PICK1 inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex controls dendritic spine size and synaptic plasticity.
ABSTRACT: Activity-dependent remodelling of dendritic spines is essential for neural circuit development and synaptic plasticity, but the precise molecular mechanisms that regulate this process are unclear. Activators of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerisation are required for spine enlargement; however, during long-term depression (LTD), spines shrink via actin depolymerisation and Arp2/3 inhibitors in this process have not yet been identified. Here, we show that PICK1 regulates spine size in hippocampal neurons via inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex. PICK1 knockdown increases spine size, whereas PICK1 overexpression reduces spine size. NMDA receptor activation results in spine shrinkage, which is blocked by PICK1 knockdown or overexpression of a PICK1 mutant that cannot bind Arp2/3. Furthermore, we show that PICK1-Arp2/3 interactions are required for functional hippocampal LTD. This work demonstrates that PICK1 is a novel regulator of spine dynamics. Via Arp2/3 inhibition, PICK1 has complementary yet distinct roles during LTD to regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and spine size, and therefore functions as a crucial factor in both structural and functional plasticity.
Project description:Inhibition of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization by PICK1 is a central mechanism to AMPA receptor (AMPAR) internalization and long-term depression (LTD), although the signaling pathways that modulate this process in response to NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation are unknown. Here, we define a function for the GTPase Arf1 in this process. We show that Arf1-GTP binds PICK1 to limit PICK1-mediated inhibition of Arp2/3 activity. Expression of mutant Arf1 that does not bind PICK1 leads to reduced surface levels of GluA2-containing AMPARs and smaller spines in hippocampal neurons, which occludes subsequent NMDA-induced AMPAR internalization and spine shrinkage. In organotypic slices, NMDAR-dependent LTD of AMPAR excitatory postsynaptic currents is abolished in neurons expressing mutant Arf1. Furthermore, NMDAR stimulation downregulates Arf1 activation and binding to PICK1 via the Arf-GAP GIT1. This study defines Arf1 as a critical regulator of actin dynamics and synaptic function via modulation of PICK1.
Project description:Changes in the number, size, and shape of dendritic spines are associated with synaptic plasticity, which underlies cognitive functions such as learning and memory. This plasticity is attributed to reorganization of actin, but the molecular signals that regulate this process are poorly understood. In this study, we show neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) regulates the formation of dendritic spines and synapses in hippocampal neurons. N-WASP localized to spines and active, functional synapses as shown by loading with FM4-64 dye. Knock down of endogenous N-WASP expression by RNA interference or inhibition of its activity by treatment with a specific inhibitor, wiskostatin, caused a significant decrease in the number of spines and excitatory synapses. Deletion of the C-terminal VCA region of N-WASP, which binds and activates the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex, dramatically decreased the number of spines and synapses, suggesting activation of the Arp2/3 complex is critical for spine and synapse formation. Consistent with this, Arp3, like N-WASP, was enriched in spines and excitatory synapses and knock down of Arp3 expression impaired spine and synapse formation. A similar defect in spine and synapse formation was observed when expression of an N-WASP activator, Cdc42, was knocked down. Thus, activation of N-WASP and, subsequently, the Arp2/3 complex appears to be an important molecular signal for regulating spines and synapses. Arp2/3-mediated branching of actin could be a mechanism by which dendritic spine heads enlarge and subsequently mature. Collectively, our results point to a critical role for N-WASP and the Arp2/3 complex in spine and synapse formation.
Project description:The dynamic regulation of actin polymerization plays crucial roles in cell morphology and endocytosis. The mechanistic details of these processes and the proteins involved are not fully understood, especially in neurons. PICK1 is a PDZ-BAR-domain protein involved in regulated AMPA receptor (AMPAR) endocytosis in neurons. Here, we demonstrate that PICK1 binds filamentous (F)-actin and the actin-nucleating Arp2/3 complex, and potently inhibits Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of PICK1 in neurons induces a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton resulting in aberrant cell morphology. Wild-type PICK1 rescues this phenotype, but a mutant PICK1, PICK1(W413A), that does not bind or inhibit Arp2/3 has no effect. Furthermore, this mutant also blocks NMDA-induced AMPAR internalization. This study identifies PICK1 as a negative regulator of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization that is critical for a specific form of vesicle trafficking, and also for the development of neuronal architecture.
