- Open Access
Geranylgeranyltransferase I is essential for dendritic development of cerebellar Purkinje cells
© Wu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
- Received: 9 December 2009
- Accepted: 11 June 2010
- Published: 11 June 2010
During cerebellar development, Purkinje cells (PCs) form the most elaborate dendritic trees among neurons in the brain, but the mechanism regulating PC arborization remains largely unknown. Geranylgeranyltransferase I (GGT) is a prenyltransferase that is responsible for lipid modification of several signaling proteins, such as Rho family small GTPase Rac1, which has been shown to be involved in neuronal morphogenesis. Here we show that GGT plays an important role in dendritic development of PCs.
We found that GGT was abundantly expressed in the developing rat cerebellum, in particular molecular layer (ML), the region enriched with PC dendrites. Inhibition or down-regulation of GGT using small interference RNA (siRNA) inhibited dendritic development of PCs. In contrast, up-regulation of GGT promoted dendritic arborization of PCs. Furthermore, neuronal depolarization induced by high K+ or treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promoted membrane association of Rac1 and dendritic development of PCs in cultured cerebellar slices. The effect of BDNF or high K+ was inhibited by inhibition or down-regulation of GGT.
Our results indicate that GGT plays an important role in Purkinje cell development, and suggest a novel role of GGT in neuronal morphogenesis in vivo.
- Purkinje Cell
- Dendritic Arborization
- Cerebellar Slice
- Dendrite Development
- Purkinje Cell Dendrite
Protein prenyltransferases, mainly farnesyl transferase (FT) and geranylgeranyl transferase I (GGT), are responsible for posttranslational lipidation of proteins with C-terminal "CAAX" motifs, where C is cysteine, A is often an aliphatic amino acid, and X at the C-terminus determines the specificity of protein prenylation [1, 2]. GGT catalyzes the transfer of a 20-carbon prenyl group from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) to a cysteine residue of proteins usually with leucine or phenylalanine at their C-terminus [1, 3]. GGT substrates include K-Ras and Rho family small GTPases, such as Rac1, Cdc42 and RhoA, whose prenylation is essential for membrane localization, activation, and functions in various signaling pathways . Given that mutations of these small GTPases are oncogenic to cause malignant transformation, many studies have tried to use GGT inhibitors to suppress tumor growth [5–8]. A recent report shows that gene ablation of GGTase I-specific beta subunit (GGTβ) reduced lung tumor formation, probably by eliminating GGTase activity, disrupting the actin cytoskeleton, reducing cell migration, and/or blocking tumor cell proliferation . Thus GGT is a potential target for anti-cancer drug development.
Interestingly, the highest activity of GGT is often observed in the brain . Indeed, bovine brain has been used as a rich source for GGT purification . However, the role of GGT in neuronal system is poorly understood. Our previous study shows that GGT is localized at the neuromuscular junction and regulates agrin-induced clustering of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) by interacting with muscle specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) . Recently, we found that neuronal activity and BDNF activate GGT, which in turn promotes membrane recruitment of Rac1 and increases dendritic arborization of cultured hippocampal neurons . Furthermore, the activity of GGT in the rat hippocampus markedly increased when rats were put in a novel environment . Thus, GGT plays an important role in neuronal development. Nevertheless, the function of GGT in regulating neural development needs further investigation, especially in more intact systems.
During postnatal cerebellar development, Purkinje cells (PCs) form the most elaborate dendritic trees among neurons in the brain, however the mechanism governing dendrite development of PCs has not been completely understood . Here we demonstrate a role of GGT in the morphogenesis of PCs in cultured cerebellar slices. We found that GGT is enriched in the molecular layer of developing cerebellum. Down-regulation of GGT markedly affected dendritic arborization of PCs. In agreement with the notion that BDNF or neuronal activity activates GGT , we found that the enhancement effect of BDNF or high K+ on dendrite development of PCs was dramatically impeded by down-regulation of GGT. Thus GGT plays an important role in cerebellar neuron development.
