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J Neurogenet [journal]
- Evolutionary Development of Neural Systems in Vertebrates and Beyond. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun 7.
The emerging field of "neuro-evo-devo" is beginning to reveal how the molecular and neural substrates that underlie brain function are based on variations in evolutionarily ancient and conserved neurochemical and neural circuit themes. Comparative work across bilaterians is reviewed to highlight how early neural patterning specifies modularity of the embryonic brain, which lays a foundation on which manipulation of neurogenesis creates adjustments in brain size. Small variation within these developmental mechanisms contributes to the evolution of brain diversity. Comparing the specification and spatial distribution of neural phenotypes across bilaterians has also suggested some major brain evolution trends, although much more work on profiling neural connections with neurochemical specificity across a wide diversity of organisms is needed. These comparative approaches investigating the evolution of brain form and function hold great promise for facilitating a mechanistic understanding of how variation in brain morphology, neural phenotypes, and neural networks influences brain function and behavioral diversity across organisms.
- Lessons From Sleeping Flies: Insights from Drosophila melanogaster on the Neuronal Circuitry and Importance of Sleep. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):23-42.
Abstract Sleep is a highly conserved behavior whose role is as yet unknown, although it is widely acknowledged as being important. Here we provide an overview of many vital questions regarding this behavior, that have been addressed in recent years using the genetically tractable model organism Drosophila melanogaster in several laboratories around the world. Rest in D. melanogaster has been compared to mammalian sleep and its homeostatic and circadian regulation have been shown to be controlled by intricate neuronal circuitry involving circadian clock neurons, mushroom bodies, and pars intercerebralis, although their exact roles are not entirely clear. We draw attention to the yet unanswered questions and contradictions regarding the nature of the interactions between the brain regions implicated in the control of sleep. Dopamine, octopamine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and serotonin are the chief neurotransmitters identified as functioning in different limbs of this circuit, either promoting arousal or sleep by modulating membrane excitability of underlying neurons. Some studies have suggested that certain brain areas may contribute towards both sleep and arousal depending on activation of specific subsets of neurons. Signaling pathways implicated in the sleep circuit include cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and epidermal growth factor receptor-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (EGFR-ERK) signaling pathways that operate on different neural substrates. Thus, this field of research appears to be on the cusp of many new and exciting findings that may eventually help in understanding how this complex physiological phenomenon is modulated by various neuronal circuits in the brain. Finally, some efforts to approach the "Holy Grail" of why we sleep have been summarized.
- Enhanced optomotor efficiency by expression of the human gene superoxide dismutase primarily in Drosophila motorneurons. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):59-67.
Abstract Mutation of the human gene superoxide dismutase (hSOD1) triggers the fatal neurodegenerative motorneuron disorder, familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). Broad expression of this gene in Drosophila has no effect on longevity or functional senescence. We show here that restricting expression of human SOD1 primarily to motorneurons of Drosophila has significant effects on optomotor efficiency during in-flight tracking of rapidly moving visual targets. Under high-stress workloads with a recursive visual-motion stimulus cycle, young isogenic controls failed to track rapidly changing visual cues, whereas their same-aged hSOD1-activated progeny maintained coordinated in-flight tracking of the target by phase locking to the dynamic visual movement patterns. Several explanations are considered for the observed effects, including antioxidant intervention in motorneurons, changes in signal transduction pathways that regulate patterns of gene expression in other cell types, and expression of hSOD1 in a small set of neurons in the central brain. That hSOD1 overexpression improves sensorimotor coordination in young organisms may suggest possible therapeutic strategies for early-onset ALS in humans.
- Possible Toxicity of Tuberculostatic Agents in a Patient With a Novel TYMP Mutation Leading to Mitochondrial Neurogastrointestinal Encephalomyopathy. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):19-22.
Abstract Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE) is a rare autosomal recessive multisystemic disorder caused by TYMP gene mutations. Here, we report on the first MNGIE patient diagnosed in Bulgaria who carries a novel homozygous TYMP mutation (p.Leu347Pro). The patient presented with gastrointestinal complaints, cachexia, hearing loss, ptosis, ophthalmoparesis, polyneuropathy, cognitive impairment, and leukoencephalopathy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination of the brain. The patient's motor capacity declined significantly, leading to wheelchair dependence several months following administration of tuberculostatic treatment, suggesting mitochondrial toxicity of these agents. The advanced stage of the disease and the poor medical condition prevented us from performing allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Early diagnosis is important not only for genetic counseling but also in view of the timely treatment with allogenic HSCT.
- Presence of epilepsy-associated variants in large exome databases. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):1-4.