Project description:Actin dynamics drive morphological remodeling of neuronal dendritic spines and changes in synaptic transmission. Yet, the spatiotemporal coordination of actin regulators in spines is unknown. Using single protein tracking and super-resolution imaging, we revealed the nanoscale organization and dynamics of branched F-actin regulators in spines. Branched F-actin nucleation occurs at the PSD vicinity, while elongation occurs at the tip of finger-like protrusions. This spatial segregation differs from lamellipodia where both branched F-actin nucleation and elongation occur at protrusion tips. The PSD is a persistent confinement zone for IRSp53 and the WAVE complex, an activator of the Arp2/3 complex. In contrast, filament elongators like VASP and formin-like protein-2 move outwards from the PSD with protrusion tips. Accordingly, Arp2/3 complexes associated with F-actin are immobile and surround the PSD. Arp2/3 and Rac1 GTPase converge to the PSD, respectively, by cytosolic and free-diffusion on the membrane. Enhanced Rac1 activation and Shank3 over-expression, both associated with spine enlargement, induce delocalization of the WAVE complex from the PSD. Thus, the specific localization of branched F-actin regulators in spines might be reorganized during spine morphological remodeling often associated with synaptic plasticity.
Project description:Activity-dependent modification of dendritic spines, subcellular compartments accommodating postsynaptic specializations in the brain, is an important cellular mechanism for brain development, cognition and synaptic pathology of brain disorders. NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (NMDAR-LTD), a prototypic form of synaptic plasticity, is accompanied by prolonged remodelling of spines. The mechanisms underlying long-lasting spine remodelling in NMDAR-LTD, however, are largely unclear. Here we show that LTD induction causes global changes in miRNA transcriptomes affecting many cellular activities. Specifically, we show that expression changes of miR-191 and miR-135 are required for maintenance but not induction of spine restructuring. Moreover, we find that actin depolymerization and AMPA receptor exocytosis are regulated for extended periods of time by miRNAs to support long-lasting spine plasticity. These findings reveal a miRNA-mediated mechanism and a role for AMPA receptor exocytosis in long-lasting spine plasticity, and identify a number of candidate miRNAs involved in LTD.
Project description:Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc; also known as Arg3.1) is an immediate early gene product that is transcribed in dendritic spines and, to date, has been best characterized as a positive regulator of AMPAR endocytosis during long-term depression (LTD) through interaction with endocytic proteins. Here, we show that protein interacting with C terminal kinase 1 (PICK1), a protein known to bind to the GluA2 subunit of AMPARs and associated with AMPAR trafficking, was pulled-down from brain homogenates and synaptosomes when using Arc as immobilized bait. Fluctuation and FLIM-FRET-Phasor analysis revealed direct interaction between these proteins when co-expressed that was increased under depolarizing conditions in live cells. At the plasma membrane, Arc-mCherry oligomerization was found to be concentration dependent. Additionally, co-expression of Arc-mCherry and EGFP-PICK1 followed by depolarizing conditions resulted in significant increases in the number and size of puncta containing both proteins. Furthermore, we identified the Arc binding region to be the first 126 amino acids of the PICK1 BAR domain. Overall, our data support a novel interaction and model where PICK1 mediates Arc regulation of AMPARs particularly under depolarizing conditions.
