GPR56, a member of the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor family, is abundantly expressed in cells of the developing cerebral cortex, including neural progenitor cells and developing neurons. The human GPR56 gene has multiple presumptive promoters that drive the expression of the GPR56 protein in distinct patterns. Similar to coding mutations of the human GPR56 gene that may cause GPR56 dysfunction, a 15-bp homozygous deletion in the cis-regulatory element upstream of the noncoding exon 1 of GPR56 (e1m) leads to the cerebral cortex malformation and epilepsy. To clarify the expression profile of the e1m promoter-driven GPR56 in primate brain, we generated a transgenic marmoset line in which EGFP is expressed under the control of the human minimal e1m promoter. In contrast to the endogenous GPR56 protein, which is highly enriched in the ventricular zone of the cerebral cortex, EGFP is mostly expressed in developing neurons in the transgenic fetal brain. Furthermore, EGFP is predominantly expressed in GABAergic neurons, whereas the total GPR56 protein is evenly expressed in both GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, suggesting the GABAergic neuron-preferential activity of the minimal e1m promoter. These results indicate a possible pathogenic role for GABAergic neuron in the cerebral cortex of patients with GPR56 mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas