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PLoS One. 2011 Jan 28;6(1):e16572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016572.

HPRT deficiency coordinately dysregulates canonical Wnt and presenilin-1 signaling: a neuro-developmental regulatory role for a housekeeping gene?

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Department of Pediatrics, Center for Neural Circuit and Behavior and San Diego Rady Children's Hospital, University of California San Diego, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2011;6(3). doi: 10.1371/annotation/893f09fd-ab24-4119-93f4-44a03a3342f9. Jinnah, H A [added].


We have used microarray-based methods of global gene expression together with quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis to identify dysregulation of genes and aberrant cellular processes in human fibroblasts and in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells made HPRT-deficient by transduction with a retrovirus stably expressing an shRNA targeted against HPRT. Analysis of the microarray expression data by Gene ontology (GO) and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) as well as significant pathway analysis by GeneSpring GX10 and Panther Classification System reveal that HPRT deficiency is accompanied by aberrations in a variety of pathways known to regulate neurogenesis or to be implicated in neurodegenerative disease, including the canonical Wnt/β-catenin and the Alzheimer's disease/presenilin signaling pathways. Dysregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is confirmed by Western blot demonstration of cytosolic sequestration of β-catenin during in vitro differentiation of the SH-SY5Y cells toward the neuronal phenotype. We also demonstrate that two key transcription factor genes known to be regulated by Wnt signaling and to be vital for the generation and function of dopaminergic neurons; i.e., Lmx1a and Engrailed 1, are down-regulated in the HPRT knockdown SH-SY5Y cells. In addition to the Wnt signaling aberration, we found that expression of presenilin-1 shows severely aberrant expression in HPRT-deficient SH-SY5Y cells, reflected by marked deficiency of the 23 kDa C-terminal fragment of presenilin-1 in knockdown cells. Western blot analysis of primary fibroblast cultures from two LND patients also shows dysregulated presenilin-1 expression, including aberrant proteolytic processing of presenilin-1. These demonstrations of dysregulated Wnt signaling and presenilin-1 expression together with impaired expression of dopaminergic transcription factors reveal broad pleitropic neuro-regulatory defects played by HPRT expression and suggest new directions for investigating mechanisms of aberrant neurogenesis and neuropathology in LND and potential new targets for restoration of effective signaling in this neuro-developmental defect.

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