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- PACAP induces plasticity at autonomic synapses by nAChR-dependent NOS1 activation and AKAP-mediated PKA targeting. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 25.
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleitropic neuropeptide found at synapses throughout the central and autonomic nervous system. We previously found that PACAP engages a selective G-protein coupled receptor (PAC1R) on ciliary ganglion neurons to rapidly enhance quantal acetylcholine (ACh) release from presynaptic terminals via neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1) and cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) dependent processes. Here, we examined how PACAP stimulates NO production and targets resultant outcomes to synapses. Scavenging extracellular NO blocked PACAP-induced plasticity supporting a retrograde (post- to presynaptic) NO action on ACh release. Live-cell imaging revealed that PACAP stimulates NO production by mechanisms requiring NOS1, PKA and Ca(2+) influx. Ca(2+)-permeable nicotinic ACh receptors composed of α7 subunits (α7-nAChRs) are potentiated by PKA-dependent PACAP/PAC1R signaling and were required for PACAP-induced NO production and synaptic plasticity since both outcomes were blocked following their selective inhibition. Co-precipitation experiments showed that NOS1 associates with α7-nAChRs, many of which are perisynaptic, as well as with heteromeric α3*-nAChRs that generate the bulk of synaptic activity. NOS1-nAChR physical association would facilitate NO production at perisynaptic and adjacent postsynaptic sites to enhance focal ACh release from juxtaposed presynaptic terminals. The synaptic outcomes of PACAP/PAC1R signaling are localized by PKA anchoring proteins (AKAPs). PKA regulatory-subunit overlay assays identified five AKAPs in ganglion lysates, including a prominent neuronal subtype. Moreover, PACAP-induced synaptic plasticity was selectively blocked when PKA regulatory-subunit binding to AKAPs was inhibited. Taken together, our findings indicate that PACAP/PAC1R signaling coordinates nAChR, NOS1 and AKAP activities to induce targeted, retrograde plasticity at autonomic synapses. Such coordination has broad relevance for understanding the control of autonomic synapses and consequent visceral functions.
- Neuroproteomics in the Auditory Brainstem: Candidate Proteins for Ultrafast and Precise Information Processing. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 13.
In the mammalian auditory brainstem, the cochlear nuclear complex (CN) and the superior olivary complex (SOC) feature structural and functional specializations for ultrafast (<1ms) and precise information processing. Their proteome, the basis for structure and function, has been rarely analyzed so far. Here we identified and quantified the protein profiles of three major auditory brainstem regions of adult rats, the CN, the SOC, and the inferior colliculus (IC). The rest of the brain served as a reference. Via label-free quantitative mass spectrometry and 2-D DIGE/MALDI-MS, we identified 584 and 297 proteins in the plasma membrane/synaptic vesicle proteome and the cytosolic proteome, respectively. 'Region-typical' proteins, i.e., those with higher abundance in one region than in the other three, were considered candidates for functional specializations. Key proteins were validated via Western blots and immunohistochemistry. Functional annotation clustering revealed an overrepresentation of neurofilament proteins among the CN+SOC-typical proteins. These are related to regulation of axon diameter and, thereby, conduction velocity. Interestingly, the sets of synapse-associated proteins differed between regions. For example, synaptotagmin-2 (Syt2), a Ca(2+) sensor for fast exocytosis, was CN+SOC+IC-typical, whereas Syt1 was CN+SOC+IC-atypical. Together, our quantitative comparison of protein profiles has revealed several interesting candidate proteins for ultrafast and precise information processing.
- CD31(+) cell transplantation promotes recovery from peripheral neuropathy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 13.:60-67.
Recently, we reported that human peripheral blood (PB)-derived CD31(+) cells are highly angiogenic. In this study, we investigated the beneficial effects of CD31(+) cells on peripheral neuropathy in mice. CD31(+) cells were collected from the peripheral blood using magnetic activated cell sorting. CD31(+) cells exhibited higher levels of expression of angiogenic genes on real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Peripheral neuropathy was induced by crushing the sciatic nerve with a hemostat, and CD31(+) cells were then injected intramuscularly along the sciatic nerve. CD31(+) cell transplantation restored motor nerve conduction velocity and voltage amplitude and improved motor coordination. In addition, CD31(+) cell transplantation significantly improved blood perfusion and increased intraneural vascularity in the sciatic nerve. Whole-mount fluorescent imaging and dot blot analysis showed that CD31(+) cells in the nerve possessed high engraftment and anti-apoptotic properties. Additionally, injected CD31(+) cells displayed neurovascular tropism and are highly incorporated with vasculature. Angiogenic cytokines were augmented in CD31(+)-injected nerve tissue, suggesting increased neovascularization. Taken together, these results indicate that CD31(+) cells might be a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.
- Differential synaptic distribution of the scaffold proteins Cask and Caskin1 in the bovine retina. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 11.:19-29.
Scaffold proteins organize pre- and postsynaptic compartments and align pre- and postsynaptic events. Cask is a multi-domain scaffold protein essential for brain synaptic functions. Caskin1 is a recently discovered, brain-specific Cask-interacting multi-domain protein of unknown function. In the present study, we determined the localization of these scaffold proteins in the bovine retina. The retina contains tonically active ribbon synapses and conventional synapses. We found Cask highly enriched in virtually all retinal synapses. Cask was localized in close vicinity to the active zone protein RIM1/2 in ribbon and conventional synapses. Caskin1 is also enriched in retinal synapses but is present only in a subset of Cask-positive synapses. These findings suggest that Cask plays an important role in all retinal synapses. In contrast, Caskin1 appears to execute more specialized functions in distinct sets of retinal synapses, possibly for neuronal pathway formation and stabilization of distinct synaptic contacts.
- Linking alpha-synuclein phosphorylation to reactive oxygen species formation and mitochondrial dysfunction in SH-SY5Y cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 7.
Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) is a soluble protein highly enriched in presynaptic terminals of neurons. Accumulation of α-syn as intracellular filamentous aggregates is a pathological feature of sporadic and familial forms of Parkinson´s disease (PD). Changes in α-syn post-translational modifications, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress constitute key pathogenic events of this disorder. Here we assessed the correlation between α-syn phosphorylation at serine 129 (Ser129), the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction in SH-SY5Y cells expressing A53T mutant or wild-type (WT) α-syn, exposed to ferrous iron (FeSO4) and rotenone (complex I inhibitor). Under basal conditions, prolonged expression of A53T mutant α-syn altered mitochondria morphology, increased superoxide formation and phosphorylation at Ser129, which was linked to decreased activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Exposure to FeSO4 or rotenone enhanced intracellular ROS levels, including superoxide anions, in both types of cells, along with α-syn Ser129 phosphorylation and mitochondrial depolarization. Most of these changes were largely evident in A53T mutant α-syn expressing cells. Overall, the data suggest that stimuli that promote ROS formation and mitochondrial alterations highly correlate with mutant α-syn phosphorylation at Ser129, which may precede cell degeneration in PD.
- N-Myristoylation regulates the axonal distribution of the fragile X-related protein FXR2P. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 7.
Fragile X Syndrome, the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism, is caused by loss of function of Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP is an RNA binding protein that regulates local protein synthesis in the somatodendritic compartment. However, emerging evidence also indicates important roles for FMRP in axonal and presynaptic function. In particular, FMRP and its homolog FXR2P localize axonally and presynaptically to discrete endogenous structures in the brain termed Fragile X granules (FXGs). FXR2P is a component of all FXGs and is necessary for the axonal and presynaptic localization of FMRP to these structures. We therefore sought to identify and characterize structural features of FXR2P that regulate its axonal localization. Sequence analysis reveals that FXR2P harbors a consensus N-terminal myristoylation sequence (MGXXXS) that is absent in FMRP. Using click chemistry with wild type and an unmyristoylatable G2A mutant we demonstrate that FXR2P is N-myristoylated on glycine 2, establishing it as a lipid-modified RNA binding protein. To investigate the role of FXR2P N-myristoylation in neurons we generated fluorescently tagged wild type and unmyristoylatable FXR2P (WT and G2A, respectively) and expressed them in primary cortical cultures. Both FXR2P(WT) and FXR2P(G2A) are expressed at equivalent overall levels and are capable of forming FMRP-containing axonal granules. However, FXR2P(WT) granules are largely restricted to proximal axonal segments while granules formed with unmyristoylatable FXR2P(G2A) are localized throughout the axonal arbor, including in growth cones. These studies indicate that N-terminal myristoylation of the RNA binding protein FXR2P regulates its localization within the axonal arbor. Moreover, since FMRP localization within axonal domains requires its association with FXR2P, these findings suggest that FXR2P lipid modification is a control point for the axonal and presynaptic distribution of FMRP.
- Metabolic regulation of lateral hypothalamic glucose-inhibited orexin neurons may influence midbrain reward neurocircuitry. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Aug 6.
Lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) orexin neurons modulate reward-based feeding by activating ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. We hypothesize that signals of peripheral energy status influence reward-based feeding by modulating the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. This hypothesis was tested using electrophysiological recordings of LHA orexin-GI neurons in brain slices from 4 to 6week old male mice whose orexin neurons express green fluorescent protein (GFP) or putative VTA-DA neurons from C57Bl/6 mice. Low glucose directly activated ~60% of LHA orexin-GFP neurons in both whole cell and cell attached recordings. Leptin indirectly reduced and ghrelin directly enhanced the activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by glucose decreases from 2.5 to 0.1mM by 53±12% (n=16, P<0.001) and 41±24% (n=8, P<0.05), respectively. GABA or neurotensin receptor blockade prevented leptin's effect on glucose sensitivity. Fasting increased activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by decreased glucose, as would be predicted by these hormonal effects. We also evaluated putative VTA-DA neurons in a novel horizontal slice preparation containing the LHA and VTA. Decreased glucose increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs; 125±40%, n=9, P<0.05) and action potentials (n=9; P<0.05) in 45% (9/20) of VTA DA neurons. sEPSCs were completely blocked by AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists (CNQX 20μM, n=4; APV 20μM, n=4; respectively), demonstrating that these sEPSCs were mediated by glutamatergic transmission onto VTA DA neurons. Orexin-1 but not 2 receptor antagonism with SB334867 (10μM; n=9) and TCS-OX2-29 (2μM; n=5), respectively, blocks the effects of decreased glucose on VTA DA neurons. Thus, decreased glucose increases orexin-dependent excitatory glutamate neurotransmission onto VTA DA neurons. These data suggest that the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin-GI neurons links metabolic state and reward-based feeding.
