G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Ctnnd1 (MGI)
Mus musculus
catenin (cadherin associated protein), delta 1
G00001804 (Homo sapiens)

Databases (10)

Curated Gene
OTTMUSG00000013442 (Vega mouse gene)
ENSMUSG00000034101 (Ensembl mouse gene)
12388 (Entrez Gene)
974 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
Gene Expression
NM_007615 (Allen Brain Atlas)
g01376 (BGEM)
ctnnd1 (gensat)
601045 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
MGI:105100 (MGI)
Protein Sequence
P30999 (UniProt)

Synonyms (4)

  • Catns
  • Ctnnd
  • P120
  • p120-catenin

Literature (76)

Pubmed - other

  • A high-resolution anatomical atlas of the transcriptome in the mouse embryo.

    Diez-Roux G, Banfi S, Sultan M, Geffers L, Anand S, Rozado D, Magen A, Canidio E, Pagani M, Peluso I, Lin-Marq N, Koch M, Bilio M, Cantiello I, Verde R, De Masi C, Bianchi SA, Cicchini J, Perroud E, Mehmeti S, Dagand E, Schrinner S, Nürnberger A, Schmidt K, Metz K, Zwingmann C, Brieske N, Springer C, Hernandez AM, Herzog S, Grabbe F, Sieverding C, Fischer B, Schrader K, Brockmeyer M, Dettmer S, Helbig C, Alunni V, Battaini MA, Mura C, Henrichsen CN, Garcia-Lopez R, Echevarria D, Puelles E, Garcia-Calero E, Kruse S, Uhr M, Kauck C, Feng G, Milyaev N, Ong CK, Kumar L, Lam M, Semple CA, Gyenesei A, Mundlos S, Radelof U, Lehrach H, Sarmientos P, Reymond A, Davidson DR, Dollé P, Antonarakis SE, Yaspo ML, Martinez S, Baldock RA, Eichele G and Ballabio A

    Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy.

    Ascertaining when and where genes are expressed is of crucial importance to understanding or predicting the physiological role of genes and proteins and how they interact to form the complex networks that underlie organ development and function. It is, therefore, crucial to determine on a genome-wide level, the spatio-temporal gene expression profiles at cellular resolution. This information is provided by colorimetric RNA in situ hybridization that can elucidate expression of genes in their native context and does so at cellular resolution. We generated what is to our knowledge the first genome-wide transcriptome atlas by RNA in situ hybridization of an entire mammalian organism, the developing mouse at embryonic day 14.5. This digital transcriptome atlas, the Eurexpress atlas (http://www.eurexpress.org), consists of a searchable database of annotated images that can be interactively viewed. We generated anatomy-based expression profiles for over 18,000 coding genes and over 400 microRNAs. We identified 1,002 tissue-specific genes that are a source of novel tissue-specific markers for 37 different anatomical structures. The quality and the resolution of the data revealed novel molecular domains for several developing structures, such as the telencephalon, a novel organization for the hypothalamus, and insight on the Wnt network involved in renal epithelial differentiation during kidney development. The digital transcriptome atlas is a powerful resource to determine co-expression of genes, to identify cell populations and lineages, and to identify functional associations between genes relevant to development and disease.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: MC_U127527203; Telethon: TGM11S03

    PLoS biology 2011;9;1;e1000582

  • HER2/ErbB2-induced breast cancer cell migration and invasion require p120 catenin activation of Rac1 and Cdc42.

    Johnson E, Seachrist DD, DeLeon-Rodriguez CM, Lozada KL, Miedler J, Abdul-Karim FW and Keri RA

    Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.

    Breast cancers that overexpress the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB2/HER2/Neu result in poor patient outcome because of extensive metastatic progression. Herein, we delineate a molecular mechanism that may govern this malignant phenotype. ErbB2 induction of migration requires activation of the small GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42. The ability of ErbB2 to activate these small GTPases necessitated expression of p120 catenin, which is itself up-regulated by signaling through ErbB2 and the tyrosine kinase Src. Silencing p120 in ErbB2-dependent breast cancer cell lines dramatically inhibited migration and invasion as well as activation of Rac1 and Cdc42. In contrast, overexpression of constitutively active mutants of these GTPases reversed the effects of p120 silencing. Lastly, ectopic expression of p120 promoted migration and invasion and potentiated metastatic progression of a weakly metastatic, ErbB2-dependent breast cancer cell line. These results suggest that p120 acts as an obligate intermediate between ErbB2 and Rac1/Cdc42 to modulate the metastatic potential of breast cancer cells.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA090398, T32 CA059366

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2010;285;38;29491-501

  • Targeted p120-catenin ablation disrupts dental enamel development.

    Bartlett JD, Dobeck JM, Tye CE, Perez-Moreno M, Stokes N, Reynolds AB, Fuchs E and Skobe Z

    Department of Cytokine Biology, Forsyth Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. jbartlett@forsyth.org

    Dental enamel development occurs in stages. The ameloblast cell layer is adjacent to, and is responsible for, enamel formation. When rodent pre-ameloblasts become tall columnar secretory-stage ameloblasts, they secrete enamel matrix proteins, and the ameloblasts start moving in rows that slide by one another. This movement is necessary to form the characteristic decussating enamel prism pattern. Thus, a dynamic system of intercellular interactions is required for proper enamel development. Cadherins are components of the adherens junction (AJ), and they span the cell membrane to mediate attachment to adjacent cells. p120 stabilizes cadherins by preventing their internalization and degradation. So, we asked if p120-mediated cadherin stability is important for dental enamel formation. Targeted p120 ablation in the mouse enamel organ had a striking effect. Secretory stage ameloblasts detached from surrounding tissues, lost polarity, flattened, and ameloblast E- and N-cadherin expression became undetectable by immunostaining. The enamel itself was poorly mineralized and appeared to be composed of a thin layer of merged spheres that abraded from the tooth. Significantly, p120 mosaic mouse teeth were capable of forming normal enamel demonstrating that the enamel defects were not a secondary effect of p120 ablation. Surprisingly, blood-filled sinusoids developed in random locations around the developing teeth. This has not been observed in other p120-ablated tissues and may be due to altered p120-mediated cell signaling. These data reveal a critical role for p120 in tooth and dental enamel development and are consistent with p120 directing the attachment and detachment of the secretory stage ameloblasts as they move in rows.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA055724, R01CA55724; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR27833; NIDCR NIH HHS: R01 DE016276

    PloS one 2010;5;9

  • N-cadherin can structurally substitute for E-cadherin during intestinal development but leads to polyp formation.

    Libusova L, Stemmler MP, Hierholzer A, Schwarz H and Kemler R

    Department of Molecular Embryology, Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Stuebeweg 51, D-79108 Freiburg, Germany.

    We conditionally substituted E-cadherin (E-cad; cadherin 1) with N-cadherin (N-cad; cadherin 2) during intestine development by generating mice in which an Ncad cDNA was knocked into the Ecad locus. Mutant mice were born, demonstrating that N-cad can structurally replace E-cad and establish proper organ architecture. After birth, mutant mice gradually developed a mutant phenotype in both the small and large intestine and died at ~2-3 weeks of age, probably due to malnutrition during the transition to solid food. Molecular analysis revealed an extended domain of cells from the crypt into the villus region, with nuclear localization of beta-catenin (beta-cat; Ctnnb1) and enhanced expression of several beta-cat target genes. In addition, the BMP signaling pathway was suppressed in the intestinal epithelium of the villi, suggesting that N-cad might interfere with BMP signaling in the intestinal epithelial cell layer. Interestingly, mutant mice developed severe dysplasia and clusters of cells with neoplastic features scattered along the crypt-villus axis in the small and large intestine. Our experimental model indicates that, in the absence of E-cad, the sole expression of N-cad in an epithelial environment is sufficient to induce neoplastic transformations.

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2010;137;14;2297-305

  • Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of delta-catenin regulates its localization and GluR2-mediated synaptic activity.

    Poore CP, Sundaram JR, Pareek TK, Fu A, Amin N, Mohamed NE, Zheng YL, Goh AX, Lai MK, Ip NY, Pant HC and Kesavapany S

    Department of Biochemistry, Neurobiology Program, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5)-mediated phosphorylation plays an important role in proper synaptic function and transmission. Loss of Cdk5 activity results in abnormal development of the nervous system accompanied by massive disruptions in cortical migration and lamination, therefore impacting synaptic activity. The Cdk5 activator p35 associates with delta-catenin, the synaptic adherens junction protein that serves as part of the anchorage complex of AMPA receptor at the postsynaptic membrane. However, the implications of Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of delta-catenin have not been fully elucidated. Here we show that Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of delta-catenin regulates its subcellular localization accompanied by changes in dendritic morphogenesis and synaptic activity. We identified two Cdk5 phosphorylation sites in mouse delta-catenin, serines 300 and 357, and report that loss of Cdk5 phosphorylation of delta-catenin increased its localization to the membrane. Furthermore, mutations of the serines 300 and 357 to alanines to mimic nonphosphorylated delta-catenin resulted in increased dendritic protrusions accompanied by increased AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 localization at the membrane. Consistent with these observations, loss of Cdk5 phosphorylation of delta-catenin increased the AMPA/NMDA ratio. This study reveals how Cdk5 phosphorylation of the synaptic mediator protein delta-catenin can alter its localization at the synapse to impact neuronal synaptic activity.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS: Z99 NS999999

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2010;30;25;8457-67

  • The 19-amino acid insertion in the tumor-associated splice isoform Rac1b confers specific binding to p120 catenin.

    Orlichenko L, Geyer R, Yanagisawa M, Khauv D, Radisky ES, Anastasiadis PZ and Radisky DC

    Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    The Rac1b splice isoform contains a 19-amino acid insertion not found in Rac1; this insertion leads to decreased GTPase activity and reduced affinity for GDP, resulting in the intracellular predominance of GTP-bound Rac1b. Here, using co-precipitation and proteomic methods, we find that Rac1b does not bind to many common regulators of Rho family GTPases but that it does display enhanced binding to SmgGDS, RACK1, and p120 catenin (p120(ctn)), proteins involved in cell-cell adhesion, motility, and transcriptional regulation. We use molecular modeling and structure analysis approaches to determine that the interaction between Rac1b and p120(ctn) is dependent upon protein regions that are predicted to be unstructured in the absence of molecular complex formation, suggesting that the interaction between these two proteins involves coupled folding and binding. We also find that directed cell movement initiated by Rac1b is dependent upon p120. These results define a distinct binding functionality of Rac1b and provide insight into how the distinct phenotypic program activated by this protein may be implemented through molecular recognition of effectors distinct from those of Rac1.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA100467, CA116201, CA122086, CA128660, P50 CA116201, R01 CA100467, R01 CA122086, R21 CA128660

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2010;285;25;19153-61

  • p120-catenin is essential for maintenance of barrier function and intestinal homeostasis in mice.

    Smalley-Freed WG, Efimov A, Burnett PE, Short SP, Davis MA, Gumucio DL, Washington MK, Coffey RJ and Reynolds AB

    Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

    Epithelial-cadherin (E-cadherin) is a master organizer of the epithelial phenotype. Its function is regulated in part by p120-catenin (referred to herein as p120), a cytoplasmic binding partner that directly regulates cadherin stability. As it has been suggested that cadherins have a role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we sought to investigate this further by assessing the effect of p120 deficiency in mouse small intestine and colon. p120 conditional KO mice were superficially normal at birth but declined rapidly and died within 21 days. Cell-cell adhesion defects and inflammation led to progressive mucosal erosion and terminal bleeding, similar to what is observed in a dominant-negative cadherin mouse model of IBD. Additionally, selective loss of adherens junctions and accumulation of atypical COX-2-expressing neutrophils in p120-null areas of the colon were observed. To elucidate the mechanism, direct effects of p120 deficiency were assessed in vitro in a polarizing colon cancer cell line. Notably, transepithelial electrical resistance was dramatically reduced, neutrophil binding was increased 30 fold, and levels of COX-2, an enzyme associated with IBD, were markedly increased in neutrophils. Our data suggest that p120 loss disrupts the neonatal intestinal barrier and amplifies neutrophil engagement and that these changes lead to catastrophic inflammation during colonization of the neonatal gut with bacteria and other luminal antigens. Thus, we conclude that p120 has an essential role in barrier function and epithelial homeostasis and survival in the intestine.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 50 CA95103, P30 CA068485, P30-CA068485, P50 CA095103, R01 CA055724, R01 CA111947, T32 CA009592

    The Journal of clinical investigation 2010;120;6;1824-35

  • p120-Catenin is required for mouse vascular development.

    Oas RG, Xiao K, Summers S, Wittich KB, Chiasson CM, Martin WD, Grossniklaus HE, Vincent PA, Reynolds AB and Kowalczyk AP

    Department of Cell Biology, 615 Michael St, Room 465, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

    Rationale: p120-catenin (p120) is an armadillo family protein that binds to the cytoplasmic domain of classical cadherins and prevents cadherin endocytosis. The role of p120 in vascular development is unknown.

    Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of p120 in mammalian vascular development by generating a conditionally mutant mouse lacking endothelial p120 and determining the effects of the knockout on vasculogenesis, angiogenic remodeling, and the regulation of endothelial cadherin levels.

    A conditional Cre/loxP gene deletion strategy was used to ablate p120 expression, using the Tie2 promoter to drive endothelial Cre recombinase expression. Mice lacking endothelial p120 died embryonically beginning at embryonic day 11.5. Major blood vessels appeared normal at embryonic day 9.5. However, both embryonic and extraembryonic vasculature of mutant animals were disorganized and displayed decreased microvascular density by embryonic day 11.5. Importantly, both vascular endothelial cadherin and N-cadherin levels were significantly reduced in vessels lacking p120. This decrease in cadherin expression was accompanied by reduced pericyte recruitment and hemorrhaging. Furthermore, p120-null cultured endothelial cells exhibited proliferation defects that could be rescued by exogenous expression of vascular endothelial cadherin.

    Conclusions: These findings reveal a fundamental role for p120 in regulating endothelial cadherin levels during vascular development, as well as microvascular patterning, vessel integrity, and endothelial cell proliferation. Loss of endothelial p120 results in lethality attributable to decreased microvascular density and hemorrhages.

    Funded by: NEI NIH HHS: T32 EY007092, T32EY007092; NIAMS NIH HHS: K01 AR053965, K01AR053965, R01 AR050501, R01 AR050501-06, R01AR050501; NIGMS NIH HHS: T32 GM008490

    Circulation research 2010;106;5;941-51

  • Vang-like protein 2 and Rac1 interact to regulate adherens junctions.

    Lindqvist M, Horn Z, Bryja V, Schulte G, Papachristou P, Ajima R, Dyberg C, Arenas E, Yamaguchi TP, Lagercrantz H and Ringstedt T

    Neonatal Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health, SE-171 76, Stockholm, Sweden.

    The Wnt planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) pathway signals through small Rho-like GTPases to regulate the cytoskeleton. The core PCP proteins have been mapped to the Wnt/PCP pathway genetically, but the molecular mechanism of their action remains unknown. Here, we investigate the function of the mammalian PCP protein Vang-like protein 2 (Vangl2). RNAi knockdown of Vangl2 impaired cell-cell adhesion and cytoskeletal integrity in the epithelial cell lines HEK293T and MDCK. Similar effects were observed when Vangl2 was overexpressed in HEK293T, MDCK or C17.2 cells. The effects of Vangl2 overexpression could be blocked by knockdown of the small GTPase Rac1 or by dominant-negative Rac1. In itself, knockdown of Rac1 impaired cytoskeletal integrity and reduced cell-cell adhesion. We found that Vangl2 bound and re-distributed Rac1 within the cells but did not alter Rac1 activity. Moreover, both transgenic mouse embryos overexpressing Vangl2 in neural stem cells and loop-tail Vangl2 loss-of-function embryos displayed impaired adherens junctions, a cytoskeletal unit essential for neural tube rigidity and neural tube closure. In vivo, Rac1 was re-distributed within the cells in a similar way to that observed by us in vitro. We propose that Vangl2 affects cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton by recruiting Rac1 and targeting its activity in the cell to adherens junctions.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS

    Journal of cell science 2010;123;Pt 3;472-83

  • Heterozygous deficiency of delta-catenin impairs pathological angiogenesis.

    DeBusk LM, Boelte K, Min Y and Lin PC

    Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

    Vascular and neuronal networks share a similar branching morphology, and emerging evidence implicates common mechanisms in the formation of both systems. delta-Catenin is considered a neuronal catenin regulating neuron cell-cell adhesion and cell motility. Here, we report expression of delta-catenin in vascular endothelium, and show that deletion of only one allele of delta-catenin is sufficient to impair endothelial cell motility and vascular assembly in vitro and pathological angiogenesis in vivo, thereby inhibiting tumor growth and wound healing. In contrast, deletion of one or both allele of delta-catenin had no effects on hormone-induced physiological angiogenesis in the uterus. Molecular analysis confirmed a gene dosage effect of delta-catenin on Rho GTPase activity. Moreover, we show that inflammatory cytokines, but not angiogenic factors, regulate delta-catenin expression, and the levels of delta-catenin positively correlate to human lung cancers. Collectively, our data suggest that inflammation, commonly associated with disease conditions, induces delta-catenin expression that specifically regulates pathological, and not physiological, angiogenesis. Because only pathological angiogenesis is sensitive to decreased levels of delta-catenin, this may provide a good target for antiangiogenic therapy.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA108856, R01 CA108856, T32 CA009582, T32 CA009592, T32CA009582, T32CA009592; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR053718, R01 AR053718; NINDS NIH HHS: NS45888, R01 NS045888

    The Journal of experimental medicine 2010;207;1;77-84

  • GSK-3 phosphorylates delta-catenin and negatively regulates its stability via ubiquitination/proteosome-mediated proteolysis.

    Oh M, Kim H, Yang I, Park JH, Cong WT, Baek MC, Bareiss S, Ki H, Lu Q, No J, Kwon I, Choi JK and Kim K

    College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Drug Development, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.

    Delta-catenin was first identified because of its interaction with presenilin-1, and its aberrant expression has been reported in various human tumors and in patients with Cri-du-Chat syndrome, a form of mental retardation. However, the mechanism whereby delta-catenin is regulated in cells has not been fully elucidated. We investigated the possibility that glycogen-synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) phosphorylates delta-catenin and thus affects its stability. Initially, we found that the level of delta-catenin was greater and the half-life of delta-catenin was longer in GSK-3beta(-/-) fibroblasts than those in GSK-3beta(+/+) fibroblasts. Furthermore, four different approaches designed to specifically inhibit GSK-3 activity, i.e. GSK-3-specific chemical inhibitors, Wnt-3a conditioned media, small interfering RNAs, and GSK-3alpha and -3beta kinase dead constructs, consistently showed that the levels of endogenous delta-catenin in CWR22Rv-1 prostate carcinoma cells and primary cortical neurons were increased by inhibiting GSK-3 activity. In addition, it was found that both GSK-3alpha and -3beta interact with and phosphorylate delta-catenin. The phosphorylation of DeltaC207-delta-catenin (lacking 207 C-terminal residues) and T1078A delta-catenin by GSK-3 was noticeably reduced compared with that of wild type delta-catenin, and the data from liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses suggest that the Thr(1078) residue of delta-catenin is one of the GSK-3 phosphorylation sites. Treatment with MG132 or ALLN, specific inhibitors of proteosome-dependent proteolysis, increased delta-catenin levels and caused an accumulation of ubiquitinated delta-catenin. It was also found that GSK-3 triggers the ubiquitination of delta-catenin. These results suggest that GSK-3 interacts with and phosphorylates delta-catenin and thereby negatively affects its stability by enabling its ubiquitination/proteosome-mediated proteolysis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA111891, R01 CA111891; NIA NIH HHS: AG026630, R03 AG026630

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2009;284;42;28579-89

  • Posterior malformations in Dact1 mutant mice arise through misregulated Vangl2 at the primitive streak.

    Suriben R, Kivimäe S, Fisher DA, Moon RT and Cheyette BN

    Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

    Mice homozygous for mutations in Dact1 (also called Dapper or Frodo) phenocopy human malformations involving the spine, genitourinary system and distal digestive tract. We traced this phenotype to disrupted germ-layer morphogenesis at the primitive streak. Notably, heterozygous mutation of Vangl2, a transmembrane component of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, rescued recessive Dact1 phenotypes, whereas loss of Dact1 reciprocally rescued semidominant Vangl2 phenotypes. We show that Dact1, an intracellular protein, forms a complex with Vangl2. In Dact1 mutants, Vangl2 was increased at the primitive streak, where cells ordinarily undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This is associated with abnormal E-cadherin distribution and changes in biochemical measures of the PCP pathway. We conclude that Dact1 contributes to morphogenesis at the primitive streak by regulating Vangl2 upstream of cell adhesion and the PCP pathway.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: R01 HD055300, R01 HD055300-01, R01 HD055300-02, R01 HD055300-03, R01HD055300; NIMH NIH HHS: K08 MH001750-03, K08 MH001750-04, K08 MH001750-05, K08MH001750

    Nature genetics 2009;41;9;977-85

  • N-cadherin/p120 catenin association at cell-cell contacts occurs in cholesterol-rich membrane domains and is required for RhoA activation and myogenesis.

    Taulet N, Comunale F, Favard C, Charrasse S, Bodin S and Gauthier-Rouvière C

    Centre de Recherche de Biochimie Macromoléculaire, Universités Montpellier 2 et 1, CNRS, Uníté Mixte de Recherche 5237, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 122, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France.

    p120 catenin is a major regulator of cadherin stability at cell-cell contacts and a modulator of Rho GTPase activities. In C2C12 myoblasts, N-cadherin is stabilized at cell contacts through its association with cholesterol-rich membrane domains or lipid rafts (LR) and acts as an adhesion-activated receptor that activates RhoA, an event required for myogenesis induction. Here, we report that association of p120 catenin with N-cadherin at cell contacts occurs specifically in LR. We demonstrate that interaction of p120 catenin with N-cadherin is required for N-cadherin association with LR and for its stabilization at cell contacts. LR disruption inhibits myogenesis induction and N-cadherin-dependent RhoA activation as does the perturbation of the N-cadherin-p120 catenin complex after p120 catenin knockdown. Finally, we observe an N-cadherin-dependent accumulation of RhoA at phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-enriched cell contacts which is lost after LR disruption. Thus, a functional N-cadherin-catenin complex occurs in cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains which allows the recruitment of RhoA and the regulation of its activity during myogenesis induction.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2009;284;34;23137-45

  • Temporal dynamics of neuronal activation by Channelrhodopsin-2 and TRPA1 determine behavioral output in Drosophila larvae.

    Pulver SR, Pashkovski SL, Hornstein NJ, Garrity PA and Griffith LC

    Department of Biology, Brandeis University, National Center of Behavioral Genomics and Volen Center for Complex Systems, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.

    In recent years, a number of tools have become available for remotely activating neural circuits in Drosophila. Despite widespread and growing use, very little work has been done to characterize exactly how these tools affect activity in identified fly neurons. Using the GAL4-UAS system, we expressed blue light-gated Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and a mutated form of ChR2 (H134R-ChR2) in motor and sensory neurons of the Drosophila third-instar locomotor circuit. Neurons expressing H134R-ChR2 show enhanced responses to blue light pulses and less spike frequency adaptation than neurons expressing ChR2. Although H134R-ChR2 was more effective at manipulating behavior than ChR2, the behavioral consequences of firing rate adaptation were different in sensory and motor neurons. For comparison, we examined the effects of ectopic expression of the warmth-activated cation channel Drosophila TRPA1 (dTRPA1). When dTRPA1 was expressed in larval motor neurons, heat ramps from 21 to 27 degrees C evoked tonic spiking at approximately 25 degrees C that showed little adaptation over many minutes. dTRPA1 activation had stronger and longer-lasting effects on behavior than ChR2 variants. These results suggest that dTRPA1 may be particularly useful for researchers interested in activating fly neural circuits over long time scales. Overall, this work suggests that understanding the cellular effects of these genetic tools and their temporal dynamics is important for the design and interpretation of behavioral experiments.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM054408; NIMH NIH HHS: R01 MH-067284, R21 MH-080206, R21 MH080206, R21 MH080206-01, R21 MH080206-02, R25 MH059472; NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS-044232

    Journal of neurophysiology 2009;101;6;3075-88

  • Delta-catenin regulates spine and synapse morphogenesis and function in hippocampal neurons during development.

    Arikkath J, Peng IF, Ng YG, Israely I, Liu X, Ullian EM and Reichardt LF

    Department of Physiology, Beckman Vision Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA. Jyothi.arikkath@ucsf.edu

    The maintenance of spine and synapse number during development is critical for neuronal circuit formation and function. Here we show that delta-catenin, a component of the cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex, regulates spine and synapse morphogenesis during development. Genetic ablation or acute knockdown of delta-catenin leads to increases in spine and synapse density, accompanied by a decrease in tetrodotoxin induced spine plasticity. Our results indicate that delta-catenin may mediate conversion of activity-dependent signals to morphological spine plasticity. The functional role of delta-catenin in regulating spine density does not require binding to cadherins, but does require interactions with PDZ domain-containing proteins. We propose that the perturbations in spine and synaptic structure and function observed after depletion of delta-catenin during development may contribute to functional alterations in neural circuitry, the cognitive deficits observed in mutant mice, and the mental retardation pathology of Cri-du-chat syndrome.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS016033, P01 NS016033-24

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2009;29;17;5435-42

  • The insulin receptor substrate of 53 kDa (IRSp53) limits hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Sawallisch C, Berhörster K, Disanza A, Mantoani S, Kintscher M, Stoenica L, Dityatev A, Sieber S, Kindler S, Morellini F, Schweizer M, Boeckers TM, Korte M, Scita G and Kreienkamp HJ

    Institut für Humangenetik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

    IRSp53 is an essential intermediate between the activation of Rac and Cdc42 GTPases and the formation of cellular protrusions; it affects cell shape by coupling membrane-deforming activity with the actin cytoskeleton. IRSp53 is highly expressed in neurons where it is also an abundant component of the postsynaptic density (PSD). Here we analyze the physiological function of this protein in the mouse brain by generating IRSp53-deficient mice. Neurons in the hippocampus of young and adult knock-out (KO) mice do not exhibit morphological abnormalities in vivo. Conversely, primary cultured neurons derived from IRSp53 KO mice display retarded dendritic development in vitro. On a molecular level, Eps8 cooperates with IRSp53 to enhance actin bundling and interacts with IRSp53 in developing neurons. However, postsynaptic Shank proteins which are expressed at high levels in mature neurons compete with Eps8 to block actin bundling. In electrophysiological experiments the removal of IRSp53 increases synaptic plasticity as measured by augmented long term potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation. A primarily postsynaptic role of IRSp53 is underscored by the decreased size of the PSDs, which display increased levels of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits in IRSp53 KO animals. Our data suggest that the incorporation of IRSp53 into the PSD enables the protein to limit the number of postsynaptic glutamate receptors and thereby affect synaptic plasticity rather than dendritic morphology. Consistent with altered synaptic plasticity, IRSp53-deficient mice exhibit cognitive deficits in the contextual fear-conditioning paradigm.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2009;284;14;9225-36

  • E-Cadherin regulates neural stem cell self-renewal.

    Karpowicz P, Willaime-Morawek S, Balenci L, DeVeale B, Inoue T and van der Kooy D

    Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. phillip.karpowicz@utoronto.ca

    E-Cadherin, a cell adhesion protein, has been shown to take part in the compartmentalization, proliferation, survival, and differentiation of cells. E-Cadherin is expressed in the adult and embryonic forebrain germinal zones in vivo, and in clonal colonies of cells derived from these regions and grown in vitro. Mice carrying E-Cadherin floxed genes crossed to mice expressing Cre under the Nestin promoter demonstrate defects in the self-renewal of neural stem cells both in vivo and in vitro. The functional role of E-Cadherin is further demonstrated using adhesion-blocking antibodies in vitro, which specifically target cadherin extracellular adhesive domains. Adult neural stem cell colonies decrease in the presence of E-Cadherin antibodies in a dosage-dependent manner, in contrast to P-Cadherin antibody. On overexpression of normal E-Cadherin and a mutated E-Cadherin, containing no intracellular binding domain, an increased number of clonal adult neural stem cell colonies are observed. These data suggest it is specifically E-Cadherin adhesion that is responsible for these self-renewal effects. These data show the importance of E-Cadherin in the neural stem cell niche and suggest E-Cadherin regulates the number of these cells.

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2009;29;12;3885-96

  • SAP-1 is a microvillus-specific protein tyrosine phosphatase that modulates intestinal tumorigenesis.

    Sadakata H, Okazawa H, Sato T, Supriatna Y, Ohnishi H, Kusakari S, Murata Y, Ito T, Nishiyama U, Minegishi T, Harada A and Matozaki T

    Laboratory of Biosignal Sciences, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Regulation, Gunma University, 3-39-15 Showa-Machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8512, Japan.

    SAP-1 (PTPRH) is a receptor-type protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) with a single catalytic domain in its cytoplasmic region and fibronectin type III-like domains in its extracellular region. The cellular localization and biological functions of this RPTP have remained unknown, however. We now show that mouse SAP-1 mRNA is largely restricted to the gastrointestinal tract and that SAP-1 protein localizes to the microvilli of the brush border in gastrointestinal epithelial cells. The expression of SAP-1 in mouse intestine is minimal during embryonic development but increases markedly after birth. SAP-1-deficient mice manifested no marked changes in morphology of the intestinal epithelium. In contrast, SAP-1 ablation inhibited tumorigenesis in mice with a heterozygous mutation of the adenomatous polyposis coli gene. These results thus suggest that SAP-1 is a microvillus-specific RPTP that regulates intestinal tumorigenesis.

    Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms 2009;14;3;295-308

  • E-Cadherin negatively modulates delta-catenin-induced morphological changes and RhoA activity reduction by competing with p190RhoGEF for delta-catenin.

    Kim H, Oh M, Lu Q and Kim K

    College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Drug Development, Chonnam National University, Bldg. 1-211, 300 Yongbong-dong, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea.

    delta-Catenin is a member of the p120-catenin subfamily of armadillo proteins. Here, we describe distinctive features of delta-catenin localization and its association with E-cadherin in HEK293 epithelial cells. In HEK293 cells maintained in low cell densities, approximately 15% of cells overexpressing delta-catenin showed dendrite-like process formation, but there was no detectable change in RhoA activity. In addition, delta-catenin was localized mainly in the cytoplasm and was associated with p190RhoGEF. However, at high cell densities, delta-catenin localization was shifted to the plasma membrane. The association of delta-catenin with E-cadherin was strengthened, whereas its interaction with p190RhoGEF was weakened. In mouse embryonic fibroblast cell, ectopic expression of E-cadherin decreased the effect of delta-catenin on the reduction of RhoA activity as well as on dendrite-like process formation. These results suggest that delta-catenin is more dominantly bound to E-cadherin than to p190RhoGEF, and that delta-catenin's function is dependent on its cellular binding partner.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA111891, R01 CA111891, R01 CA111891-03; NIA NIH HHS: AG 026630, R03 AG026630, R03 AG026630-02

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2008;377;2;636-641

  • p120 catenin induces opposing effects on tumor cell growth depending on E-cadherin expression.

    Soto E, Yanagisawa M, Marlow LA, Copland JA, Perez EA and Anastasiadis PZ

    Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.

    p120 catenin regulates the activity of the Rho family guanosine triphosphatases (including RhoA and Rac1) in an adhesion-dependent manner. Through this action, p120 promotes a sessile cellular phenotype when associated with epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) or a motile phenotype when associated with mesenchymal cadherins. In this study, we show that p120 also exerts significant and diametrically opposing effects on tumor cell growth depending on E-cadherin expression. Endogenous p120 acts to stabilize E-cadherin complexes and to actively promote the tumor-suppressive function of E-cadherin, potently inhibiting Ras activation. Upon E-cadherin loss during tumor progression, the negative regulation of Ras is relieved; under these conditions, endogenous p120 promotes transformed cell growth both in vitro and in vivo by activating a Rac1-mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway normally activated by the adhesion of cells to the extracellular matrix. These data indicate that both E-cadherin and p120 are important regulators of tumor cell growth and imply roles for both proteins in chemoresistance and targeted therapeutics.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA100467, R01 CA104505

    The Journal of cell biology 2008;183;4;737-49

  • Loss of p120 catenin and links to mitotic alterations, inflammation, and skin cancer.

    Perez-Moreno M, Song W, Pasolli HA, Williams SE and Fuchs E

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

    Tumor formation involves epigenetic modifications and microenvironmental changes as well as cumulative genetic alterations encompassing somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity, and aneuploidy. Here, we show that conditional targeting of p120 catenin in mice leads to progressive development of skin neoplasias associated with intrinsic NF-kappaB activation. We find that, similarly, squamous cell carcinomas in humans display altered p120 and activated NF-kappaB. We show that epidermal hyperproliferation arising from p120 loss can be abrogated by IkappaB kinase 2 inhibitors. Although this underscores the importance of this pathway, the role of NF-kappaB in hyperproliferation appears rooted in its impact on epidermal microenvironment because as p120-null keratinocytes display a growth-arrested phenotype in culture. We trace this to a mitotic defect, resulting in unstable, binucleated cells in vitro and in vivo. We show that the abnormal mitoses can be ameliorated by inhibiting RhoA, the activity of which is abnormally high. Conversely, we can elicit such mitotic defects in control keratinocytes by elevating RhoA activity. The ability of p120 deficiency to elicit mitotic alterations and chronic inflammatory responses, that together may facilitate the development of genetic instability in vivo, provides insights into why it figures so prominently in skin cancer progression.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR27883, R01 AR027883, R37 AR027883

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2008;105;40;15399-404

  • New insights into cadherin function in epidermal sheet formation and maintenance of tissue integrity.

    Tinkle CL, Pasolli HA, Stokes N and Fuchs E

    Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

    Co-expression and gene linkage have hampered elucidating the physiological relevance of cadherins in mammalian tissues. Here, we combine conditional gene ablation and transgenic RNA interference to uncover new roles for E- and P-cadherins in epidermal sheet formation in vitro and maintenance of epidermal integrity in vivo. By devising skin-specific RNAi technology, we demonstrate that cadherin inhibition in vivo impairs junction formation and intercellular adhesion and increases apoptosis. These defects compromise epidermal barrier function and tissue integrity. In vitro, with only E-cadherin missing, epidermal sheet formation is delayed, but when both cadherins are suppressed, defects extend to adherens junctions, desmosomes, tight junctions and cortical actin dynamics. Using different rescue strategies, we show that cadherin level rather than subtype is critical. Finally, by comparing conditional loss-of-function studies of epidermal catenins and cadherins, we dissect cadherin-dependent and independent roles of adherens junction components in tissue physiology.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NCI NIH HHS: CA09673, T32 CA009673; NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR027883, R01-AR27883; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM07739, T32 GM007739

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2008;105;40;15405-10

  • EPB41L5 functions to post-transcriptionally regulate cadherin and integrin during epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

    Hirano M, Hashimoto S, Yonemura S, Sabe H and Aizawa S

    Laboratory for Vertebrate Body Plan, Center for Developmental Biology, RIKEN Kobe, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.

    EPB41L5 belongs to the band 4.1 superfamily. We investigate here the involvement of EPB41L5 in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during mouse gastrulation. EPB41L5 expression is induced during TGFbeta-stimulated EMT, whereas silencing of EPB41L5 by siRNA inhibits this transition. In EPB41L5 mutants, cell-cell adhesion is enhanced, and EMT is greatly impaired during gastrulation. Moreover, cell attachment, spreading, and mobility are greatly reduced by EPB41L5 deficiency. Gene transcription regulation during EMT occurs normally at the mRNA level; EPB41L5 siRNA does not affect either the decrease in E-cadherin or the increase in integrin expression. However, at the protein level, the decrease in E-cadherin and increase in integrin are inhibited in both EPB41L5 siRNA-treated NMuMG cells and mutant mesoderm. We find that EPB41L5 binds p120ctn through its N-terminal FERM domain, inhibiting p120ctn-E-cadherin binding. EPB41L5 overexpression causes E-cadherin relocalization into Rab5-positive vesicles in epithelial cells. At the same time, EPB41L5 binds to paxillin through its C terminus, enhancing integrin/paxillin association, thereby stimulating focal adhesion formation.

    The Journal of cell biology 2008;182;6;1217-30

  • Erbin controls dendritic morphogenesis by regulating localization of delta-catenin.

    Arikkath J, Israely I, Tao Y, Mei L, Liu X and Reichardt LF

    Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94158, USA. louis.reichardt@ucsf.edu

    The LAP [leucine-rich and postsynaptic density-95/Discs large/zona occludens-1 (PDZ)] protein erbin and delta-catenin, a component of the cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex, are highly expressed in neurons and associate through PDZ-mediated interaction, but have incompletely characterized neuronal functions. We show that short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of erbin and knockdown or genetic ablation of delta-catenin severely impaired dendritic morphogenesis in hippocampal neurons. Simultaneous loss of erbin and delta-catenin does not enhance severity of this phenotype. The dendritic phenotype observed after erbin depletion is rescued by overexpression of delta-catenin and requires a domain in delta-catenin that has been shown to regulate dendritic branching. Knockdown of delta-catenin cannot be rescued by overexpression of erbin, indicating that erbin is upstream of delta-catenin. delta-Catenin-null neurons have no alterations in global levels of active Rac1/RhoA. Knockdown of erbin results in alterations in localization of delta-catenin. These results suggest a critical role for erbin in regulating dendritic morphogenesis by maintaining appropriate localization of delta-catenin.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS016033, P01 NS016033-26

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2008;28;28;7047-56

  • A p120 catenin isoform switch affects Rho activity, induces tumor cell invasion, and predicts metastatic disease.

    Yanagisawa M, Huveldt D, Kreinest P, Lohse CM, Cheville JC, Parker AS, Copland JA and Anastasiadis PZ

    Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.

    p120 catenin is a cadherin-associated protein that regulates Rho GTPases and promotes the invasiveness of E-cadherin-deficient cancer cells. Multiple p120 isoforms are expressed in cells via alternative splicing, and all of them are essential for HGF signaling to Rac1. However, only full-length p120 (isoform 1) promotes invasiveness. This selective ability of p120 isoform 1 is mediated by reduced RhoA activity, both under basal conditions and following HGF treatment. All p120 isoforms can bind RhoA in vitro, via a central RhoA binding site. However, only the cooperative binding of RhoA to the central p120 domain and to the alternatively spliced p120 N terminus stabilizes RhoA binding and inhibits RhoA activity. Consistent with this, increased expression of p120 isoform 1, when compared with other p120 isoforms, is predictive of renal tumor micrometastasis and systemic progression, following nephrectomy. Furthermore, ectopic expression of the RhoA-binding, N-terminal domain of p120 is sufficient to block the ability of p120 isoform 1 to inhibit RhoA and to promote invasiveness. The data indicate that the increased expression of p120 isoform 1 during tumor progression contributes to the invasive phenotype of cadherin-deficient carcinomas and that the N-terminal domain of p120 is a valid therapeutic target.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA 100467, R01 CA 104505, R01 CA100467, R01 CA104505

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2008;283;26;18344-54

  • P120-catenin is a novel desmoglein 3 interacting partner: identification of the p120-catenin association site of desmoglein 3.

    Kanno M, Isa Y, Aoyama Y, Yamamoto Y, Nagai M, Ozawa M and Kitajima Y

    Department of Dermatology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu City 501-1194, Japan.

    P120-catenin (p120ctn) is an armadillo-repeat protein that directly binds to the intracytoplasmic domains of classical cadherins. p120ctn binding promotes the stabilization of cadherin complexes on the plasma membrane and thus positively regulates the adhesive activity of cadherins. Using co-immunoprecipitation, we show here that p120ctn associates to desmogleins (Dsg) 1 and 3. To determine which region is involved in the association between Dsg3 and p120ctn, we constructed mutant Dsg3 proteins, in which various cytoplasmic subdomains were removed. The tailless Dsg3 constructs Delta IA:AA1-641Dsg3 and Delta 641-714Dsg3, which do not contain the intracellular anchor (IA) region, did not coprecipitate with p120cn, nor did they colocalize at the plasma membrane. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that p120ctn does not localize to desmosomes, but colocalizes with Dsg3 at the cell surface. A biotinylation assay for Dsg3 showed that biotinylated Delta 641-714Dsg3 was turned over more rapidly than wild-type Dsg3. These results indicate that the membrane proximal region (corresponding to residues 641-714) in the IA region of Dsg3 is necessary for complex formation with p120ctn, and to maintain free Dsg3 at the cell surface before it is integrated into desmosomes. In summary, we show that p120ctn is a novel interactor of the Dsg proteins, and may play a role in desmosome remodeling.

    Experimental cell research 2008;314;8;1683-92

  • Delta-catenin-induced dendritic morphogenesis. An essential role of p190RhoGEF interaction through Akt1-mediated phosphorylation.

    Kim H, Han JR, Park J, Oh M, James SE, Chang S, Lu Q, Lee KY, Ki H, Song WJ and Kim K

    College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Drug Development, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.

    Delta-catenin was first identified through its interaction with Presenilin-1 and has been implicated in the regulation of dendrogenesis and cognitive function. However, the molecular mechanisms by which delta-catenin promotes dendritic morphogenesis were unclear. In this study, we demonstrated delta-catenin interaction with p190RhoGEF, and the importance of Akt1-mediated phosphorylation at Thr-454 residue of delta-catenin in this interaction. We have also found that delta-catenin overexpression decreased the binding between p190RhoGEF and RhoA, and significantly lowered the levels of GTP-RhoA but not those of GTP-Rac1 and -Cdc42. Delta-catenin T454A, a defective form in p190RhoGEF binding, did not decrease the binding between p190RhoGEF and RhoA. Delta-catenin T454A also did not lower GTP-RhoA levels and failed to induce dendrite-like process formation in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Furthermore, delta-catenin T454A significantly reduced the length and number of mature mushroom shaped spines in primary hippocampal neurons. These results highlight signaling events in the regulation of delta-catenin-induced dendrogenesis and spine morphogenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA11891, R01 CA111891, R01 CA111891-01A1, R01 CA111891-02, R01 CA111891-03; NIA NIH HHS: AG026630, R03 AG026630, R03 AG026630-01, R03 AG026630-02

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2008;283;2;977-87

  • Loss of mXinalpha, an intercalated disk protein, results in cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy with conduction defects.

    Gustafson-Wagner EA, Sinn HW, Chen YL, Wang DZ, Reiter RS, Lin JL, Yang B, Williamson RA, Chen J, Lin CI and Lin JJ

    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

    The intercalated disk protein Xin was originally discovered in chicken striated muscle and implicated in cardiac morphogenesis. In the mouse, there are two homologous genes, mXinalpha and mXinbeta. The human homolog of mXinalpha, Cmya1, maps to chromosomal region 3p21.2-21.3, near a dilated cardiomyopathy with conduction defect-2 locus. Here we report that mXinalpha-null mouse hearts are hypertrophied and exhibit fibrosis, indicative of cardiomyopathy. A significant upregulation of mXinbeta likely provides partial compensation and accounts for the viability of the mXinalpha-null mice. Ultrastructural studies of mXinalpha-null mouse hearts reveal intercalated disk disruption and myofilament disarray. In mXinalpha-null mice, there is a significant decrease in the expression level of p120-catenin, beta-catenin, N-cadherin, and desmoplakin, which could compromise the integrity of the intercalated disks and functionally weaken adhesion, leading to cardiac defects. Additionally, altered localization and decreased expression of connexin 43 are observed in the mXinalpha-null mouse heart, which, together with previously observed abnormal electrophysiological properties of mXinalpha-deficient mouse ventricular myocytes, could potentially lead to conduction defects. Indeed, ECG recordings on isolated, perfused hearts (Langendorff preparations) show a significantly prolonged QT interval in mXinalpha-deficient hearts. Thus mXinalpha functions in regulating the hypertrophic response and maintaining the structural integrity of the intercalated disk in normal mice, likely through its association with adherens junctional components and actin cytoskeleton. The mXinalpha-knockout mouse line provides a novel model of cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy with conduction defects.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL-075015, R01 HL066100, R01 HL075015, R01 HL075015-04

    American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology 2007;293;5;H2680-92

  • EUCOMM--the European conditional mouse mutagenesis program.

    Friedel RH, Seisenberger C, Kaloff C and Wurst W

    GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Developmental Genetics, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

    Functional analysis of the mammalian genome is an enormous challenge for biomedical scientists. To facilitate this endeavour, the European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program (EUCOMM) aims at generating up to 12 000 mutations by gene trapping and up to 8000 mutations by gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. These mutations can be rendered into conditional alleles, allowing Cre recombinase-mediated disruption of gene function in a time- and tissue-specific manner. Furthermore, the EUCOMM program will generate up to 320 mouse lines from the EUCOMM resource and up to 20 new Cre driver mouse lines. The EUCOMM resource of vectors, mutant ES cell lines and mutant mice will be openly available to the scientific community. EUCOMM will be one of the cornerstones of an international effort to create a global mouse mutant resource.

    Briefings in functional genomics & proteomics 2007;6;3;180-5

  • p120-catenin regulates microtubule dynamics and cell migration in a cadherin-independent manner.

    Ichii T and Takeichi M

    Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.

    p120-catenin (p120) has been shown to be essential for cadherin stability. Here, we show that p120 is capable of regulating microtubule (MT) dynamics in a cadherin-independent manner. When p120 was depleted in cadherin-deficient Neuro-2a (N2a) cells, MT stability was reduced, as assessed by the nocodazole sensitivity of MTs. On the contrary, over-expression of p120 caused MTs to become resistant to nocodazole. Time-lapse recording of GFP-tagged EB1, a protein which binds the growing plus-ends of MTs, introduced into these cells demonstrated that the plus ends underwent more frequent catastrophe in p120-depleted cells. In addition, p120 knockdown up-regulated the motility of isolated cells, whereas it down-regulated the directional migration of cells from wound edges; and these migratory behaviors of cells were mimicked by nocodazole-induced MT depolymerization. These results suggest that p120 has the ability to regulate MT dynamics and that this activity, in turn, affects cell motility independently of the cadherin adhesion system.

    Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms 2007;12;7;827-39

  • The transcriptional repressor Glis2 is a novel binding partner for p120 catenin.

    Hosking CR, Ulloa F, Hogan C, Ferber EC, Figueroa A, Gevaert K, Birchmeier W, Briscoe J and Fujita Y

    Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Cell Biology Unit, Department of Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

    In epithelial cells, p120 catenin (p120) localizes at cell-cell contacts and regulates adhesive function of the cadherin complex. In addition, p120 has been reported to localize in the nucleus, although the nuclear function of p120 is not fully understood. Here, we report the identification of Gli-similar 2 (Glis2) as a novel binding protein for p120. Glis2 is a Krüppel-like transcriptional repressor with homology to the Gli family, but its physiological function has not been well characterized. In this study, we show that coexpression of Glis2 and Src induces nuclear translocation of p120. Furthermore, p120 induces the C-terminal cleavage of Glis2, and this cleavage is further enhanced by Src. The cleaved form of Glis2 loses one of its five zinc finger domains, but it is still able to bind DNA. Functional studies in chick neural tube indicate that full-length Glis2 can affect neuronal differentiation, whereas the cleaved form requires coexpression of p120 to have a similar effect. These data indicate that p120 has additional novel functions in the nucleus together with Glis2.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: MC_U117560541, MC_U122669938

    Molecular biology of the cell 2007;18;5;1918-27

  • P120 catenin is required for thickening of Schwann cell myelin.

    Perrin-Tricaud C, Rutishauser U and Tricaud N

    Cell Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.

    Schwann cell myelin is comprised of compacted membrane regions and cytoplasmic regions with non-compacted membrane. While adherens junctions (AJ) are abundant in non-compact regions, their role in the myelination process is largely undefined. To explore this issue, a small inhibitory hairpin RNA directed against p120ctn has been delivered using adenovirus infection of Schwann cells at early stages of myelination in vivo. With strong and specific reduction in p120ctn levels for over 2 months, (a) the adherens junctions of the infected cells were reduced in size and immature with respect to recruitment of alpha-catenin; and (b) the formation of Schmidt-Lanterman incisures was prevented and there was a marked reduction in the thickness of the myelin sheath without a change in internodal length. These data show that p120ctn is necessary in the myelinating Schwann cell for the formation of mature adherens junctions and a normal myelin sheath.

    Molecular and cellular neurosciences 2007;35;1;120-9

  • Specific phosphorylation of p120-catenin regulatory domain differently modulates its binding to RhoA.

    Castaño J, Solanas G, Casagolda D, Raurell I, Villagrasa P, Bustelo XR, García de Herreros A and Duñach M

    Unitat de Biofísica, Departament Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain. mireia.dunach@uab.es

    p120-catenin is an adherens junction-associated protein that controls E-cadherin function and stability. p120-catenin also binds intracellular proteins, such as the small GTPase RhoA. In this paper, we identify the p120-catenin N-terminal regulatory domain as the docking site for RhoA. Moreover, we demonstrate that the binding of RhoA to p120-catenin is tightly controlled by the Src family-dependent phosphorylation of p120-catenin on tyrosine residues. The phosphorylation induced by Src and Fyn tyrosine kinases on p120-catenin induces opposite effects on RhoA binding. Fyn, by phosphorylating a residue located in the regulatory domain of p120-catenin (Tyr112), inhibits the interaction of this protein with RhoA. By contrast, the phosphorylation of Tyr217 and Tyr228 by Src promotes a better affinity of p120-catenin towards RhoA. In agreement with these biochemical data, results obtained in cell lines support the important role of these phosphorylation sites in the regulation of RhoA activity by p120-catenin. Taken together, these observations uncover a new regulatory mechanism acting on p120-catenin that contributes to the fine-tuned regulation of the RhoA pathways during specific signaling events.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2007;27;5;1745-57

  • Dishevelled proteins regulate cell adhesion in mouse blastocyst and serve to monitor changes in Wnt signaling.

    Na J, Lykke-Andersen K, Torres Padilla ME and Zernicka-Goetz M

    The Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology and Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

    Wnt signaling is essential for the regulation of cell polarity and cell fate in the early embryogenesis of many animal species. Multiple Wnt genes and its pathway members are expressed in the mouse early embryo, raising the question whether they play any roles in preimplantation development. Dishevelled is an important transducer of divergent Wnt pathways. Here we show that three of the mouse Dishevelled proteins are not only expressed in oocytes and during preimplantation development, but also display distinct spatio-temporal localization. Interestingly, as embryos reach blastocyst stage, Dishevelled 2 becomes increasingly associated with cell membrane in trophectoderm cells, while at E4.5, Dishevelled 3 is highly enriched in the cytoplasm of ICM cells. These changes are coincident with an increase in the active form of beta-catenin, p120catenin transcription and decrease of Kaiso expression, indicating an upregulation of Wnt signaling activity before implantation. When Dishevelled-GFP fusion proteins are overexpressed in single blastomeres of the 4-cell stage embryo, the progeny of this cell show reduction in cell adhesiveness and a rounded shape at the blastocyst stage. This suggests that perturbing Dvl function interferes with cell-cell adhesion through the non-canonical Wnt pathway in blastocysts.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0800784; Wellcome Trust: 064421

    Developmental biology 2007;302;1;40-9

  • Qualitative and quantitative analyses of protein phosphorylation in naive and stimulated mouse synaptosomal preparations.

    Munton RP, Tweedie-Cullen R, Livingstone-Zatchej M, Weinandy F, Waidelich M, Longo D, Gehrig P, Potthast F, Rutishauser D, Gerrits B, Panse C, Schlapbach R and Mansuy IM

    Brain Research Institute, Medical Faculty of the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

    Activity-dependent protein phosphorylation is a highly dynamic yet tightly regulated process essential for cellular signaling. Although recognized as critical for neuronal functions, the extent and stoichiometry of phosphorylation in brain cells remain undetermined. In this study, we resolved activity-dependent changes in phosphorylation stoichiometry at specific sites in distinct subcellular compartments of brain cells. Following highly sensitive phosphopeptide enrichment using immobilized metal affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, we isolated and identified 974 unique phosphorylation sites on 499 proteins, many of which are novel. To further explore the significance of specific phosphorylation sites, we used isobaric peptide labels and determined the absolute quantity of both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated peptides of candidate phosphoproteins and estimated phosphorylation stoichiometry. The analyses of phosphorylation dynamics using differentially stimulated synaptic terminal preparations revealed activity-dependent changes in phosphorylation stoichiometry of target proteins. Using this method, we were able to differentiate between distinct isoforms of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII) and identify a novel activity-regulated phosphorylation site on the glutamate receptor subunit GluR1. Together these data illustrate that mass spectrometry-based methods can be used to determine activity-dependent changes in phosphorylation stoichiometry on candidate phosphopeptides following large scale phosphoproteome analysis of brain tissue.

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2007;6;2;283-93

  • Developmental functions of the P120-catenin sub-family.

    McCrea PD and Park JI

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Program in Genes and Development, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Houston TX 77030, USA. pdmccrea@mdanderson.org

    For more than a decade, cell, developmental and cancer investigators have brought about a wide interest in the biology of catenin proteins, an attraction being their varied functions within differing cellular compartments. While the diversity of catenin localizations and roles has been intriguing, it has also posed a challenge to the clear interpretation of loss- or gain-of-function developmental phenotypes. The most deeply studied member of the larger catenin family is beta-catenin, whose contributions span areas including cell adhesion and intracellular signaling/ transcriptional control. More recently, attention has been directed towards p120-catenin, which in conjunction with the p120-catenin sub-family members ARVCF- and delta-catenins, are the subjects of this review. Although the requirement for vertebrate versus invertebrate p120-catenin are at variance, vertebrate p120-catenin sub-family members may each inter-link cadherin, cytoskeletal and gene regulatory functions in embryogenesis and disease.

