Neuronal expression of muskelin in the rodent central nervous systemReport as inadecuate

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BMC Neuroscience

, 8:28

First Online: 02 May 2007Received: 05 January 2007Accepted: 02 May 2007


BackgroundThe kelch repeat protein muskelin mediates cytoskeletal responses to the extracellular matrix protein thrombospondin 1, TSP1, that is known to promote synaptogenesis in the central nervous system CNS. Muskelin displays intracellular localization and affects cytoskeletal organization in adherent cells. Muskelin is expressed in adult brain and has been reported to bind the Cdk5 activator p39, which also facilitates the formation of functional synapses. Since little is known about muskelin in neuronal tissues, we here analysed the tissue distribution of muskelin in rodent brain and analysed its subcellular localization using cultured neurons from multiple life stages.

ResultsOur data show that muskelin transcripts and polypeptides are expressed throughout the central nervous system with significantly high levels in hippocampus and cerebellum, a finding that resembles the tissue distribution of p39. At the subcellular level, muskelin is found in the soma, in neurite projections and the nucleus with a punctate distribution in both axons and dendrites. Immunostaining and synaptosome preparations identify partial localization of muskelin at synaptic sites. Differential centrifugation further reveals muskelin in membrane-enriched, rather than cytosolic fractions.

ConclusionOur results suggest that muskelin represents a multifunctional protein associated with membranes and-or large protein complexes in most neurons of the central nervous system. These data are in conclusion with distinct roles of muskelin-s functional interaction partners.

AbbreviationsThe abbreviations used areCNS, central nervous system

TSP1thrombospondin 1

ECMextracellular matrix

Cdk5cyclin-dependent kinase 5

LisHlissencephaly-1 homology, CTLH, C-terminal to LisH



GFPgreen fluorescent protein

PSD-95postsynaptic density protein of 95 kDa

SV2synaptic vesicle protein 2.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2202-8-28 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Nadia Tagnaouti, Sven Loebrich, Frank Heisler contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Nadia Tagnaouti - Sven Loebrich - Frank Heisler - Yvonne Pechmann - Susanne Fehr - Adèle De Arcangelis - Elisabeth Georges


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