Expression of GGT in the rat cerebellum
Up-regulation of GGT promotes Purkinje cell arborization
GGT is required for dendritic growth and arborization of Purkinje cells in cultured cerebellar slices
GGT is required for BDNF-mediated dendritic growth of Purkinje cells
High K+-induced dendritic morphogenesis of Purkinje cells requires the function of GGT
During cerebellar development, Purkinje cells (PCs) undergo dendrite extension and become elaborately arborescent, followed by synapse formation between dendrites of PCs and climbing fibers (CF) of inferior olive neurons or parallel fibers (PF) of granue cells (GC) . Thus, dendritic arborization and branching of PCs are essential steps for establishing cerebellar neural circuits. Here we find that GGT is enriched in PCs and required for dendrite development of PCs. Furthermore, neuronal depolarization or BDNF is able to promote PC dendrite development, and these effects depend on GGT expression. Thus GGT plays an important role in cerebellum development.
Previous studies have identified a number of factors that regulate growth and branching of dendritic arbors, including external signals, such as neuronal activity and neurotrophins, and a variety of intracellular mediators, such as Rho family small GTPases [23, 24]. The combined actions of multiple factors lead to cytoskeletal reorganization or gene expression required for dendritic growth. Due to the large somata and extensive dendritic trees, cerebellar PC has been a good model to study neuronal morphogenesis. By using organotypic slice culture system, many studies have led to identification of a number of molecules that regulate PC dendrite development . These factors include neurotransmitters and their receptors [25, 26], neurotrophic factors , steroids , thyroid hormone [29, 30], neuropeptides , kinases [32, 33], cytoskeleton regulating proteins , and cell adhesion molecules .
Previously we have shown that GGT regulates dendritic development of cultured hippocampal neurons , where GGT activation by BDNF or depolarization increases membrane localization of Rac1 , a member of Rho family small GTPases which are important for distinct aspects of dendrite development by modulating actin cytoskeleton [35, 36]. It remains to be determined whether Rac1 or other members of Rho family small GTPase also regulate morphogenesis of PCs. In addition to Rho GTPases, dendrite development can be regulated by many other molecules; some of them need to be associated with the plasma membrane in order to be activated efficiently. For example, prenylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase CLICK-III/CaMKIγ is responsible for its association with the lipid raft and its role in dendritogenesis . In addition to CaMKI, CaMKII also plays important role in dendrite differentiation . Interestingly, inhibition of CaMKII reduced the number of primary dendrites and the total dendritic length of Purkinje cells . It would be of interest to determine the mechanism by which GGT regulates Purkinje cell dendrite development.
Like other cell types, dendrite development of PCs has also been shown to be regulated by neuronal activity , and extracellular factors, such as GDNF . In line with this notion, treatment with high K+, which is believed to induce depolarization, promoted dendrite development of PCs in cultured cerebellar slices (Figure 7). Consistent with the activation of GGT by high K+ shown in cultured hippocampal neurons, we found that high K+-induced dendrite development of PCs was prevented by down-regulation of GGT. A previous report shows that in BDNF-knock out mice, there is a stunted growth of Purkinje cell dendrites . Consistent with this, we found that treatment with BDNF indeed promoted dendrite growth of PCs, although the effect was not as dramatic as predicted (Figure 6). The mild effect of BDNF could be due to the presence of neurotrophic factors in slice culture environment, or the production of BDNF by granule cells .
Given that GGT regulate Rac1 activity, which is known to be important for other neural developmental events, such as spine formation , it would be of interest to determine the role of GGT in other aspects of cerebellar development. A number of proteins have been shown to be involved in PC dendrite development, including GGT described in this study. Further works are needed to identify the specific regulators for Purkinje cell dendrite development, in particular how elaborate arborization and overwhelmingly dentritic trees are formed.
GGT is newly identified regulator for Purkinje cell dendrite development and is required for spontaneous, BDNF- or depolarization-induced Purkinje cell dendrite growth and/or arborization. Along with the previous report that shows the role of GGT in dendrite development of cultured hippocampal neurons, the role of GGT can be generalized in various types of neurons.
Reagents, antibodies and plasmids
Recombinant human BDNF was from Peprotech. Spermidine was form sigma. All salts used were from Sigma. Millicells (PICM03050) were from Millipore. Antibodies used for immunostaining were from Santa Cruz Biotechnology (rabbit anti-GGTα), Millipore (rabbit anti-Calbindin), Invitrogen (rabbit anti-GFP, Alexa Flour488 goat anti-rabbit IgG, Alexa Flour 555 goat anti-mouse IgG), Sigma (monoclonal anti-MAP2). Rabbit GGTβ antibody was generated by AbMART using a synthetic peptide derived from GGTβ sequence and affinity purified. The constructs of pSUPER-GGTβ-siRNA, HA-GGTβ and HA-GGTβRes were described previously .
Rat cerebellar organotypic culture
Cerebellar slices were prepared from P11 SD rat pups. Animals were anesthetized and decapitated. The brains were dissected and sliced in ice-cold EBSS sagittally at the thickness of 400 μm with WPI vibratome. Slices were then transferred onto Millicell and cultured in 5% CO2 at 37°C. The culture medium was modified from that of described previously [14, 15]. For BDNF or high K+ treatment, 50 ng/ml BDNF or 10 mM KCl were added into the culture medium 24 h after transfections. The treated cerebellar slices were cultured 3 days in vitro before fixation and image processing.
Rat brains were homogenized in cold lysis buffer containing 50 mM Tris·HCl, pH 7.5, 150 mM NaCl, 1% Nonidet P-40, 0.5% sodium deoxycholate, and protease inhibitors. After pretreatment with GGTi-2147 (2.5 μM) or DMSO for 45 min, cultured cerebellar slices were treated with KCl (10 mM) or BDNF (50 ng/ml) for 2 hr and lysed. Protein membrane fractionation was conducted by using plasma membrane protein extraction kit (Biovision). Immunoblot follows standard protocol with indicated antibodies.
Microcarrier preparation and biolistic transfection
Microcarrier preparation was performed according to the manufacturer's instructions (BioRad). Briefly, 75 μg of the plasmids mixture (0.75 μg/μl) and 25 mg of gold particles (1.0 μm in diameter) were mixed in 50 mM spermidine (100 μl). Plasmids-particle mixture was precipitated by adding 1 M CaCl2 (100 μl) gradually, followed by 3 × washes with ethanol. The plasmids-coated particles were suspended in 3 ml of 15 μg/ml polyvinylpyrrolidone and loaded into tefzel tubing, the tube was then dried and the microcarriers were ready for use. Cultured cerebellar slices were transfected using Helios Gene Gun system after 2 days in vitro. Testing plasmid was mixed with pCAG-EYFP at a ratio of 3:1.
Tissue processing and immunohistochemistry
P10 SD rats were anesthetized and perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA, pH7.4). The brains were then dissected and postfixed overnight. The fixed brains were cryoprotected in 30% sucrose solution and sagittally sectioned at the sickness of 30 μm with cryostat microtome. The sectioned brain slices were incubated in 0.3% Triton X-100 for 30 min at room temperature. After blocking with 10% goat serum in PBS at room temperature for 1 h, the slices were incubated in primary antibodies at 4°C overnight. After 3 × washes with PBS, the slices were incubated in corresponding secondary antibodies for 2 h at room temperature, then the slices were mounted.
Cultured cerebellar slices were washed with PBS, and fixed in 4% PFA at room temperature for 30 min. The procedure for the staining of cultured cerebellar slices was similar to that of cryostat microtome sectioned slices.
Confocal imaging and data analysis
Images were acquired by Zeiss LSM 510 laser scanning confocal microscopy with a 40 × oil immersion objective. The captured neurons were traced using neurolucida software. Sholl analysis was used to analyze the total dendritic length and dendritic arborization. Data analysis was performed using Student's t-test. Errors bars in graphs represent SEM.
We thank Dr. Q. Hu of ION Imaging Facility with microscope analysis. This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (30721004 and 30825013), National Basic Research Program (2006CB806600) and Key State Research Program of China (2006CB943900), Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant (KSCX2-YW-R-102), and Program of Shanghai Subject Chief Scientist (08XD14050).
