A novel mechanism for modulating synaptic gene expression: differential localization of alpha-dystrobrevin transcripts in skeletal muscle.
Newey SE., Gramolini AO., Wu J., Holzfeind P., Jasmin BJ., Davies KE., Blake DJ.
Alpha-dystrobrevin is a dystrophin-related and -associated protein that is involved in synapse maturation and is required for normal muscle function. There are three protein isoforms in skeletal muscle, alpha-dystrobrevin-1, -2, and -3 that are encoded by the single alpha-dystrobrevin gene. To understand the role of these proteins in muscle we have investigated the localisation and transcript distribution of the different alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms. Alpha-dystrobrevin-1 and -2 are concentrated at the neuromuscular junction and are both recruited into agrin-induced acetylcholine receptor clusters in cultured myotubes. We also demonstrate that all alpha-dystrobrevin mRNAs are transcribed from a single promoter in skeletal muscle. However, only transcripts encoding alpha-dystrobrevin-1 are preferentially accumulated at postsynaptic sites. These data suggest that the synaptic accumulation of alpha-dystrobrevin-1 mRNA occurs posttranscriptionally, identifying a novel mechanism for synaptic gene expression. Taken together, these results indicate that different isoforms possess distinct roles in synapse formation and possibly in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy.