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Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity

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      Abstract

      In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone.

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      Cellular motility driven by assembly and disassembly of actin filaments.

      Motile cells extend a leading edge by assembling a branched network of actin filaments that produces physical force as the polymers grow beneath the plasma membrane. A core set of proteins including actin, Arp2/3 complex, profilin, capping protein, and ADF/cofilin can reconstitute the process in vitro, and mathematical models of the constituent reactions predict the rate of motion. Signaling pathways converging on WASp/Scar proteins regulate the activity of Arp2/3 complex, which mediates the initiation of new filaments as branches on preexisting filaments. After a brief spurt of growth, capping protein terminates the elongation of the filaments. After filaments have aged by hydrolysis of their bound ATP and dissociation of the gamma phosphate, ADF/cofilin proteins promote debranching and depolymerization. Profilin catalyzes the exchange of ADP for ATP, refilling the pool of ATP-actin monomers bound to profilin, ready for elongation.
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        Structure and function of dendritic spines.

        Spines are neuronal protrusions, each of which receives input typically from one excitatory synapse. They contain neurotransmitter receptors, organelles, and signaling systems essential for synaptic function and plasticity. Numerous brain disorders are associated with abnormal dendritic spines. Spine formation, plasticity, and maintenance depend on synaptic activity and can be modulated by sensory experience. Studies of compartmentalization have shown that spines serve primarily as biochemical, rather than electrical, compartments. In particular, recent work has highlighted that spines are highly specialized compartments for rapid large-amplitude Ca(2+) signals underlying the induction of synaptic plasticity.
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          Tau phosphorylation: the therapeutic challenge for neurodegenerative disease.

          The microtubule-associated protein tau is integral to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as several related disorders, termed tauopathies, in which tau is deposited in affected brain regions. In the tauopathies, pathological tau is in an elevated state of phosphorylation and is aberrantly cleaved. It also exhibits abnormal conformations and becomes aggregated, resulting in neurofibrillary tau pathology. Recent evidence suggests that relatively early disease-associated changes in soluble tau proteins, including phosphorylation, are involved in the induction of neuronal death. Here, we summarize recent developments that suggest new therapeutic strategies to prevent or reduce the progression of pathology in the tauopathies. A list of tau phosphorylation sites identified in the tauopathies and in controls accompanies this review.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico City, Mexico
            2Departamento de Medicina Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico City, Mexico
            3Unidad de Investigación en Reproducción Humana, Instituto Nacional de Perinatología-Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico City, Mexico
            Author notes

            Edited by: Alberto A. Rasia-Filho, Federal University of Health Sciences, Brazil

            Reviewed by: Deepak Prakash Srivastava, King’s College London, UK; Maya Frankfurt, Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine, USA

            *Correspondence: Ignacio Camacho-Arroyo, camachoarroyo@ 123456gmail.com

            Specialty section: This article was submitted to Systems Biology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry

            Contributors
            URI : http://frontiersin.org/people/u/277881
            URI : http://frontiersin.org/people/u/282281
            URI : http://frontiersin.org/people/u/187356
            Journal
            Front Psychiatry
            Front Psychiatry
            Front. Psychiatry
            Frontiers in Psychiatry
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            1664-0640
            20 November 2015
            2015
            : 6
            4653291 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00165
            Copyright © 2015 Hansberg-Pastor, González-Arenas, Piña-Medina and Camacho-Arroyo.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

            Counts
            Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 184, Pages: 12, Words: 11605
            Categories
            Psychiatry
            Review

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