Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) inhibits sonic hedgehog function in mouse cortical neurons

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Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) acts as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the Gαi subunit and negatively regulates G protein-coupled receptor signaling. However, its presence and function in postmitotic differentiated primary neurons remains largely uncharacterized. During neural development, sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is involved in cell signaling pathways via Gαi activity. In particular, Shh signaling is essential for embryonic neural tube patterning, which has been implicated in neuronal polarization involving neurite outgrowth. Here, we examined whether RGS5 regulates Shh signaling in neurons. RGS5 transcripts were found to be expressed in cortical neurons and their expression gradually declined in a time-dependent manner in culture system. When an adenovirus expressing RGS5 was introduced into an in vitro cell culture model of cortical neurons, RGS5 overexpression significantly reduced neurite outgrowth and FM4-64 uptake, while cAMP-PKA signaling was also affected. These findings suggest that RGS5 inhibits Shh function during neurite outgrowth and the presynaptic terminals of primary cortical neurons mature via modulation of cAMP.

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