestational weeks, in normal adult pituitary and adrenal medulla, pancreatic glucagon, and insulin cells and gut serotonin cells, in hyperplastic thyroid calcitonin cells, lung P cells, gastric enterochromaffin-like cells, and gastrin cells, and in 88 of 102 endocrine tumors. At electron microscopy proVGF immunoreactivity was restricted to electron-dense granules. Western blotting revealed large molecular weight forms and cleavage fragments in both control tissues and tumor extracts.

    Conclusions: proVGF-related peptides are present in endocrine cells early during development and adulthood and increase in hyperplasia and tumors, and proVGF fragments could be novel diagnostic tools for endocrine cells and related lesions, including tumors.

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2007;92;7;2811-5

  • Identification of potential CSF biomarkers in ALS.

    Pasinetti GM, Ungar LH, Lange DJ, Yemul S, Deng H, Yuan X, Brown RH, Cudkowicz ME, Newhall K, Peskind E, Marcus S and Ho L

    Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA. giulio.pasinetti@mssm.edu

    Background: The clinical diagnosis of ALS is based entirely on clinical features. Identification of biomarkers for ALS would be important for diagnosis and might also provide clues to pathogenesis.

    Objective: To determine if there is a specific protein profile in the CSF that distinguishes patients with ALS from those with purely motor peripheral neuropathy (PN) and healthy control subjects.

    Methods: CSF obtained from patients with ALS, disease controls (patients with other neurologic disorders), and normal controls were analyzed using the surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry proteomics technique. Biomarker sensitivity and specificity was calculated with receiver operating characteristic curve methodology. ALS biomarkers were purified and sequence identified by mass spectrometry-directed peptide sequencing.

    Results: In initial proteomic discovery studies, three protein species (4.8-, 6.7-, and 13.4-kDa) that were significantly lower in concentration in the CSF from patients with ALS (n = 36) than in normal controls (n = 21) were identified. A combination of three protein species (the "three-protein" model) correctly identified patients with ALS with 95% accuracy, 91% sensitivity, and 97% specificity from the controls. Independent validation studies using separate cohorts of ALS (n = 13), healthy control (n = 25), and PN (n = 7) subjects confirmed the ability of the three CSF protein species to separate patients with ALS from other diseases. Protein sequence analysis identified the 13.4-kDa protein species as cystatin C and the 4.8-kDa protein species as a peptic fragment of the neurosecretory protein VGF.

    Conclusion: Additional application of a "three-protein" biomarker model to current diagnostic criteria may provide an objective biomarker pattern to help identify patients with ALS.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: AG02219

    Neurology 2006;66;8;1218-22

  • Human cerebrospinal fluid peptidomics.

    Yuan X and Desiderio DM

    Charles B. Stout Neuroscience Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 847 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, USA.

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has frequently been extensively studied to explore several different central nervous system (CNS) disorders because it contains proteins, enzymes, hormones, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that play critical regulatory roles in many different physiological processes. Individual neuropeptidergic systems in CSF have been studied. In theory, peptidomics offers a bird's-eye, comprehensive and systems-level approach to analyze all of the peptidergic systems that have been expressed in CSF at any given time. In this study, low molecular mass (M(r) < 5 kDa) peptides were isolated by ultrafiltration. The isolated peptides, with or without trypsin digestion, were preferentially enriched with a solid-phase extraction cartridge, and the peptides were separated with capillary liquid chromatography and analyzed with on-line quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MS). In this proof-of-principle study, the 20 representative MS-characterized peptides were shown to be derived from 12 proteins, among which four proteins, amyloid-like protein 1, secretogranin I, granin-like neuroendocrine peptide precursor and neurosecretory protein VGF, have been shown elsewhere to be either associated with CNS disorders or to play a central role in the CNS. The long-term goals of this peptidomics study are to monitor the changes (amount; modifications) of CSF peptides, clarify the aberrant processing of large intact protein precursors, elucidate the molecular mechanisms of CNS disorders and find biomarkers. This analytical method is effective for the analysis of the human lumbar CSF peptidome.

    Journal of mass spectrometry : JMS 2005;40;2;176-81

  • Staurosporine enhances cAMP-induced expression of neural-specific gene VGF and tyrosine hydroxylase.

    Nagasaki K, Sasaki K, Maass N, Tsukada T, Hanzawa H and Yamaguchi K

    Growth Factor Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan. knagasak@gan2.ncc.go.jp

    Cyclic AMP transiently stimulates transcription of specific genes in the nervous system, including neural-specific gene VGF. The simultaneous presence of staurosporine (SSP) caused a progressive, rather than transient, increase in VGF mRNA levels during the cAMP-induced differentiation of human neuroblastoma cells. This steady increase does not appear to be due to increased stability of VGF mRNA. This synergy between cAMP and SSP was also observed at the protein level for tyrosine hydroxylase. These findings suggest the presence of cellular machinery that counteracts the decline of cAMP-induced gene expression.

    Neuroscience letters 1999;267;3;177-80

  • Construction and characterization of a full length-enriched and a 5'-end-enriched cDNA library.

