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- GABAA receptor subunit composition and competition at synapses are tuned by GABAB receptor activity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Apr 17.
GABABRs have a well-established role in controlling neuronal excitability and presynaptic neurotransmitter release. We examined the role of GABABR activity in modulating the number and lateral diffusion of GABAARs at inhibitory synapses. Changes in diffusion of GABAARs at synapses were observed when subunit heterogeneity was taken into account. While α1-GABAARs were unaffected, α2- and α5-GABAARs showed inverse changes in enrichment and diffusion. The intracellular TM3-4 loop of α2 was sufficient to observe the changes in diffusion by GABABR activity, whereas the loop of α5 was not. The opposing effect on α2- and α5-GABAARs was caused by a competition between GABAARs for binding slots at synapses. Receptor immobilization by cross-linking revealed that α5-GABAAR trapping at synapses is regulated by modulation of α2-GABAAR mobility. Finally, PKC activity was determined to be part of the signaling pathway through which GABABR activity modulates α2-GABAAR diffusion at synapses. These results outline a novel mechanism for tuning inhibitory transmission in a subunit-specific manner, and for the first time describe competition between GABAARs with different subunit compositions for binding slots at synapses.
- Phosphorylation of syntaxin 3B by CaMKII regulates the formation of t-SNARE complexes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Mar 27.:53-62.
Ribbon synapses in the retina lack the t-SNARE (target-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) syntaxin 1A that is found in conventional synapses of the nervous system, but instead contain the related isoform syntaxin 3B. Previous studies have demonstrated that syntaxin 3B is essential for synaptic vesicle exocytosis in ribbon synapses, but syntaxin 3B is less efficient than syntaxin 1A in binding the t-SNARE protein SNAP-25 and catalyzing vesicle fusion. We demonstrate here that syntaxin 3B is localized mainly on the presynaptic membrane of retinal ribbon synapses and that a subset of syntaxin 3B is localized in close proximity to the synaptic ribbon. We show further, that syntaxin 3B can be phosphorylated by the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). We determine that the phosphorylation site is located close to the N-terminus at T14. Syntaxin 3B with a phosphomimetic mutation (T14E) had a stronger binding affinity for SNAP-25 compared with wild type syntaxin 3B. We propose that phosphorylation of syntaxin 3B by CaMKII can modulate the assembly of the SNARE complex in ribbon synapses of the retina, and might regulate the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in ribbon synapses.
- A microfluidic based in vitro model of synaptic competition. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Mar 21.:43-52.
Synaptic competition is widely believed to be central to the formation and function of neuronal networks, yet the underlying mechanisms are poorly described. To investigate synaptic competition in vitro, we have developed a novel two input pathway competition model using a 3-compartment microfluidic device. Axons from cultured rat cortical neurons from two different lateral compartments (inputs) innervate a common neuronal population in a separate central compartment. Inhibiting one input's activity, using the GABAAR agonist muscimol, resulted in increased synapse numbers and axon elongation of the opposing untreated (uninhibited) inputs in the central compartment. Time lapse imaging revealed that uninhibited inputs outgrew and outconnected their inhibited counterparts. This form of competition occurs during a sensitive period ending prior to 21 DIV and is NMDAR and CamKII dependent. Surprisingly, this form of plasticity was dependent on the age of the center compartment neurons but not of the competing inputs.
- Over-expression of astrocytic ET-1 attenuates neuropathic pain by inhibition of ERK1/2 and Akt(s) via activation of ETA receptor. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Mar 1.:26-35.
A differential role of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in pain processing has recently been suggested. However, the function of central ET-1 in neuropathic pain (NP) has not been fully elucidated to date. We report here the action of endogenous central ET-1 in sciatic nerve ligation-induced NP (SNL-NP) in a transgenic animal model that over-expresses ET-1 in the astrocytes (GET-1 mice). We hypothesized that the over-expression of astrocytic ET-1 would exert anti-allodynic and anti-hyperalgesic effects in NP, as demonstrated by mechanical threshold and plantar withdrawal latency using the von Frey filament and heat stimuli. In our animal model, GET-1 mice showed an increase in the withdrawal threshold and latency in response to the mechanical and thermal stimuli, respectively, in pain behavior tests after SNL. ET-1 and endothelin type A receptor (ETA-R) levels were increased significantly in L4-L6 segments of the spinal cord (ipsilateral to SNL) of GET-1 mice at 7 and 21days after surgery. Moreover, intrathecal administration of a specific ETA-R antagonist, BQ-123, attenuated the anti-allodynic and anti-hyperalgesic phenotype in GET-1 mice. The effects of BQ-123 on the mRNA expression of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and protein kinase B/serine protein kinase (Akt(s)) were assessed in the ipsilateral L4-L6 segments harvested 30min after BQ-123 administration on day 7 after surgery. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt(s) in the ipsilateral spinal cord of GET-1 mice was reduced following SNL, whereas no reduction was observed after intrathecal injection of BQ-123. In conclusion, our results showed that the xover-expression of astrocytic ET-1 reduced SNL-induced allodynia and hyperalgesia by inhibiting the activation of ERK1/2 and Akt(s) via the ETA-R-mediated pathway.
- LINGO-1 regulates oligodendrocyte differentiation by inhibiting ErbB2 translocation and activation in lipid rafts. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 28.:36-42.