- Zhang FL, Casey PJ: Protein prenylation: molecular mechanisms and functional consequences. Annu Rev Biochem. 1996, 65: 241-69. 10.1146/annurev.bi.65.070196.001325.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Casey PJ, Seabra MC: Protein prenyltransferases. J Biol Chem. 1996, 271: 5289-5292. 10.1074/jbc.271.10.5289.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yokoyama K, Goodwin GW, Ghomashchi F, Glomset JA, Gelb MH: A protein geranylgeranyltransferase from bovine brain: Implications for protein prenylation specificity. Proc Nati Acad Sci USA. 1991, 88: 5302-5306. 10.1073/pnas.88.12.5302.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Joyce PL, Cox AD: Rac1 and rac3 are targets for geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor-mediated inhibition of signaling, transformation, and membrane ruffling. Cancer Res. 2003, 63: 7959-7967.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sun JZ, Qian YM, Hamilton AD, Sebti SM: Both farnesyltransferase and geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitors are required for inhibition of oncogenic K-Ras prenylation but each alone is sufficient to suppress human tumor growth in nude mouse xenografts. Oncogene. 1998, 16: 1467-1473. 10.1038/sj.onc.1201656.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sebti SM, Hamilton AD: Farnesyltransferase and geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitors and cancer therapy: Lessons from mechanism and bench-to-bedside translational studies. Oncogene. 2000, 19: 6584-6593. 10.1038/sj.onc.1204146.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sun JZ, Ohkanda J, Coppola D, Yin H, Kothare M, Busciglio B, Hamilton AD, Sebti SM: Geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor GGTI-2154 induces breast carcinoma apoptosis and tumor regression in H-Ras transgenic mice. Cancer Res. 2003, 63: 8922-8929.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lu J, Chan L, Fiji HDG, Dahl R, Kwon O, Tamanoi F: In vivo antitumor effect of a novel inhibitor of protein geranylgeranyltransferase-I. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009, 8: 1218-26. 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-1122.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sjogren AKM, Andersson KME, Liu M, Cutts BA, Karlsson C, Wahlstrom AM, Dalin M, Weinbaum C, Casey PJ, Tarkowski A, Swolin B, Young SG, Bergo MO: GGTase-I deficiency reduces tumor formation and improves survival in mice with K-RAS-induced lung cancer. J Clin Invest. 2007, 117: 1294-1304. 10.1172/JCI30868.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Joly A, Popjak G, Edwards PA: In vitro identification of a soluble protein:geranylgeranyl transferase from rat tissues*. J Biol Chem. 1991, 266: 13495-13496.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Luo ZG, Je HS, Wang Q, Yang F, Dobbins GC, Yang ZH, Xiong WC, Lu B, Mei L: Implication of geranylgeranyltransferase I in synapse formation. Neuron. 2003, 40: 703-717. 10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00695-0.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Zhou XP, Wu KY, Liang B, Fu XQ, Luo ZG: TrkB-mediated activation of geranylgeranyltransferase I promotes dendritic morphogenesis. Proc Nati Acad Sci USA. 2008, 105: 17181-17186. 10.1073/pnas.0800846105.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tanaka M: Dendrite formation of cerebellar purkinje cells. Neurochem Res. 2009, 34: 2078-2088. 10.1007/s11064-009-0073-y.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Stoppini L, Buchs PA, Muller D: A simple method for organotypic cultures of nervous tissue. J Neurosci Methods. 1991, 37: 173-182. 10.1016/0165-0270(91)90128-M.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Simoni AD, Yu LM: Preparation of organotypic hippocampal slice cultures: interface method. Nat Protoc. 2006, 1: 1439-1445. 10.1038/nprot.2006.228.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sholl DA: Dendritic organization in the neurons of the visual and motor cortices of the cat. J Anat. 1953, 87: 387-406.PubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Shima Y, Kengaku M, Hirano T, Takeichi M, Uemura T: Regulation of dendritic maintenance and growth by a mammalian 7-pass transmembrane cadherin. Dev Cell. 2004, 7: 205-216. 10.1016/j.devcel.2004.07.007.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- McAllister AK, Donald CL, Katz LC: Neurotrophins regulate dendritic growth in developing visual cortex. Neuron. 1995, 15: 791-803. 10.1016/0896-6273(95)90171-X.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- McAllister AK, Katz LC, Donald C: Opposing roles for endogenous BDNF and NT-3 in regulating cortical dendritic growth. Neuron. 1997, 18: 767-778. 10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80316-5.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Horch HW, Krüttgen A, Portbury SD, Katz LC: Destabilization of cortical dendrites and spines by BDNF. Neuron. 1999, 23: 353-364. 10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80785-0.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schwartz PM, Borghesani PR, Levy RL, Pomeroy SL, Segal RA: Abnormal cerebellar development and foliation in BDNF-/- mice reveals a role for neurotrophins in CNS patterning. Neuron. 