    Biochimica et biophysica acta 2007;1773;1;17-33

  • Involvement of p120 carboxy-terminal domain in cadherin trafficking.

    Liu H, Komiya S, Shimizu M, Fukunaga Y and Nagafuchi A

    Division of Cellular Interactions, Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University.

    P120 plays an essential role in cadherin turnover. The molecular mechanism involved, however, remains only partially understood. Here, using a gene trap targeting technique, we replaced the genomic sequence of p120 with HA-tagged p120 cDNA in mouse teratocarcinoma F9 cells. In the p120 knock-in (p120KI) cells, we found that the expression level of p120 was severely reduced and that the expression level of other components of the cadherin-catenin complex was also reduced. The stable expression of various p120 mutants in p120KI cells revealed that the armadillo repeat domain of p120 is sufficient to restore the expression level of E-cadherin. In p120KI cells, internalized E-cadherin was frequently detected as large aggregates. Transient expression of wild-type p120 and mutant p120 lacking the N-terminal region induced both relocalization of E-cadherin at the cell-cell boundaries and the disappearance of cytoplasmic E-cadherin aggregates. Transient expression of mutant p120 lacking the C-terminal region, however, only induced a small increase in E-cadherin signals at the cell-cell boundary. In these cells, the cytoplasmic E-cadherin signals became brighter and the expressed mutant p120 was incorporated in the E-cadherin aggregates. These results suggested the novel function of the p120 C-terminal region in regulating the trafficking of cytoplasmic E-cadherin.

    Cell structure and function 2007;32;2;127-37

  • p120-catenin and p190RhoGAP regulate cell-cell adhesion by coordinating antagonism between Rac and Rho.

    Wildenberg GA, Dohn MR, Carnahan RH, Davis MA, Lobdell NA, Settleman J and Reynolds AB

    Department of Cancer Biology, 438 Preston Building, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

    Integration of receptor tyrosine kinase, integrin, and cadherin activities is crucial for normal cell growth, motility, and adhesion. Here, we describe roles for p120-catenin (p120) and p190RhoGAP that coordinate crosstalk between these systems and regulate cadherin function. Surprisingly, PDGFR-induced actin remodeling in NIH3T3 cells is blocked in the absence of p120, and the cells are partially transformed via constitutive activation of Rho. We have traced the mechanism to unexpected codependent roles for p120 and p190RhoGAP in regulating Rac-dependent antagonism of Rho. Receptor-induced Rac activity causes translocation of p190RhoGAP to adherens junctions (AJs), where it couples to the cadherin complex via interaction with p120. AJ formation is dependent on this p120-p190RhoGAP interaction and fails altogether if either of these proteins are compromised. We propose that Rac activation links diverse signaling systems to AJ assembly by controlling transient p190RhoGAP interactions with p120 and localized inhibition of Rho.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA04-013, R01-CA111947, R01-CA55724, T32 CA009592

    Cell 2006;127;5;1027-39

  • Intracellular substrates of brain-enriched receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase rho (RPTPrho/PTPRT).

    Besco JA, Hooft van Huijsduijnen R, Frostholm A and Rotter A

    Department of Pharmacology, The Ohio State University, 333 W 10th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA. besco.1@osu.edu

    Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase rho (RPTPrho/PTPRT) is a transmembrane protein that is highly expressed in the developing and adult central nervous system. It is a member of the RPTP R2B subfamily, which includes PTPkappa, PTPmu and PCP-2. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) pulldown assays were used to show that RPTPrho interacts with several adherens junctional proteins in brain, including E-cadherin, N-cadherin, VE-cadherin (cadherin-5), desmoglein, alpha, beta and gamma catenin, p120(ctn) and alpha-actinin. With the exception of E-cadherin and alpha-actinin, binding was considerably reduced at high sodium concentrations. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation phosphatase assays indicated that E-cadherin, and to a far lesser extent p120(ctn), were tyrosine dephosphorylated by a recombinant RPTPrho intracellular fragment, and thus, were likely to be primary substrates for RPTPrho. The interaction of RPTPrho with adherens junctional components suggests that this phosphatase may transduce extracellular signals to the actin cytoskeleton and thereby play a role in regulating cadherin-mediated cell adhesion in the central nervous system.

    Funded by: NIMH NIH HHS: MH 57415

    Brain research 2006;1116;1;50-7

  • p120 serine and threonine phosphorylation is controlled by multiple ligand-receptor pathways but not cadherin ligation.

    Xia X, Carnahan RH, Vaughan MH, Wildenberg GA and Reynolds AB

    Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 771 Preston Research Building, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

    p120-catenin (p120) regulates cadherin turnover and is required for cadherin stability. Extensive and dynamic phosphorylation on tyrosine, serine and threonine residues in the N-terminal regulatory domain has been postulated to regulate p120 function, possibly through modulation of the efficiency of p120/cadherin interaction. Here we have utilized novel phospho-specific monoclonal antibodies to four major p120 serine and threonine phosphorylation sites to monitor individual phosphorylation events and their consequences. Surprisingly, membrane-localization and not cadherin interaction is the main determinant in p120 serine and threonine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Furthermore, the phospho-status of these four residues had no obvious effect on p120's role in cadherin complex stabilization or cell-cell adhesion. Interestingly, dephosphorylation was dramatically induced by PKC activation, but PKC-independent pathways were also evident. The data suggest that p120 dephosphorylation at these sites is modulated by multiple cell surface receptors primarily through PKC-dependent pathways, but these changes do not seem to reduce p120/cadherin affinity.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA55724, CA68684, CA95103

    Experimental cell research 2006;312;17;3336-48

  • Dual regulation of Rho and Rac by p120 catenin controls adipocyte plasma membrane trafficking.

    Hou JC, Shigematsu S, Crawford HC, Anastasiadis PZ and Pessin JE

    Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-8651, USA.

    During 3T3L1 adipogenesis there is a marked reduction in beta-catenin and N-cadherin expression with a relatively small decrease in p120 catenin protein levels. Cell fractionation demonstrated a predominant decrease in the particulate (membrane-bound) pool of p120 catenin with little effect on the soluble pool, resulting in a large redistribution from the plasma membrane to the cytosol. Reexpression of p120 catenin inhibited constitutive (transferrin receptor) and regulated mannose 6-phosphate receptor and GLUT4 trafficking to the plasma membrane. The inhibition of membrane trafficking was specific for p120 catenin function as this could be rescued by co-expression of N-cadherin. Moreover, overexpression of a p120 catenin deletion mutant (p120delta622-628) or splice variant (p120-4A), neither of which could regulate Rho or Rac activity, showed no significant effect. The inhibition of GLUT4 translocation was also observed upon the simultaneous expression of a constitutively active Rac mutant (Rac1/Val12) in combination with a dominant-interfering Rho mutant (RhoA/Asn19). This was recapitulated by expression of the Rho ADP-ribosylation factor (C3ADP) in combination with constitutively active Rac1/Val12. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of p120 catenin resulted in increased basal state accumulation of GLUT4 at the plasma membrane. Together, these data demonstrate that p120 catenin plays an important role in maintaining the basal tone of membrane protein trafficking in adipocytes through the dual regulation of Rho and Rac function and accounts for reports implicating Rho or Rac in the control of GLUT4 translocation.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: DK33823, DK55811

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;33;23307-12

  • p120 catenin regulates dendritic spine and synapse development through Rho-family GTPases and cadherins.

    Elia LP, Yamamoto M, Zang K and Reichardt LF

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Physiology, 1550 Fourth Street, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

    Both the cadherin-catenin complex and Rho-family GTPases have been shown to regulate dendrite development. We show here a role for p120 catenin (p120ctn) in regulating spine and synapse formation in the developing mouse brain. p120catenin gene deletion in hippocampal pyramidal neurons in vivo resulted in reduced spine and synapse densities along dendrites. In addition, p120 catenin loss resulted in reduced cadherin levels and misregulation of Rho-family GTPases, with decreased Rac1 and increased RhoA activity. Analyses in vitro indicate that the reduced spine density reflects aberrant Rho-family GTPase signaling, whereas the effects on spine maturation appear to result from reduced cadherin levels and possibly aberrant Rho-family GTPase signaling. Thus, p120ctn acts as a signal coordinator between cadherins and Rho-family GTPases to regulate cytoskeletal changes required during spine and synapse development.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS016033, P01 NS016033-25

    Neuron 2006;51;1;43-56

  • BGEM: an in situ hybridization database of gene expression in the embryonic and adult mouse nervous system.

    Magdaleno S, Jensen P, Brumwell CL, Seal A, Lehman K, Asbury A, Cheung T, Cornelius T, Batten DM, Eden C, Norland SM, Rice DS, Dosooye N, Shakya S, Mehta P and Curran T

    Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: 5R37NS036558, N01-NS-0-2331, R37 NS036558

    PLoS biology 2006;4;4;e86

  • Cdc42 controls progenitor cell differentiation and beta-catenin turnover in skin.

    Wu X, Quondamatteo F, Lefever T, Czuchra A, Meyer H, Chrostek A, Paus R, Langbein L and Brakebusch C

    Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Heisenberg Group Regulation of Cytoskeletal Organization, Department of Molecular Medicine, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.

    Differentiation of skin stem cells into hair follicles (HFs) requires the inhibition of beta-catenin degradation, which is controlled by a complex containing axin and the protein kinase GSK3beta. Using conditional gene targeting in mice, we show now that the small GTPase Cdc42 is crucial for differentiation of skin progenitor cells into HF lineage and that it regulates the turnover of beta-catenin. In the absence of Cdc42, degradation of beta-catenin was increased corresponding to a decreased phosphorylation of GSK3beta at Ser 9 and an increased phosphorylation of axin, which is known to be required for binding of beta-catenin to the degradation machinery. Cdc42-mediated regulation of beta-catenin turnover was completely dependent on PKCzeta, which associated with Cdc42, Par6, and Par3. These data suggest that Cdc42 regulation of beta-catenin turnover is important for terminal differentiation of HF progenitor cells in vivo.

    Genes & development 2006;20;5;571-85

  • p120-catenin mediates inflammatory responses in the skin.

    Perez-Moreno M, Davis MA, Wong E, Pasolli HA, Reynolds AB and Fuchs E

    Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

    Although p120-catenin regulates adherens junction (AJ) stability in cultured cells, genetic studies in lower eukaryotes have not revealed a role for this protein in vivo. Using conditional targeting in mice, we show that p120 null neonatal epidermis exhibits reduced intercellular AJ components but no overt disruption in barrier function or intercellular adhesion. As the mice age, however, they display epidermal hyperplasia and chronic inflammation, typified by hair degeneration and loss of body fat. Using skin engraftments and anti-inflammatory drugs, we show that these features are not attributable to reductions in junctional cadherins and catenins, but rather NFkB activation. Both in vivo and in vitro, p120 null epidermal cells activate nuclear NFkB, triggering a cascade of proinflammatory NFkB targets. Although the underlying mechanism is likely complex, we show that p120 affects NFkB activation and immune homeostasis in part through regulation of Rho GTPases. These findings provide important new insights into p120 function.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA55724, P50 CA095103, P50 CA95103, R01 CA055724; NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR027883, R01 AR027883-29, R37 AR027883

    Cell 2006;124;3;631-44

  • Blocked acinar development, E-cadherin reduction, and intraepithelial neoplasia upon ablation of p120-catenin in the mouse salivary gland.

    Davis MA and Reynolds AB

    Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, 438 Preston Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

    p120 catenin is thought to be a key regulator of E-cadherin function and stability, but its role(s) in vivo is poorly understood. To examine these directly, we generated a conditional p120 knockout mouse and targeted p120 ablation to the embryonic salivary gland. Surprisingly, acinar differentiation is completely blocked, resulting in a gland composed entirely of ducts. Moreover, p120 ablation causes E-cadherin deficiency in vivo and severe defects in adhesion, cell polarity, and epithelial morphology. These changes closely phenocopy high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, a condition that, in humans, typically progresses to invasive cancer. Tumor-like protrusions appear immediately after p120 ablation at e14 and expand into the lumen until shortly after birth, at which time the animals die with completely occluded glands. The data reveal an unexpected role for p120 in salivary acinar development and show that p120 ablation by itself induces effects consistent with a role in tumor progression.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1P50CA95103, R01-CA55724

    Developmental cell 2006;10;1;21-31

  • The catenin p120ctn inhibits Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression of the beta-catenin/TCF target gene matrilysin.

    Spring CM, Kelly KF, O'Kelly I, Graham M, Crawford HC and Daniel JM

    Department of Biology, LSB-331, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1.

    The POZ-zinc finger transcription factor Kaiso was first identified as a specific binding partner for the Armadillo catenin and cell adhesion cofactor, p120ctn. Kaiso is a unique POZ protein with bi-modal DNA-binding properties; it associates with a sequence-specific DNA consensus Kaiso binding site (KBS) or methylated CpG dinucleotides, and regulates transcription of artificial promoters containing either site. Interestingly, the promoter of the Wnt/beta-catenin/TCF target gene matrilysin possesses two conserved copies of the KBS, which suggested that Kaiso might regulate matrilysin expression. In this study, we demonstrate using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis that Kaiso associates with the matrilysin promoter in vivo. Minimal promoter assays further confirmed that Kaiso specifically repressed transcription of the matrilysin promoter; mutation of the KBS element or RNAi-mediated depletion of Kaiso abrogated this effect. More importantly, Kaiso blocked beta-catenin-mediated activation of the matrilysin promoter. Consistent with our previous findings, both Kaiso-DNA binding and Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression of the matrilysin promoter were inhibited by overexpression of wild-type p120ctn, but not by a p120ctn mutant exhibiting impaired nuclear import. Collectively, our data establish Kaiso as a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor of the matrilysin promoter, and suggest that p120ctn and beta-catenin act in a synergistic manner, via distinct mechanisms, to activate matrilysin expression.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA-10012601

    Experimental cell research 2005;305;2;253-65

  • The KIF3 motor transports N-cadherin and organizes the developing neuroepithelium.

