Enhancing protein O-GlcNAcylation by pharmacological inhibition of the enzyme O-GlcNAcase (OGA), which removes the O-GlcNAc modification from proteins, has been explored in mouse models of amyloid-beta and tau pathology. However, the O-GlcNAcylation-dependent link between gene expression and neurological behavior remains to be explored. Using chronic administration of Thiamet G (TG, an OGA inhibitor) in vivo, we used a protocol designed to relate behavior with the transcriptome and selected biochemical parameters from the cortex of individual animals. TG-treated mice showed improved working memory as measured using a Y-maze test. RNA sequencing analysis revealed 151 top differentially expressed genes with a Log2fold change >0.33 and adjusted p-value <0.05. Top TG-dependent upregulated genes were related to learning, cognition and behavior, while top downregulated genes were related to IL-17 signaling, inflammatory response and chemotaxis. Additional pathway analysis uncovered 3 pathways, involving gene expression including 14 cytochrome c oxidase subunits/regulatory components, chaperones or assembly factors, and 5 mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) signaling factors. Multivariate Kendall correlation analyses of behavioral tests and the top TG-dependent differentially expressed genes revealed 91 statistically significant correlations in saline-treated mice and 70 statistically significant correlations in TG-treated mice. These analyses provide a network regulation landscape that is important in relating the transcriptome to behavior and the potential impact of the O-GlcNAC pathway.
Keywords: OGA; OGT; RNAseq; Y maze; thiamet G; vertical counts.
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Society for Neurochemistry.