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Till S.M.,University of Edinburgh | Asiminas A.,University of Edinburgh | Jackson A.D.,University of Edinburgh | Jackson A.D.,The Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | And 13 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2015

Recent advances in techniques for manipulating genomes have allowed the generation of transgenic animals other than mice. These new models enable cross-mammalian comparison of neurological disease from core cellular pathophysiology to circuit and behavioural endophenotypes. Moreover they will enable us to directly test whether common cellular dysfunction or behavioural outcomes of a genetic mutation are more conserved across species. Using a new rat model of Fragile X Syndrome, we report that Fmr1 knockout (KO) rats exhibit elevated basal protein synthesis and an increase in mGluR-dependent long-term depression in CA1 of the hippocampus that is independent of new protein synthesis. These defects in plasticity are accompanied by an increase in dendritic spine density selectively in apical dendrites and subtle changes in dendritic spine morphology of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Behaviourally, Fmr1 KO rats show deficits in hippocampal-dependent, but not hippocampal-independent, forms of associative recognition memory indicating that the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) causes defects in episodic-like memory. In contrast to previous reports from mice, Fmr1 KO rats showno deficits in spatial reference memory reversal learning. One-trial spatial learning in a delayed matching to place water maze task was also not affected by the loss of FMRP in rats. This is the first evidence for conservation acrossmammalian species of cellular and physiological hippocampal phenotypes associated with the loss of FMRP. Furthermore, while key cellular phenotypes are conserved they manifest in distinct behavioural dysfunction. Finally, our data reveal novel information about the selective role of FMRP in hippocampus-dependent associative memory. © The Author 2015.

PubMed | California Stem Cell, Cornell University, University of California at Los Angeles, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of biological chemistry | Year: 2015

The structure of the sodium/galactose transporter (vSGLT), a solute-sodium symporter (SSS) from Vibrio parahaemolyticus, shares a common structural fold with LeuT of the neurotransmitter-sodium symporter family. Structural alignments between LeuT and vSGLT reveal that the crystallographically identified galactose-binding site in vSGLT is located in a more extracellular location relative to the central substrate-binding site (S1) in LeuT. Our computational analyses suggest the existence of an additional galactose-binding site in vSGLT that aligns to the S1 site of LeuT. Radiolabeled galactose saturation binding experiments indicate that, like LeuT, vSGLT can simultaneously bind two substrate molecules under equilibrium conditions. Mutating key residues in the individual substrate-binding sites reduced the molar substrate-to-protein binding stoichiometry to ~1. In addition, the related and more experimentally tractable SSS member PutP (the Na(+)/proline transporter) also exhibits a binding stoichiometry of 2. Targeting residues in the proposed sites with mutations results in the reduction of the binding stoichiometry and is accompanied by severely impaired translocation of proline. Our data suggest that substrate transport by SSS members requires both substrate-binding sites, thereby implying that SSSs and neurotransmitter-sodium symporters share common mechanistic elements in substrate transport.

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