Identifying a kinase network regulating FGF14:Nav1.6 complex assembly using split-luciferase complementation.
ABSTRACT: Kinases play fundamental roles in the brain. Through complex signaling pathways, kinases regulate the strength of protein:protein interactions (PPI) influencing cell cycle, signal transduction, and electrical activity of neurons. Changes induced by kinases on neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity and brain connectivity are linked to complex brain disorders, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these cellular events remain for the most part elusive. To further our understanding of brain disease, new methods for rapidly surveying kinase pathways in the cellular context are needed. The bioluminescence-based luciferase complementation assay (LCA) is a powerful, versatile toolkit for the exploration of PPI. LCA relies on the complementation of two firefly luciferase protein fragments that are functionally reconstituted into the full luciferase enzyme by two interacting binding partners. Here, we applied LCA in live cells to assay 12 kinase pathways as regulators of the PPI complex formed by the voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.6, a transmembrane ion channel that elicits the action potential in neurons and mediates synaptic transmission, and its multivalent accessory protein, the fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14). Through extensive dose-dependent validations of structurally-diverse kinase inhibitors and hierarchical clustering, we identified the PI3K/Akt pathway, the cell-cycle regulator Wee1 kinase, and protein kinase C (PKC) as prospective regulatory nodes of neuronal excitability through modulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis shows convergence of these pathways on glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) and functional assays demonstrate that inhibition of GSK3 impairs excitability of hippocampal neurons. This combined approach provides a versatile toolkit for rapidly surveying PPI signaling, allowing the discovery of new modular pathways centered on GSK3 that might be the basis for functional alterations between the normal and diseased brain.
Project description:Protein-protein interactions are critical molecular determinants of ion channel function and emerging targets for pharmacological interventions. Yet, current methodologies for the rapid detection of ion channel macromolecular complexes are still lacking. In this study we have adapted a split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) for detecting the assembly of the voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channel C-tail and the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a functionally relevant component of the Nav channelosome that controls gating and targeting of Nav channels through direct interaction with the channel C-tail. In the LCA, two complementary N-terminus and C-terminus fragments of the firefly luciferase were fused, respectively, to a chimera of the CD4 transmembrane segment and the C-tail of Nav1.6 channel (CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc) or FGF14 (CLuc-FGF14). Co-expression of CLuc-FGF14 and CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc in live cells led to a robust assembly of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex, which was attenuated by introducing single-point mutations at the predicted FGF14:Nav channel interface. To evaluate the dynamic regulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex by signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of kinase inhibitors on the complex formation. Through a platform of counter screenings, we show that the p38/MAPK inhibitor, PD169316, and the I?B kinase inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, reduce the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complementation, highlighting a potential role of the p38MAPK and the I?B/NF?B pathways in controlling neuronal excitability through protein-protein interactions. We envision the methodology presented here as a new valuable tool to allow functional evaluations of protein-channel complexes toward probe development and drug discovery targeting ion channels implicated in human disorders.
Project description:The voltage-gated Na(+) (Nav) channel provides the basis for electrical excitability in the brain. This channel is regulated by a number of accessory proteins including fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a member of the intracellular FGF family. In addition to forming homodimers, FGF14 binds directly to the Nav1.6 channel C-tail, regulating channel gating and expression, properties that are required for intrinsic excitability in neurons. Seeking amino acid residues with unique roles at the protein-protein interaction interface (PPI) of FGF14·Nav1.6, we engineered model-guided mutations of FGF14 and validated their impact on the FGF14·Nav1.6 complex and the FGF14:FGF14 dimer formation using a luciferase assay. Divergence was found in the ?-9 sheet of FGF14 where an alanine (Ala) mutation of Val-160 impaired binding to Nav1.6 but had no effect on FGF14:FGF14 dimer formation. Additional analysis revealed also a key role of residues Lys-74/Ile-76 at the N-terminal of FGF14 in the FGF14·Nav1.6 complex and FGF14:FGF14 dimer formation. Using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, we demonstrated that either the FGF14(V160A) or the FGF14(K74A/I76A) mutation was sufficient to abolish the FGF14-dependent regulation of peak transient Na(+) currents and the voltage-dependent activation and steady-state inactivation of Nav1.6; but only V160A with a concomitant alanine mutation at Tyr-158 could impede FGF14-dependent modulation of the channel fast inactivation. Intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy of purified proteins confirmed a stronger binding reduction of FGF14(V160A) to the Nav1.6 C-tail compared with FGF14(K74A/I76A) Altogether these studies indicate that the ?-9 sheet and the N terminus of FGF14 are well positioned targets for drug development of PPI-based allosteric modulators of Nav channels.
Project description:The voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channel complex is comprised of pore-forming ? subunits (Nav1.1-1.9) and accessory regulatory proteins such as the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14). The cytosolic Nav1.6 C-terminal tail binds directly to FGF14 and this interaction modifies Nav1.6-mediated currents with effects on intrinsic excitability in the brain. Previous studies have identified the FGF14V160 residue within the FGF14 core domain as a hotspot for the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex formation. Here, we used three short amino acid peptides around FGF14V160 to probe for the FGF14 interaction with the Nav1.6 C-terminal tail and to evaluate the activity of the peptide on Nav1.6-mediated currents. In silico docking predicts FLPK to bind to FGF14V160 with the expectation of interfering with the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex formation, a phenotype that was confirmed by the split-luciferase assay (LCA) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), respectively. Whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology studies demonstrate that FLPK is able to prevent previously reported FGF14-dependent phenotypes of Nav1.6 currents, but that its activity requires the FGF14 N-terminal tail, a domain that has been shown to contribute to Nav1.6 inactivation independently from the FGF14 core domain. In medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens, where both FGF14 and Nav1.6 are abundantly expressed, FLPK significantly increased firing frequency by a mechanism consistent with the ability of the tetrapeptide to interfere with Nav1.6 inactivation and potentiate persistent Na+ currents. Taken together, these results indicate that FLPK might serve as a probe for characterizing molecular determinants of neuronal excitability and a peptide scaffold to develop allosteric modulators of Nav channels.
Project description:The voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channel is the molecular determinant of action potential in neurons. Protein-protein interactions (PPI) between the intracellular Nav1.6 C-tail and its regulatory protein fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) provide an ideal and largely untapped opportunity for development of neurochemical probes. Based on a previously identified peptide FLPK, mapped to the FGF14:FGF14 PPI interface, we have designed and synthesized a series of peptidomimetics with the intent of increasing clogP values and improving cell permeability relative to the parental lead peptide. In-cell screening using the split-luciferase complementation (LCA) assay identified ZL0177 (13) as the most potent inhibitor of the FGF14:Nav1.6 channel complex assembly with an apparent IC50 of 11??M. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that ZL0177 significantly reduced Nav1.6-mediated transient current density and induced a depolarizing shift of the channel voltage-dependence of activation. Docking studies revealed strong interactions between ZL0177 and Nav1.6, mediated by hydrogen bonds, cation-? interactions and hydrophobic contacts. All together these results suggest that ZL0177 retains some key features of FGF14-dependent modulation of Nav1.6 currents. Overall, ZL0177 provides a chemical scaffold for developing Nav channel modulators as pharmacological probes with therapeutic potential of interest for a broad range of CNS and PNS disorders.
Project description:Recent data shows that fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) binds to and controls the function of the voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channel with phenotypic outcomes on neuronal excitability. Mutations in the FGF14 gene in humans have been associated with brain disorders that are partially recapitulated in Fgf14(-/-) mice. Thus, signaling pathways that modulate the FGF14:Nav channel interaction may be important therapeutic targets. Bioluminescence-based screening of small molecule modulators of the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex identified 4,5,6,7 -: tetrabromobenzotriazole (TBB), a potent casein kinase 2 (CK2) inhibitor, as a strong suppressor of FGF14:Nav1.6 interaction. Inhibition of CK2 through TBB reduces the interaction of FGF14 with Nav1.6 and Nav1.2 channels. Mass spectrometry confirmed direct phosphorylation of FGF14 by CK2 at S228 and S230, and mutation to alanine at these sites modified FGF14 modulation of Nav1.6-mediated currents. In 1 d in vitro hippocampal neurons, TBB induced a reduction in FGF14 expression, a decrease in transient Na(+) current amplitude, and a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of Nav channel steady-state inactivation. In mature neurons, TBB reduces the axodendritic polarity of FGF14. In cornu ammonis area 1 hippocampal slices from wild-type mice, TBB impairs neuronal excitability by increasing action potential threshold and lowering firing frequency. Importantly, these changes in excitability are recapitulated in Fgf14(-/-) mice, and deletion of Fgf14 occludes TBB-dependent phenotypes observed in wild-type mice. These results suggest that a CK2-FGF14 axis may regulate Nav channels and neuronal excitability.-Hsu, W.-C. J., Scala, F., Nenov, M. N., Wildburger, N. C., Elferink, H., Singh, A. K., Chesson, C. B., Buzhdygan, T., Sohail, M., Shavkunov, A. S., Panova, N. I., Nilsson, C. L., Rudra, J. S., Lichti, C. F., Laezza, F. CK2 activity is required for the interaction of FGF14 with voltage-gated sodium channels and neuronal excitability.
