The CNTNAP2-CASK complex modulates GluA1 subcellular distribution in interneurons.
ABSTRACT: GABAergic interneurons are emerging as prominent substrates in the pathophysiology of multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. Interneuron excitatory activity is influenced by 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid receptors (AMPARs), which in turn affects excitatory transmission in the central nervous system. Yet how dysregulation of interneuronal AMPARs distinctly contributes to the molecular underpinning of neurobiological disease is drastically underexplored. Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) is a neurexin-related adhesion molecule shown to mediate AMPAR subcellular distribution while calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) is a multi-functional scaffold involved with glutamate receptor trafficking. Mutations in both genes have overlapping disease associations, including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, and epilepsy, thus suggesting converging perturbations of excitatory/inhibitory balance. Our lab has previously shown that CNTNAP2 stabilizes interneuron dendritic arbors through CASK and that CNTNAP2 regulates AMPAR subunit GluA1 trafficking in excitatory neurons. The interaction between these three proteins, however, has not been studied in interneurons. Using biochemical techniques, structured illumination microscopy (SIM) and shRNA technology, we first confirm that these three proteins interact in mouse brain, and then examined relationship between CNTNAP2, CASK and GluA1 in mature interneurons. Using SIM, we ascertain that a large fraction of endogenous CNTNAP2, CASK, and GluA1 molecules collectively colocalize together in a tripartite manner. Finally, individual knockdown of either CNTNAP2 or CASK similarly alter GluA1 levels and localization. These findings offer insight to molecular mechanisms underlying GluA1 regulation in interneurons.
Project description:Contactin associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) has emerged as a prominent susceptibility gene implicated in multiple complex neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia (SCZ). The presence of seizure comorbidity in many of these cases, as well as inhibitory neuron dysfunction in Cntnap2 knockout (KO) mice, suggests CNTNAP2 may be crucial for proper inhibitory network function. However, underlying cellular mechanisms are unclear. Here we show that cultured Cntnap2 KO mouse neurons exhibit an inhibitory neuron-specific simplification of the dendritic tree. These alterations can be replicated by acute knockdown of CNTNAP2 in mature wild-type (WT) neurons and are caused by faulty dendrite stabilization rather than outgrowth. Using structured illumination microscopy (SIM) and stimulated-emission depletion microscopy (STED), two super-resolution imaging techniques, we uncovered relationships between nanoscale CNTNAP2 protein localization and dendrite arborization patterns. Employing yeast two-hybrid screening, biochemical analysis, in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA), SIM, and phenotype rescue, we show that these effects are mediated at the membrane by the interaction of CNTNAP2's C-terminus with calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK), another ASD/ID risk gene. Finally, we show that adult Cntnap2 KO mice have reduced interneuron dendritic length and branching in particular cortical regions, as well as decreased CASK levels in the cortical membrane fraction. Taken together, our data reveal an interneuron-specific mechanism for dendrite stabilization that may provide a cellular mechanism for inhibitory circuit dysfunction in CNTNAP2-related disorders.
Project description:Feedforward inhibition is essential to prevent run away excitation within the brain. Recent evidence suggests that a loss of feed-forward inhibition in the corticothalamocortical circuitry may underlie some absence seizures. However, it is unclear if this aberration is specifically linked to loss of synaptic excitation onto local fast-spiking parvalbumin-containing (PV<sup>+</sup>) inhibitory interneurons, which are responsible for mediating feedforward inhibition within cortical networks. We recently reported a global tissue loss of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), and a specific mistrafficking of these AMPARs in PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons in the stargazer somatosensory cortex. The current study was aimed at investigating if cellular changes in AMPAR expression were translated into deficits in receptors at specific synapses in the feedforward inhibitory microcircuit. Using western blot immunolabeling on biochemically isolated synaptic fractions, we demonstrate a loss of AMPAR GluA1-4 subunits in the somatosensory cortex of stargazers compared to non-epileptic control mice. Furthermore, using double post-embedding immunogold-cytochemistry, we show a loss of GluA1-4-AMPARs at excitatory synapses onto cortical PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons. Altogether, these data indicate a loss of synaptic AMPAR-mediated excitation of cortical PV<sup>+</sup> inhibitory neurons. As the cortex is considered the site of initiation of spike wave discharges (SWDs) within the corticothalamocortical circuitry, loss of AMPARs at cortical PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons likely impairs feed-forward inhibitory output, and contributes to the generation of SWDs and absence seizures in stargazers.
Project description:The climbing fiber (CF) neurotransmitter not only excites the postsynaptic Purkinje cell (PC) but also suppresses GABA release from inhibitory interneurons converging onto the same PC depending on AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) activation. Although the CF-/AMPAR-mediated inhibition of GABA release provides a likely mechanism boosting the CF input-derived excitation, how the CF transmitter reaches target AMPARs to elicit this action remains unknown. Here, we report that the CF transmitter diffused from its release sites directly targets GluR2/GluR3 AMPARs on interneuron terminals to inhibit GABA release. A weak GluR3-AMPAR agonist, bromohomoibotenic acid, produced excitatory currents in the postsynaptic PCs without presynaptic inhibitory effect on GABAergic transmission. Conversely, a specific inhibitor of the GluR2-lacking/Ca2+-permeable AMPARs, philanthotoxin-433, did not affect the CF-induced inhibition but suppressed AMPAR-mediated currents in Bergmann glia. A low-affinity GluR antagonist, gamma-D-glutamylglycine, or retardation of neurotransmitter diffusion by dextran reduced the inhibitory action of CF-stimulation, whereas blockade of glutamate transporters enhanced the CF-induced inhibition. The results suggest that the CF transmitter released after repeated stimulation overwhelms local glutamate uptake and thereby diffuses from the release site to reach GluR2/GluR3 AMPARs on nearby interneuron terminals. Double immunostaining showed that GluR2/3 subunits and glutamate decarboxylase or synaptophysin are colocalized at the perisomatic GABAergic processes surrounding PCs. Finally, electron microscopy detected specific immunoreactivity for GluR2/3 at the presynaptic terminals of symmetric axosomatic synapses on the PC. These findings demonstrate that the CF transmitter directly inhibits GABA release from interneurons to the PC, relying on extrasynaptic diffusion and local heterogeneity in AMPAR subunit compositions.
Project description:?-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors (AMPARs) are the primary mediators of excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. Alterations in AMPAR localization and turnover have been considered critical mechanisms underpinning synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions, but the molecular processes that control AMPAR trafficking and stability are still not fully understood. Here, we report that mammalian AMPARs are subject to ubiquitination in neurons and in transfected heterologous cells. Ubiquitination facilitates AMPAR endocytosis, leading to a reduction in AMPAR cell-surface localization and total receptor abundance. Mutation of lysine residues to arginine residues at the glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluA1) C-terminus dramatically reduces GluA1 ubiquitination and abolishes ubiquitin-dependent GluA1 internalization and degradation, indicating that the lysine residues, particularly K868, are sites of ubiquitination. We also find that the E3 ligase neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4 (Nedd4) is enriched in synaptosomes and co-localizes and associates with AMPARs in neurons. Nedd4 expression leads to AMPAR ubiquitination, leading to reduced AMPAR surface expression and suppressed excitatory synaptic transmission. Conversely, knockdown of Nedd4 by specific siRNAs abolishes AMPAR ubiquitination. These data indicate that Nedd4 is the E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for AMPAR ubiquitination, a modification that regulates multiple aspects of AMPAR molecular biology including trafficking, localization and stability.
Project description:The accumulation of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is essential for excitatory synaptic transmission. However, the mechanisms underlying synaptic targeting of AMPARs remain elusive. We have now used a molecular replacement approach on an AMPAR-null background to investigate the targeting mechanisms necessary for regulating AMPAR trafficking in the hippocampus. Although there is an extensive literature on the role of the GluA1 C-tail in AMPAR trafficking, there is no effect of overexpressing the C-tail on basal transmission. Instead, we found that the first intracellular loop domain (Loop1) of GluA1, a previously overlooked region within AMPARs, is critical for receptor targeting to synapses, but not for delivery of receptors to the plasma membrane. We also identified a CaMKII phosphorylation site (S567) in the GluA1 Loop1, which is phosphorylated in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we show that S567 is a key residue that regulates Loop1-mediated AMPAR trafficking. Thus, our study reveals a unique mechanism for targeting AMPARs to synapses to mediate synaptic transmission.
Project description:Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory neurotransmission are believed to be the neuronal basis of learning and memory. Both processes are primarily mediated by neuronal activity-induced transport of postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). While AMPAR subunits and their specific phosphorylation sites mediate differential AMPAR trafficking, LTP and LTD could also occur in a subunit-independent manner. Thus, it remains unclear whether and how certain AMPAR subunits with phosphorylation sites are preferentially recruited to or removed from synapses during LTP and LTD. Using immunoblot and immunocytochemical analysis, we show that phosphomimetic mutations of the membrane-proximal region (MPR) in GluA1 AMPAR subunits affect the subunit-dependent endosomal transport of AMPARs during chemical LTD. AP-2 and AP-3, adaptor protein complexes necessary for clathrin-mediated endocytosis and late endosomal/lysosomal trafficking, respectively, are reported to be recruited to AMPARs by binding to the AMPAR auxiliary subunit, stargazin (STG), in an AMPAR subunit-independent manner. However, the association of AP-3, but not AP-2, with STG was indirectly inhibited by the phosphomimetic mutation in the MPR of GluA1. Thus, although AMPARs containing the phosphomimetic mutation at the MPR of GluA1 were endocytosed by a chemical LTD-inducing stimulus, they were quickly recycled back to the cell surface in hippocampal neurons. These results could explain how the phosphorylation status of GluA1-MPR plays a dominant role in subunit-independent STG-mediated AMPAR trafficking during LTD.
