, Volume 355, Issue 1, pp 189-199
Date: 22 Sep 2013

Co-localization of serine/threonine kinase 33 (Stk33) and vimentin in the hypothalamus

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Abstract

We investigate the immunoreactivity of serine/threonine kinase 33 (Stk33) and of vimentin in the brain of mouse, rat and hamster. Using a Stk33-specific polyclonal antibody, we show by immunofluorescence staining that Stk33 is present in a variety of brain regions. We found a strong staining in the ependymal lining of all cerebral ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord as well as in hypothalamic tanycytes. Stk33 immunoreactivity was also found in circumventricular organs such as the area postrema, subfornical organ and pituitary and pineal glands. Double-immunostaining experiments with antibodies against Stk33 and vimentin showed a striking colocalization of Stk33 and vimentin. As shown previously, Stk33 phosphorylates recombinant vimentin in vitro. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments and co-sedimentation assays indicate that Stk33 and vimentin are associated in vivo and that this association does not depend on further interacting partners (Brauksiepe et al. in BMC Biochem 9:25, 2008). This indicates that Stk33 is involved in the dynamics of vimentin polymerization/depolymerization. Since in tanycytes the vimentin expression is regulated by the photoperiod (Kameda et al. in Cell Tissue Res 314:251–262, 2003), we determine whether this also holds true for Stk33. We study hypothalamic sections from adult Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) held under either long photoperiods (L:D 16:8 h) or short photoperiods (L:D 8:16 h) for 2 months. In addition, we examine whether age-dependent changes in Stk33 protein content exist. Our results show that Stk33 in tanycytes is regulated by the photoperiod as is the case for vimentin. Stk33 may participate in photoperiodic regulation of the endocrine system.

Stefan Reuss and Erwin R. Schmidt are Joint Senior Authors