Calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK)-interacting protein 1 (Caskin1) is a direct binding partner of the synaptic adaptor protein CASK. Because Caskin1 forms homo-multimers and binds not only CASK but also other neuronal proteins in vitro, it is anticipated to have neural functions; but its exact role in mammals remains unclear. Previously, we showed that the concentration of Caskin1 in the spinal dorsal horn increases under chronic pain. To characterize this protein, we generated Caskin1-knockout (Caskin1-KO) mice and specific anti-Caskin1 antibodies. Biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that Caskin1 was broadly distributed in the whole brain and spinal cord, and that it primarily localized at synapses. To elucidate the neural function of Caskin1 in vivo, we subjected Caskin1-KO mice to comprehensive behavioral analysis. The mutant mice exhibited differences in gait, enhanced nociception, and anxiety-like behavior relative to their wild-type littermates. In addition, the knockouts exhibited strong freezing responses, with or without a cue tone, in contextual and cued-fear conditioning tests as well as low memory retention in the Barnes Maze test. Taken together, these results suggest that Caskin1 contributes to a wide spectrum of behavioral phenotypes, including gait, nociception, memory, and stress response, in broad regions of the central nervous system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience