Expression Analyses of Rich2/Arhgap44, a Rho Family GTPase-Activating Protein, during Mouse Brain Development

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Rho family small GTPases, such as Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, play essential roles during brain development, by regulating cellular signaling and actin cytoskeletal reorganization. Rich2/Arhgap44, a Rac- and Cdc42-specific GTPase-activating protein, has been reported to be a key regulator for dendritic spine morphology and synaptic function. Given the essential roles of Rac and Cdc42 in brain development, Rich2 is supposed to take part in brain development. However, not only the molecular mechanism involved but also the expression profile of Rich2 during neurodevelopment has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we carried out expression analyses of Rich2 by focusing on mouse brain development. In immunoblotting, Rich2 exhibited a tissue-dependent expression profile in the young adult mouse, and the expression was increased during brain development. In immunohistochemical analyses, Rich2 was observed in the cytoplasm of cortical neurons at postnatal day (P) 0 and then came to be enriched in the nucleus with moderate distribution in neuropils at P7. Later at P30, a complex immunostaining pattern of Rich2 was observed; Rich2 was distributed in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and neuropils in many cortical neurons, whereas other neurons frequently displayed little expression. In the hippocampus at P7, Rich2 was distributed mainly in the cytoplasm of excitatory neurons in the cornu ammonis regions, while it was moderately detected in the nucleus in the dentate granule cells. Notably, Rich2 was distributed in excitatory synapses of the cornu ammonis 1 region at P30. Biochemical fractionation analyses also detected Rich2 in the postsynaptic density. Taken together, Rich2 is found to be expressed in the central nervous system in a developmental stage-dependent manner and may be involved in synapse formation/maintenance in cortical neurons.




Goto, N., Nishikawa, M., Ito, H., Noda, M., Hamada, N., Tabata, H., … Nagata, K. I. (2023). Expression Analyses of Rich2/Arhgap44, a Rho Family GTPase-Activating Protein, during Mouse Brain Development. Developmental Neuroscience, 45(1), 19–26.

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