Endogenous epitope tagging of eEF1A2 in mice reveals early embryonic expression of eEF1A2 and subcellular compartmentalisation of neuronal eEF1A1 and eEF1A2

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All vertebrate species express two independently-encoded forms of translation elongation factor eEF1A. In humans and mice eEF1A1 and eEF1A2 are 92 % identical at the amino acid level, but the well conserved developmental switch between the two variants in specific tissues suggests the existence of important functional differences. Heterozygous mutations in eEF1A2 result in neurodevelopmental disorders in humans; the mechanism of pathogenicity is unclear, but one hypothesis is that there is a dominant negative effect on eEF1A1 during development. The high degree of similarity between the eEF1A proteins has complicated expression analysis in the past; here we describe a gene edited mouse line in which we have introduced a V5 tag in the gene encoding eEF1A2. Expression analysis using anti-V5 and anti-eEF1A1 antibodies demonstrates that, in contrast to the prevailing view that eEF1A2 is only expressed postnatally, it is expressed from as early as E11.5 in the developing neural tube. Two colour immunofluorescence also reveals coordinated switching between eEF1A1 and eEF1A2 in different regions of postnatal brain. Completely reciprocal expression of the two variants is seen in post-weaning mouse brain with eEF1A1 expressed in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes and eEF1A2 in neuronal soma. Although eEF1A1 is absent from neuronal cell bodies after development, it is widely expressed in axons. This expression does not appear to coincide with myelin sheaths originating from oligodendrocytes but rather results from localised translation within the axon, suggesting that both variants are transcribed in neurons but show completely distinct subcellular localisation at the protein level. These findings will form an underlying framework for understanding how missense mutations in eEF1A2 result in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103879
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Volume126
Early online date8 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2023

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