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Cell-type selective deletion of RSK2 reveals insights into altered signaling in Coffin-Lowry Syndrome

By Hu Zhu, Ryan T. Strachan, Daniel J Urban, Martilias S Farrell, Wesley K. Kroeze, Justin G. English, Reid H.J. Olsen, Bryan L. Roth

Posted 26 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/156257

Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS) is an X-linked syndromic form of mental retardation characterized by various skeletal dysmorphisms, moderate to severe mental retardation, and in some cases, psychosis. CLS is caused by loss-of-function mutations of the p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RPS6KA3) gene encoding a growth factor-regulated serine/threonine kinase, ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2). We previously identified RSK2 as a novel interacting protein that tonically inhibits 5-HT2A receptor signaling by phosphorylating Ser-314 within the third intracellular loop. To determine if RSK2 inhibits 5-HT2A receptor signaling in vivo and whether disruption of RSK2 could lead to schizophrenia-like behaviors - as is seen in some CLS patients - we genetically disrupted the function of RSK2 either globally or selectively in forebrain pyramidal neurons in mice. Both global and forebrain-selective RSK2 deletion augmented the locomotor responses to the psychotomimetic drugs phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamine (AMPH). Significantly, forebrain-selective deletion of RSK2 augmented 5-HT2A receptor signaling as exemplified by enhanced 5-HT2A-mediated c-fos activation and head-twitch response without altering the levels or distribution of 5-HT2A receptor protein. Thus, RSK2 modulates 5HT2A receptor function in vivo, and disruption of RSK2 leads to augmented psychostimulant-induced responses reminiscent of those seen in many animal models of schizophrenia. These findings strengthen the association between 5-HT2A receptor dysfunction and psychosis, and provide a potential mechanism underlying the schizophrenia-like symptoms present in some CLS patients.

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