Functional studies and distribution define a family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins.
ABSTRACT: Functional expression of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors in cerebellar granule cells requires stargazin, a member of a large family of four-pass transmembrane proteins. Here, we define a family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs), which comprise stargazin, gamma-3, gamma-4, and gamma-8, but not related proteins, that mediate surface expression of AMPA receptors. TARPs exhibit discrete and complementary patterns of expression in both neurons and glia in the developing and mature central nervous system. In brain regions that express multiple isoforms, such as cerebral cortex, TARP-AMPA receptor complexes are strictly segregated, suggesting distinct roles for TARP isoforms. TARPs interact with AMPA receptors at the postsynaptic density, and surface expression of mature AMPA receptors requires a TARP. These studies indicate a general role for TARPs in controlling synaptic AMPA receptors throughout the central nervous system.
Project description:Naturally occurring glutamate analogs, such as kainate and domoate, which cause excitotoxic shellfish poisoning, induce nondesensitizing responses at neuronal alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. In addition to acting on AMPA receptors, kainate and domoate also activate high-affinity kainate-type glutamate receptors. The receptor type that mediates their neurotoxicity remains uncertain. Here, we show that the transmembrane AMPA receptor-associated protein (TARP) gamma-2 (or stargazin) and the related TARP gamma-8 augment responses to kainate and domoate by making these neurotoxins more potent and more efficacious AMPA receptor agonists. Genetic deletion of hippocampal enriched gamma-8 selectively abolishes sustained depolarizations in hippocampus mediated by kainate activation of AMPA receptors. gamma-8 knockout mice display typical kainate-induced seizures; however, the associated neuronal cell death in the hippocampus is attenuated in mice lacking gamma-8. This work decisively demonstrates that TARP-associated AMPA receptors mediate kainate neurotoxicity and identifies TARPs as targets for modulating neurotoxic properties of AMPA receptors.
Project description:Previous work has established stargazin and its related family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) as auxiliary subunits of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) that control synaptic strength both by targeting AMPARs to synapses through an intracellular PDZ-binding motif and by modulating their gating through an extracellular domain. However, TARPs gamma-2 and gamma-8 differentially regulate the synaptic targeting of AMPARs, despite having identical PDZ-binding motifs. Here, we investigate the structural elements that contribute to this functional difference between TARP subtypes by using domain transplantation and truncation. We identify a component of synaptic AMPAR trafficking that is independent of the TARP C-terminal PDZ-binding motif, and we establish previously uncharacterized roles for the TARP intracellular N terminus, loop, and C terminus in modulating both the trafficking and gating of synaptic AMPARs.
Project description:Members of the transmembrane AMPA receptor-regulatory protein (TARP) family modulate AMPA receptor (AMPA-R) trafficking and function. AMPA-Rs consist of four pore-forming subunits. Previous studies show that TARPs are an integral part of the AMPA-R complex, acting as accessory subunits for mature receptors in vivo. The TARP/AMPA-R stoichiometry was previously measured indirectly and found to be variable and dependent on TARP expression level, with at most four TARPs associated with each AMPA-R complex. Here, we use a single-molecule technique in live cells that selectively images proteins located in the plasma membrane to directly count the number of TARPs associated with each AMPA-R complex. Although individual GFP-tagged TARP subunits are observed as freely diffusing fluorescent spots on the surface of Xenopus laevis oocytes when expressed alone, coexpression with AMPA-R-mCherry immobilizes the stargazin-GFP spots at sites of AMPA-R-mCherry, consistent with complex formation. We determined the number of TARP molecules associated with each AMPA-R by counting bleaching steps for three different TARP family members: ?-2, ?-3, and ?-4. We confirm that the TARP/AMPA-R stoichiometry depends on TARP expression level and discover that the maximum number of TARPs per AMPA-R complex falls into two categories: up to four ?-2 or ?-3 subunits, but rarely above two for ?-4 subunit. This unexpected AMPA-R/TARP stoichiometry difference has important implications for the assembly and function of TARP/AMPA-R complexes.
Project description:Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA, and kainate type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively charged lipid bilayers in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction.
Project description:Although the properties and trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) depend critically on associated transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) such as stargazin (gamma-2), no TARP has been described that can specifically regulate the important class of calcium-permeable (CP-) AMPARs. We examined the stargazin-related protein gamma-5, which is highly expressed in Bergmann glia, a cell type possessing only CP-AMPARs. gamma-5 was previously thought not to be a TARP, and it has been widely used as a negative control. Here we find that, contrary to expectation, gamma-5 acts as a TARP and serves this role in Bergmann glia. Whereas gamma-5 interacts with all AMPAR subunits, and modifies their behavior to varying extents, its main effect is to regulate the function of AMPAR subunit combinations that lack short-form subunits, which constitute predominantly CP-AMPARs. Our results suggest an important role for gamma-5 in regulating the functional contribution of CP-AMPARs.