- Postsynaptic actin regulates active zone spacing and glutamate receptor apposition at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. [Journal Article]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Jul.:241-54.
Synaptic communication requires precise alignment of presynaptic active zones with postsynaptic receptors to enable rapid and efficient neurotransmitter release. How transsynaptic signaling between connected partners organizes this synaptic apparatus is poorly understood. To further define the mechanisms that mediate synapse assembly, we carried out a chemical mutagenesis screen in Drosophila to identify mutants defective in the alignment of active zones with postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields at the larval neuromuscular junction. From this screen we identified a mutation in Actin 57B that disrupted synaptic morphology and presynaptic active zone organization. Actin 57B, one of six actin genes in Drosophila, is expressed within the postsynaptic bodywall musculature. The isolated allele, act(E84K), harbors a point mutation in a highly conserved glutamate residue in subdomain 1 that binds members of the Calponin Homology protein family, including spectrin. Homozygous act(E84K) mutants show impaired alignment and spacing of presynaptic active zones, as well as defects in apposition of active zones to postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields. act(E84K) mutants have disrupted postsynaptic actin networks surrounding presynaptic boutons, with the formation of aberrant actin swirls previously observed following disruption of postsynaptic spectrin. Consistent with a disruption of the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton, spectrin, adducin and the PSD-95 homolog Discs-Large are all mislocalized in act(E84K) mutants. Genetic interactions between act(E84K) and neurexin mutants suggest that the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton may function together with the Neurexin-Neuroligin transsynaptic signaling complex to mediate normal synapse development and presynaptic active zone organization.
- Lysosome size, motility and stress response regulated by fronto-temporal dementia modifier TMEM106B. [Journal Article]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Jul.:226-40.
Fronto-temporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP) is a fatal neurodegeneration. TMEM106B variants are linked to FTLD-TDP risk, and TMEM106B is lysosomal. Here, we focus on neuronal TMEM106B, and demonstrate co-localization and traffic with lysosomal LAMP-1. pH-sensitive reporters demonstrate that the TMEM106B C-terminus is lumenal. The TMEM106B N-terminus interacts with endosomal adaptors and other TMEM106 proteins. TMEM106B knockdown reduces neuronal lysosomal number and diameter by STED microscopy, and overexpression enlarges LAMP-positive structures. Reduction of TMEM106B increases axonally transported lysosomes, while TMEM106B elevation inhibits transport and yields large lysosomes in the soma. TMEM106B overexpression alters lysosomal stress signaling, causing a translocation of the mTOR-sensitive transcription factor, TFEB, to neuronal nuclei. TMEM106B loss-of-function delays TFEB translocation after Torin-1-induced stress. Enlarged TMEM106B-overexpressing lysosomes maintain organelle integrity longer after lysosomal photodamage than do control lysosomes, while small TMEM106B-knockdown lysosomes are more sensitive to illumination. Thus, neuronal TMEM106B plays a central role in regulating lysosomal size, motility and responsiveness to stress, highlighting the possible role of lysosomal biology in FTLD-TDP.
- Distinct modulation of the endocannabinoid system upon kainic acid-induced in vivo seizures and in vitro epileptiform bursting. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Jul 24.:1-9.
There is clear evidence on the neuroprotective role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling cascade in various models of epilepsy. In particular, increased levels of eCBs protect against kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect and its age-dependence are still unknown. To clarify this issue, we investigated which step of the biosynthetic and catabolic pathways of the eCBs may be responsible for the eCB-mediated neuroprotection in the hippocampus of P14 and P56-70 KA-treated rats. We found that both anandamide and N-palmitoylethanolamine, together with their biosynthetic enzyme significantly increased in the hippocampus of younger KA-treated rats, while decreasing in adults. In contrast, the levels of the other major eCB, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, similar to its biosynthetic enzyme, were higher in the hippocampus of P56-70 compared to P14 rats. In line with these data, extracellular field recordings in CA1 hippocampus showed that enhancement of endogenous AEA and 2-AG significantly counteracted KA-induced epileptiform bursting in P56-70 and P14 rats, respectively. On the contrary, while the CB1R antagonist SR141716 per se did not affect the population spike, it did worsen KA-induced bursts, confirming increased eCB tone upon KA treatment. Altogether these data indicate an age-specific alteration of the eCB system caused by KA and provide insights for the protective mechanism of the cannabinoid system against epileptiform discharges.