Dyrk1A expression pattern supports specific roles of this kinase in the adult central nervous system

Brain Res. 2003 Feb 28;964(2):250-63. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(02)04069-6.


Dyrk1A and its Drosophila orthologue, the protein minibrain (mnb), belong to a family of serine/threonine kinases involved in the development of the central nervous system (CNS). However, additional roles for Dyrk1A have to be proposed, as its expression is still prominent in the adult brain. To gain insight into Dyrk1A physiological roles we have studied the distribution of this kinase in the CNS of mice in adulthood. A homogeneous diffuse immunostaining of variable intensity was detected throughout the neuropile, with the white matter displaying faint Dyrk1A immunoreactivity. Dyrk1A immunostaining was strong in the olfactory bulb, the cerebellar cortex and functionally related structures, the spinal cord and most of the motor nuclei of the midbrain and brain stem. These data agree with a possible implication of this kinase in the physiology of olfaction and motor functions. Cellular and subcellular localisation of Dyrk1A was also studied in primary cell culture of cerebellum, one of the structures showing significant Dyrk1A immunostaining in the adult. The distribution of Dyrk1A in primary cell culture showed the presence of this protein in the nucleus and the cytoplasm of both neurons and astrocytes. Moreover, studies on the subcellular distribution of Dyrk1A in whole brain homogenates of adult mice showed the presence of this protein both in nuclear and cytoplasm-enriched fractions, thus supporting selective functions of this kinase in these two subcellular compartments. The present results showing the distribution of Dyrk1A in widespread areas of the adult CNS and in different subcellular compartments, together with previous reports demonstrating its implication in developmental events concur with the idea of several spatio-temporal functional profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Central Nervous System / enzymology*
  • Dyrk Kinases
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / analysis*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology
  • Transfection


  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases