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J Neurosci. 2009 Dec 9;29(49):15520-30. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4630-09.2009.

Distinct dose-dependent cortical neuronal migration and neurite extension defects in Lis1 and Ndel1 mutant mice.

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Department of Pediatrics, Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California 94143-0794, USA.


Haploinsufficiency of LIS1 results in lissencephaly, a human neuronal migration disorder. LIS1 is a microtubule- (MT) and centrosome- [microtubule organizing center (MTOC)] associated protein that regulates nucleokinesis via the regulation of dynein motor function and localization. NDEL1 (NudE isoform, NudE like) interacts with LIS1/dynein complex, and is phosphorylated by CDK5/P35. Previous reports using siRNA-mediated knock-down demonstrated similar critical roles for LIS1 and NDEL1 during neuronal migration, but neuronal migration has not been studied in genetic mutants for Lis1 and Ndel1 where protein levels are uniform in all cells. Brains from mice with complete loss of Lis1 and Ndel1 displayed severe cortical layering and hippocampal defects, but Lis1 mutants had more severe defects. Neuronal migration speed was reduced and neurite lengths were elongated in proportion to the reduction of LIS1 and NDEL1 protein levels in embryonic day 14.5 mutant cortical slices compared to wild type, using two-photon confocal time lapse videomicroscopy. Additionally, mice with 35% of wild-type NDEL1 levels displayed diverse branched migration modes with multiple leading processes, suggesting defects in adhesion and/or polarity. Complete loss of Lis1 or Ndel1 resulted in the total inhibition of nuclear movement in cortical slice assays, and in neurosphere assays, the percentage of migrating neurons with correctly polarized MTOC location was significantly reduced while nuclear-centrosomal distance was extended. Neurite lengths were increased after complete loss Ndel1 but reduced after complete loss of Lis1. Thus, Lis1 and Ndel1 are essential for normal cortical neuronal migration, neurite outgrowth, and function of the MTOC in a dose-dependent manner.

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