Comparative synaptosome imaging: a semi-quantitative method to obtain copy numbers for synaptic and neuronal proteins.
ABSTRACT: Protein copy numbers can be measured by biochemical methods ranging from quantitative Western Blotting to several mass spectrometry approaches. Such methods only provide average copy numbers, obtained over large cell numbers. However, copy number estimates for single cells or single organelles could be obtained by combining biochemical characterizations with an imaging approach. We performed this here for synaptic proteins, in a protocol that we termed comparative synaptosome imaging for semi-quantitative copy numbers (CosiQuant). In brief, in CosiQuant we immunostain in parallel biochemically-characterized synaptosomes, for which we have already determined the average protein copy numbers, and the samples of interest (such as neuronal cultures). We then derive the copy numbers in the samples of interest by comparing the immunofluorescence intensities. We measured the intensities not only in arbitrary fluorescence units, but also as numbers of antibodies per synaptosome, for a large number of targets. This implies that other groups can immediately apply CosiQuant for these targets, by simply estimating the number of antibodies per structure of interest. CosiQuant should therefore be a useful addition to the growing set of imaging techniques for synaptic neuroscience.
Project description:1. Choline acetyltransferase may be isolated in either a bound or soluble form after hypo-osmotic treatment of a crude synaptosome fraction, depending on the conditions. 2. In the bound form, the enzyme appears to be associated with the larger membrane fragments rather than with synaptic vesicles. 3. The bound form is predominant at slightly acid pH values and low ionic strength, the soluble form under more physiological conditions of pH and ionic strength. 4. Sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride and calcium chloride at similar ionic strengths solubilize the enzyme. 5. Choline acetyltransferase was found to be soluble under these conditions after release from synaptosomes from rat and pigeon cerebra, guinea-pig cortex and rabbit cortex, caudate nuclei, diencephalon and midbrain. 6. Certain isoenzymes of lactate dehydrogenase behaved similarly.
Project description:The resolvase Sin regulates DNA strand exchange by assembling an elaborate interwound synaptosome containing catalytic and regulatory Sin tetramers, and an architectural DNA-bending protein. The crystal structure of the regulatory tetramer was recently solved, providing new insights into the structural basis for regulation. Here we describe the selection and characterization of two classes of Sin mutations that, respectively, bypass or disrupt the functions of the regulatory tetramer. Activating mutations, which allow the catalytic tetramer to assemble and function independently at site I (the crossover site), were found at approximately 20% of residues in the N-terminal domain. The most strongly activating mutation (Q115R) stabilized a catalytically active synaptic tetramer in vitro. The positions of these mutations suggest that they act by destabilizing the conformation of the ground-state site I-bound dimers, or by stabilizing the altered conformation of the active catalytic tetramer. Mutations that block activation by the regulatory tetramer mapped to just two residues, F52 and R54, supporting a functional role for a previously reported crystallographic dimer-dimer interface. We suggest how F52/R54 contacts between regulatory and catalytic subunits might promote assembly of the active catalytic tetramer within the synaptosome.
Project description:The ionophore valinomycin inhibited adult and neonatal synaptosome fraction protein synthesis with half-maximal inhibition at approximately 10nM. Valinomycin had no effect on [3H]leucine uptake into synaptosomes at high or low external [K+]. Synaptosome-fraction protein synthesis was dependent on [K+]e reaching a maximum at 25mM-K+. Valinomycin inhibition of protein synthesis was not reversed at high [K+]e. Valinomycin failed to influence the intrasynaptosomal [K+] even at zero [K+]e. A significant increase in State-4 respiration of synaptosomal fractions was found at 5nM-valinomycin with a decrease in the respiratory control index. At these concentrations of valinomycin there was no inhibition of the ADP-stimulated (State 3) respiration rate. Valinomycin had no effect on cerebral microsomal protein synthesis in vitro, which was inhibited by puromycin (100 micrograms/ml) or the absence of ATP. Valinomycin, 2,4-dinitrophenol and KCN inhibition of protein synthesis was not reversed by added ATP, suggesting impermeability of the membrane to ATP. Valinomycin induced a rapid fall in synaptosome ATP content not observed with atractylate or ouabain. Valinomycin inhibition of protein synthesis under these conditions is secondary to uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation with a subsequent decrease in intraterminal ATP necessary for translation.
