Postnatal developmental expression of regulator of G protein signaling 14 (RGS14) in the mouse brain.
ABSTRACT: Regulator of G protein signaling 14 (RGS14) is a multifunctional scaffolding protein that integrates G protein and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. In the adult mouse brain, RGS14 mRNA and protein are found almost exclusively in hippocampal CA2 neurons. We have shown that RGS14 is a natural suppressor of CA2 synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. However, the protein distribution and spatiotemporal expression patterns of RGS14 in mouse brain during postnatal development are unknown. Here, using a newly characterized monoclonal anti-RGS14 antibody, we demonstrate that RGS14 protein immunoreactivity is undetectable at birth (P0), with very low mRNA expression in the brain. However, RGS14 protein and mRNA are upregulated during early postnatal development, with protein first detected at P7, and both increasing over time until reaching highest sustained levels throughout adulthood. Our immunoperoxidase data demonstrate that RGS14 protein is expressed in regions outside of hippocampal CA2 during development including the primary olfactory areas, the anterior olfactory nucleus and piriform cortex, and the olfactory associated orbital and entorhinal cortices. RGS14 is also transiently expressed in neocortical layers II/III and V during postnatal development. Finally, we show that RGS14 protein is first detected in the hippocampus at P7, with strongest immunoreactivity in CA2 and fasciola cinerea and sporadic immunoreactivity in CA1; labeling intensity in hippocampus increases until adulthood. These results show that RGS14 mRNA and protein are upregulated throughout postnatal mouse development, and RGS14 protein exhibits a dynamic localization pattern that is enriched in hippocampus and primary olfactory cortex in the adult mouse brain.
Project description:Regulator of G protein signaling 14 (RGS14) is a multifunctional signaling protein primarily expressed in mouse pyramidal neurons of hippocampal area CA2 where it regulates synaptic plasticity important for learning and memory. However, very little is known about RGS14 protein expression in the primate brain. Here, we validate the specificity of a new polyclonal RGS14 antibody that recognizes not only full-length RGS14 protein in primate, but also lower molecular weight forms of RGS14 protein matching previously predicted human splice variants. These putative RGS14 variants along with full-length RGS14 are expressed in the primate striatum. By contrast, only full-length RGS14 is expressed in hippocampus, and shorter variants are completely absent in rodent brain. We report that RGS14 protein immunoreactivity is found both pre- and postsynaptically in multiple neuron populations throughout hippocampal area CA1 and CA2, caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, and amygdala in adult rhesus monkeys. A similar cellular expression pattern of RGS14 in the monkey striatum and hippocampus was further confirmed in humans. Our electron microscopy data show for the first time that RGS14 immunostaining localizes within nuclei of striatal neurons in monkeys. Taken together, these findings suggest new pre- and postsynaptic regulatory functions of RGS14 and RGS14 variants, specific to the primate brain, and provide evidence for unconventional roles of RGS14 in the nuclei of striatal neurons potentially important for human neurophysiology and disease.
Project description:Regulator of G Protein Signaling 14 (RGS14) is a complex scaffolding protein that integrates G protein and MAPK signaling pathways. In the adult mouse brain, RGS14 is predominantly expressed in hippocampal CA2 neurons where it naturally inhibits synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. However, the signaling proteins that RGS14 natively engages to regulate plasticity are unknown. Here, we show that RGS14 exists in a high-molecular-weight protein complex in brain. To identify RGS14 neuronal interacting partners, endogenous RGS14 immunoprecipitated from mouse brain was subjected to mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis. We find that RGS14 interacts with key postsynaptic proteins that regulate plasticity. Gene ontology analysis reveals the most enriched RGS14 interactors have functional roles in actin-binding, calmodulin(CaM)-binding, and CaM-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) activity. We validate these findings using biochemical assays that identify interactions with two previously unknown binding partners. We report that RGS14 directly interacts with Ca2+/CaM and is phosphorylated by CaMKII in vitro. Lastly, we detect that RGS14 associates with CaMKII and CaM in hippocampal CA2 neurons. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that RGS14 is a novel CaM effector and CaMKII phosphorylation substrate thereby providing new insight into mechanisms by which RGS14 controls plasticity in CA2 neurons.
