Schwann cells inhibit ectopic clustering of axonal sodium channels.
ABSTRACT: The clustering of voltage-gated sodium channels at the axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier is essential for the initiation and propagation of action potentials in myelinated axons. Sodium channels localize to the AIS through an axon-intrinsic mechanism driven by ankyrin G, while clustering at the nodes requires cues from myelinating glia that interact with axonal neurofascin186 (Sherman et al., 2005; Dzhashiashvili et al., 2007; Yang et al., 2007). Here, we report that in zebrafish mutants lacking Schwann cells in peripheral nerves (erbb2, erbb3, and sox10/colorless), axons form numerous aberrant sodium channel clusters throughout their length. Morpholino knockdown of ankyrin G, but not neurofascin, reduces the number of sodium channel clusters in Schwann cell-deficient mutants, suggesting that these aberrant clusters form by an axon-intrinsic mechanism. We also find that gpr126 mutants, in which Schwann cells are arrested at the promyelinating stage (Monk et al., 2009), are deficient in the clustering of neurofascin at the nodes of Ranvier. When Schwann cell migration in gpr126 mutants is blocked, there is an increase in the number of neurofascin clusters in peripheral axons. Our results suggest that Schwann cells inhibit the ability of ankyrin G to cluster sodium channels at ectopic locations, restricting its activity to the AIS and nodes of Ranvier.
Project description:Axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier are sites of action potential generation and propagation, respectively. Both domains are enriched in sodium channels complexed with adhesion molecules (neurofascin [NF] 186 and NrCAM) and cytoskeletal proteins (ankyrin G and betaIV spectrin). We show that the AIS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) nodes both require ankyrin G but assemble by distinct mechanisms. The AIS is intrinsically specified; it forms independent of NF186, which is targeted to this site via intracellular interactions that require ankyrin G. In contrast, NF186 is targeted to the node, and independently cleared from the internode, by interactions of its ectodomain with myelinating Schwann cells. NF186 is critical for and initiates PNS node assembly by recruiting ankyrin G, which is required for the localization of sodium channels and the entire nodal complex. Thus, initial segments assemble from the inside out driven by the intrinsic accumulation of ankyrin G, whereas PNS nodes assemble from the outside in, specified by Schwann cells, which direct the NF186-dependent recruitment of ankyrin G.
Project description:In neurons, generation and propagation of action potentials requires the precise accumulation of sodium channels at the axonal initial segment (AIS) and in the nodes of Ranvier through ankyrin G scaffolding. We found that the ankyrin-binding motif of Na(v)1.2 that determines channel concentration at the AIS depends on a glutamate residue (E1111), but also on several serine residues (S1112, S1124, and S1126). We showed that phosphorylation of these residues by protein kinase CK2 (CK2) regulates Na(v) channel interaction with ankyrins. Furthermore, we observed that CK2 is highly enriched at the AIS and the nodes of Ranvier in vivo. An ion channel chimera containing the Na(v)1.2 ankyrin-binding motif perturbed endogenous sodium channel accumulation at the AIS, whereas phosphorylation-deficient chimeras did not. Finally, inhibition of CK2 activity reduced sodium channel accumulation at the AIS of neurons. In conclusion, CK2 contributes to sodium channel organization by regulating their interaction with ankyrin G.
Project description:The axon initial segment (AIS) is critical for the initiation and propagation of action potentials. Assembly of the AIS requires interactions between scaffolding molecules and voltage-gated sodium channels, but the molecular mechanisms that stabilize the AIS are poorly understood. The neuronal isoform of Neurofascin, Nfasc186, clusters voltage-gated sodium channels at nodes of Ranvier in myelinated nerves: here, we investigate its role in AIS assembly and stabilization. Inactivation of the Nfasc gene in cerebellar Purkinje cells of adult mice causes rapid loss of Nfasc186 from the AIS but not from nodes of Ranvier. This causes AIS disintegration, impairment of motor learning and the abolition of the spontaneous tonic discharge typical of Purkinje cells. Nevertheless, action potentials with a modified waveform can still be evoked and basic motor abilities remain intact. We propose that Nfasc186 optimizes communication between mature neurons by anchoring the key elements of the adult AIS complex.
Project description:Action potential initiation and propagation requires clustered Na(+) (voltage-gated Na(+) [Nav]) channels at axon initial segments (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. In addition to ion channels, these domains are characterized by cell adhesion molecules (CAMs; neurofascin-186 [NF-186] and neuron glia-related CAM [NrCAM]), cytoskeletal proteins (ankyrinG and betaIV spectrin), and the extracellular chondroitin-sulfate proteoglycan brevican. Schwann cells initiate peripheral nervous system node formation by clustering NF-186, which then recruits ankyrinG and Nav channels. However, AIS assembly of this protein complex does not require glial contact. To determine the AIS assembly mechanism, we silenced expression of AIS proteins by RNA interference. AnkyrinG knockdown prevented AIS localization of all other AIS proteins. Loss of NF-186, NrCAM, Nav channels, or betaIV spectrin did not affect other neuronal AIS proteins. However, loss of NF-186 blocked assembly of the brevican-based AIS extracellular matrix, and NF-186 overexpression caused somatodendritic brevican clustering. Thus, NF-186 assembles and links the specialized brevican-containing AIS extracellular matrix to the intracellular cytoskeleton.
Project description:Neuron-glia interactions establish functional membrane domains along myelinated axons. These include nodes of Ranvier, paranodal axoglial junctions and juxtaparanodes. Paranodal junctions are the largest vertebrate junctional adhesion complex, and they are essential for rapid saltatory conduction and contribute to assembly and maintenance of nodes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying paranodal junction assembly are poorly understood. Ankyrins are cytoskeletal scaffolds traditionally associated with Na(+) channel clustering in neurons and are important for membrane domain establishment and maintenance in many cell types. Here we show that ankyrin-B, expressed by Schwann cells, and ankyrin-G, expressed by oligodendrocytes, are highly enriched at the glial side of paranodal junctions where they interact with the essential glial junctional component neurofascin 155. Conditional knockout of ankyrins in oligodendrocytes disrupts paranodal junction assembly and delays nerve conduction during early development in mice. Thus, glial ankyrins function as major scaffolds that facilitate early and efficient paranodal junction assembly in the developing CNS.
Project description:Axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier are sites of clustering of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) in nervous systems of jawed vertebrates that facilitate fast long-distance electrical signaling. We demonstrate that proximal axonal polarity as well as assembly of the AIS and normal morphogenesis of nodes of Ranvier all require a heretofore uncharacterized alternatively spliced giant exon of ankyrin-G (AnkG). This exon has sequence similarity to I-connectin/Titin and was acquired after the first round of whole-genome duplication by the ancestral ANK2/ANK3 gene in early vertebrates before development of myelin. The giant exon resulted in a new nervous system-specific 480-kDa polypeptide combining previously known features of ANK repeats and ?-spectrin-binding activity with a fibrous domain nearly 150 nm in length. We elucidate previously undescribed functions for giant AnkG, including recruitment of ?4 spectrin to the AIS that likely is regulated by phosphorylation, and demonstrate that 480-kDa AnkG is a major component of the AIS membrane "undercoat' imaged by platinum replica electron microscopy. Surprisingly, giant AnkG-knockout neurons completely lacking known AIS components still retain distal axonal polarity and generate action potentials (APs), although with abnormal frequency. Giant AnkG-deficient mice live to weaning and provide a rationale for survival of humans with severe cognitive dysfunction bearing a truncating mutation in the giant exon. The giant exon of AnkG is required for assembly of the AIS and nodes of Ranvier and was a transformative innovation in evolution of the vertebrate nervous system that now is a potential target in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:Saltatory conduction requires high-density accumulation of Na(+) channels at the nodes of Ranvier. Nodal Na(+) channel clustering in the peripheral nervous system is regulated by myelinating Schwann cells through unknown mechanisms. During development, Na(+) channels are first clustered at heminodes that border each myelin segment, and later in the mature nodes that are formed by the fusion of two heminodes. Here, we show that initial clustering of Na(+) channels at heminodes requires glial NrCAM and gliomedin, as well as their axonal receptor neurofascin 186 (NF186). We further demonstrate that heminodal clustering coincides with a second, paranodal junction (PNJ)-dependent mechanism that allows Na(+) channels to accumulate at mature nodes by restricting their distribution between two growing myelin internodes. We propose that Schwann cells assemble the nodes of Ranvier by capturing Na(+) channels at heminodes and by constraining their distribution to the nodal gap. Together, these two cooperating mechanisms ensure fast and efficient conduction in myelinated nerves.
Project description:The axon initial segment (AIS) is a unique neuronal compartment that plays a crucial role in the generation of action potential and neuronal polarity. The assembly of the AIS requires membrane, scaffolding, and cytoskeletal proteins, including Ankyrin-G and TRIM46. How these components cooperate in AIS formation is currently poorly understood. Here, we show that Ankyrin-G acts as a scaffold interacting with End-Binding (EB) proteins and membrane proteins such as Neurofascin-186 to recruit TRIM46-positive microtubules to the plasma membrane. Using in vitro reconstitution and cellular assays, we demonstrate that TRIM46 forms parallel microtubule bundles and stabilizes them by acting as a rescue factor. TRIM46-labeled microtubules drive retrograde transport of Neurofascin-186 to the proximal axon, where Ankyrin-G prevents its endocytosis, resulting in stable accumulation of Neurofascin-186 at the AIS. Neurofascin-186 enrichment in turn reinforces membrane anchoring of Ankyrin-G and subsequent recruitment of TRIM46-decorated microtubules. Our study reveals feedback-based mechanisms driving AIS assembly.
Project description:beta-Spectrin and ankyrin are major components of the membrane cytoskeleton. We have generated mice carrying a null mutation in the betaIV-spectrin gene using gene trapping in embryonic stem cells. Mice homozygous for the mutation exhibit tremors and contraction of hindlimbs. betaIV-spectrin expression is mostly restricted to neurons, where it colocalizes with and binds to ankyrin-G at axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier (NR). In betaIV-spectrin-null neurons, neither ankyrin-G nor voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) are correctly clustered at these sites, suggesting that impaired action potential caused by mislocalization of VGSC leads to the phenotype. Conversely, in ankyrin-G-null neurons, betaIV-spectrin is not localized to these sites. These results indicate that betaIV-spectrin and ankyrin-G mutually stabilize the membrane protein cluster and the linked membrane cytoskeleton at AIS and NR.
Project description:In many mammalian neurons, fidelity and robustness of action potential generation and conduction depends on the co-localization of voltage-gated sodium (Nav) and KCNQ2/3 potassium channel conductance at the distal axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier in a ratio of ?40 to 1. Analogous "anchor" peptides within intracellular domains of vertebrate KCNQ2, KCNQ3, and Nav channel ?-subunits bind Ankyrin-G (AnkG), thereby mediating concentration of those channels at AISs and nodes of Ranvier. Here, we show that the channel anchors bind at overlapping but distinct sites near the AnkG N terminus. In pulldown assays, the rank order of AnkG binding strength is Nav1.2 ? KCNQ3 > KCNQ2. Phosphorylation of KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 anchor domains by protein kinase CK2 (CK2) augments binding, as previously shown for Nav1.2. An AnkG fragment comprising ankyrin repeats 1 through 7 (R1-7) binds phosphorylated Nav or KCNQ anchors robustly. However, mutational analysis of R1-7 reveals differences in binding mechanisms. A smaller fragment, R1-6, exhibits much-diminished KCNQ3 binding but binds Nav1.2 well. Two lysine residues at the tip of repeat 2-3 ?-hairpin (residues 105-106) are critical for Nav1.2 but not KCNQ3 channel binding. Another dibasic motif (residues Arg-47, Arg-50) in the repeat 1 front ?-helix is crucial for KCNQ2/3 but not Nav1.2 binding. AnkG's alternatively spliced N terminus selectively gates access to those sites, blocking KCNQ but not Nav channel binding. These findings suggest that the 40:1 Nav:KCNQ channel conductance ratio at the distal AIS and nodes arises from the relative strength of binding to AnkG.