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Magnani I.,University of Milan | Novielli C.,University of Milan | Fontana L.,University of Milan | Tabano S.,University of Milan | And 14 more authors.
Analytical Cellular Pathology | Year: 2011

Background: MAP/microtubule affinity-regulating kinase 4 (MARK4) is a serine-threonine kinase expressed in two spliced isoforms, MARK4L and MARK4S, of which MARK4L is a candidate for a role in neoplastic transformation. Methods: We performed mutation analysis to identify sequence alterations possibly affecting MARK4 expression. We then investigated the MARK4L and MARK4S expression profile in 21 glioma cell lines and 36 tissues of different malignancy grades, glioblastoma-derived cancer stem cells (GBM CSCs) and mouse neural stem cells (NSCs) by real-time PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. We also analyzed the sub-cellular localisation of MARK4 isoforms in glioma and normal cell lines by immunofluorescence. Results: Mutation analysis rules out sequence variations as the cause of the altered MARK4 expression in glioma. Expression profiling confirms that MARK4L is the predominant isoform, whereas MARK4S levels are significantly decreased in comparison and show an inverse correlation with tumour grade. A high MARK4L/MARK4S ratio also characterizes undifferentiated cells, such as GBM CSCs and NSCs. Accordingly, only MARK4L is expressed in brain neurogenic regions. Moreover, while both MARK4 isoforms are localised to the centrosome and midbody in glioma and normal cells, the L isoform exhibits an additional nucleolar localisation in tumour cells. Conclusions: The observed switch towards MARK4L suggests that the balance between the MARK4 isoforms is carefully guarded during neural differentiation but may be subverted in gliomagenesis. Moreover, the MARK4L nucleolar localisation in tumour cells features this MARK4 isoform as a nucleolus-associated tumour marker. © 2011 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Moroni R.F.,Unit of Clinical Epileptology and Experimental Neurophysiology | Inverardi F.,Unit of Clinical Epileptology and Experimental Neurophysiology | Regondi M.C.,Unit of Clinical Epileptology and Experimental Neurophysiology | Pennacchio P.,Unit of Clinical Epileptology and Experimental Neurophysiology | Frassoni C.,Unit of Clinical Epileptology and Experimental Neurophysiology
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Kir4.1 is the principal K+ channel expressed in glial cells. It has been shown that it plays a fundamental role in K+-spatial buffering, an astrocyte-specific process where excess extracellular concentration of K+ ions, generated by synaptic activity, is spatially redistributed to distant sites via astrocytic syncytia. Experimental and clinical evidence suggested that abnormality of Kir4.1 function in the brain is involved in different neurological diseases such as epilepsy, dysmyelination, and Huntington's disease. Although it has been shown that Kir4.1 is expressed predominantly in astrocytes in certain areas of the rat brain and its transcript is present in the rat forebrain as early as embryonic day E14, no information is available concerning the temporal sequence of Kir4.1 protein appearance during embryonic and post-natal development. Aim of this work was to study the expression pattern of Kir4.1 channel in rat somatosensory cortex and hippocampus during development and to examine its cellular localization with the glial and oligodendroglial markers S100-β, GFAP, and Olig-2. Kir4.1 protein was detected since E20 and a gradual increase of Kir4.1 expression occurred between early postnatal period and adulthood. We showed a gradual shift in Kir4.1 subcellular localization from the soma of astrocytes to distal glial processes. Double immunofluorescence experiments confirmed the cellular localization of Kir4.1 in glial cells. Our data provide the first overview of Kir4.1 developmental expression both in the cortex and hippocampus and support the glial role of Kir4.1 in K+ spatial buffering. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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