Phosphoregulation of the intracellular termini of K+-Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2) enables flexible control of its activity.
ABSTRACT: The pivotal role of K+-Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2) in inhibitory neurotransmission and severe human diseases fosters interest in understanding posttranslational regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Here, the regulatory role of the five bona fide phosphosites Ser31, Thr34, Ser932, Thr999, and Thr1008 was investigated by the use of alanine and aspartate mutants. Tl+-based flux analyses in HEK-293 cells demonstrated increased transport activity for S932D (mimicking phosphorylation) and T1008A (mimicking dephosphorylation), albeit to a different extent. Increased activity was due to changes in intrinsic activity, as it was not caused by increased cell-surface abundance. Substitutions of Ser31, Thr34, or Thr999 had no effect. Additionally, we show that the indirect actions of the known KCC2 activators staurosporine and N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) involved multiple phosphosites. S31D, T34A, S932A/D, T999A, or T1008A/D abrogated staurosporine mediated stimulation, and S31A, T34D, or S932D abolished NEM-mediated stimulation. This demonstrates for the first time differential effects of staurosporine and NEM on KCC2. In addition, the staurosporine-mediated effects involved both KCC2 phosphorylation and dephosphorylation with Ser932 and Thr1008 being bona fide target sites. In summary, our data reveal a complex phosphoregulation of KCC2 that provides the transporter with a toolbox for graded activity and integration of different signaling pathways.
Project description:The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.
Project description:The neuron-specific cation chloride cotransporter KCC2 plays a crucial role in hyperpolarizing synaptic inhibition. Transporter dysfunction is associated with various neurological disorders, raising interest in regulatory mechanisms. Phosphorylation has been identified as a key regulatory process. Here, we retrieved experimentally observed phosphorylation sites of KCC2 from public databases and report on the systematic analysis of six phosphorylated serines, Ser(25), Ser(26), Ser(937), Ser(1022), Ser(1025), and Ser(1026). Alanine or aspartate substitutions of these residues were analyzed in HEK-293 cells. All mutants were expressed in a pattern similar to wild-type KCC2 (KCC2(WT)). Tl(+) flux measurements demonstrated unchanged transport activity for Ser(25), Ser(26), Ser(1022), Ser(1025), and Ser(1026) mutants. In contrast, KCC2(S937D), mimicking phosphorylation, resulted in a significant up-regulation of transport activity. Aspartate substitution of Thr(934), a neighboring putative phosphorylation site, resulted in a comparable increase in KCC2 transport activity. Both KCC2(T934D) and KCC2(S937D) mutants were inhibited by the kinase inhibitor staurosporine and by N-ethylmaleimide, whereas KCC2(WT), KCC2(T934A), and KCC2(S937A) were activated. The inverse staurosporine effect on aspartate versus alanine substitutions reveals a cross-talk between different phosphorylation sites of KCC2. Immunoblot and cell surface labeling experiments detected no alterations in total abundance or surface expression of KCC2(T934D) and KCC2(S937D) compared with KCC2(WT). These data reveal kinetic regulation of transport activity by these residues. In summary, our data identify a novel key regulatory phosphorylation site of KCC2 and a functional interaction between different conformation-changing post-translational modifications. The action of pharmacological agents aimed to modulate KCC2 activity for therapeutic benefit might therefore be highly context-specific.
Project description:Genetic variation in SLC12A5 which encodes KCC2, the neuron-specific cation-chloride cotransporter that is essential for hyperpolarizing GABAergic signaling and formation of cortical dendritic spines, has not been reported in human disease. Screening of SLC12A5 revealed a co-segregating variant (KCC2-R952H) in an Australian family with febrile seizures. We show that KCC2-R952H reduces neuronal Cl(-) extrusion and has a compromised ability to induce dendritic spines in vivo and in vitro. Biochemical analyses indicate a reduced surface expression of KCC2-R952H which likely contributes to the functional deficits. Our data suggest that KCC2-R952H is a bona fide susceptibility variant for febrile seizures.