1997, 19: 269-281. 10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80938-1.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schilling K, Dickinson MH, Connor JA, Morgan JI: Electrical activity in cerebellar cultures determines purkinje cell dendritic growth patterns. Neuron. 1991, 7: 891-902. 10.1016/0896-6273(91)90335-W.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Redmond L, Kashani AH, Ghosh A: Calcium regulation of dendritic growth via CaM Kinase IV and creb-mediated transcription. Neuron. 2002, 34: 999-1010. 10.1016/S0896-6273(02)00737-7.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gaudilliere B, Konishi Y, Iglesia NDL, Yao GL, Bonni A: A CaMKII-NeuroD signaling pathway specifies dendritic morphogenesis. Neuron. 2004, 41: 229-241. 10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00841-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cohen-Cory S, Dreyfus CF, Black IB: NGF and excitatory neurotransmitters regulate survival and morphogenesis of cultured cerebellar purkinje cells. J Neurosci. 1991, 11: 462-471.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hirai H, Launey T: The regulatory connection between the activity of granule cell NMDA receptors and dendritic differentiation of cerebellar purkinje cells. J Neurosci. 2000, 20: 5217-5224.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mount HTJ, Dean DO, Alberch J, Dreyfus CF, Black IB: Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor promotes the survival and morphologic differentiation of purkinje cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1995, 92: 9092-9096. 10.1073/pnas.92.20.9092.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sakamoto H, Ukena K, Tsutsui K: Effects of progesterone synthesized de novo in the developing purkinje cell on its dendritic growth and synaptogenesis. J Neurosci. 2001, 21: 6221-6232.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kimura-Kuroda J, Nagata I, Negishi-Kato M, Kuroda Y: Hyroid hormone-dependent development of mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells in vitro. Dev Brain Res. 2002, 137: 55-65. 10.1016/S0165-3806(02)00408-X.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Heuer H, Mason CA: Thyroid hormone induces cerebellar purkinje cell dendritic development via the thyroid hormone receptor α1. J Neurosci. 2003, 23: 10604-10612.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bishop GA: Neuromodulatory effects of corticotropin releasing factor on cerebellar purkinje cells: an in vivo study in the cat. Neuroscience. 1990, 39: 251-257. 10.1016/0306-4522(90)90238-Y.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Metzger F, Kapfhammer JP: Protein kinase C activity modulates dendritic differentiation of rat purkinje cells in cerebellar slice cultures. Eur J Neurosci. 2000, 12: 1993-2005. 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.00086.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tannka M, Yanagawa Y, Obata K, Marunouchi T: Dendritic morphogenesis of cerebellar purkinje cells through extension and retraction revealed by long-term tracking of living cells in vitro. Neuroscience. 2006, 141: 663-674. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.04.044.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ohkawa N, Fujitani K, Tokunaga E, Furuya S, Inokuchi K: The microtubule destabilizer stathmin mediates the development of dendritic arbors in neuronal cells. J Cell Sci. 2007, 120: 1447-1456. 10.1242/jcs.001461.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Li Z, Aelst LV, Cline HT: Rho GTPases regulate distinct aspects of dendritic arbor growth in xenopus central neurons in vivo. Nat Neurosci. 2000, 3: 217-25. 10.1038/72898.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Li Z, Aizenman CD, Cline HT: Regulation of Rho GTPases by crosstalk and neuronal activity in vivo. Neuron. 2002, 33: 741-750. 10.1016/S0896-6273(02)00621-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Takemoto-Kimura S, Ageta-Ishihara N, Nonaka M, Adachi-Morishima A, Mano T, Okamura M, Fujii H, Fuse T, Hoshino M, Suzuki S, Kojima M, Mishina M, Okuno H, Bito H: Regulation of dendritogenesis via a lipid-raft-associated Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase CLICK-III/CaMKIγ. Neuron. 2007, 54: 755-770. 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.05.021.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wu GY, Cline HT: Stabilization of dendritic arbor structure in vivo by CaMKII. Science. 1998, 279: 222-226. 10.1126/science.279.5348.222.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hisatsune C, Kuroda Y, Akagi T, Torashima T, Hirai H, Hashikawa T, Inoue T, Mikoshiba K: Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 1 in granule cells, not in purkinje cells, regulates the dendritic morphology of purkinje cells through brain-derived neurotrophic factor production. J Neurosci. 2006, 26: 10916-10924. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3269-06.2006.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Aelst LV, Cline HT: Rho GTPases and activity-dependent dendrite development. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004, 14: 297-304. 10.1016/j.conb.2004.05.012.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.