Members of the Nuclear eXport Factor (NXF) family are involved in the export of mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, or hypothesized to play a role in transport of cytoplasmic mRNA. We previously reported on the loss of NXF5 in a male patient with a syndromic form of intellectual disability. To study the functional role of NXF5 we identified the mouse counterpart. Based on synteny, mouse Nxf2 is the ortholog of human NXF5. However, we provide several lines of evidence that mouse Nxf7 is the actual functional equivalent of NXF5. Both Nxf7 and NXF5 are predominantly expressed in the brain, show cytoplasmic localization, and present as granules in neuronal dendrites suggesting a role in cytoplasmic mRNA metabolism in neurons. Nxf7 was primarily detected in the pyramidal cells of the hippocampus and in layer V of the cortex. Similar to human NXF2, mouse Nxf2 is highly expressed in testis and shows a nuclear localization. Interestingly, these findings point to a different evolutionary path for both NXF genes in human and mouse. We thus generated and validated Nxf7 knockout mice, which were fertile and did not present any gross anatomical or morphological abnormalities. Expression profiling in the hippocampus and the cortex did not reveal significant changes between wild-type and Nxf7 knockout mice. However, impaired spatial memory was observed in these KO mice when evaluated in the Morris water maze test. In conclusion, our findings provide strong evidence that mouse Nxf7 is the functional counterpart of human NXF5, which might play a critical role in mRNA metabolism in the brain. © 2013 Vanmarsenille et al.
Vanmarsenille, L., Verbeeck, J., Belet, S., Roebroek, A. J., Van de Putte, T., Nevelsteen, J., … Froyen, G. (2013). Generation and Characterization of an Nxf7 Knockout Mouse to Study NXF5 Deficiency in a Patient with Intellectual Disability. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0064144