    Teng J, Rai T, Tanaka Y, Takei Y, Nakata T, Hirasawa M, Kulkarni AB and Hirokawa N

    Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

    In the developing brain, the organization of the neuroepithelium is maintained by a critical balance between proliferation and cell-cell adhesion of neural progenitor cells. The molecular mechanisms that underlie this are still largely unknown. Here, through analysis of a conditional knockout mouse for the Kap3 gene, we show that post-Golgi transport of N-cadherin by the KIF3 molecular motor complex is crucial for maintaining this balance. N-cadherin and beta-catenin associate with the KIF3 complex by co-immunoprecipitation, and colocalize with KIF3 in cells. Furthermore, in KAP3-deficient cells, the subcellular localization of N-cadherin was disrupted. Taken together, these results suggest a potential tumour-suppressing activity for this molecular motor.

    Nature cell biology 2005;7;5;474-82

  • Characterization of an exchangeable gene trap using pU-17 carrying a stop codon-beta geo cassette.

    Taniwaki T, Haruna K, Nakamura H, Sekimoto T, Oike Y, Imaizumi T, Saito F, Muta M, Soejima Y, Utoh A, Nakagata N, Araki M, Yamamura K and Araki K

    Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University, Kuhonji 4-24-1, Kumamoto 862-0976, Japan.

    We have developed a new exchangeable gene trap vector, pU-17, carrying the intron-lox71-splicing acceptor (SA)-beta geo-loxP-pA-lox2272-pSP73-lox511. The SA contains three stop codons in-frame with the ATG of beta galactosidase/neomycin-resistance fusion gene (beta geo) that can function in promoter trapping. We found that the trap vector was highly selective for integrations in the introns adjacent to the exon containing the start codon. Furthermore, by using the Cre-mutant lox system, we successfully replaced the beta geo gene with the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene, established mouse lines with the replaced clones, removed the selection marker gene by mating with Flp-deleter mice, and confirmed that the replaced EGFP gene was expressed in the same pattern as the beta geo gene. Thus, using this pU-17 trap vector, we can initially carry out random mutagenesis, and then convert it to a gain-of-function mutation by replacing the beta geo gene with any gene of interest to be expressed under the control of the trapped promoter through Cre-mediated recombination.

    Development, growth & differentiation 2005;47;3;163-72

  • E-cadherin is essential for in vivo epidermal barrier function by regulating tight junctions.

    Tunggal JA, Helfrich I, Schmitz A, Schwarz H, Günzel D, Fromm M, Kemler R, Krieg T and Niessen CM

    Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Cologne (CMMC), Cologne, Germany.

    Cadherin adhesion molecules are key determinants of morphogenesis and tissue architecture. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the morphogenetic contributions of cadherins remain poorly understood in vivo. Besides supporting cell-cell adhesion, cadherins can affect a wide range of cellular functions that include activation of cell signalling pathways, regulation of the cytoskeleton and control of cell polarity. To determine the role of E-cadherin in stratified epithelium of the epidermis, we have conditionally inactivated its gene in mice. Here we show that loss of E-cadherin in the epidermis in vivo results in perinatal death of mice due to the inability to retain a functional epidermal water barrier. Absence of E-cadherin leads to improper localization of key tight junctional proteins, resulting in permeable tight junctions and thus altered epidermal resistance. In addition, both Rac and activated atypical PKC, crucial for tight junction formation, are mislocalized. Surprisingly, our results indicate that E-cadherin is specifically required for tight junction, but not desmosome, formation and this appears to involve signalling rather than cell contact formation.

    The EMBO journal 2005;24;6;1146-56

  • Monoallelic expression and asynchronous replication of p120 catenin in mouse and human cells.

    Gimelbrant AA, Ensminger AW, Qi P, Zucker J and Chess A

    Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

    The number of autosomal mammalian genes subject to random monoallelic expression has been limited to genes highly specific to the function of chemosensory neurons or lymphocytes, making this phenomenon difficult to address systematically. Here we demonstrate that asynchronous DNA replication can be used as a marker for the identification of novel genes with monoallelic expression and identify p120 catenin, a gene involved in cell adhesion, as belonging to this class. p120 is widely expressed; its presence in available cell lines allowed us to address quantitative aspects of monoallelic expression. We show that the epigenetic choice of active allele is clonally stable and that biallelic clones express p120 at twice the level of monoallelic clones. Unlike previous reports about genes of this type, we found that expression of p120 can be monoallelic in one cell type and strictly biallelic in another. We show that in human lymphoblasts, the silencing of one allele is incomplete. These unexpected properties are likely to be wide-spread, as we show that the Tlr4 gene shares them. Identification of monoallelic expression of a nearly ubiquitous gene indicates that this type of gene regulation is more common than previously thought. This has important implications for carcinogenesis and definition of cell identity.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2005;280;2;1354-9

  • Libraries enriched for alternatively spliced exons reveal splicing patterns in melanocytes and melanomas.

    Watahiki A, Waki K, Hayatsu N, Shiraki T, Kondo S, Nakamura M, Sasaki D, Arakawa T, Kawai J, Harbers M, Hayashizaki Y and Carninci P

    Genome Science Laboratory, RIKEN, Wako main campus, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198 Japan.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that alternative splicing enables the complex development and homeostasis of higher organisms. To gain a better understanding of how splicing contributes to regulatory pathways, we have developed an alternative splicing library approach for the identification of alternatively spliced exons and their flanking regions by alternative splicing sequence enriched tags sequencing. Here, we have applied our approach to mouse melan-c melanocyte and B16-F10Y melanoma cell lines, in which 5,401 genes were found to be alternatively spliced. These genes include those encoding important regulatory factors such as cyclin D2, Ilk, MAPK12, MAPK14, RAB4, melastatin 1 and previously unidentified splicing events for 436 genes. Real-time PCR further identified cell line-specific exons for Tmc6, Abi1, Sorbs1, Ndel1 and Snx16. Thus, the ASL approach proved effective in identifying splicing events, which suggest that alternative splicing is important in melanoma development.

    Nature methods 2004;1;3;233-9

  • Non-canonical Wnt signals are modulated by the Kaiso transcriptional repressor and p120-catenin.

    Kim SW, Park JI, Spring CM, Sater AK, Ji H, Otchere AA, Daniel JM and McCrea PD

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

    Gastrulation movements are critical for establishing the three principal germ layers and the basic architecture of vertebrate embryos. Although the individual molecules and pathways involved are not clearly understood, non-canonical Wnt signals are known to participate in developmental processes, including planar cell polarity and directed cell rearrangements. Here we demonstrate that the dual-specificity transcriptional repressor Kaiso, first identified in association with p120-catenin, is required for Xenopus gastrulation movements. In addition, depletion of xKaiso results in increased expression of the non-canonical xWnt11, which contributes to the xKaiso knockdown phenotype as it is significantly rescued by dominant-negative Wnt11. We further demonstrate that xWnt11 is a direct gene target of xKaiso and that p120-catenin association relieves xKaiso repression in vivo. Our results indicate that p120-catenin and Kaiso are essential components of a new developmental gene regulatory pathway that controls vertebrate morphogenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA-16672; NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM52112

    Nature cell biology 2004;6;12;1212-20

  • Inducible expression of p120Cas1B isoform corroborates the role for p120-catenin as a positive regulator of E-cadherin function in intestinal cancer cells.

    Roura S and Domínguez D

    Unitat de Biologia Cellular i Molecular, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Spain. sroura@hsp.santpau.es

    Over the past decade, the exact function of p120-catenin in regulation of E-cadherin/catenins complex has remained particularly controversial. We have previously reported that E-cadherin-mediated adhesion is tightly regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation of catenins. However, this effect is not observed in human colon carcinoma cell line Caco-2. Here, we have generated inducible Caco-2 clones that display p120Cas1B, a p120-catenin isoform poorly expressed by these cells. As a result, neither expression of the transgene nor tyrosine phosphorylation of catenins induces redistribution of E-cadherin to the cytosol and disassembly of adherens and tight junctions. In contrast, E-cadherin appears markedly increased reinforcing cell-cell adhesion. Interestingly, a substantial decrease in p120-catenin levels is found in MDCK cells expressing Snail, in which E-cadherin expression is strongly inhibited. Additionally, we show that the specific depletion of p120-catenin decreases cell-cell contacts, and increases cell motility and scattering of colonies established by HT-29 M6 cells. Together our results corroborate that p120-catenin plays an essential role in the maintenance of the required E-cadherin protein levels that prevent the loss of epithelial characteristics occurred during tumorigenesis.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2004;320;2;435-41

  • Continuous association of cadherin with beta-catenin requires the non-receptor tyrosine-kinase Fer.

    Xu G, Craig AW, Greer P, Miller M, Anastasiadis PZ, Lilien J and Balsamo J

    Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.

    The function of Type 1, classic cadherins depends on their association with the actin cytoskeleton, a connection mediated by alpha- and beta-catenin. The phosphorylation state of beta-catenin is crucial for its association with cadherin and thus the association of cadherin with the cytoskeleton. We now show that the phosphorylation of beta-catenin is regulated by the combined activities of the tyrosine kinase Fer and the tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B. Fer phosphorylates PTP1B at tyrosine 152, regulating its binding to cadherin and the continuous dephosphorylation of beta-catenin at tyrosine 654. Fer interacts with cadherin indirectly, through p120ctn. We have mapped the interaction domains of Fer and p120ctn and peptides corresponding to these sequences release Fer from p120ctn in vitro and in live cells, resulting in loss of cadherin-associated PTP1B, an increase in the pool of tyrosine phosphorylated beta-catenin and loss of cadherin adhesion function. The effect of the peptides is lost when a beta-catenin mutant with a substitution at tyrosine 654 is introduced into cells. Thus, Fer phosphorylates PTP1B at tyrosine 152 enabling it to bind to the cytoplasmic domain of cadherin, where it maintains beta-catenin in a dephosphorylated state. Cultured fibroblasts from mouse embryos targeted with a kinase-inactivating ferD743R mutation have lost cadherin-associated PTP1B and beta-catenin, as well as localization of cadherin and beta-catenin in areas of cell-cell contacts. Expression of wild-type Fer or culture in epidermal growth factor restores the cadherin complex and localization at cell-cell contacts.

    Journal of cell science 2004;117;Pt 15;3207-19

  • NLS-dependent nuclear localization of p120ctn is necessary to relieve Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression.

    Kelly KF, Spring CM, Otchere AA and Daniel JM

    Department of Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.

    The Armadillo catenin p120(ctn) regulates cadherin adhesive strength at the plasma membrane and interacts with the novel BTB/POZ transcriptional repressor Kaiso in the nucleus. The dual localization of p120(ctn) at cell-cell junctions and in the nucleus suggests that its nucleocytoplasmic trafficking is tightly regulated. Here we report on the identification of a specific and highly basic nuclear localization signal (NLS) in p120(ctn). The functionality of the NLS was validated by its ability to direct the nuclear localization of a heterologous beta-galactosidase-GFP fusion protein. Mutating two key positively charged lysines to neutral alanines in the NLS of full-length p120(ctn) inhibited both p120(ctn) nuclear localization as well as the characteristic p120(ctn)-induced branching phenotype that correlates with increased cell migration. However, while these findings and others suggested that nuclear localization of p120(ctn) was crucial for the p120(ctn)-induced branching phenotype, we found that forced nuclear localization of both wild-type and NLS-mutated p120(ctn) did not induce branching. Recently, we also found that one role of p120(ctn) was to regulate Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression. However, it remained unclear whether p120(ctn) sequestered Kaiso in the cytosol or directly inhibited Kaiso transcriptional activity in the nucleus. Using minimal promoter assays, we show here that the regulatory effect of p120(ctn) on Kaiso transcriptional activity requires the nuclear translocation of p120(ctn). Therefore, an intact NLS in p120(ctn) is requisite for its first identified regulatory role of the transcriptional repressor Kaiso.

    Journal of cell science 2004;117;Pt 13;2675-86

  • A novel interaction between kinesin and p120 modulates p120 localization and function.

    Yanagisawa M, Kaverina IN, Wang A, Fujita Y, Reynolds AB and Anastasiadis PZ

    Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    p120-catenin exists in a membrane-associated cadherin-bound pool, a cytosolic pool that affects Rho GTPases, and a nuclear pool that is thought to associate with the methylation-relevant transcriptional repressor Kaiso. We show here that cytoplasmic p120 can also associate both directly and indirectly with the microtubule network, and that p120 traffics along microtubules toward their plus ends. The direct binding required most of the armadillo repeats and was mutually exclusive for interaction with E-cadherin. Perturbing the p120-microtubule interaction with nocodazole or taxol markedly affected both the tubulin interaction and the balance between cytoplasmic and nuclear p120. The indirect binding occurred via a novel interaction between a segment of the p120 N-terminal domain and conventional kinesin heavy chains. Selective uncoupling of the p120-kinesin interaction by overexpression of the respective p120 and kinesin-binding fragments promoted nuclear p120 accumulation. In addition, expression of full-length kinesin reduced the nuclear accumulation of p120 and blocked the branching phenotype associated with p120 overexpression. Taken together, the data suggest that kinesin affects both the targeting and activity of p120 at several cellular locations.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: MC_U122669938; NCI NIH HHS: R01-CA55724

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;10;9512-21

  • p120 catenin associates with microtubules: inverse relationship between microtubule binding and Rho GTPase regulation.

    Franz CM and Ridley AJ

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Royal Free and University College School of Medicine, 91 Riding House Street, London W1W 7BS, UK.

    p120 catenin (p120ctn), an armadillo protein and component of the cadherin adhesion complex, has been found recently to induce a dendritic morphology by regulating Rho family GTPases. We have identified specific serines within the Arm repeat domain that, when mutated to alanine, promote p120ctn association with interphase microtubules, leading to microtubule reorganization and stabilization. The mutant p120ctn also localized to the mitotic spindle and centrosomes. In contrast to wild-type p120ctn, the microtubule-associated p120ctn mutant did not activate Rac1 and did not induce a dendritic morphology. In addition, we show that a basic motif within the p120ctn Arm repeat domain known to be required for the inhibition of RhoA is also required for binding to microtubules. We therefore propose that binding of p120ctn to microtubules is inversely related to its ability to regulate Rho GTPases.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;8;6588-94

  • Lamellipodium extension and cadherin adhesion: two cell responses to cadherin activation relying on distinct signalling pathways.

    Gavard J, Lambert M, Grosheva I, Marthiens V, Irinopoulou T, Riou JF, Bershadsky A and Mège RM

    Signalisation et Différenciation Cellulaires dans les Systèmes Nerveux et Musculaire, U440 INSERM-UPMC, Institut du Fer à Moulin, 17 rue du Fer à Moulin, 75005 Paris, France.

    Cell adhesion molecules of the cadherin family contribute to the regulation of cell shape and fate by mediating strong intercellular adhesion through Ca2+-dependent interaction of their ectodomain and association of their cytoplasmic tail to actin. However, the mechanisms co-ordinating cadherinmediated adhesion with the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton remain elusive. Here, the formation of de novo contacts was dissected by spreading cells on a highly active N-cadherin homophilic ligand. Cells responded to N-cadherin activation by extending lamellipodium and organizing cadherin-catenin complexes and actin filaments in cadherin adhesions. Lamellipodium protrusion, associated with actin polymerization at the leading edge sustained the extension of cadherin contacts through a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase)-Rac1 pathway. Cadherin adhesions were formed by PI 3-kinase-independent, Rac1-dependent co-recruitment of adhesion complexes and actin filaments. The expression and localization of p120 at the plasma membrane, associated with an increase in membrane-associated Rac1 was required for both cell responses, consistent with a major role of p120 in signalling pathways initiated by cadherin activation and contributing to Rac1-dependent contact extension and maturation. These results provide additional information on the mechanisms by which cadherin coordinates adhesion with dynamic changes in the cytoskeleton to control cell shape and intercellular junction organization.

    Journal of cell science 2004;117;Pt 2;257-70

  • Wnk1 kinase deficiency lowers blood pressure in mice: a gene-trap screen to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

    Zambrowicz BP, Abuin A, Ramirez-Solis R, Richter LJ, Piggott J, BeltrandelRio H, Buxton EC, Edwards J, Finch RA, Friddle CJ, Gupta A, Hansen G, Hu Y, Huang W, Jaing C, Key BW, Kipp P, Kohlhauff B, Ma ZQ, Markesich D, Payne R, Potter DG, Qian N, Shaw J, Schrick J, Shi ZZ, Sparks MJ, Van Sligtenhorst I, Vogel P, Walke W, Xu N, Zhu Q, Person C and Sands AT

    Lexicon Genetics, 8800 Technology Forest Place, The Woodlands, TX 77381, USA. brian@lexgen.com

    The availability of both the mouse and human genome sequences allows for the systematic discovery of human gene function through the use of the mouse as a model system. To accelerate the genetic determination of gene function, we have developed a sequence-tagged gene-trap library of >270,000 mouse embryonic stem cell clones representing mutations in approximately 60% of mammalian genes. Through the generation and phenotypic analysis of knockout mice from this resource, we are undertaking a functional screen to identify genes regulating physiological parameters such as blood pressure. As part of this screen, mice deficient for the Wnk1 kinase gene were generated and analyzed. Genetic studies in humans have shown that large intronic deletions in WNK1 lead to its overexpression and are responsible for pseudohypoaldosteronism type II, an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by hypertension, increased renal salt reabsorption, and impaired K+ and H+ excretion. Consistent with the human genetic studies, Wnk1 heterozygous mice displayed a significant decrease in blood pressure. Mice homozygous for the Wnk1 mutation died during embryonic development before day 13 of gestation. These results demonstrate that Wnk1 is a regulator of blood pressure critical for development and illustrate the utility of a functional screen driven by a sequence-based mutagenesis approach.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2003;100;24;14109-14

  • A large-scale, gene-driven mutagenesis approach for the functional analysis of the mouse genome.

    Hansen J, Floss T, Van Sloun P, Füchtbauer EM, Vauti F, Arnold HH, Schnütgen F, Wurst W, von Melchner H and Ruiz P

    Institute of Developmental Genetics, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

    A major challenge of the postgenomic era is the functional characterization of every single gene within the mammalian genome. In an effort to address this challenge, we assembled a collection of mutations in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, which is the largest publicly accessible collection of such mutations to date. Using four different gene-trap vectors, we generated 5,142 sequences adjacent to the gene-trap integration sites (gene-trap sequence tags; http://genetrap.de) from >11,000 ES cell clones. Although most of the gene-trap vector insertions occurred randomly throughout the genome, we found both vector-independent and vector-specific integration "hot spots." Because >50% of the hot spots were vector-specific, we conclude that the most effective way to saturate the mouse genome with gene-trap insertions is by using a combination of gene-trap vectors. When a random sample of gene-trap integrations was passaged to the germ line, 59% (17 of 29) produced an observable phenotype in transgenic mice, a frequency similar to that achieved by conventional gene targeting. Thus, gene trapping allows a large-scale and cost-effective production of ES cell clones with mutations distributed throughout the genome, a resource likely to accelerate genome annotation and the in vivo modeling of human disease.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2003;100;17;9918-22

  • beta-Catenin signals regulate cell growth and the balance between progenitor cell expansion and differentiation in the nervous system.

    Zechner D, Fujita Y, Hülsken J, Müller T, Walther I, Taketo MM, Crenshaw EB, Birchmeier W and Birchmeier C

    Max-Delbrück-Center of Molecular Medicine, Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, 13125, Berlin, Germany.

    beta-Catenin is an essential component of the canonical Wnt signaling system that controls decisive steps in development. We employed here two conditional beta-catenin mutant alleles to alter beta-catenin signaling in the central nervous system of mice: one allele to ablate beta-catenin and the second allele to express a constitutively active beta-catenin. The tissue mass of the spinal cord and brain is reduced after ablation of beta-catenin, and the neuronal precursor population is not maintained. In contrast, the spinal cord and brain of mice that express activated beta-catenin is much enlarged in mass, and the neuronal precursor population is increased in size. beta-Catenin signals are thus essential for the maintenance of proliferation of neuronal progenitors, controlling the size of the progenitor pool, and impinging on the decision of neuronal progenitors to proliferate or to differentiate.

    Developmental biology 2003;258;2;406-18

  • NF2 deficiency promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis by destabilizing adherens junctions.

    Lallemand D, Curto M, Saotome I, Giovannini M and McClatchey AI

    MGH Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA. mcclatch@helix.mgh.harvard.edu

    Mutation of the Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor gene leads to cancer development in humans and mice. Recent studies suggest that Nf2 loss also contributes to tumor metastasis. The Nf2-encoded protein, merlin, is related to the ERM (ezrin, radixin, and moesin) family of membrane:cytoskeleton-associated proteins. However, the cellular mechanism whereby merlin controls cell proliferation from this location is not known. Here we show that the major cellular consequence of Nf2 deficiency in primary cells is an inability to undergo contact-dependent growth arrest and to form stable cadherin-containing cell:cell junctions. Merlin colocalizes and interacts with adherens junction (AJ) components in confluent wild-type cells, suggesting that the lack of AJs and contact-dependent growth arrest in Nf2(-/-) cells directly results from the absence of merlin at sites of cell:cell contact. Our studies indicate that merlin functions as a tumor and metastasis suppressor by controlling cadherin-mediated cell:cell contact.

    Genes & development 2003;17;9;1090-100

  • Prediction of the coding sequences of mouse homologues of KIAA gene: I. The complete nucleotide sequences of 100 mouse KIAA-homologous cDNAs identified by screening of terminal sequences of cDNA clones randomly sampled from size-fractionated libraries.

    Okazaki N, Kikuno R, Ohara R, Inamoto S, Hara Y, Nagase T, Ohara O and Koga H

    Kazusa DNA Research Institute, 2-6-7 Kazusa-Kamatari, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0818, Japan.

    We have been conducting a human cDNA project to predict protein-coding sequences in long cDNAs (> 4 kb) since 1994. The number of these newly identified human genes exceeds 2000 and these genes are known as KIAA genes. As an extension of this project, we herein report characterization of cDNAs derived from mouse KIAA-homologous genes. A primary aim of this study was to prepare a set of mouse. KIAA-homologous cDNAs that could be used to analyze the physiological roles of KIAA genes in mice. In addition, comparison of the structures of mouse and human KIAA cDNAs might enable us to evaluate the integrity of KIAA cDNAs more convincingly. In this study, we selected mouse KIAA-homologous cDNA clones to be sequenced by screening a library of terminal sequences of mouse cDNAs in size-fractionated libraries. We present the entire sequences of 100 cDNA clones thus selected and predict their protein-coding sequences. The average size of the 100 cDNA sequences reached 5.1 kb and that of mouse KIAA-homologous proteins predicted from these cDNAs was 989 amino acid residues.

    DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes 2002;9;5;179-88

  • The p120(ctn)-binding partner Kaiso is a bi-modal DNA-binding protein that recognizes both a sequence-specific consensus and methylated CpG dinucleotides.

    Daniel JM, Spring CM, Crawford HC, Reynolds AB and Baig A

    Department of Biology, LSB-331, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada. danielj@mcmaster.ca

    The p120(ctn)-binding partner Kaiso is a new member of the POZ-zinc finger family of transcription factors implicated in development and cancer. To understand the role of Kaiso in gene regulation and p120(ctn)-mediated signaling and adhesion, we sought to identify Kaiso-specific DNA binding sequences and potential target genes. Here we demonstrate that Kaiso is a dual specificity DNA-binding protein that recognizes the specific consensus sequence TCCTGCNA as well as methyl-CpG dinucleotides. A minimal core sequence CTGCNA was identified as sufficient for Kaiso binding. Two copies of the Kaiso-binding site are present in the human and murine matrilysin promoters, implicating matrilysin as a candidate target gene for Kaiso. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, matrilysin promoter-derived oligonucleotide probes formed a complex with GST-Kaiso fusion proteins possessing the zinc finger domain but not with fusion proteins lacking the zinc fingers. We further determined that only Kaiso zinc fingers 2 and 3 were necessary and sufficient for sequence-specific DNA binding. Interestingly, Kaiso also possesses a methyl-CpG-dependent DNA-binding activity distinct from its sequence-specific DNA binding. However, Kaiso has a higher affinity for the TCCTGCNA consensus than for the methyl-CpG sites. Furthermore, the DNA-binding ability of Kaiso with either recognition site was inhibited by p120(ctn). Kaiso thus appears to have two modes of DNA binding and transcriptional repression, both of which may be modulated by its interaction with the adhesion cofactor p120(ctn).

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 55724, CA 68485, P30 CA068485, R01 CA055724

    Nucleic acids research 2002;30;13;2911-9

  • Genome-wide expression profiling of mid-gestation placenta and embryo using a 15,000 mouse developmental cDNA microarray.

    Tanaka TS, Jaradat SA, Lim MK, Kargul GJ, Wang X, Grahovac MJ, Pantano S, Sano Y, Piao Y, Nagaraja R, Doi H, Wood WH, Becker KG and Ko MS

    Laboratory of Genetics and DNA Array Unit, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224-6820, USA.

    cDNA microarray technology has been increasingly used to monitor global gene expression patterns in various tissues and cell types. However, applications to mammalian development have been hampered by the lack of appropriate cDNA collections, particularly for early developmental stages. To overcome this problem, a PCR-based cDNA library construction method was used to derive 52,374 expressed sequence tags from pre- and peri-implantation embryos, embryonic day (E) 12.5 female gonad/mesonephros, and newborn ovary. From these cDNA collections, a microarray representing 15,264 unique genes (78% novel and 22% known) was assembled. In initial applications, the divergence of placental and embryonic gene expression profiles was assessed. At stage E12.5 of development, based on triplicate experiments, 720 genes (6.5%) displayed statistically significant differences in expression between placenta and embryo. Among 289 more highly expressed in placenta, 61 placenta-specific genes encoded, for example, a novel prolactin-like protein. The number of genes highly expressed (and frequently specific) for placenta has thereby been increased 5-fold over the total previously reported, illustrating the potential of the microarrays for tissue-specific gene discovery and analysis of mammalian developmental programs.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2000;97;16;9127-32

  • Mouse proteasomal ATPases Psmc3 and Psmc4: genomic organization and gene targeting.

    Sakao Y, Kawai T, Takeuchi O, Copeland NG, Gilbert DJ, Jenkins NA, Takeda K and Akira S

    Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Suita, Osaka, Japan.

