RACK1 is a multifunctional scaffolding protein known to be involved in the regulation of various signaling cascades in the central nervous system (CNS). In order to gain insight into the neurological functions of RACK1, we examined the expression of RACK1 mRNA and protein during gestation and in the adult mouse brain. Several expression patterns were observed. At embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5), RACK1 is expressed in a high-dorsal to low-ventral gradient throughout the brain. At E13.5, RACK1 is most abundant in the telencephalon. In the developing cortical primordium, RACK1 protein is expressed in a high-rostromidline to low-caudolateral gradient that appears to be regulated post-transcriptionally. At E18.5, RACK1 is expressed most abundantly in layers 1-4 of the cortex, striatum, hippocampus, dentate gyrus and specific thalamic nuclei. In the adult mouse, RACK1 is ubiquitously expressed in neuronal perikarya in most brain regions, with relatively higher levels in hippocampus, olfactory bulb, cortex and cerebellum. Subcellular staining was detected mainly in the cell bodies and extending into dendrites, whereas RACK1 was not present significantly in axonal fibers or nuclei. We also determined brain regions in which RACK1 interacts with one of its binding partners, the βII isoform of protein kinase C (βIIPKC). We found that βIIPKC had a much more restricted expression pattern than RACK1 and overlapped with the scaffolding protein only in certain regions, including the CA1 area of the hippocampus, cerebellum and striatum. Our results suggest an important role for RACK1 during CNS development and support multiple functions of the protein in the adult brain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the State of California for medical research on alcohol and substance abuse through the University of California, San Francisco (D.R. and A.P.).