    Suzuki Y, Yoshitomo-Nakagawa K, Maruyama K, Suyama A and Sugano S

    International and Interdisciplinary Studies, The University of Tokyo, Japan.

    Using 'oligo-capped' mRNA [Maruyama, K., Sugano, S., 1994. Oligo-capping: a simple method to replace the cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs with oligoribonucleotides. Gene 138, 171-174], whose cap structure was replaced by a synthetic oligonucleotide, we constructed two types of cDNA library. One is a 'full length-enriched cDNA library' which has a high content of full-length cDNA clones and the other is a '5'-end-enriched cDNA library', which has a high content of cDNA clones with their mRNA start sites. The 5'-end-enriched library was constructed especially for isolating the mRNA start sites of long mRNAs. In order to characterize these libraries, we performed one-pass sequencing of randomly selected cDNA clones from both libraries (84 clones for the full length-enriched cDNA library and 159 clones for the 5'-end-enriched cDNA library). The cDNA clones of the polypeptide chain elongation factor 1 alpha were most frequently (nine clones) isolated, and more than 80% of them (eight clones) contained the mRNA start site of the gene. Furthermore, about 80% of the cDNA clones of both libraries whose sequence matched with known genes had the known 5' ends or sequences upstream of the known 5' ends (28 out of 35 for the full length-enriched library and 51 out of 62 for the 5'-end-enriched library). The longest full-length clone of the full length-enriched cDNA library was about 3300 bp (among 28 clones). In contrast, seven clones (out of the 51 clones with the mRNA start sites) from the 5'-end-enriched cDNA library came from mRNAs whose length is more than 3500 bp. These cDNA libraries may be useful for generating 5' ESTs with the information of the mRNA start sites that are now scarce in the EST database.

    Gene 1997;200;1-2;149-56

  • Cloning, structural organization analysis, and chromosomal assignment of the human gene for the neurosecretory protein VGF.

    Canu N, Possenti R, Ricco AS, Rocchi M and Levi A

    Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Scienze Biomediche, Seconda Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, 00173, Italy. Nadia@biocell.irmkant.rm.cnr.it

    The Vgf gene was originally identified as a 2.7-kb cDNA fragment isolated from nerve growth factor-treated PC12 cells by differential display against PC12 cells. It is transcribed solely in subpopulations of neuroendocrine cells in vivo and it is induced by neurotrophins in target cells in vitro. The single-copy human VGF gene was isolated from a genomic library. The gene spans approximately 6 kb and contains two exons. The entire VGF protein is encoded by exon 2, while exon 1 contains only 5'-untranslated sequence. The structural organization of the human gene is similar to that described for the rat Vgf gene (S. R. J. Salton et al., 1991, Mol. Cell. Biol. 11: 2335-2349) and both the translated and the untranslated regions show a high degree of sequence homology to the rat gene. Northern blot analysis revealed a single transcript of approximately 2.7 kb that was detected only in mRNA preparations from brain. The gene was assigned to chromosome 7q22 by fluorescence in situ hybridization.

    Genomics 1997;45;2;443-6

  • Molecular cloning and characterization of the human VGF promoter region.

    Canu N, Possenti R, Rinaldi AM, Trani E and Levi A

    Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Scienze Biomediche, Seconda Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.

    The VGF gene encodes a secretory protein that is expressed in a cell type-restricted pattern in neuroendocrine cells and is up-regulated by nerve growth factor (NGF) in the rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cell line. Here we report the isolation and characterization of the 5'-terminal region of the human VGF gene. In addition to a TATA box and a CCAAT box located at canonical distances from the transcription start site, the human VGF promoter contains several consensus sequences for different transcription factors, including a cyclic AMP response element and an AP-1 element, several GC boxes, and sequences homologous to other neuronal promoters. Transient transfection analysis demonstrates that 2.3 kb of the 5'-flanking sequence acts as a tissue-specific promoter, efficiently used only by neuronal cells that express endogenous VGF. Deletion analysis reveals that a positive regulatory region is located between nucleotides -458 to -204. Negative cis-acting elements that repress promoter activity in cell lines that do not normally express VGF are located between nucleotides -2,305 and -573 and between -458 and -204. The 5'-flanking region of the human VGF gene confers responsiveness to NGF, cyclic AMP, and phorbol ester treatment.

    Journal of neurochemistry 1997;68;4;1390-9

  • Oligo-capping: a simple method to replace the cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs with oligoribonucleotides.

    Maruyama K and Sugano S

    Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.

    We have devised a method to replace the cap structure of a mRNA with an oligoribonucleotide (r-oligo) to label the 5' end of eukaryotic mRNAs. The method consists of removing the cap with tobacco acid pyrophosphatase (TAP) and ligating r-oligos to decapped mRNAs with T4 RNA ligase. This reaction was made cap-specific by removing 5'-phosphates of non-capped RNAs with alkaline phosphatase prior to TAP treatment. Unlike the conventional methods that label the 5' end of cDNAs, this method specifically labels the capped end of the mRNAs with a synthetic r-oligo prior to first-strand cDNA synthesis. The 5' end of the mRNA was identified quite simply by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

    Gene 1994;138;1-2;171-4

Gene lists (3)

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
© 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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