Project description:AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate the majority of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system. Modulation of AMPAR trafficking supports several forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie learning and memory. Protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1) is an AMPAR-binding protein shown to regulate both AMPAR trafficking and synaptic plasticity at many distinct synapses. However, studies examining the requirement for PICK1 in maintaining basal synaptic transmission and regulating synaptic plasticity at hippocampal Schaffer collateral-cornu ammonis 1 (SC-CA1) synapses have produced conflicting results. In addition, the effect of PICK1 manipulation on learning and memory has not been investigated. In the present study we analyzed the effect of genetic deletion of PICK1 on basal synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at hippocampal Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses in adult and juvenile mice. Surprisingly, we find that loss of PICK1 has no significant effect on synaptic plasticity in juvenile mice but impairs some forms of long-term potentiation and multiple distinct forms of long-term depression in adult mice. Moreover, inhibitory avoidance learning is impaired only in adult KO mice. These results suggest that PICK1 is selectively required for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning in adult rodents.
Project description:The structural organization of excitatory inputs supporting spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) remains unknown. We performed a spine STDP protocol using two-photon (2P) glutamate uncaging (pre) paired with postsynaptic spikes (post) in layer 5 pyramidal neurons from juvenile mice. Here we report that pre-post pairings that trigger timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP) produce shrinkage of the activated spine neck and increase in synaptic strength; and post-pre pairings that trigger timing-dependent LTD (t-LTD) decrease synaptic strength without affecting spine shape. Furthermore, the induction of t-LTP with 2P glutamate uncaging in clustered spines (<5??m apart) enhances LTP through a NMDA receptor-mediated spine calcium accumulation and actin polymerization-dependent neck shrinkage, whereas t-LTD was dependent on NMDA receptors and disrupted by the activation of clustered spines but recovered when separated by >40??m. These results indicate that synaptic cooperativity disrupts t-LTD and extends the temporal window for the induction of t-LTP, leading to STDP only encompassing LTP.
Project description:Protein interacting with C kinase (PICK1) is a scaffolding protein that is present in dendritic spines and interacts with a wide array of proteins through its PDZ domain. The best understood function of PICK1 is regulation of trafficking of AMPA receptors at neuronal synapses via its specific interaction with the AMPA GluA2 subunit. Disrupting the PICK1-GluA2 interaction has been shown to alter synaptic plasticity, a molecular mechanism of learning and memory. Lack of potent, selective inhibitors of the PICK1 PDZ domain has hindered efforts at exploring the PICK1-GluA2 interaction as a therapeutic target for neurological diseases. Here, we report the discovery of PICK1 small molecule inhibitors using a structure-based drug design strategy. The inhibitors stabilized surface GluA2, reduced A?-induced rise in intracellular calcium concentrations in cultured neurons, and blocked long term depression in brain slices. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to identify potent, selective PICK1-GluA2 inhibitors which may prove useful for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
Project description:The trafficking of AMPA receptors (Rs) to and from synaptic membranes is a key component underlying synaptic plasticity mechanisms such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), and is likely important for synaptic development in embryonic organisms. However, some of the key biochemical components required for receptor trafficking in embryos are still unknown. Here, we report that in embryonic zebrafish, the activation of PKCgamma by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, strongly potentiates the amplitude of AMPAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (AMPA-mEPSCs) via a N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion (NSF) and protein interacting with C-kinase-1 (PICK1)-dependent process. We found that the mEPSC potentiation is DAG- and Ca(2+)-dependent, and occurs on application of active PKCgamma. Peptides that prevent the association of NSF and PICK1 with the GluR2 subunit, and the actin-polymerization blocker, latrunculin B, prevented the increase in mEPSC amplitude. Also, application of tetanus toxin (TeTx), which cleaves SNARE proteins, also blocked the increase in mEPSC amplitude. Last, application of a 5 mM K(+) medium led to an enhancement in mEPSC amplitude that was prevented by addition of the PKCgamma and NSF-blocking peptides, and the NMDA receptor blocker, 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). Thus, activation of PKCgamma is necessary for the activity-dependent trafficking of AMPARs in embryonic zebrafish. This process is NMDA and SNARE-dependent and requires AMPARs to associate with both NSF and PICK1. The present data further our understanding of AMPAR trafficking, and have important implications for synaptic development and synaptic plasticity.