PloS one

Loss of aPKCλ in differentiated neurons disrupts the polarity complex but does not induce obvious neuronal loss or disorientation in mouse brains.

PMID 24391875


Cell polarity plays a critical role in neuronal differentiation during development of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies have established the significance of atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and its interacting partners, which include PAR-3, PAR-6 and Lgl, in regulating cell polarization during neuronal differentiation. However, their roles in neuronal maintenance after CNS development remain unclear. Here we performed conditional deletion of aPKCλ, a major aPKC isoform in the brain, in differentiated neurons of mice by camk2a-cre or synapsinI-cre mediated gene targeting. We found significant reduction of aPKCλ and total aPKCs in the adult mouse brains. The aPKCλ deletion also reduced PAR-6β, possibly by its destabilization, whereas expression of other related proteins such as PAR-3 and Lgl-1 was unaffected. Biochemical analyses suggested that a significant fraction of aPKCλ formed a protein complex with PAR-6β and Lgl-1 in the brain lysates, which was disrupted by the aPKCλ deletion. Notably, the aPKCλ deletion mice did not show apparent cell loss/degeneration in the brain. In addition, neuronal orientation/distribution seemed to be unaffected. Thus, despite the polarity complex disruption, neuronal deletion of aPKCλ does not induce obvious cell loss or disorientation in mouse brains after cell differentiation.