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Keywords:

  • C. elegans ;
  • IMPA2 ;
  • lithium;
  • myo-inositol mono-phosphatase;
  • thermotaxis;
  • ttx-7

Abstract

Mammals express two myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) genes, IMPA1/Impa1 and IMPA2/Impa2. In this study, we compared the spatial expression patterns of the two IMPase gene transcripts and proteins in mouse tissues. Results indicated discrete expression of the two IMPase genes and their protein products in various organs, including the brain. In Caenorhabditis elegans, loss of the IMPase gene, ttx-7, disrupts cellular polarity in RIA neurons, eliciting abnormal thermotaxis behavior. We performed a rescue experiment in mutant nematodes using mammalian IMPases. Human IMPA2 rescued the abnormal behavioral phenotype in the ttx-7 mutants more efficiently than IMPA1. These results raise a question about the phylogenetic origin of IMPases and the biological roles of mammalian IMPase 2 in mammals. Impa2 knockout mice generated in our laboratory, exhibited neither behavioral abnormalities nor a significant reduction in myo-inositol content in the brain and other examined tissues. Given the ability of human IMPA2 to rescue the ttx-7 mutant, and its genetic association with multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, close scrutiny of IMPA2 function and the evolutionary origin of IMPase genes is warranted.