Molecular genetics of the imprinted gene - SPROUTY3 (SPRY3)

Thumbnail Image
Ning, Zhenfei
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Sprouty proteins are key regulators of cell growth and branching morphogenesis during development. Human SPRY3 which maps to the pseudoautosomal region 2, undergoes random X-inactivation in females and preferential Y-inactivation in males, behaving as though genetically X-linked. Spry3 is widely expressed in neuronal tissues, being found at high levels in the cerebellum and particularly in the Purkinje cells which, notably, are deficient in the autistic brain. Spry3 is also highly expressed in other ganglia in adults including retinal ganglion cells, dorsal root ganglion and superior cervical ganglion. SPRY3 enhancer can drive SPRY3 expression in the lung airway, which is consistent with a role in branching morphogenesis and the function of the original Drosophila Spry gene, which is critical for lung morphogenesis, providing a possible explanation for an observed anatomic abnormality in the autistic lung airway. In the human and mouse, the SPRY3 core promoter contains an AG-rich repeat and we found evidence of coexpression, promoter binding and regulation of SPRY3 expression by transcription factors EGR1, ZNF263 and PAX6. Spry3 over-expression in mouse superior cervical ganglion cells inhibits axon branching and Spry3 knockdown in those cells increases axon branching, consistent with known functions of other Sprouty proteins. Novel SPRY3 upstream transcripts that I characterised originate from three start sites in the X-linked F8A3 – TMLHE gene region, which is recently implicated in autism causation. Arising from these findings, I propose that the lung airway abnormality and low levels of blood carnitine found in autism suggest that deregulation of SPRY3 may underpin a subset of autism cases.
SPROUTY3 , Autistic spectrum disorder
Ning, Z. 2014. Molecular genetics of the imprinted gene - SPROUTY3 (SPRY3). PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
Link to publisher’s version