Latrophilin GPCRs direct synapse specificity by coincident binding of FLRTs and teneurins.
ABSTRACT: Bidirectional signaling by cell adhesion molecules is thought to mediate synapse formation, but the mechanisms involved remain elusive. We found that the adhesion G protein-coupled receptors latrophilin-2 and latrophilin-3 selectively direct formation of perforant-path and Schaffer-collateral synapses, respectively, to hippocampal CA1-region neurons. Latrophilin-3 binds to two transcellular ligands: fibronectin leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins (FLRTs) and teneurins. In transgenic mice in vivo, both binding activities were required for input-specific synapse formation, which suggests that coincident binding of both ligands is necessary for synapse formation. In cultured neurons in vitro, teneurin or FLRT alone did not induce excitatory synapse formation, whereas together they potently did so. Thus, postsynaptic latrophilins promote excitatory synapse formation by simultaneous binding of two unrelated presynaptic ligands, which is required for formation of synaptic inputs at specific dendritic localizations.
Project description:Latrophilins, receptors for spider venom ?-latrotoxin, are adhesion type G-protein-coupled receptors with emerging functions in synapse development. The N-terminal region binds the endogenous cell adhesion molecule FLRT, a major regulator of cortical and synapse development. We present crystallographic data for the mouse Latrophilin3 lectin and olfactomedin-like (Olf) domains, thereby revealing the Olf ?-propeller fold and conserved calcium-binding site. We locate the FLRT-Latrophilin binding surfaces by a combination of sequence conservation analysis, point mutagenesis, and surface plasmon resonance experiments. In stripe assays, we show that wild-type Latrophilin3 and its high-affinity interactor FLRT2, but not the binding-impaired mutants we generated, promote HeLa cell adhesion. In contrast, cortical neurons expressing endogenous FLRTs are repelled by wild-type Latrophilin3 and not by the binding-impaired mutant. Taken together, we present molecular level insights into Latrophilin structure, its FLRT-binding mechanism, and a role for Latrophilin and FLRT that goes beyond a simply adhesive interaction.
Project description:Neural circuit assembly in the brain requires precise establishment of synaptic connections, but the mechanisms of synapse assembly remain incompletely understood. Latrophilins are postsynaptic adhesion-GPCRs that engage in trans-synaptic complexes with presynaptic teneurins and FLRTs. In mouse CA1-region neurons, Latrophilin-2 and Latrophilin-3 are essential for formation of entorhinal-cortex-derived and Schaffer-collateral-derived synapses, respectively. However, it is unknown whether latrophilins function as GPCRs in synapse formation. Here, we show that Latrophilin-2 and Latrophilin-3 exhibit constitutive GPCR activity that increases cAMP levels, which was blocked by a mutation interfering with G-protein and arrestin interactions of GPCRs. The same mutation impaired the ability of Latrophilin-2 and Latrophilin-3 to rescue the synapse-loss phenotype in Latrophilin-2 and Latrophilin-3 knockout neurons in vivo. Our results suggest that Latrophilin-2 and Latrophilin-3 require GPCR signaling in synapse formation, indicating that latrophilins promote synapse formation in the hippocampus by activating a classical GPCR-signaling pathway.
Project description:Teneurins are ancient metazoan cell adhesion receptors that control brain development and neuronal wiring in higher animals. The extracellular C terminus binds the adhesion GPCR Latrophilin, forming a trans-cellular complex with synaptogenic functions. However, Teneurins, Latrophilins, and FLRT proteins are also expressed during murine cortical cell migration at earlier developmental stages. Here, we present crystal structures of Teneurin-Latrophilin complexes that reveal how the lectin and olfactomedin domains of Latrophilin bind across a spiraling beta-barrel domain of Teneurin, the YD shell. We couple structure-based protein engineering to biophysical analysis, cell migration assays, and in utero electroporation experiments to probe the importance of the interaction in cortical neuron migration. We show that binding of Latrophilins to Teneurins and FLRTs directs the migration of neurons using a contact repulsion-dependent mechanism. The effect is observed with cell bodies and small neurites rather than their processes. The results exemplify how a structure-encoded synaptogenic protein complex is also used for repulsive cell guidance.
