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Bergmans B.A.,Laboratory of Neuronal Cell Biology and Gene Transfer | Bergmans B.A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Shariati S.A.M.,Laboratory of Neuronal Cell Biology and Gene Transfer | Shariati S.A.M.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 10 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2010

Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been implicated in many neurobiologic processes, but supporting evidence remains indirect. Studies are confounded by the existence of two partially redundant APP homologues, APLP1 and APLP2. APP/APLP1/APLP2 triple knockout (APP tKO) mice display cobblestone lissencephaly and are perinatally lethal. To circumvent this problem, we generated APP triple knockout embryonic stem (ES) cells and differentiated these to APP triple knockout neurons in vitro and in vivo. In comparison with wild-type (WT) ES cell-derived neurons, APP tKO neurons formed equally pure neuronal cultures, had unaltered in vitro migratory capacities, had a similar acquisition of polarity, and were capable of extending long neurites and forming active excitatory synapses. These data were confirmed in vivo in chimeric mice with APP tKO neurons expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) present in a WT background brain. The results suggest that the loss of the APP family of proteins has no major effect on these critical neuronal processes and that the apparent multitude of functions in which APP has been implicated might be characterized by molecular redundancy. Our stem cell culture provides an excellent tool to circumvent the problem of lack of viability of APP/APLP triple knockout mice and will help to explore the function of this intriguing protein further in vitro and in vivo. © AlphaMed Press.

Uytterhoeven V.,Laboratory of Neuronal Communication | Uytterhoeven V.,Center for Human Genetics | Kuenen S.,Laboratory of Neuronal Communication | Kuenen S.,Center for Human Genetics | And 6 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2011

Exchange of proteins at sorting endosomes is not only critical to numerous signaling pathways but also to receptor-mediated signaling and to pathogen entry into cells; however, how this process is regulated in synaptic vesicle cycling remains unexplored. In this work, we present evidence that loss of function of a single neuronally expressed GTPase activating protein (GAP), Skywalker (Sky) facilitates endosomal trafficking of synaptic vesicles at Drosophila neuromuscular junction boutons, chiefly by controlling Rab35 GTPase activity. Analyses of genetic interactions with the ESCRT machinery as well as chimeric ubiquitinated synaptic vesicle proteins indicate that endosomal trafficking facilitates the replacement of dysfunctional synaptic vesicle components. Consequently, sky mutants harbor a larger readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles and show a dramatic increase in basal neurotransmitter release. Thus, the trafficking of vesicles via endosomes uncovered using sky mutants provides an elegant mechanism by which neurons may regulate synaptic vesicle rejuvenation and neurotransmitter release. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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