Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Research Highlights :Prox1 inhibits neurite outgrowth during central nervous system development



Panagiotis Politis, Valeria Kaltezioti and colleagues recently published a study in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences


The human brain, the most complex organ in the known universe, is made of 86 billion of neurons. During embryonic development, all these neurons extend processes, axons and dendrites, to connect with many thousands of other neuronal cells. Inability of neuronal cells to find and connect with the correct types of neurons could cause neurological diseases such as schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy. It was previously known that genetic polymorphisms in the Prox1 gene are linked to neurological diseases, including schizophrenia, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. However, how this gene is involved in the onset and progression of neurological diseases was not known. In this study, Kaltezioti et al show that Prox1 controls the ability of newly born neuronal cells to extend axons and neurites by directly regulating the expression of enzymes that sense intracellular calcium. Increased calcium levels induce the capacity of neurons to generate axonal processes. The authors of this study reveal a previously unknown molecular mechanism that is involved in brain development, and could also explain the association between mutations in the Prox1 gene and neurological diseases.




Prox1 inhibits neurite outgrowth during central nervous system development
Valeria Kaltezioti, Iosifina P Foskolou, Matthieu D Lavigne, Elpinickie Ninou, Matina Tsampoula, Maria Fousteri, Marigoula Margarity, Panagiotis K Politis.
Cell Mol Life Sci, 2021 Apr;78(7):3443-3465.  doi: 10.1007/s00018-020-03709-2. Epub 2020 Nov 28.