Project description:Learning and memory have been closely linked to strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons (i.e., synaptic plasticity) within the dentate gyrus (DG)-CA3-CA1 trisynaptic circuit of the hippocampus. Conspicuously absent from this circuit is area CA2, an intervening hippocampal region that is poorly understood. Schaffer collateral synapses on CA2 neurons are distinct from those on other hippocampal neurons in that they exhibit a perplexing lack of synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). Here we demonstrate that the signaling protein RGS14 is highly enriched in CA2 pyramidal neurons and plays a role in suppression of both synaptic plasticity at these synapses and hippocampal-based learning and memory. RGS14 is a scaffolding protein that integrates G protein and H-Ras/ERK/MAP kinase signaling pathways, thereby making it well positioned to suppress plasticity in CA2 neurons. Supporting this idea, deletion of exons 2-7 of the RGS14 gene yields mice that lack RGS14 (RGS14-KO) and now express robust LTP at glutamatergic synapses in CA2 neurons with no impact on synaptic plasticity in CA1 neurons. Treatment of RGS14-deficient CA2 neurons with a specific MEK inhibitor blocked this LTP, suggesting a role for ERK/MAP kinase signaling pathways in this process. When tested behaviorally, RGS14-KO mice exhibited marked enhancement in spatial learning and in object recognition memory compared with their wild-type littermates, but showed no differences in their performance on tests of nonhippocampal-dependent behaviors. These results demonstrate that RGS14 is a key regulator of signaling pathways linking synaptic plasticity in CA2 pyramidal neurons to hippocampal-based learning and memory but distinct from the canonical DG-CA3-CA1 circuit.
Project description:Activity of hippocampal pyramidal cells is critical for certain forms of learning and memory, and work from our lab and others has shown that CA2 neuronal activity is required for social cognition and behavior. Silencing of CA2 neurons in mice impairs social memory, and mice lacking Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 14 (RGS14), a protein that is highly enriched in CA2 neurons, learn faster than wild types in the Morris water maze spatial memory test. Although the enhanced spatial learning abilities of the RGS14 KO mice suggest a role for CA2 neurons in at least one hippocampus-dependent behavior, the role of CA2 neurons in fear conditioning, which requires activity of hippocampus, amygdala, and possibly prefrontal cortex is unknown. In this study, we expressed excitatory or inhibitory DREADDs in CA2 neurons and administered CNO before the shock-tone-context pairing. On subsequent days, we measured freezing behavior in the same context but without the tone (contextual fear) or in a new context but in the presence of the tone (cued fear). We found that increasing CA2 neuronal activity with excitatory DREADDs during training resulted in increased freezing during the cued fear tests in males and females. Surprisingly, we found that only females showed increased freezing during the contextual fear memory tests. Using inhibitory DREADDs, we found that inhibiting CA2 neuronal activity during the training phase also resulted in increased freezing in females during the subsequent contextual fear memory test. Finally, we tested fear conditioning in RGS14 KO mice and found that female KO mice had increased freezing on the cued fear memory test. These three separate lines of evidence suggest that CA2 neurons are actively involved in both intra- and extra-hippocampal brain processes and function to influence fear memory. Finally, the intriguing and consistent findings of enhanced fear conditioning only among females is strongly suggestive of a sexual dimorphism in CA2-linked circuits.
