Phosphorylation-dependent proteome of Marcks in ependyma during aging and behavioral homeostasis in the mouse forebrain

Nagendran Muthusamy, Taufika I. Williams, Ryan O’Toole, Jon J. Brudvig, Kenneth B. Adler, Jill M. Weimer, David C. Muddiman, H. Troy Ghashghaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ependymal cells (ECs) line the ventricular surfaces of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) and their development is indispensable to structural integrity and functions of the CNS. We previously reported that EC-specific genetic deletion of the myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate (Marcks) disrupts barrier functions and elevates oxidative stress and lipid droplet accumulation in ECs causing precocious cellular aging. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms that mediate these changes in ECs. To gain insight into Marcks-mediated mechanisms, we performed mass spectrometric analyses on Marcks-associated proteins in young and aged ECs in the mouse forebrain using an integrated approach. Network analysis on annotated proteins revealed that the identified Marcks-associated complexes are in part involved in protein transport mechanisms in young ECs. In fact, we found perturbed intracellular vesicular trafficking in cultured ECs with selective deletion of Marcks (Marcks-cKO mice), or upon pharmacological alteration to phosphorylation status of Marcks. In comparison, Marcks-associated protein complexes in aged ECs appear to be involved in regulation of lipid metabolism and responses to oxidative stress. Confirming this, we found elevated signatures of inflammation in the cerebral cortices and the hippocampi of young Marcks-cKO mice. Interestingly, behavioral testing using a water maze task indicated that spatial learning and memory is diminished in young Marcks-cKO mice similar to aged wildtype mice. Taken together, our study provides first line of evidence for potential mechanisms that may mediate differential Marcks functions in young and old ECs, and their effect on forebrain homeostasis during aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2077-2094
Number of pages18
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Behavior
  • Clca3
  • Ependymal cells
  • Forebrain
  • Marcks
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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