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Cell-Type Specific Analysis of Selenium-Related Genes in Brain

  • sasuclark, alexandru r.
  • khadka, vedbar s.
  • pitts, matthew w.
Publication Date
May 05, 2019
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Selenoproteins are a unique class of proteins that play key roles in redox signaling in the brain. This unique organ is comprised of a wide variety of cell types that includes excitatory neurons, inhibitory neurons, astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes. Whereas selenoproteins are known to be required for neural development and function, the cell-type specific expression of selenoproteins and selenium-related machinery has yet to be systematically investigated. Due to advances in sequencing technology and investment from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored BRAIN initiative, RNA sequencing (RNAseq) data from thousands of cortical neurons can now be freely accessed and searched using the online RNAseq data navigator at the Allen Brain Atlas. Hence, we utilized this newly developed tool to perform a comprehensive analysis of the cell-type specific expression of selenium-related genes in brain. Select proteins of interest were further verified by means of multi-label immunofluorescent labeling of mouse brain sections. Of potential significance to neural selenium homeostasis, we report co-expression of selenoprotein P (SELENOP) and selenium binding protein 1 (SELENBP1) within astrocytes. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that SELENBP1 may negatively regulate astrocytic SELENOP synthesis and thereby limit downstream Se supply to neurons.

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