Project description:Regulator of G protein signaling 14 (RGS14) is a multifunctional brain scaffolding protein that integrates G protein and Ras/ERK signaling pathways. It is also a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein. RGS14 binds active G?i/o via its RGS domain, Raf and active H-Ras-GTP via its R1 Ras-binding domain (RBD), and inactive G?i1/3 via its G protein regulatory (GPR) domain. RGS14 suppresses long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA2 region of the hippocampus, thereby regulating hippocampally based learning and memory. The 14-3-3 family of proteins is necessary for hippocampal LTP and associative learning and memory. Here, we show direct interaction between RGS14 and 14-3-3? at two distinct sties, one phosphorylation-independent and the other phosphorylation-dependent at Ser-218 that is markedly potentiated by signaling downstream of active H-Ras. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), we show that the pSer-218-dependent RGS14/14-3-3? interaction inhibits active G?i1-AlF4- binding to the RGS domain of RGS14 but has no effect on active H-Ras and inactive G?i1-GDP binding to RGS14. By contrast, the phosphorylation-independent binding of 14-3-3 has no effect on RGS14/G?i interactions but, instead, inhibits (directly or indirectly) RGS14 nuclear import and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. Together, our findings describe a novel mechanism of negative regulation of RGS14 functions, specifically interactions with active G?i and nuclear import, while leaving the function of other RGS14 domains intact. Ongoing studies will further elucidate the physiological function of this interaction between RGS14 and 14-3-3?, providing insight into the functions of both RGS14 and 14-3-3 in their roles in modulating synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.
Project description:Regulator of G Protein Signaling 14 (RGS14) is a complex scaffolding protein with an unusual domain structure that allows it to integrate G protein and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. RGS14 mRNA and protein are enriched in brain tissue of rodents and primates. In the adult mouse brain, RGS14 is predominantly expressed in postsynaptic dendrites and spines of hippocampal CA2 pyramidal neurons where it naturally inhibits synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. However, the signaling proteins that RGS14 natively interacts with in neurons to regulate plasticity are unknown. Here, we show that RGS14 exists as a component of a high molecular weight protein complex in brain. To identify RGS14 neuronal interacting partners, endogenous RGS14 isolated from mouse brain was subjected to mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis. We find that RGS14 interacts with key postsynaptic proteins that regulate neuronal plasticity. Gene ontology analysis reveals that the most enriched RGS14 interacting proteins have functional roles in actin-binding, calmodulin(CaM)-binding, and CaM-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) activity. We validate these proteomics findings using biochemical assays that identify interactions between RGS14 and two previously unknown binding partners: CaM and CaMKII. We report that RGS14 directly interacts with CaM in a calcium-dependent manner and is phosphorylated by CaMKII in vitro. Lastly, we detect that RGS14 associates with CaMKII and with CaM in hippocampal CA2 neurons by proximity ligation assays in mouse brain sections. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that RGS14 is a novel CaM effector and CaMKII phosphorylation substrate thereby providing new insight into cellular mechanisms by which RGS14 controls plasticity in CA2 neurons.
Project description:During development, estrogen has a variety of effects on morphological and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal neurons. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) also plays an important role in the survival and differentiation of neurons during development. We examined the effects of gonadectomy with and without estrogen replacement on the mRNA and protein of BDNF and its receptor, trkB, during early postnatal development of the rat hippocampus. We used immunocytochemistry to demonstrate that estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and BDNF were localized to the same cells within the developing hippocampus. BDNF and ERalpha were colocalized in pyramidal cells of the CA3 subregion and to a lesser extent in CA1. To determine whether BDNF mRNA was regulated by estrogen during development, we gonadectomized male rat pups at postnatal day 0 (P0) and examined mRNA and protein levels from P0 to P25 using real-time reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analysis. After gonadectomy, BDNF mRNA levels are significantly reduced on P7, but after treatment of gonadectomized animals with estradiol benzoate on P0, levels at all ages were similar to those in intact animals. BDNF mRNA changes after gonadectomy are accompanied by an increase in the levels of BDNF protein, which were reduced by estrogen treatment at P0. We also examined the effect of postnatal estrogen treatment on trkB. There were no significant changes in trkB mRNA or protein in gonadectomized or estrogen-replaced animals. These results suggest that a direct interaction may exist between ERalpha and BDNF to alter hippocampal physiology during development in the rat.
