Hesr1 knockout mice exhibit behavioral alterations through the dopaminergic nervous system
Fuke, S.; Minami, N.; Kokubo, H.; Yoshikawa, A.; Yasumatsu, H.; Sasagawa, N.; Saga, Y.; Tsukahara, T.; Ishiura, S.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 84(7): 1555-1563
ISSN/ISBN: 0360-4012 PMID: 16998899 DOI: 10.1002/jnr.21062
The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional factor Hesr1 gene (hairy and enhancer of split-related 1, also called Hey1/HRT1/CHF2/HERP2) has been identified and characterized as a member of the subfamily of hairy/Enhancer of split, and shown to be involved in cardiovascular and neural development. We report that HESR1 binds directly to a part of the 3' non-coding region of the human dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene and represses the endogenous DAT1 gene in HEK293 cells. To investigate functions of the HESR1 gene in the dopaminergic nervous system in vivo, we analyzed the expressions of dopamine-related genes in the postnatal day 0 whole brains of Hesr1 knockout mice by real-time RT-PCR analysis. Several dopamine-related genes, such as DAT, dopamine receptors D1, D2, D4, and D5, were significantly upregulated. Moreover, young adults of Hesr1 knockout mice showed a decrease in spontaneous locomotor activity and a reduction in exploratory behavior or behavioral responses to novelty in the open-field, and elevated plus-maze tests. These results indicate that the HESR1 gene is related to neuropsychiatric disorders and behavioral traits through the dopaminergic nervous system.