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Repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) is a candidate modulator of gene expression during status epilepticus in the rodent. In such models, full-length REST and the truncated REST4 variant are induced and can potentially direct differential gene expression patterns. We have addressed the regulation of these REST variants in rodent hippocampal seizure models and correlated this with expression of the proconvulsant, substance P encoding, PPT-A gene. REST and REST4 were differentially regulated following kainic acid stimulus both in in vitro and in vivo models. REST4 was more tightly regulated than REST in both models and its transient expression correlated with that of the differential regulation of PPT-A. Consistent with this, overexpression of a truncated REST protein (HZ4, lacking the C-terminal repression domain) increased expression of the endogenous PPT-A gene. Similarly the proximal PPT-A promoter reporter gene construct was differentially regulated by the distinct REST isoforms in hippocampal cells with HZ4 being the major inducer of increased reporter expression. Furthermore, REST and REST4 proteins were differentially expressed and compartmentalized within rat hippocampal cells in vitro following noxious stimuli. This differential localization of the REST isoforms was confirmed in the CA1 region following perforant path and kainic acid induction of status epilepticus in vivo. We propose that the interplay between REST and REST4 alter the expression of proconvulsant genes, as exemplified by the PPT-A gene, and may therefore regulate the progression of epileptogenesis.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiol Dis

Publication Date





41 - 52


Animals, Cells, Cultured, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Epilepsy, Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, Reporter, Hippocampus, Kainic Acid, Male, Microscopy, Confocal, Neuropeptides, Organ Culture Techniques, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Repressor Proteins, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Seizures, Status Epilepticus, Transcription Factors