Project description:?-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type (AMPA-type) glutamate receptors (AMPARs) play an important role in plasticity at central synapses. Although there is anatomical evidence for AMPAR expression in the peripheral nervous system, the functional role of such receptors in vivo is not clear. To address this issue, we generated mice specifically lacking either of the key AMPAR subunits, GluA1 or GluA2, in peripheral, pain-sensing neurons (nociceptors), while preserving expression of these subunits in the central nervous system. Nociceptor-specific deletion of GluA1 led to disruption of calcium permeability and reduced capsaicin-evoked activation of nociceptors. Deletion of GluA1, but not GluA2, led to reduced mechanical hypersensitivity and sensitization in models of chronic inflammatory pain and arthritis. Further analysis revealed that GluA1-containing AMPARs regulated the responses of nociceptors to painful stimuli in inflamed tissues and controlled the excitatory drive from the periphery into the spinal cord. Consequently, peripherally applied AMPAR antagonists alleviated inflammatory pain by specifically blocking calcium-permeable AMPARs, without affecting physiological pain or eliciting central side effects. These findings indicate an important pathophysiological role for calcium-permeable AMPARs in nociceptors and may have therapeutic implications for the treatment chronic inflammatory pain states.
Project description:The dynamic trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), which enables the endocytosis, recycling, and exocytosis of AMPARs, is crucial for synaptic plasticity. Endophilin2, which directly interacts with the GluA1 subunit of AMPARs, plays an important role in AMPAR endocytosis. Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) promotes the maturation of the dendritic spine and can transfer AMPARs to the membrane. Although the mechanisms of AMPAR endocytosis and exocytosis are well known, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying AMPAR recycling remain unclear. Here, we report a unique interaction between CRMP2 and endophilin2. Our results showed that overexpression of CRMP2 and endophilin2 increased the amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory synaptic currents (mEPSCs) and modestly enhanced AMPAR levels in hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, the CRMP2 and endophilin2 overexpression phenotype failed to occur when the interaction between these two proteins was inhibited. Further analysis revealed that this interaction was regulated by CRMP2 phosphorylation. The phosphorylation of CRMP2 inhibited its interaction with endophilin2; this was mainly affected by the phosphorylation of Thr514 and Ser518 by glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3?. CRMP2 phosphorylation increased degradation and inhibited the surface expression of AMPAR GluA1 subunits in cultured hippocampal neurons. However, the dephosphorylation of CRMP2 inhibited degradation and promoted the surface expression of AMPAR GluA1 subunits in cultured hippocampal neurons. Taken together, our data demonstrated that the interaction between CRMP2 and endophilin2 was conductive to the recycling of AMPA receptor GluA1 subunits in hippocampal neurons.
Project description:Regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking is a key modulator of excitatory synaptic transmission; however, intracellular vesicular transport of newly synthesized AMPARs has been little studied due to technical limitations. By combining molecular tools with imaging strategies in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we found that vesicles containing newly synthesized, GluA1-subunit-containing AMPARs are transported antero- and retrogradely at a mean speed of 1.5 ?m.s-1. Synaptic activity and variations in intracellular calcium levels bidirectionally modulate GluA1 transport. Chemical long-term potentiation (cLTP) initially induces a halt in GluA1 transport, followed by a sustained increase, while acute glutamate uncaging on synaptic spines arrests vesicular movements. GluA1 phosphomimetic mutants preferentially travel to the dendritic tip, probably to replenish extrasynaptic pools, distal to the soma. Our findings indicate that AMPAR intracellular transport is highly regulated during synaptic plasticity and likely controls AMPAR numbers at the plasma membrane.
Project description:AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs), key elements in excitatory neurotransmission in the brain, are macromolecular complexes whose properties and cellular functions are determined by the co-assembled constituents of their proteome. Here we identify AMPAR complexes that transiently form in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lack the core-subunits typical for AMPARs in the plasma membrane. Central components of these ER AMPARs are the proteome constituents FRRS1l (C9orf4) and CPT1c that specifically and cooperatively bind to the pore-forming GluA1-4 proteins of AMPARs. Bi-allelic mutations in the human FRRS1L gene are shown to cause severe intellectual disability with cognitive impairment, speech delay and epileptic activity. Virus-directed deletion or overexpression of FRRS1l strongly impact synaptic transmission in adult rat brain by decreasing or increasing the number of AMPARs in synapses and extra-synaptic sites. Our results provide insight into the early biogenesis of AMPARs and demonstrate its pronounced impact on synaptic transmission and brain function.