Lack of zinc finger protein 521 upregulates dopamine β-hydroxylase expression in the mouse brain, leading to abnormal behavior

Aim: Previously, we reported that mice deficient in most of the Zfp521 coding region (Zfp521Δ/Δ mice) displayed abnormal behaviors, including hyperlocomotion and lower anxiety. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the involvement and mechanisms of monoamine variation.

Main methods: First, we compared the levels of dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), and serotonin in the brains of Zfp521Δ/Δ and Zfp521+/+ mice using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Next, we elucidated the mechanisms using quantitative PCR and Western Blotting. Additionally, we administered inhibitory drug to the mice and performed behavioral tests.

Key findings: Our results showed that the DA level decreased and the NA level increased in Zfp521Δ/Δ mice. We found that ZFP521 suppresses the expression of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), which converts DA into NA. We also demonstrated that paired homeodomain transcription factor 2 and early growth response protein-1, which are the transcription factors for Dbh, were involved in the upregulation of Dbh by ZFP521. The administration of nepicastat, a specific inhibitor of DBH, attenuated the abnormal behaviors of Zfp521Δ/Δ mice.

Significance: These results suggest that the lack of ZFP521 upregulates the expression of DBH, which leads to a decrease in the DA level and an increase in the NA level in the brain, resulting in abnormal behaviors.

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S2695 Nepicastat (SYN-117) HCl Nepicastat (SYN-117) HCl is a potent and selective inhibitor of both bovine and human dopamine-β-hydroxylase with IC50 of 8.5 nM and 9 nM, with negligible affinity for twelve other enzymes and thirteen neurotransmitter receptors. Phase 2.

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