Project description:Despite its importance for ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibition and involvement in neurodevelopmental disease, the regulatory mechanisms of the K+/Cl- cotransporter KCC2 (encoded by SLC12A5) during maturation of the central nervous system (CNS) are not entirely understood. Here, we applied quantitative phosphoproteomics to systematically map sites of KCC2 phosphorylation during CNS development in the mouse. KCC2 phosphorylation at Thr906 and Thr1007, which inhibits KCC2 activity, underwent dephosphorylation in parallel with the GABA excitatory-inhibitory sequence in vivo. Knockin mice expressing the homozygous phosphomimetic KCC2 mutations T906E/T1007E (Kcc2E/E ), which prevented the normal developmentally regulated dephosphorylation of these sites, exhibited early postnatal death from respiratory arrest and a marked absence of cervical spinal neuron respiratory discharges. Kcc2E/E mice also displayed disrupted lumbar spinal neuron locomotor rhythmogenesis and touch-evoked status epilepticus associated with markedly impaired KCC2-dependent Cl- extrusion. These data identify a previously unknown phosphorylation-dependent KCC2 regulatory mechanism during CNS development that is essential for dynamic GABA-mediated inhibition and survival.
Project description:KCC2 is a neuron-specific K(+)-Cl(-) co-transporter that maintains a low intracellular Cl(-) concentration that is essential for hyperpolarizing inhibition mediated by GABA(A) receptors. Deficits in KCC2 activity occur in disease states associated with pathophysiological glutamate release. However, the mechanisms by which elevated glutamate alters KCC2 function are unknown. The phosphorylation of KCC2 residue Ser940 is known to regulate its surface activity. We found that NMDA receptor activity and Ca(2+) influx caused the dephosphorylation of Ser940 in dissociated rat neurons, leading to a loss of KCC2 function that lasted longer than 20 min. Protein phosphatase 1 mediated the dephosphorylation events of Ser940 that coincided with a deficit in hyperpolarizing GABAergic inhibition resulting from the loss of KCC2 activity. Blocking dephosphorylation of Ser940 reduced the glutamate-induced downregulation of KCC2 and substantially improved the maintenance of hyperpolarizing GABAergic inhibition. Reducing the downregulation of KCC2 therefore has therapeutic potential in the treatment of neurological disorders.
Project description:The survival of endothelial cells is dependent on interactions between the matrix and integrins mediated through focal adhesions. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is thought to play a key role in maintaining focal adhesion function and cell survival, whereas caspase-mediated FAK proteolysis is implicated in focal adhesion disassembly during apoptosis. We examined the relationship between changes in FAK phosphorylation and proteolysis during apoptosis of primary porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) induced by staurosporine, a widely used apoptogenic agent in diverse cell types. Staurosporine-induced PAEC apoptosis was detected after 1 h and was preceded by disruption and loss of FAK localization to focal adhesions within a few minutes, whereas staurosporine-induced cleavage of FAK occurred only after 8-24 h. Staurosporine induced a very rapid dephosphorylation of FAK at Tyr(861) and Tyr(397) and caused dissociation of phosphorylated FAK from focal adhesions as early as 30 s. The effect of staurosporine was very potent with striking inhibition of Tyr(861) and Tyr(397) phosphorylation and focal adhesion disruption occurring in the range 10-100 nM. Selective inhibition of a known target of staurosporine, protein kinase C, using GF109203X, and of phosphoinositide 3'-kinase using wortmannin, did not reduce FAK tyrosine phosphorylation at Tyr(861) and Tyr(397), or cause disruption of focal adhesions. Cycloheximide, the protein synthesis inhibitor, induced PAEC apoptosis more slowly than staurosporine, but did not induce FAK dephosphorylation or rapid focal adhesion disruption, and instead caused a slower loss of focal adhesions and a marked increase in FAK proteolysis. These studies show that FAK dephosphorylation and focal adhesion disassembly are very early events mediating the onset of staurosporine-induced endothelial cell apoptosis and are dissociated from FAK proteolysis. Cycloheximide induces apoptosis through a pathway involving FAK proteolysis without dephosphorylation.
Project description:The Hippo pathway regulates organ size by controlling both cell proliferation and apoptosis. TAZ functions as a transcriptional co-activator downstream of the Hippo pathway and has been implicated in human cancer development. A key step in the Hippo-TAZ pathway is phosphorylation of TAZ by LATS kinase, which leads to TAZ inhibition by both cytoplasmic retention and degradation. However, the mechanism of TAZ dephosphorylation and the responsible phosphatase are unknown. Here, we identified PP1 as a bona fide TAZ phosphatase. PP1A dephosphorylates TAZ at Ser-89 and Ser-311, promotes TAZ nuclear translocation, and stabilizes TAZ by disrupting the binding to the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase. Furthermore, ASPP2 facilitates the interaction between TAZ and PP1 to promote TAZ dephosphorylation. As a result, PP1 and ASPP2 increase TAZ-dependent gene expression. This study demonstrates that PP1A and ASPP2 play a critical role in promoting TAZ function by antagonizing the LATS kinase through TAZ dephosphorylation.
