TARP modulation of synaptic AMPA receptor trafficking and gating depends on multiple intracellular domains.
ABSTRACT: 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:A family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) profoundly affects the trafficking and gating of AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Although TARP subtypes are differentially expressed throughout the CNS, it is unclear whether this imparts functional diversity to AMPARs in distinct neuronal populations. Here, we examine the effects of each TARP subtype on the kinetics of AMPAR gating in heterologous cells and in neurons. We report a striking heterogeneity in the effects of TARP subtypes on AMPAR deactivation and desensitization, which we demonstrate controls the time course of synaptic transmission. In addition, we find that some TARP subtypes dramatically slow AMPAR activation kinetics. Synaptic AMPAR kinetics also depend on TARP expression level, suggesting a variable TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry. Analysis of quantal synaptic transmission in a TARP gamma-4 knockout (KO) mouse corroborates our expression data and demonstrates that TARP subtype-specific gating of AMPARs contributes to the kinetics of native AMPARs at central synapses.
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:Synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are regulated by a family of auxiliary subunits known as transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs). TARPs control the trafficking and gating of AMPARs. However, the number of TARP molecules that assemble within individual AMPAR channels is unknown. Here, we covalently link AMPARs to TARPs to investigate the properties of TARP/AMPAR complexes with known stoichiometry in HEK cells. We find that AMPARs are functional when associated with four, two, or no TARPs, and that the efficacy of the partial agonist kainate varies across these conditions, providing a sensitive assay for TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry. A comparison of these results with data obtained from hippocampal neurons demonstrates that native AMPARs associate with TARPs with a variable stoichiometry that depends on TARP expression level. Interestingly, AMPARs in hippocampal pyramidal neurons are saturated by TARP expression, while those in dentate gyrus granule neurons are not, indicating that variable TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry provides a mechanism for cell-type-specific regulation of AMPAR function.
Project description:Fast excitatory transmission in the CNS is mediated mainly by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) associated with transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs). At the high glutamate concentrations typically seen during synaptic transmission, TARPs slow receptor desensitization and enhance mean channel conductance. However, their influence on channels gated by low glutamate concentrations, as encountered during delayed transmitter clearance or synaptic spillover, is poorly understood. We report here that TARP ?-2 reduces the ability of low glutamate concentrations to cause AMPAR desensitization and enhances channel gating at low glutamate occupancy. Simulations show that, by shifting the balance between AMPAR activation and desensitization, TARPs can markedly facilitate the transduction of spillover-mediated synaptic signaling. Furthermore, the dual effects of TARPs can account for biphasic steady-state glutamate concentration-response curves-a phenomenon termed "autoinactivation," previously thought to reflect desensitization-mediated AMPAR/TARP dissociation.
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:UNLABELLED:The number of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is the major determinant of synaptic strength and varies from synapse to synapse. To clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms, the density of AMPARs, PSD-95, and transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) were compared at Schaffer collateral/commissural (SCC) synapses in the adult mouse hippocampal CA1 by quantitative immunogold electron microscopy using serial sections. We examined four types of SCC synapses: perforated and nonperforated synapses on pyramidal cells and axodendritic synapses on parvalbumin-positive (PV synapse) and pravalbumin-negative interneurons (non-PV synapse). SCC synapses were categorized into those expressing high-density (perforated and PV synapses) or low-density (nonperforated and non-PV synapses) AMPARs. Although the density of PSD-95 labeling was fairly constant, the density and composition of TARP isoforms was highly variable depending on the synapse type. Of the three TARPs expressed in hippocampal neurons, the disparity in TARP ?-2 labeling was closely related to that of AMPAR labeling. Importantly, AMPAR density was significantly reduced at perforated and PV synapses in TARP ?-2-knock-out (KO) mice, resulting in a virtual loss of AMPAR disparity among SCC synapses. In comparison, TARP ?-8 was the only TARP expressed at nonperforated synapses, where AMPAR labeling further decreased to a background level in TARP ?-8-KO mice. These results show that synaptic inclusion of TARP ?-2 potently increases AMPAR expression and transforms low-density synapses into high-density ones, whereas TARP ?-8 is essential for low-density or basal expression of AMPARs at nonperforated synapses. Therefore, these TARPs are critically involved in AMPAR density control at SCC synapses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:Although converging evidence implicates the importance of transmembrane AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) regulatory proteins (TARPs) in AMPAR stabilization during basal transmission and synaptic plasticity, how they control large disparities in AMPAR numbers or densities across central synapses remains largely unknown. We compared the density of AMPARs with that of TARPs among four types of Schaffer collateral/commissural (SCC) hippocampal synapses in wild-type and TARP-knock-out mice. We show that the density of AMPARs correlates with that of TARP ?-2 across SCC synapses and its high expression is linked to high-density AMPAR expression at perforated type of pyramidal cell synapses and synapses on parvalbumin-positive interneurons. In comparison, TARP ?-8 is the only TARP expressed at nonperforated type of pyramidal cell synapses, playing an essential role in low-density or basal AMPAR expression.
Project description:Glutamate mediates fast excitatory neurotransmission via ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. The trafficking and gating properties of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) can be amplified by transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs), which are often expressed in localized brain regions. Herein, we describe the discovery, lead optimization, and preclinical characterization of 5-arylbenzimidazolone and oxindole-based negative modulators of AMPARs associated with TARP γ-8, the primary TARP found in hippocampus. High-throughput screen lead 4 was optimized for potency and brain penetration to provide benzimidazolone 3, JNJ-55511118.1 Replacement of the benzimidazolone core in 3 with an oxindole mitigated reactive metabolite formation and led to the identification of 18 (GluA1/γ-8 pIC50 = 9.7). Following oral dosing in rats, 18 demonstrated robust target engagement in hippocampus as assessed by ex vivo autoradiography (ED50 = 0.6 mg/kg, plasma EC50 = 9 ng/mL).
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.
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.