Project description:The hippocampus is well established as an essential brain center for learning and memory. Within the hippocampus, recent studies show that area CA2 is important for social memory and is an anomaly compared to its better-understood neighboring region, CA1. Unlike CA1, CA2 displays a lack of typical synaptic plasticity, enhanced calcium buffering and extrusion, and resilience to cell death following injury. Although recent studies have identified multiple molecular markers of area CA2, the proteins that mediate the unique physiology, signaling, and resilience of this region are unknown. Using a transgenic GFP-reporter mouse line that expresses eGFP in CA2, we were able to perform targeted dissections of area CA2 and CA1 for proteomic analysis. We identified over 100 proteins with robustly enriched expression in area CA2 compared to CA1. Many of these proteins, including RGS14 and NECAB2, have already been shown to be enriched in CA2 and important for its function, while many more merit further study in the context of enhanced expression in this enigmatic brain region. Furthermore, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the entire data set (>2300 proteins) using a weighted protein co-expression network analysis. This identified eight distinct co-expressed patterns of protein co-enrichment associated with increased expression in area CA2 tissue (compared to CA1). The novel data set we present here reveals a specific CA2 hippocampal proteome, laying the groundwork for future studies and a deeper understanding of area CA2 and the proteins mediating its unique physiology and signaling.
Project description:The adipose-derived circulating hormone leptin plays a pivotal role in the control of energy balance and body weight. Sound data indicate that this hormone also acts as an important developmental signal impacting a number of brain regions during fetal and postnatal stages. Leptin levels surge during the two first postnatal weeks of life in rodents. This period is characterized by the presence of early network driven activity in the immature hippocampus, the so-called Giant Depolarizing Potentials (GDPs). GDPs are thought to contribute to the wiring of the hippocampal network. We therefore tested the effect of leptin on GDPs. Leptin increased GDPs frequency between the postnatal days (P) 1 and 3 via a calcium/Calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK) and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) dependent pathways. Between P6 and P7, leptin inhibited the frequency of GDPs through the activation of large conductance Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels driven by a phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) dependent pathway. These results show that leptin exerts a bi-directional and age-dependent control of GDPs and extends the scope of leptin's action in the developing brain.
Project description:Cyclic nucleotide-gated (cng) channels are important components of signaling systems mediating sensory transduction. In vertebrate photoreceptors, light activates a signaling cascade that causes a decrease in intracellular cGMP concentrations, closing retinal cng channels. Signal transduction in olfactory receptor neurons is believed to proceed via G-protein-mediated elevation of intracellular cAMP in response to odorant binding by 7-helix receptors. cAMP opens the olfactory cng channel, which is highly permeable to Ca2+. Here we demonstrate by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry with subunit-specific antibodies that both subunits of the heteromeric rat olfactory cng channel are also widely expressed in the brain. Expression of the retinal rod cng channel, however, can be detected only in the eye. In the adult hippocampus, the olfactory cng channel is expressed on cell bodies and processes of CA1 and CA3 neurons. In cultured embryonic hippocampal neurons, the channel is localized to a subset of growth cones and processes. We recorded conductances with the electrophysiological characteristics of the heteromeric olfactory cng channel in excised inside-out patches from these cultured neurons. We also show that Ca2+ influx into hippocampal neurons in response to cyclic nucleotide elevation can be detected using fura-2 imaging. Cyclic nucleotide elevation has been implicated in several mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, and these mechanisms also require elevation of intracellular Ca2+. Our results suggest that the "olfactory" cng channel could regulate synaptic efficacy in brain neurons by modulating Ca2+ levels in response to changes in cyclic nucleotide concentrations.