Oligodendrocyte differentiation is negatively regulated by LINGO-1 and positively regulated by the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase. In wild-type oligodendrocytes, inhibition of ErbB2 blocks differentiation, whereas activation of ErbB2 promotes differentiation. In LINGO-1(-/-) oligodendrocytes, inhibition of ErbB2 blocks oligodendrocyte differentiation; whereas activation of ErbB2 does not enhance differentiation. Biological and biochemical evidence showing that LINGO-1 can directly bind to ErbB2, block ErbB2 translocation into lipid rafts, and inhibit its phosphorylation for activation. The study demonstrates a novel regulatory mechanism of ErbB2 function whereby LINGO-1 suppresses oligodendrocyte differentiation by inhibiting ErbB2 translocation and activation in lipid rafts.
- A link between the nuclear-localized srGAP3 and the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeler Brg1. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 20.:10-25.
The Slit-Robo GTPase activating protein 3 (srGAP3) is an important modulator of actin cytoskeletal dynamics and has an important influence on a variety of neurodevelopmental processes. Mutations in the SRGAP3 gene on chromosome 3p25 have been found in patients with intellectual disability. Genome-wide association studies and behavioral assays of knockout mice had also revealed SRGAP3 as a risk gene for schizophrenia. We have recently shown that srGAP3 protein undergoes regulated shuttling between the cytoplasm and the nucleus during neuronal development. It is shown here that nuclear-localized srGAP3 interacts with the SWI/SNF remodeling factor Brg1. This interaction is mediated by the C-terminal of srGAP3 and the ATPase motif of Brg1. In the primary cultured rat cortical neurons, the levels of nuclear-localized srGAP3 and its interaction with Brg1 have a significant impact on dendrite complexity. Furthermore, the interaction between srGAP3 and Brg1 was also involved in valproic acid (VPA) -induced neuronal differentiation of Neuro2a cells. We then show that GTP-bound Rac1 and GAP-43 may be potential mediators of nuclear srGAP3 and Brg1. Our results not only indicate a novel signaling pathway that contributes to neuronal differentiation and dendrite morphology, but also implicate a novel molecular mechanism underlying srGAP3 regulation of gene expression.
- Blast neurotrauma impairs working memory and disrupts prefrontal myo-inositol levels in rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 15.:119-126.
Working memory, which is dependent on higher-order executive function in the prefrontal cortex, is often disrupted in patients exposed to blast overpressure. In this study, we evaluated working memory and medial prefrontal neurochemical status in a rat model of blast neurotrauma. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with 3% isoflurane and exposed to calibrated blast overpressure (17psi, 117kPa) while sham animals received only anesthesia. Early neurochemical effects in the prefrontal cortex included a significant decrease in betaine (trimethylglycine) and an increase in GABA at 24h, and significant increases in glycerophosphorylcholine, phosphorylethanolamine, as well as glutamate/creatine and lactate/creatine ratios at 48h. Seven days after blast, only myo-inositol levels were altered showing a 15% increase. Compared to controls, short-term memory in the novel object recognition task was significantly impaired in animals exposed to blast overpressure. Working memory in control animals was negatively correlated with myo-inositol levels (r=-.759, p<0.05), an association that was absent in blast exposed animals. Increased myo-inositol may represent tardive glial scarring in the prefrontal cortex, a notion supported by GFAP changes in this region after blast overexposure as well as clinical reports of increased myo-inositol in disorders of memory.
- The proteome of the presynaptic active zone from mouse brain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 15.:106-118.
Neurotransmitter release as well as the structural and functional dynamics of the presynaptic active zone is controlled by proteinaceous components. Here we describe for the first time an experimental approach for the isolation of the presynaptic active zone from individual mouse brains, a prerequisite for understanding the functional inventory of the presynaptic protein network and for the later analysis of changes occurring in mutant mice. Using a monoclonal antibody against the ubiquitous synaptic vesicle protein SV2 we immunopurified synaptic vesicles docked to the presynaptic plasma membrane. Enrichment studies by means of Western blot analysis and mass spectrometry identified 485 proteins belonging to an impressive variety of functional categories. Our data suggest that presynaptic active zones represent focal hot spots that are not only involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release but also in multiple structural and functional alterations the adult nerve terminal undergoes during neural activity in adult CNS. They furthermore open new avenues for characterizing alterations in the active zone proteome of mutant mice and their corresponding controls, including the various mouse models of neurological diseases.
- cJun promotes CNS axon growth. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 9.:97-105.
A number of genes regulate regeneration of peripheral axons, but their ability to drive axon growth and regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) remains largely untested. To address this question we overexpressed eight transcription factors and one small GTPase alone and in pairwise combinations to test whether combinatorial overexpression would have a synergistic impact on CNS neuron neurite growth. The Jun oncogene/signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (JUN/STAT6) combination increased neurite growth in dissociated cortical neurons and in injured cortical slices. In injured cortical slices, JUN overexpression increased axon growth to a similar extent as JUN and STAT6 together. Interestingly, JUN overexpression was not associated with increased growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) or integrin alpha 7 (ITGA7) expression, though these are predicted transcriptional targets. This study demonstrates that JUN overexpression in cortical neurons stimulates axon growth, but does so independently of changes in expression of genes thought to be critical for JUNs effects on axon growth. We conclude that JUN activity underlies this CNS axonal growth response, and that it is mechanistically distinct from peripheral regeneration responses, in which increases in JUN expression coincide with increases in GAP43 expression.
- Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Cell Neurosci 2014 Feb 8.:85-96.
Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron.