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Endocrinology. 1993 Aug;133(2):467-73.

Thyroid hormone regulation of RC3, a brain-specific gene encoding a protein kinase-C substrate.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


RC3 is a brain-specific mRNA expressed in discrete neuronal groups of the forebrain that encodes a 78-amino acid protein, also called neurogranin, a calmodulin-binding, protein kinase-C substrate. Expression of RC3 mRNA was studied in normal and hypothyroid animals during the first month of life. Hypothyroid rats were produced by administration of methyl-mercapto-imidazol to the pregnant dams and subsequent surgical thyroidectomy on postnatal day 5 of the neonates. As studied by slot-blotting of total cerebrum poly(A)+ RNA, RC3 mRNA accumulates in normal brain from the fifth to seventh postnatal day, reaching maximal levels around days 10-12. RC3 mRNA accumulation in hypothyroid animals was blunted, and the maximal levels attained were about 30-50% of normal values. The effect of hypothyroidism on steady state mRNA levels was also observed by Northern blotting of RNA from cerebral cortex and striatum. As studied by immunoblotting using a polyclonal antibody, hypothyroidism also led to clear decreases in the amount of the RC3 protein in extracts from cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus. A single administration of 10 micrograms T4 to hypothyroid rats on postnatal day 12 led to a steady increase in striatal RC3 mRNA from levels that were about 40% of normal to about 70% of normal at 16 h and 115% of normal at 48 h. In contrast to the effect on RC3, hypothyroidism did not affect developmental expression of the mRNA encoding GAP-43, another brain protein kinase-C substrate of axonal localization. RC3 is, thus, one of the few known neuronal genes whose expression is influenced by thyroid hormone in the brain. Thyroid hormone is required for an appropriate level of expression, not for the developmentally programmed timing of expression of the RC3 gene.

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