Project description:The K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter (KCC2) allows adult neurons to maintain low intracellular Cl(-) levels, which are a prerequisite for efficient synaptic inhibition upon activation of γ-aminobutyric acid receptors. Deficits in KCC2 activity are implicated in epileptogenesis, but how increased neuronal activity leads to transporter inactivation is ill defined. In vitro, the activity of KCC2 is potentiated via phosphorylation of serine 940 (S940). Here we have examined the role this putative regulatory process plays in determining KCC2 activity during status epilepticus (SE) using knockin mice in which S940 is mutated to an alanine (S940A). In wild-type mice, SE induced by kainate resulted in dephosphorylation of S940 and KCC2 internalization. S940A homozygotes were viable and exhibited comparable basal levels of KCC2 expression and activity relative to WT mice. However, exposure of S940A mice to kainate induced lethality within 30 min of kainate injection and subsequent entrance into SE. We assessed the effect of the S940A mutation in cultured hippocampal neurons to explore the mechanisms underlying this phenotype. Under basal conditions, the mutation had no effect on neuronal Cl(-) extrusion. However, a selective deficit in KCC2 activity was seen in S940A neurons upon transient exposure to glutamate. Significantly, whereas the effects of glutamate on KCC2 function could be ameliorated in WT neurons with agents that enhance S940 phosphorylation, this positive modulation was lost in S940A neurons. Collectively our results suggest that phosphorylation of S940 plays a critical role in potentiating KCC2 activity to limit the development of SE.
Project description:Stress can induce a serious epileptic encephalopathy that occurs during early infancy. Recent studies have revealed that prenatal stress exposure is a risk factor for the development of infantile spasms. Our previous work demonstrates that prenatal stress with betamethasone-induced alterations to the expression of the K+/Cl- co-transporter (KCC2) in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons lowers the seizure threshold in exposed animals. Here, we further investigated the mechanisms involved in this KCC2 dysfunction and explored possible treatment options. We stressed Sprague-Dawley rats prenatally and further treated dams with betamethasone on gestational day 15, which increases seizure susceptibility and NMDA (N-Methyl-D-aspartate)-triggered spasms on postnatal day 15. In this animal model, first, we evaluated baseline calpain activity. Second, we examined the cleavage and dephosphorylation of KCC2. Finally, we checked the effect of a calpain inhibitor on seizure occurrence. The phosphorylated-N-methyl-Daspartate Receptor 2B (NR2B):non-phosphorylated NR2B ratio was found to be higher in the cortex of the prenatally stressed betamethasone model. We further found that the betamethasone model exhibited increased phosphorylation of calpain-2 and decreased phosphorylation of KCC2 and Glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67). After using a calpain inhibitor in prenatal-stress rats, the seizure frequency decreased, while latency increased. GABAergic depolarization was further normalized in prenatal-stress rats treated with the calpain inhibitor. Our study suggests that calpain-dependent cleavage and dephosphorylation of KCC2 decreased the seizure threshold of rats under prenatal stress. Calpain-2 functions might, thus, be targeted in the future for the development of treatments for epileptic spasms.
Project description:The obligatory heterodimerization of the GABAB receptor (GBR) raises fundamental questions about molecular mechanisms controlling its signaling efficacy. Here, we show that NEM sensitive fusion (NSF) protein interacts directly with the GBR heterodimer both in rat brain synaptosomes and in CHO cells, forming a ternary complex that can be regulated by agonist stimulation. Inhibition of NSF binding with a peptide derived from GBR2 (TAT-Pep-27) did not affect basal signaling activity but almost completely abolished agonist-promoted GBR desensitization in both CHO cells and hippocampal slices. Taken with the role of PKC in the desensitization process, our observation that TAT-Pep-27 prevented both agonist-promoted recruitment of PKC and receptor phosphorylation suggests that NSF is a priming factor required for GBR desensitization. Given that GBR desensitization does not involve receptor internalization, the NSF/PKC coordinated action revealed herein suggests that NSF can regulate GPCR signalling efficacy independently of its role in membrane trafficking. The functional interaction between three bona fide regulators of neurotransmitter release, such as GBR, NSF and PKC, could shed new light on the modulation of presynaptic GBR action.