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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Association between protease-specific proteolytic cleavage of brevican and synaptic loss in the dentate gyrus of kainate-treated rats.

Proteolytic fragments generated by ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs)-mediated cleavage of the aggregating chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, brevican, have been identified, but not localized in the CNS. The purpose of this study, using kainate-induced CNS lesion, was to examine the spatial and quantitative relationship between ADAMTS1 and 4 mRNA expression and ADAMTS- mediated cleavage of brevican (as determined by the abundance of the neo-epitope QEAVESE at the C-terminal of the cleaved brevican G1 domain). In untreated rats, in situ hybridization and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction indicated that ADAMTS4 expression was higher than ADAMTS1 and was localized to hippocampus, temporal lobe and other areas of cortex, striatum and hypothalamus. ADAMTS4 mRNA expression in these regions correlated with the presence of the QEAVESE neo-epitope, which was concentrated in perineuronal nets and in neuropil. In rats that seized after kainate, there was a dramatic elevation in ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS4 transcript that correlated and co-localized with a robust elevation in an extractable, 55-kDa fragment of brevican in temporal lobe and hippocampus. This fragment consisted, at least in part, of the ADAMTS-cleaved epitope G1-QEAVESE. The kainate-induced elevation in this ADAMTS-cleaved fragment was localized to amygdaloid and thalamic nuclei, hippocampus, caudate-putamen, cingulate cortex, and the outer molecular layer of the dentate gyrus where it was accompanied by a robust elevation in ADAMTS1 and 4 mRNA and a 28% decline in synaptic density 5 days after kainate.Thus, complexes of extracellular matrix proteins that exist in perineuronal nets and in the neuropil are cleaved by specific matrix-degrading proteases at early time points during excitotoxic neurodegeneration. The observed ADAMTS- induced cleavage of brevican in the dentate outer molecular layer is closely associated with diminished synaptic density, and may, therefore, contribute to synaptic loss and/or reorganization in this region.[1]


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