Project description:Fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is largely carried out by AMPA-sensitive ionotropic glutamate receptors. Localized within the postsynaptic density of glutamatergic spines, AMPA receptors are composed of heterotetrameric receptor assemblies associated with auxiliary subunits, the most common of which are transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs). The association of TARPs with AMPA receptors modulates receptor trafficking and the kinetics of receptor gating and pharmacology. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the homomeric rat GluA2 AMPA receptor saturated with TARP ?2 subunits, which shows how the TARPs are arranged with four-fold symmetry around the ion channel domain and make extensive interactions with the M1, M2 and M4 transmembrane helices. Poised like partially opened ‘hands’ underneath the two-fold symmetric ligand-binding domain (LBD) 'clamshells', one pair of TARPs is juxtaposed near the LBD dimer interface, whereas the other pair is near the LBD dimer-dimer interface. The extracellular ‘domains’ of TARP are positioned to not only modulate LBD clamshell closure, but also affect conformational rearrangements of the LBD layer associated with receptor activation and desensitization, while the TARP transmembrane domains buttress the ion channel pore.
Project description:AMPA-subtype ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission and contribute to high cognitive processes such as learning and memory. In the brain, AMPAR trafficking, gating, and pharmacology is tightly controlled by transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs). Here, we used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the structural basis of AMPAR regulation by one of these auxiliary proteins, TARP ?2, or stargazin (STZ). Our structures illuminate the variable interaction stoichiometry of the AMPAR-TARP complex, with one or two TARP molecules binding one tetrameric AMPAR. Analysis of the AMPAR-STZ binding interfaces suggests that electrostatic interactions between the extracellular domains of AMPAR and STZ play an important role in modulating AMPAR function through contact surfaces that are conserved across AMPARs and TARPs. We propose a model explaining how TARPs stabilize the activated state of AMPARs and how the interactions between AMPARs and their auxiliary proteins control fast excitatory synaptic transmission.
Project description:Regulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) is crucial in normal synaptic function and neurological disease states. Although transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) such as stargazin (?-2) modulate the properties of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) and promote their synaptic targeting, the TARP-specific rules governing CP-AMPAR synaptic trafficking remain unclear. We used RNA interference to manipulate AMPAR-subunit and TARP expression in ?-2-lacking stargazer cerebellar granule cells--the classic model of TARP deficiency. We found that TARP ?-7 selectively enhanced the synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs and suppressed CI-AMPARs, identifying a pivotal role of ?-7 in regulating the prevalence of CP-AMPARs. In the absence of associated TARPs, both CP-AMPARs and CI-AMPARs were able to localize to synapses and mediate transmission, although their properties were altered. Our results also establish that TARPed synaptic receptors in granule cells require both ?-2 and ?-7 and reveal an unexpected basis for the loss of AMPAR-mediated transmission in stargazer mice.
Project description:Transmembrane AMPA receptor (AMPAR) regulatory proteins (TARPs) modulate AMPAR synaptic trafficking and transmission via disc-large (DLG) subfamily of membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs). Despite extensive studies, the molecular mechanism governing specific TARP/MAGUK interaction remains elusive. Using stargazin and PSD-95 as the representatives, we discover that the entire tail of stargazin (Stg_CT) is required for binding to PSD-95. The PDZ binding motif (PBM) and an Arg-rich motif upstream of PBM conserved in TARPs bind to multiple sites on PSD-95, thus resulting in a highly specific and multivalent stargazin/PSD-95 complex. Stargazin in complex with PSD-95 or PSD-95-assembled postsynaptic complexes form highly concentrated and dynamic condensates via phase separation, reminiscent of stargazin/PSD-95-mediated AMPAR synaptic clustering and trapping. Importantly, charge neutralization mutations in TARP_CT Arg-rich motif weakened TARP's condensation with PSD-95 and impaired TARP-mediated AMPAR synaptic transmission in mice hippocampal neurons. The TARP_CT/PSD-95 interaction mode may have implications for understanding clustering of other synaptic transmembrane proteins.
Project description:Neuronal AMPA receptors autoinactivate at high concentrations of glutamate, i.e., the current declines at glutamate concentrations above 10-100 microM. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unclear. Stargazin-like TARPs are AMPA receptor auxiliary subunits that modulate receptor trafficking and channel properties. Here, we found that neuronal AMPA receptors and recombinant AMPA receptors coexpressed with stargazin autoinactivate at high concentrations of glutamate, whereas recombinant AMPA receptors expressed alone do not. The reduction of currents at high glutamate concentrations is not associated with a reduction of AMPA receptor number, but rather with the loss of stargazin-associated allosteric modulation of channel gating. We show that receptor desensitization promotes the dissociation of TARP-AMPA receptor complexes in a few milliseconds. This dissociation mechanism contributes to synaptic short-term modulation. The results demonstrate a mechanism for dynamic regulation of AMPA receptor activity to tune synaptic strength.