Abstract Mutations in more than 20 genes have been found to cause idiopathic epilepsies, and screening for these variants could facilitate the clinical diagnosis of epilepsy. However, many of the studies that reported putative pathogenic variants for epilepsy tested a relatively small number of control samples, making it more likely that a rare nonpathogenic variant could be mistaken as causal. To test the robustness of inferences based on small sample sizes, we investigated whether variants previously reported to cause epilepsy were present in the resequencing data from the large control populations of the 1000 Genomes Project and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Exome Sequencing Project. A list of variants associated with epilepsy was compiled using a manual review of the literature for genes associated with epilepsy from a recent International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) report and two comprehensive genetic studies. We checked for the presence of those variants in the 1000 Genomes Project database and the NHLBI Exome Variant Server (EVS). Of 208 epilepsy-associated variants that we identified from our literature review, only 7 were found among 17 thousand chromosomes across 1000 Genomes and the EVS. Consistent with recent published reports, we also found many variants with predicted pathogenicity in epilepsy-associated genes in the genomic databases. Our findings suggest that the 1000 Genomes and the EVS data sets may be a valuable resource of control data in research aimed at identifying genes for epilepsy specifically when the model predicts a highly penetrant allele. These databases also elucidate the array of genetic variation in putative epilepsy genes in the general population.
- Specific interaction of postsynaptic densities with membrane rafts isolated from synaptic plasma membranes. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):43-58.
Abstract Postsynaptic membrane rafts are believed to play important roles in synaptic signaling, plasticity, and maintenance. We recently demonstrated the presence, at the electron microscopic level, of complexes consisting of membrane rafts and postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) prepared from synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) ( Suzuki et al., 2011 , J Neurochem, 119, 64-77). To further explore these complexes, here we investigated the nature of the binding between purified SPM-DRMs and PSDs in vitro. In binding experiments, we used SPM-DRMs prepared after treating SPMs with n-octyl-β-d-glucoside, because at concentrations of 1.0% or higher it completely separates SPM-DRMs and PSDs, providing substantially PSD-free unique SPM-DRMs as well as DRM-free PSDs. PSD binding to PSD-free DRMs was identified by mass spectrometry, Western blotting, and electron microscopy. PSD proteins were not incorporated into SPMs, and significantly less PSD proteins were incorporated into DRMs prepared from liver membranes, providing in vitro evidence that binding of PSDs to DRMs is specific and suggestion of the presence of specific interacting molecules. These specific interactions may have important roles in synaptic development, function, and plasticity in vivo. In addition, the binding system we developed may be a good tool to search for binding molecules and binding mechanisms between PSDs and rafts.
- Association Between Polymorphisms in Genes Encoding Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase and the Risk of Ménière's Disease. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):5-10.
Abstract Folate metabolism is essential for cellular functioning. Despite extensive research on the roles of folate-metabolism-related gene polymorphisms in the pathophysiology of many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and sudden sensorineural hearing loss, little is known about their association with Ménière's disease (MD). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphisms (C677T and A1298C) on the risk of MD in a Japanese population. We examined the C677T and A1298C (rs1801133 and rs1801131) polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene and compared them between 1946 adults (986 men and 960 women) participating in the National Institute for Longevity Sciences Longitudinal Study of Aging and 86 cases of MD. A multiple logistic regression was performed to obtain odds ratios (ORs) for the risk of MD regarding the MTHFR polymorphisms before (model 1) and after (model 2) adjustment for age and sex factors. The OR of MTHFR C677T for the risk of MD was 0.669 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.479-0.934) in model 1 and 0.680 (95% CI, 0.484-0.954) in model 2. In contrast, the OR of MTHFR A1298C for the risk of MD was 1.503 (95% CI, 1.064-2.123) in model 1 and 1.505 (95% CI, 1.045-2.167) in model 2. Our results imply that the MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms are associated with the risk of MD.
- Mutation spectrum of dystrophin gene in malaysian patients with duchenne/becker muscular dystrophy. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):11-5.
Abstract We undertook the clinical feature examination and dystrophin analysis using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and direct DNA sequencing of selected exons in a cohort of 35 Malaysian Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD) patients. We found 27 patients with deletions of one or more exons, 2 patients with one exon duplication, 2 patients with nucleotide deletion, and 4 patients with nonsense mutations (including 1 patient with two nonsense mutations in the same exon). Although most cases showed compliance to the reading frame rule, we found two unrelated DMD patients with an in-frame deletion of the gene. Two novel mutations have been detected in the Dystrophin gene and our results were compatible with other studies where the majority of the mutations (62.8%) are located in the distal hotspot. However, the frequency of the mutations in our patient varied as compared with those found in other populations.
- Analysis of D216H Polymorphism in Argentinean Patients With Primary Dystonia. [Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2013 Jun; 27(1-2):16-8.
Abstract The D216H polymorphism (rs1801968) in TOR1A has been suggested as a risk factor for developing primary dystonia in German subjects not carrying the deletion c.904-906delGAG (∆GAG). However, this association could not be confirmed in other populations with different ethnic backgrounds. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the D216H polymorphism in an Argentinean cohort of 40 patients with primary dystonia and 200 unrelated control subjects. The authors could observe a significantly higher frequency of the H216 variant in dystonic patients lacking ∆GAG as compared with controls.
- Obaid Siddiqi at 80 and neurogenetics in India. [Biography, Editorial, Historical Article, Introductory Journal Article]
- J Neurogenet 2012 Sep; 26(3-4):255-6.