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, 114 (4), 1158-67

Nurr1 Regulates RET Expression in Dopamine Neurons of Adult Rat Midbrain


Nurr1 Regulates RET Expression in Dopamine Neurons of Adult Rat Midbrain

Danny Galleguillos et al. J Neurochem.


Genesis of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons depends on Nurr1, a nuclear receptor expressed during development and adulthood in these neurons. Nurr1 is required for the expression of genes of dopaminergic phenotype such as tyrosine hydroxylase and DA transporter. The expression of the tyrosine kinase receptor RET also depends on Nurr1 during development. However, it is unknown whether RET expression is regulated by Nurr1 during adulthood, and the mechanism by which Nurr1 regulates RET expression. Using an adeno-associated vector-delivered anti-Nurr1 ribozyme, we knocked-down Nurr1 expression unilaterally in the substantia nigra (SN) of adult rats. Animals injected with the ribozyme displayed a 57.3% decrease in Nurr1 mRNA in the SN accompanied by decreased DA extracellular levels in the striatum. RET mRNA in the injected SN and RET protein in the ipsilateral striatum decreased 76.9% and 47%, respectively. Tyrosine hydroxylase and DA transporter mRNA did not change in Nurr1 knocked-down SN. Nurr1 induced the transcription of the human RET promoter in cell type and concentration-dependent manner. Nurr1 induction of RET promoter is independent of NBRE elements. These results show that the expression of RET in rat adult SN is regulated by Nurr1 and suggest that RET is a transcriptional target of this nuclear receptor.

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