Aberrant calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity is associated with abnormal dendritic spine morphology in the ATRX mutant mouse brain

Norifumi Shioda, Hideyuki Beppu, Takaichi Fukuda, En Li, Isao Kitajima, Kohji Fukunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In humans, mutations in the gene encoding ATRX, a chromatin remodeling protein of the sucrose-nonfermenting 2 family, cause several mental retardation disorders, including α-thalassemia X-linked mental retardation syndrome. We generated ATRX mutant mice lacking exon 2 (ATRXΔE2 mice), a mutation that mimics exon 2 mutations seen in human patients and associated with milder forms of retardation. ATRXΔE2 mice exhibited abnormal dendritic spine formation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Consistent with other mouse models of mental retardation, ATRXΔE2 mice exhibited longer and thinner dendritic spines compared with wild-type mice without changes in spine number. Interestingly, aberrant increased calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity was observed in the mPFC of ATRXΔE2 mice. Increased CaMKII autophosphorylation and activity were associated with increased phosphorylation of the Rac1-guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (Tiam1) and kalirin-7, known substrates of CaMKII. We confirmed increased phosphorylation of p21-activated kinases (PAKs) in mPFC extracts. Furthermore, reduced protein expression and activity of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) was evident in the mPFC of ATRXΔE2 mice. In cultured cortical neurons, PP1 inhibition by okadaic acid increased CaMKII-dependent Tiam1 and kalirin-7 phosphorylation. Together, our data strongly suggest that aberrant CaMKII activation likely mediates abnormal spine formation in the mPFC. Such morphological changes plus elevated Rac1-GEF/PAK signaling seen in ATRX ΔE2 mice may contribute to mental retardation syndromes seen in human patients. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-358
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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