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      Autosomal recessive lissencephaly with cerebellar hypoplasia is associated with human RELN mutations.

      Nature genetics
      Animals, Blotting, Western, Brain Stem, abnormalities, pathology, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal, blood, genetics, metabolism, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7, DNA, Complementary, Extracellular Matrix Proteins, Family Health, Female, Frameshift Mutation, Genes, Recessive, Genetic Linkage, Hippocampus, Humans, Lod Score, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mice, Microsatellite Repeats, Models, Genetic, Mutation, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Pedigree, Phenotype, RNA Splicing, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Serine Endopeptidases

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          Abstract

          Normal development of the cerebral cortex requires long-range migration of cortical neurons from proliferative regions deep in the brain. Lissencephaly ("smooth brain," from "lissos," meaning smooth, and "encephalos," meaning brain) is a severe developmental disorder in which neuronal migration is impaired, leading to a thickened cerebral cortex whose normally folded contour is simplified and smooth. Two identified lissencephaly genes do not account for all known cases, and additional lissencephaly syndromes have been described. An autosomal recessive form of lissencephaly (LCH) associated with severe abnormalities of the cerebellum, hippocampus and brainstem maps to chromosome 7q22, and is associated with two independent mutations in the human gene encoding reelin (RELN). The mutations disrupt splicing of RELN cDNA, resulting in low or undetectable amounts of reelin protein. LCH parallels the reeler mouse mutant (Reln(rl)), in which Reln mutations cause cerebellar hypoplasia, abnormal cerebral cortical neuronal migration and abnormal axonal connectivity. RELN encodes a large (388 kD) secreted protein that acts on migrating cortical neurons by binding to the very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), the apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2; refs 9-11 ), alpha3beta1 integrin and protocadherins. Although reelin was previously thought to function exclusively in brain, some humans with RELN mutations show abnormal neuromuscular connectivity and congenital lymphoedema, suggesting previously unsuspected functions for reelin in and outside of the brain.

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          Most cited references28

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          RNA splice junctions of different classes of eukaryotes: sequence statistics and functional implications in gene expression.

          A systematic analysis of the RNA splice junction sequences of eukaryotic protein coding genes was carried out using the GENBANK databank. Nucleotide frequencies obtained for the highly conserved regions around the splice sites for different categories of organisms closely agree with each other. A striking similarity among the rare splice junctions which do not contain AG at the 3' splice site or GT at the 5' splice site indicates the existence of special mechanisms to recognize them, and that these unique signals may be involved in crucial gene-regulation events and in differentiation. A method was developed to predict potential exons in a bare sequence, using a scoring and ranking scheme based on nucleotide weight tables. This method was used to find a majority of the exons in selected known genes, and also predicted potential new exons which may be used in alternative splicing situations.
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            A protein related to extracellular matrix proteins deleted in the mouse mutant reeler.

            The autosomal recessive mouse mutation reeler leads to impaired motor coordination, tremors and ataxia. Neurons in affected mice fail to reach their correct locations in the developing brain, disrupting the organization of the cerebellar and cerebral cortices and other laminated regions. Here we use a previously characterized reeler allele (rl(tg)) to close a gene, reelin, deleted in two reeler alleles. Normal but not mutant mice express reelin in embryonic and postnatal neurons during periods of neuronal migration. The encoded protein resembles extracellular matrix proteins involved in cell adhesion. The reeler phenotype thus seems to reflect a failure of early events associated with brain lamination which are normally controlled by reelin.
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              Reeler/Disabled-like disruption of neuronal migration in knockout mice lacking the VLDL receptor and ApoE receptor 2.

              Layering of neurons in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum requires Reelin, an extracellular matrix protein, and mammalian Disabled (mDab1), a cytosolic protein that activates tyrosine kinases. Here, we report the requirement for two other proteins, cell surface receptors termed very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) and apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2). Both receptors can bind mDab1 on their cytoplasmic tails and are expressed in cortical and cerebellar layers adjacent to layers that express Reelin. mDab1 expression is upregulated in knockout mice that lack both VLDLR and ApoER2. Inversion of cortical layers and absence of cerebellar foliation in these animals precisely mimic the phenotype of mice lacking Reelin or mDab1. These findings suggest that VLDLR and ApoER2 participate in transmitting the extracellular Reelin signal to intracellular signaling processes initiated by mDab1.
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