GSG1L suppresses AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and uniquely modulates AMPA receptor kinetics in hippocampal neurons.
ABSTRACT: Regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated synaptic transmission is a key mechanism for synaptic plasticity. In the brain, AMPARs assemble with a number of auxiliary subunits, including TARPs, CNIHs and CKAMP44, which are important for AMPAR forward trafficking to synapses. Here we report that the membrane protein GSG1L negatively regulates AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission. Overexpression of GSG1L strongly suppresses, and GSG1L knockout (KO) enhances, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission. GSG1L-dependent regulation of AMPAR synaptic transmission relies on the first extracellular loop domain and its carboxyl-terminus. GSG1L also speeds up AMPAR deactivation and desensitization in hippocampal CA1 neurons, in contrast to the effects of TARPs and CNIHs. Furthermore, GSG1L association with AMPARs inhibits CNIH2-induced slowing of the receptors in heterologous cells. Finally, GSG1L KO rats have deficits in LTP and show behavioural abnormalities in object recognition tests. These data demonstrate that GSG1L represents a new class of auxiliary subunit with distinct functional properties for AMPARs.
Project description:Fast excitatory neurotransmission is mediated by the ?-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptor (AMPAR). AMPARs initiate depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron by allowing cations to enter through their ion channel pores in response to binding of the neurotransmitter glutamate. AMPAR function is dramatically affected by auxiliary subunits, which are regulatory proteins that form various complexes with AMPARs throughout the brain. The most well-studied auxiliary subunits are the transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs), which alter the assembly, trafficking, localization, kinetics, and pharmacology of AMPARs. Recent structural and functional studies of TARPs and the TARP-fold germ cell-specific gene 1-like (GSG1L) subunit have provided important glimpses into how auxiliary subunits regulate the function of synaptic complexes. In this review, we put these recent structures in the context of new functional findings in order to gain insight into the determinants of AMPAR regulation by TARPs. We thus reveal why TARPs display a broad range of effects despite their conserved modular architecture.
Project description:Fast excitatory neurotransmission is mediated by AMPA-subtype ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs). AMPARs, localized at post-synaptic densities, are regulated by transmembrane auxiliary subunits that modulate AMPAR assembly, trafficking, gating, and pharmacology. Aberrancies in AMPAR-mediated signaling are associated with numerous neurological disorders. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of an AMPAR in complex with the auxiliary subunit GSG1L in the closed and desensitized states. GSG1L favors the AMPAR desensitized state, where channel closure is facilitated by profound structural rearrangements in the AMPAR extracellular domain, with ligand-binding domain dimers losing their local 2-fold rotational symmetry. Our structural and functional experiments suggest that AMPAR auxiliary subunits share a modular architecture and use a common transmembrane scaffold for distinct extracellular modules to differentially regulate AMPAR gating. By comparing the AMPAR-GSG1L complex structures, we map conformational changes accompanying AMPAR recovery from desensitization and reveal structural bases for regulation of synaptic transmission by auxiliary subunits.
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:AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate the majority of excitatory transmission in the brain and enable the synaptic plasticity that underlies learning<sup>1</sup>. A diverse array of AMPAR signalling complexes are established by receptor auxiliary subunits, which associate with the AMPAR in various combinations to modulate trafficking, gating and synaptic strength<sup>2</sup>. However, their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. Here we determine cryo-electron microscopy structures of the heteromeric GluA1-GluA2 receptor assembled with both TARP-γ8 and CNIH2, the predominant AMPAR complex in the forebrain, in both resting and active states. Two TARP-γ8 and two CNIH2 subunits insert at distinct sites beneath the ligand-binding domains of the receptor, with site-specific lipids shaping each interaction and affecting the gating regulation of the AMPARs. Activation of the receptor leads to asymmetry between GluA1 and GluA2 along the ion conduction path and an outward expansion of the channel triggers counter-rotations of both auxiliary subunit pairs, promoting the active-state conformation. In addition, both TARP-γ8 and CNIH2 pivot towards the pore exit upon activation, extending their reach for cytoplasmic receptor elements. CNIH2 achieves this through its uniquely extended M2 helix, which has transformed this endoplasmic reticulum-export factor into a powerful AMPAR modulator that is capable of providing hippocampal pyramidal neurons with their integrative synaptic properties.
Project description:Glutamate receptors of the AMPA subtype (AMPARs) mediate fast synaptic transmission in the brain. These ionotropic receptors rely on auxiliary subunits known as transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) for both trafficking and gating. Recently, a second family of AMPAR binding proteins, referred to as cornichons, were identified and also proposed to function as auxiliary subunits. Cornichons are transmembrane proteins that modulate AMPAR function in expression systems much like TARPs. In the present study we compare the role of cornichons in controlling AMPA receptor function in neurons and HEK cells to that of TARPs. Cornichons mimic some, but not all, of the actions of TARPs in HEK cells; their role in neurons, however, is more limited. Although expressed cornichons can affect the trafficking of AMPARs, they were not detected on the surface of neurons and failed to alter the kinetics of endogenous AMPARs. This neuronal role is more consistent with that of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone rather than a bona fide auxiliary subunit.
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: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:AMPA receptors (AMPAR) are ligand gated ion channels critical for synaptic transmission and plasticity. Their dysfunction is implicated in a variety of psychiatric and neurological diseases ranging from major depressive disorder to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Attempting to potentiate or depress AMPAR activity is an inherently difficult balancing act between effective treatments and debilitating side effects. A newly explored strategy to target subsets of AMPARs in the central nervous system is to identify compounds that affect specific AMPAR-auxiliary subunit complexes. This exploits diverse spatio-temporal expression patterns of known AMPAR auxiliary subunits, providing means for designing brain region-selective compounds. Here we report a high-throughput screening-based pipeline that can identify compounds that are selective for GluA2-CNIH3 and GluA2-stargazin complexes. These compounds will help us build upon the growing library of AMPAR-auxiliary subunit specific inhibitors, which have thus far all been targeted to TARP ?-8. We used a cell-based assay combined with a voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) to identify changes in glutamate-gated cation flow across the membranes of HEK cells co-expressing GluA2 and an auxiliary subunit. We then used a calcium flux assay to further validate hits picked from the VSD assay. VU0612951 and VU0627849 are candidate compounds from the initial screen that were identified as negative and positive allosteric modulators (NAM and PAM), respectively. They both have lower IC50/EC50s on complexes containing stargazin and CNIH3 than GSG1L or the AMPAR alone. We have also identified a candidate compound, VU0539491, that has NAM activity in GluA2(R)-CNIH3 and GluA2(Q) complexes and PAM activity in GluA2(Q)-GSG1L complexes.
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 receptor (AMPA-R) complexes consist of channel-forming subunits, GluA1-4, and auxiliary proteins, including TARPs, CNIHs, synDIG1, and CKAMP44, which can modulate AMPA-R function in specific ways. The combinatorial effects of four GluA subunits binding to various auxiliary subunits amplify the functional diversity of AMPA-Rs. The significance and magnitude of molecular diversity, however, remain elusive. To gain insight into the molecular complexity of AMPA and kainate receptors, we compared the proteins that copurify with each receptor type in the rat brain. This interactome study identified the majority of known interacting proteins and, more importantly, provides candidates for additional studies. We validate the claudin homolog GSG1L as a newly identified binding protein and unique modulator of AMPA-R gating, as determined by detailed molecular, cellular, electrophysiological, and biochemical experiments. GSG1L extends the functional variety of AMPA-R complexes, and further investigation of other candidates may reveal additional complexity of ionotropic glutamate receptor function.