Project description:Protein-protein interactions (PPI) offer unexploited opportunities for CNS drug discovery and neurochemical probe development. Here, we present ZL181, a novel peptidomimetic targeting the PPI interface of the voltage-gated Na+ channel Nav1.6 and its regulatory protein fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14). ZL181 binds to FGF14 and inhibits its interaction with the Nav1.6 channel C-tail. In HEK-Nav1.6 expressing cells, ZL181 acts synergistically with FGF14 to suppress Nav1.6 current density and to slow kinetics of fast inactivation, but antagonizes FGF14 modulation of steady-state inactivation that is regulated by the N-terminal tail of the protein. In medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens, ZL181 suppresses excitability by a mechanism that is dependent upon expression of FGF14 and is consistent with a state-dependent inhibition of FGF14. Overall, ZL181 and derivatives could lay the ground for developing allosteric modulators of Nav channels that are of interest for a broad range of CNS disorders.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) is a member of the intracellular FGF (iFGFs) family and a functionally relevant component of the neuronal voltage-gated Na(+) (Nav) channel complex. Through a monomeric interaction with the intracellular C-terminus of neuronal Nav channels, FGF14 modulates Na(+) currents in an Nav isoform-specific manner serving as a fine-tuning regulator of excitability. Previous studies based on the highly homologous FGF13 homodimer crystal structure have proposed a conserved protein:protein interaction (PPI) interface common to both Nav channel binding and iFGF homodimer formation. This interface could provide a novel target for drug design against neuronal Nav channels. Here, we provide the first in-cell reconstitution of the FGF14:FGF14 protein complex and measure the dimer interaction using the split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA). Based on the FGF14 dimer structure generated in silico, we designed short peptide fragments against the FGF14 dimer interface. One of these fragments, FLPK aligns with the pocket defined by the ?12-strand and ?8-?9 loop, reducing the FGF14:FGF14 dimer interaction by 25% as measured by LCA. We further compared the relative interaction strength of FGF14 wild type homodimers with FGF14 hetero- and homodimers carrying double N mutations at the Y153 and V155 residues, located at the ?8-?9 loop. The Y153N/V155N double mutation counteracts the FLPK effect by increasing the strength of the dimer interaction. These data suggest that the ?12 strand of FGF14 might serve as scaffold for drug design against neuronal FGF14 dimers and Nav channels.
Project description:Multiple voltage-gated Na<sup>+</sup> (Nav) channelopathies can be ascribed to subtle changes in the Nav macromolecular complex. Fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) is a functionally relevant component of the Nav1.6 channel complex, a causative link to spinocerebellar ataxia 27 (SCA27) and an emerging risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, how this protein:channel complex is regulated in the cell is still poorly understood. To search for key cellular pathways upstream of the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex, we have developed, miniaturized and optimized an in-cell assay in 384-well plates by stably reconstituting the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex using the split-luciferase complementation assay. We then conducted a high-throughput screening (HTS) of 267 FDA-approved compounds targeting known mediators of cellular signaling. Of the 65 hits initially detected, 24 were excluded based on counter-screening and cellular toxicity. Based on target analysis, potency and dose-response relationships, 5 compounds were subsequently repurchased for validation and confirmed as hits. Among those, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor lestaurtinib was highest ranked, exhibiting submicromolar inhibition of FGF14:Nav1.6 assembly. While providing evidence for a robust in-cell HTS platform that can be adapted to search for any channelopathy-associated regulatory proteins, these results lay the potential groundwork for repurposing cancer drugs for neuropsychopharmacology.
Project description:Resilience and vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders are linked to molecular changes underlying excitability that are still poorly understood. Here, we identify glycogen-synthase kinase 3? (GSK3?) and voltage-gated Na+ channel Nav1.6 as regulators of neuroplasticity induced by environmentally enriched (EC) or isolated (IC) conditions-models for resilience and vulnerability. Transcriptomic studies in the nucleus accumbens from EC and IC rats predicted low levels of GSK3? and SCN8A mRNA as a protective phenotype associated with reduced excitability in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). In vivo genetic manipulations demonstrate that GSK3? and Nav1.6 are molecular determinants of MSN excitability and that silencing of GSK3? prevents maladaptive plasticity of IC MSNs. In vitro studies reveal direct interaction of GSK3? with Nav1.6 and phosphorylation at Nav1.6T1936 by GSK3?. A GSK3?-Nav1.6T1936 competing peptide reduces MSNs excitability in IC, but not EC rats. These results identify GSK3? regulation of Nav1.6 as a biosignature of MSNs maladaptive plasticity.
Project description:Disruption of protein:protein interactions (PPIs) that regulate the function of voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channels leads to neural circuitry aberrations that have been implicated in numerous channelopathies. One example of this pathophysiology is mediated by dysfunction of the PPI between Nav1.6 and its regulatory protein fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14). Thus, peptides derived from FGF14 might exert modulatory actions on the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex that are functionally relevant. The tetrapeptide Glu-Tyr-Tyr-Val (EYYV) mimics surface residues of FGF14 at the ?8-?9 loop, a structural region previously implicated in its binding to Nav1.6. Here, peptidomimetics derived from EYYV (6) were designed, synthesized, and pharmacologically evaluated to develop probes with improved potency. Addition of hydrophobic protective groups to 6 and truncation to a tripeptide (12) produced a potent inhibitor of FGF14:Nav1.6 complex assembly. Conversely, addition of hydrophobic protective groups to 6 followed by addition of an N-terminal benzoyl substituent (19) produced a potentiator of FGF14:Nav1.6 complex assembly. Subsequent functional evaluation using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology confirmed their inverse activities, with 12 and 19 reducing and increasing Nav1.6-mediated transient current densities, respectively. Overall, we have identified a negative and positive allosteric modulator of Nav1.6, both of which could serve as scaffolds for the development of target-selective neurotherapeutics.