    PSMC3 and PSMC4, components of the 19S complex of the 26S proteasome, show a significant degree of amino acid similarity, especially in the conserved ATPase domain (CAD). In this study, we characterized the mouse Psmc3 and Psmc4 genes. The genomic structures of both genes showed a significant degree of similarity. The Psmc3 gene was composed of 12 coding exons, whereas the Psmc4 gene had 11 exons. Exons encoding the leucine zipper domain and CAD were identical in number between the Psmc3 and Psmc4 genes. The Psmc3 gene mapped to mouse chromosome 2, whereas Psmc4 mapped to chromosome 7. We further addressed the biological roles of Psmc3 and Psmc4 through the generation of gene targeted mice. Both Psmc3- and Psmc4-deficient mice died before implantation, displaying defective blastocyst development. These findings indicate that Psmc3 and Psmc4 have similar and essential roles in early embryogenesis and further that both ATPases have noncompensatory functions in vivo.

    Genomics 2000;67;1;1-7

  • Large-scale cDNA analysis reveals phased gene expression patterns during preimplantation mouse development.

    Ko MS, Kitchen JR, Wang X, Threat TA, Wang X, Hasegawa A, Sun T, Grahovac MJ, Kargul GJ, Lim MK, Cui Y, Sano Y, Tanaka T, Liang Y, Mason S, Paonessa PD, Sauls AD, DePalma GE, Sharara R, Rowe LB, Eppig J, Morrell C and Doi H

    ERATO Doi Bioasymmetry Project, JST, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. kom@grc.nia.nih.gov

    Little is known about gene action in the preimplantation events that initiate mammalian development. Based on cDNA collections made from each stage from egg to blastocyst, 25438 3'-ESTs were derived, and represent 9718 genes, half of them novel. Thus, a considerable fraction of mammalian genes is dedicated to embryonic expression. This study reveals profound changes in gene expression that include the transient induction of transcripts at each stage. These results raise the possibility that development is driven by the action of a series of stage-specific expressed genes. The new genes, 798 of them placed on the mouse genetic map, provide entry points for analyses of human and mouse developmental disorders.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: R01HD32243

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2000;127;8;1737-49

  • Nuclear localization of the p120(ctn) Armadillo-like catenin is counteracted by a nuclear export signal and by E-cadherin expression.

    van Hengel J, Vanhoenacker P, Staes K and van Roy F

    Molecular Cell Biology Unit, Department of Molecular Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), University of Ghent, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.

    The Armadillo protein p120(ctn) associates with the cytoplasmic domain of cadherins and accumulates at cell-cell junctions. Particular Armadillo proteins such as beta-catenin and plakophilins show a partly nuclear location, suggesting gene-regulatory activities. For different human E-cadherin-negative carcinoma cancer cell lines we found expression of endogenous p120(ctn) in the nucleus. Expression of E-cadherin directed p120(ctn) out of the nucleus. Previously, we reported that the human p120(ctn) gene might encode up to 32 protein isoforms as products of alternative splicing. Overexpression of p120(ctn) isoforms B in various cell lines resulted in cytoplasmic immunopositivity but never in nuclear staining. In contrast, upon expression of p120(ctn) cDNAs lacking exon B, the isoforms were detectable within both nuclei and cytoplasm. A putative nuclear export signal (NES) with a characteristic leucine-rich motif is encoded by exon B. This sequence element was shown to be required for nuclear export and to function autonomously when fused to a carrier protein and microinjected into cell nuclei. Moreover, the NES function of endogenously or exogenously expressed p120(ctn) isoforms B was sensitive to the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B. Expression of exogenous E-cadherin down-regulated nuclear p120(ctn) whereas activation of protein kinase C increased the level of nuclear p120(ctn). These results reveal molecular mechanisms controlling the subcellular distribution of p120(ctn).

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1999;96;14;7980-5

  • Exchangeable gene trap using the Cre/mutated lox system.

    Araki K, Imaizumi T, Sekimoto T, Yoshinobu K, Yoshimuta J, Akizuki M, Miura K, Araki M and Yamamura K

    Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan. yamamura@gpo.kumamoto-u.ac.jp

    The gene trap technique is a powerful approach for characterizing and mutating genes involved in mouse development. However, one shortcoming of gene trapping is the relative inability to induce subtle mutations. This problem can be overcome by introducing a knock-in system into the gene trap strategy. Here, we have constructed a new gene trap vector, pU-Hachi, employing the Cre-mutated lox system (Araki et al., 1997), in which a pair of mutant lox, lox71 and lox66, was used to promote targeted integrative reaction by Cre recombinase. The pU-Hachi carries splicing acceptor (SA)-lox71-internal ribosomal entry site (IRES)-beta-geo-pA-loxP-pA-pUC. By using this vector, we can carry out random insertional mutagenesis as the first step, and then we can replace the beta-geo gene with any gene of interest through Cre-mediated integration. We have isolated 109 trap clones electroporated with pU-Hachi, and analyzed their integration patterns by Southern blotting to select those carrying a single copy of the trap vector. By use of some of these clones, we have succeeded in exchanging the reporter gene at high efficiency, ranging between 20-80%. This integration system is also quite useful for plasmid rescue to recover flanking genomic sequences, because a plasmid vector sequence can be introduced even when the pUC sequence of the trap vector is lost through integration into the genome. Thus, this method, termed exchangeable gene trapping, has many advantages as the trapped clones can be utilized to express genes with any type of mutation.

    Cellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France) 1999;45;5;737-50

  • The catenin p120(ctn) interacts with Kaiso, a novel BTB/POZ domain zinc finger transcription factor.

    Daniel JM and Reynolds AB

    Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-2175, USA.

    p120(ctn) is an Armadillo repeat domain protein with structural similarity to the cell adhesion cofactors beta-catenin and plakoglobin. All three proteins interact directly with the cytoplasmic domain of the transmembrane cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin; beta-catenin and plakoglobin bind a carboxy-terminal region in a mutually exclusive manner, while p120 binds the juxtamembrane region. Unlike beta-catenin and plakoglobin, p120 does not interact with alpha-catenin, the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), or the transcription factor Lef-1, suggesting that it has unique binding partners and plays a distinct role in the cadherin-catenin complex. Using p120 as bait, we conducted a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified a novel transcription factor which we named Kaiso. Kaiso's deduced amino acid sequence revealed an amino-terminal BTB/POZ protein-protein interaction domain and three carboxy-terminal zinc fingers of the C2H2 DNA-binding type. Kaiso thus belongs to a rapidly growing family of POZ-ZF transcription factors that include the Drosophila developmental regulators Tramtrak and Bric à brac, and the human oncoproteins BCL-6 and PLZF, which are causally linked to non-Hodgkins' lymphoma and acute promyelocytic leukemia, respectively. Monoclonal antibodies to Kaiso were generated and used to immunolocalize the protein and confirm the specificity of the p120-Kaiso interaction in mammalian cells. Kaiso specifically coprecipitated with a variety of p120-specific monoclonal antibodies but not with antibodies to alpha- or beta-catenin, E-cadherin, or APC. Like other POZ-ZF proteins, Kaiso localized to the nucleus and was associated with specific nuclear dots. Yeast two-hybrid interaction assays mapped the binding domains to Arm repeats 1 to 7 of p120 and the carboxy-terminal 200 amino acids of Kaiso. In addition, Kaiso homodimerized via its POZ domain but it did not heterodimerize with BCL-6, which heterodimerizes with PLZF. The involvement of POZ-ZF proteins in development and cancer makes Kaiso an interesting candidate for a downstream effector of cadherin and/or p120 signaling.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 55724, CA 68485, P30 CA068485, R01 CA055724

    Molecular and cellular biology 1999;19;5;3614-23

  • Molecular mapping of chromosome 2 deletions in murine radiation-induced AML localizes a putative tumor suppressor gene to a 1.0 cM region homologous to human chromosome segment 11p11-12.

    Silver A, Moody J, Dunford R, Clark D, Ganz S, Bulman R, Bouffler S, Finnon P, Meijne E, Huiskamp R and Cox R

    Radiation Effects Department, National Radiological Protection Board, Chilton, Oxfordshire, England. andy.silver@nrpb.org.uk

    Radiation-induced acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs) in the mouse are characterized by chromosome 2 deletions. Previous studies showed that a minimal deleted region (mdr) of approximately 6.5 cM is lost from one homologue in chromosome 2-deleted AMLs. An AML tumor suppressor gene is proposed to map within this mdr. In this study, we refine the mdr to a I cM interval between markers D2Mit126 and D2Mit185 by microsatellite analysis of 21 primary radiation-induced F I AMLs. The construction of a partial yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig spanning the mdr and the location of six known genes indicated that the 1 cM mdr is homologous to human 11p11-12, a region implicated in some human AMLs. Screening of five cell lines derived from primary radiation-induced AMLs for homozygous loss of microsatellites and genes mapping within the mdr revealed loss of both copies of the hemopoietic tissue-specific transcription factor Sfpi1(PU.1/Spi1) in one cell line. Studies of primary and F1 AMLs failed to implicate Sfpi1 as the AML tumor suppressor gene. YAC contig construction, together with data suggesting that the critical gene flanks Sfpi1, represents significant progress toward identifying an AML tumor suppressor gene.

    Genes, chromosomes & cancer 1999;24;2;95-104

  • The tumor-suppressor function of E-cadherin.

    Semb H and Christofori G

    Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Henrik.Semb@medkem.gu.se

    American journal of human genetics 1998;63;6;1588-93

  • Identification of murine p120 isoforms and heterogeneous expression of p120cas isoforms in human tumor cell lines.

    Mo YY and Reynolds AB

    Department of Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.

    p120cas (CAS) is a protein tyrosine kinase substrate that associates directly with the cytoplasmic tail of the cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. CAS is thus part of a multimolecular complex that, along with other cadherin-binding proteins (catenins), mediates interactions between E-cadherin and the actin cytoskeleton. Down-regulation of E-cadherin expression and defects in catenin function have been implicated in tumor metastasis, but the role of CAS in these processes has not been addressed. Recently, the study of CAS was complicated when new anti-CAS antibodies revealed the presence of at least four putative CAS isoforms that appeared to vary in abundance between cell types. Here, we identify the four major isoforms expressed in murine fibroblasts, and we show that they are products of alternative splicing. Analysis of CAS isoforms in a variety of murine cell lines indicates that motile cells like fibroblasts and macrophages preferentially express CAS1 (i.e., CAS1A and CAS1B isoforms), and epithelial cells preferentially express CAS2 (i.e., CAS2A and CAS2B isoforms), whereas nonadherent cells (e.g., B cells, T cells, and myeloid cells) do not express detectable levels of CAS. Interestingly, CAS1 expression is dramatically up-regulated in a Src-transformed Madin-Darby canine kidney cell line, indicating that the pattern of isoform expression can be altered by cell transformation. Analysis of a variety of differentiated and metastatic human tumor cell lines reveals that CAS isoform expression in these cells is quite heterogeneous. Furthermore, several poorly differentiated cell lines fail to express particular isoforms that are typically observed in well-differentiated cell lines. These data raise the possibility that unbalanced expression of CAS isoforms in human carcinomas may influence cadherin function and contribute to malignant or metastatic cell phenotypes.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA55724, P30 CA21756

    Cancer research 1996;56;11;2633-40

  • The gene encoding p120cas, a novel catenin, localizes on human chromosome 11q11 (CTNND) and mouse chromosome 2 (Catns).

    Reynolds AB, Jenkins NA, Gilbert DJ, Copeland NG, Shapiro DN, Wu J and Daniel JM

    Department of Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.

    The p120cas gene encodes a protein tyrosine kinase substrate that associates with the cell-cell adhesion protein complex containing E-cadherin and its cytoplasmic cofactors alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin. Like other components of the cadherin/catenin complex, defects in p120cas may contribute to cell malignancy. We have determined the chromosomal location of the p120cas gene in human and mouse using fluorescence in situ hybridization and interspecific backcross analysis, respectively. The human p120cas gene (CTNND) is localized immediately adjacent to the centromere on the long arm of chromosome 11 in band 11q11. The murine p120cas gene (Catns) was assigned to the middle of chromosome 2. Neither locus is currently known to be associated with disease or malignancy.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA55724, N01-CO-46000, P30 CA21756

    Genomics 1996;31;1;127-9

  • p120, a novel substrate of protein tyrosine kinase receptors and of p60v-src, is related to cadherin-binding factors beta-catenin, plakoglobin and armadillo.

    Reynolds AB, Herbert L, Cleveland JL, Berg ST and Gaut JR

    Department of Tumor Cell Biology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

    A novel protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) substrate, p120, has been previously implicated in ligand-induced signaling through the epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor and colony-stimulating factor 1 receptors, and in cell transformation by p60v-src. We have isolated a near full-length cDNA encoding murine p120. The encoded protein lacks significant homology with any reported protein, but it contains four copies of an imperfect 42 amino acid repeat that occurs 12.5 times in the protein encoded by Drosophila armadillo (arm), and its direct homologs, human plakoglobin (plak) and Xenopus laevis beta-catenin (beta-cat). The presence of this motif implies that p120 may share at least one aspect of its function with the arm protein and its homologs.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 21765; NCRR NIH HHS: RR05584

    Oncogene 1992;7;12;2439-45

Gene lists (6)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000001 G2C Mus musculus Mouse PSD Mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000008 G2C Mus musculus Mouse PSP Mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000060 G2C Mus musculus BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-CONSENSUS Human cortex PSD consensus (ortho) 748
L00000062 G2C Mus musculus BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-CONSENSUS Mouse cortex PSD consensus 984
L00000070 G2C Mus musculus BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list (ortho) 1461
L00000072 G2C Mus musculus BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list 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).

Cookies Policy | Terms and Conditions. This site is hosted by Edinburgh University and the Genes to Cognition Programme.