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Unsupervised network analysis of the plastic supraoptic nucleus transcriptome predicts caprin2 regulatory interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0243-17.2017
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Early online date30 Nov 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2017
DatePublished (current) - Nov 2017


The supraoptic nucleus (SON) is a group of neurones in the hypothalamus responsible for the synthesis and secretion of the peptide hormones vasopressin and oxytocin. Following physiological cues, such as dehydration, salt-loading and lactation, the SON undergoes a function related plasticity that we have previously described in the rat at the transcriptome level. Using the unsupervised Graphical Lasso (Glasso) algorithm, we reconstructed a putative network from 500 plastic SON genes in which genes are the nodes and the edges are the inferred interactions. The most active nodal gene identified within the network was RNA binding protein Caprin2. Caprin2 is an RNA binding protein that we have previously shown to be vital for the functioning of osmoregulatory neuroendocrine neurones in the SON of the rat hypothalamus. To test the validity of the Glasso network, we either over-expressed or knocked-down Caprin2 transcripts in differentiated rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells, and showed that these manipulations had significant opposite effects on the levels of putative target mRNAs. These studies suggest that the predicative power of the Glasso algorithm within an in vivo system is accurate, and identifies biological targets that may be important to the functional plasticity of the SON

    Research areas

  • Caprin2, Functional plasticity, Gene network, Glasso, Supraoptic nucleus, Transcriptome

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