Axonal transport and translation of β-actin mRNA plays an important role for axonal growth and presynaptic differentiation in many neurons including hippocampal, cortical and spinal motor neurons. Several β-actin mRNA-binding and transport proteins have been identified, including ZBP1, ZBP2 and hnRNP-R. hnRNP-R has been found as an interaction partner of the survival motor neuron protein that is deficient in spinal muscular atrophy. Little is known about the function of hnRNP-R in axonal β-actin translocation. hnRNP-R and β-actin mRNA are colocalized in axons. Recombinant hnRNP-R interacts directly with the 3'-UTR of β-actin mRNA. We studied the role of hnRNP-R in motor neurons by knockdown in zebrafish embryos and isolated mouse motor neurons. Suppression of hnRNP-R in developing zebrafish embryos results in reduced axon growth in spinal motor neurons, without any alteration in motor neuron survival. ShRNA-mediated knockdown in isolated embryonic mouse motor neurons reduces β-actin mRNA translocation to the axonal growth cone, which is paralleled by reduced axon elongation. Dendrite growth and neuronal survival were not affected by hnRNP-R depletion in these neurons. The loss of β-actin mRNA in axonal growth cones of hnRNP-R-depleted motor neurons resembles that observed in Smn-deficient motor neurons, a model for the human disease spinal muscular atrophy. In particular, hnRNP-R-depleted motor neurons also exhibit defects in presynaptic clustering of voltage-gated calcium channels. Our data suggest that hnRNP-R-mediated axonal β-actin mRNA translocation plays an essential physiological role for axon growth and presynaptic differentiation.
Bacterial heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins signal through tightly regulated interactions with host cell gangliosides. LT-IIa and LT-IIb of Escherichia coli bind preferentially to gangliosides with a NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-3GalNAc terminus, with key distinctions in specificity. LT-IIc, a newly discove ... more
Phosphate deficiency is characteristic for many natural habitats, resulting in different physiological responses in plants and bacteria including the replacement of phospholipids by glycolipids and other phosphorous-free lipids. The plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, whi ... more
A tryptophan side chain was introduced into subsite +1 of family GH-18 (class V) chitinases from Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana (NtChiV and AtChiC, respectively) by the mutation of a glycine residue to tryptophan (G74W-NtChiV and G75W-AtChiC). The specific activity toward glyco ... more