Project description:In the brain, the strength of each individual synapse is defined by the complement of proteins present or the "local proteome." Activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength are the result of changes in this local proteome and posttranslational protein modifications. Although most synaptic proteins have been identified, we still know little about protein copy numbers in individual synapses and variations between synapses. We use DNA-point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography as a single-molecule super-resolution imaging technique to visualize and quantify protein copy numbers in single synapses. The imaging technique provides near-molecular spatial resolution, is unaffected by photobleaching, enables imaging of large field of views, and provides quantitative molecular information. We demonstrate these benefits by accessing copy numbers of surface AMPA-type receptors at single synapses of rat hippocampal neurons along dendritic segments.
Project description:The gene DTNBP1 encodes the protein dysbindin and is among the most promising and highly investigated schizophrenia-risk genes. Accumulating evidence suggests that dysbindin plays an important role in the regulation of neuroplasticity. Dysbindin was reported to be a stable component of BLOC-1 complex in the cytosol. However, little is known about the endogenous dysbindin-containing complex in the brain synaptosome. In this study, we investigated the associated proteome of dysbindin in the P2 synaptosome fraction of mouse brain. Our data suggest that dysbindin has three isoforms associating with different complexes in the P2 fraction of mouse brain. To facilitate immunopurification, BAC transgenic mice expressing a tagged dysbindin were generated, and 47 putative dysbindin-associated proteins, including all components of BLOC-1, were identified by mass spectrometry in the dysbindin-containing complex purified from P2. The interactions of several selected candidates, including WDR11, FAM91A1, snapin, muted, pallidin, and two proteasome subunits, PSMD9 and PSMA4, were verified by coimmunoprecipitation. The specific proteasomal activity is significantly reduced in the P2 fraction of the brains of the dysbindin-null mutant (sandy) mice. Our data suggest that dysbindin is functionally interrelated to the ubiquitin-proteasome system and offer a molecular repertoire for future study of dysbindin functional networks in brain.
Project description:Synapses represent a major pathological target across a broad range of neurodegenerative conditions. Recent studies addressing molecular mechanisms regulating synaptic vulnerability and degeneration have relied heavily on invertebrate and mouse models. Whether similar molecular neuropathological changes underpin synaptic breakdown in large animal models and in human patients with neurodegenerative disease remains unclear. We therefore investigated whether molecular regulators of synaptic pathophysiology, previously identified in Drosophila and mouse models, are similarly present and modified in the brain of sheep with CLN5 Batten disease.Gross neuropathological analysis of CLN5 Batten disease sheep and controls was used alongside postmortem MRI imaging to identify affected brain regions. Synaptosome preparations were then generated and quantitative fluorescent Western blotting used to determine and compare levels of synaptic proteins.The cortex was particularly affected by regional neurodegeneration and synaptic loss in CLN5 sheep, whilst the cerebellum was relatively spared. Quantitative assessment of the protein content of synaptosome preparations revealed significant changes in levels of seven out of eight synaptic neurodegeneration proteins investigated in the motor cortex, but not cerebellum, of CLN5 sheep (α-synuclein, CSP-α, neurofascin, ROCK2, calretinin, SIRT2, and UBR4).Synaptic pathology is a robust correlate of region-specific neurodegeneration in the brain of CLN5 sheep, driven by molecular pathways similar to those reported in Drosophila and rodent models. Thus, large animal models, such as sheep, represent ideal translational systems to develop and test therapeutics aimed at delaying or halting synaptic pathology for a range of human neurodegenerative conditions.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a single-gene disorder that is the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). FXS is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats in the promoter region of the fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1). This leads to a lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which regulates translation of a wide range of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The extent of expression level alterations of synaptic proteins affected by FMRP loss and their consequences on synaptic dynamics in FXS has not been fully investigated.Here, we used an Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS by monitoring protein expression changes using shotgun label-free liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(E)) in brain tissue and synaptosome fractions. FXS-associated candidate proteins were validated using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in synaptosome fractions for targeted protein quantification. Furthermore, functional alterations in synaptic release and dynamics were evaluated using live-cell imaging, and interpretation of synaptic dynamics differences was investigated using electron microscopy.Key findings relate to altered levels of proteins involved in GABA-signalling, especially in the cerebellum. Further exploration using microscopy studies found reduced synaptic vesicle unloading of hippocampal neurons and increased vesicle unloading in cerebellar neurons, which suggests a general decrease of synaptic transmission.Our findings suggest that FMRP is a regulator of synaptic vesicle dynamics, which supports the role of FMRP in presynaptic functions. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the molecular changes associated with FXS.
