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Disorder-associated mutations lead to functional inactivation of neuroligins

Chih, B. and Afridi, S. K. and Clark, L. and Scheiffele, P.. (2004) Disorder-associated mutations lead to functional inactivation of neuroligins. Human molecular genetics, Vol. 13, H. 14. pp. 1471-1477.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5259853

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Abstract

Autism is a neuro-developmental syndrome that affects 0.1-0.5% of the population. It has been proposed that alterations in neuronal circuitry and/or neuronal signaling are responsible for the behavioral and cognitive aberrations in autism patients. However, the cellular basis of such alterations is unknown. Recently, point mutations in a family of neuronal cell adhesion molecules called neuroligins have been linked to autism-spectrum disorders and mental retardation. We investigated the consequences of these disease-associated mutations on neuroligin function. We demonstrate that the point mutation at arginine 451 and a nonsense mutation at aspartate 396 of neuroligin-3 and -4 (NL3 and NL4), respectively, result in intracellular retention of the mutant proteins. Over-expression of wild-type NL3 and NL4 proteins in hippocampal neurons stimulates the formation of presynaptic terminals, whereas the disease-associated mutations result in a loss of this synaptic function. Our findings suggest that the previously identified mutations in neuroligin genes are likely to be relevant for the neuro-developmental defects in autism-spectrum disorders and mental retardation since they impair the function of a synaptic cell adhesion molecule.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Neurobiology > Cell Biology (Scheiffele)
UniBasel Contributors:Scheiffele, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
ISSN:0964-6906
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:21
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:23

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