Project description:For decades, neuroscientists have used enriched preparations of synaptic particles called synaptosomes to study synapse function. However, the interpretation of corresponding data is problematic as synaptosome preparations contain multiple types of synapses and non-synaptic neuronal and glial contaminants. We established a novel Fluorescence Activated Synaptosome Sorting (FASS) method that substantially improves conventional synaptosome enrichment protocols and enables high-resolution biochemical analyses of specific synapse subpopulations. Employing knock-in mice with fluorescent glutamatergic synapses, we show that FASS isolates intact ultrapure synaptosomes composed of a resealed presynaptic terminal and a postsynaptic density as assessed by light and electron microscopy. FASS synaptosomes contain bona fide glutamatergic synapse proteins but are almost devoid of other synapse types and extrasynaptic or glial contaminants. We identified 163 enriched proteins in FASS samples, of which FXYD6 and Tpd52 were validated as new synaptic proteins. FASS purification thus enables high-resolution biochemical analyses of specific synapse subpopulations in health and disease.
Project description:There has been increasing interest in the quantification and characterization of messages and proteins at the synapse, due to its importance in neurodegenerative disease, most notably Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we report the transcriptomic and proteomic changes that occur in synaptosomes from frontal cortices of Sod2 null mice. Constitutively null Sod2 mice were differentially dosed with the synthetic catalytic antioxidant EUK-189, which can extend the lifespan of these mice, as well as uncover or prevent neurodegeneration due to endogenous oxidative stress. This approach facilitated insight into quantification of trafficked messages and proteins to the synaptosome. We used two complementary methods to investigate the nature of the synaptosome under oxidative stress; either whole genome gene expression microarrays or mass spectrometry-based proteomics using isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) of proteins. We have characterized the relative enrichments of gene ontologies at both gene and protein expression that occur due to mitochondrial oxidative stress in the synaptosome, which may lead to new avenues of investigation in understanding the regulation of the synaptic function in normal and diseased states. As a result of using these approaches, we report for the first time an activation of the mTOR pathway in synaptosomes isolated from Sod2 null mice, confirmed by an upregulation of the phosphorylation of 4E-BP1. mRNA was extracted from synaptosome samples of individual mice from each genotype/treatment group (N=9-11 per group/treatment). 200ng of the purified total RNA was then amplified one round using Ambion’s Illumina RNA Amplification Kit, to prepare cRNA for labeling and hybridization to Illumina’s MouseRef-8 v2.0 expression bead chips as per the manufacturers instructions (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA).
Project description:Importance:Findings from unbiased genetic studies have consistently implicated synaptic protein networks in schizophrenia, but the molecular pathologic features within these networks and their contribution to the synaptic and circuit deficits thought to underlie disease symptoms remain unknown. Objective:To determine whether protein levels are altered within synapses from the primary auditory cortex (A1) of individuals with schizophrenia and, if so, whether these differences are restricted to the synapse or occur throughout the gray matter. Design, Setting, and Participants:This paired case-control study included tissue samples from individuals with schizophrenia obtained from the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner. An independent panel of health care professionals made consensus DSM-IV diagnoses. Each tissue sample from an individual with schizophrenia was matched by sex, age, and postmortem interval with 1 sample from an unaffected control individual. Targeted mass spectrometry was used to measure protein levels in A1 gray matter homogenate and synaptosome preparations. All experimenters were blinded to diagnosis. Mass spectrometry data were collected from September 26 through November 4, 2016, and analyzed from November 3, 2016, to July 15, 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures:Primary measures were homogenate and synaptosome protein levels and their coregulation network features. Hypotheses generated before data collection were (1) that levels of canonical postsynaptic proteins in A1 synaptosome preparations would differ between individuals with schizophrenia and controls and (2) that these differences would not be explained by changes in total A1 homogenate protein levels. Results:Synaptosome and homogenate protein levels were investigated in 48 individuals with a schizophrenia diagnosis and 48 controls (mean age in both groups, 48 years [range, 17-83 years]); each group included 35 males (73%) and 13 females (27%). Robust alterations (statistical cutoff set at an adjusted Limma P?<?.05) were observed in synaptosome levels of canonical mitochondrial and postsynaptic proteins that were highly coregulated and not readily explained by postmortem interval, antipsychotic drug treatment, synaptosome yield, or underlying alterations in homogenate protein levels. Conclusions and Relevance:These findings suggest a robust and highly coordinated rearrangement of the synaptic proteome. In line with unbiased genetic findings, alterations in synaptic levels of postsynaptic proteins were identified, providing a road map to identify the specific cells and circuits that are impaired in individuals with schizophrenia A1.