Project description:Latrophilins (LPHNs) are a small family of G protein-coupled receptors known to mediate the massive synaptic exocytosis caused by the black widow spider venom ?-latrotoxin, but their endogenous ligands and function remain unclear. Mutations in LPHN3 are strongly associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suggesting a role for latrophilins in human cognitive function. Using affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, we identify the FLRT family of leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins as endogenous postsynaptic ligands for latrophilins. We demonstrate that the FLRT3 and LPHN3 ectodomains interact with high affinity in trans and that interference with this interaction using soluble recombinant LPHN3, LPHN3 shRNA, or FLRT3 shRNA reduces excitatory synapse density in cultured neurons. In addition, reducing FLRT3 levels with shRNA in vivo decreases afferent input strength and dendritic spine number in dentate granule cells. These observations indicate that LPHN3 and its ligand FLRT3 play an important role in glutamatergic synapse development.
Project description:The trans-synaptic interaction of the cell-adhesion molecules teneurins (TENs) with latrophilins (LPHNs/ADGRLs) promotes excitatory synapse formation when LPHNs simultaneously interact with FLRTs. Insertion of a short alternatively-spliced region within TENs abolishes the TEN-LPHN interaction and switches TEN function to specify inhibitory synapses. How alternative-splicing regulates TEN-LPHN interaction remains unclear. Here, we report the 2.9?Å resolution cryo-EM structure of the TEN2-LPHN3 complex, and describe the trimeric TEN2-LPHN3-FLRT3 complex. The structure reveals that the N-terminal lectin domain of LPHN3 binds to the TEN2 barrel at a site far away from the alternatively spliced region. Alternative-splicing regulates the TEN2-LPHN3 interaction by hindering access to the LPHN-binding surface rather than altering it. Strikingly, mutagenesis of the LPHN-binding surface of TEN2 abolishes the LPHN3 interaction and impairs excitatory but not inhibitory synapse formation. These results suggest that a multi-level coincident binding mechanism mediated by a cryptic adhesion complex between TENs and LPHNs regulates synapse specificity.
Project description:Fibronectin leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins (FLRTs) are cell-adhesion molecules with emerging functions in cortical development and synapse formation. Their extracellular regions interact with latrophilins (LPHNs) to mediate synapse development, and with Uncoordinated-5 (UNC5)/netrin receptors to control the migration of neurons in the developing cortex. Here, we present the crystal structures of FLRT3 in isolation and in complex with LPHN3. The LPHN3/FLRT3 structure reveals that LPHN3 binds to FLRT3 at a site distinct from UNC5. Structure-based mutations specifically disrupt LPHN3/FLRT3 binding, but do not disturb their interactions with other proteins or their cell-membrane localization. Thus, they can be used as molecular tools to dissect the functions of FLRTs and LPHNs in vivo. Our results suggest that UNC5 and LPHN3 can simultaneously bind to FLRT3, forming a trimeric complex, and that FLRT3 may form transsynaptic complexes with both LPHN3 and UNC5. These findings provide molecular insights for understanding the role of cell-adhesion proteins in synapse function.
Project description:Latrophilin-2 (Lphn2) and latrophilin-3 (Lphn3) are adhesion GPCRs that serve as postsynaptic recognition molecules in CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus, where they are localized to distinct dendritic domains and are essential for different sets of excitatory synapses. Here, we studied Lphn2 and Lphn3 in the cerebellum. We show that latrophilins are abundantly and differentially expressed in the cerebellar cortex. Using conditional KO mice, we demonstrate that the Lphn2/3 double-deletion but not the deletion of Lphn2 or Lphn3 alone suppresses parallel-fiber synapses and reduces parallel-fiber synaptic transmission by ~50% without altering release probability. Climbing-fiber synapses, conversely, were unaffected. Even though ~50% of total cerebellar Lphn3 protein is expressed in Bergmann glia, Lphn3 deletion from Bergmann glia did not detectably impair excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission. Our studies demonstrate that Lphn2 and Lphn3 are selectively but redundantly required in Purkinje cells for parallel-fiber synapses.
Project description:The adhesion G protein-coupled receptors latrophilins have been in the limelight for more than 20 years since their discovery as calcium-independent receptors for ?-latrotoxin, a spider venom toxin with potent activity directed at neurotransmitter release from a variety of synapse types. Latrophilins are highly expressed in the nervous system. Although a substantial amount of studies has been conducted to describe the role of latrophilins in the toxin-mediated action, the recent identification of endogenous ligands for these receptors helped confirm their function as mediators of adhesion events. Here we hypothesize a role for latrophilins in inter-neuronal contacts and the formation of neuronal networks and we review the most recent information on their role in neurons. We explore molecular, cellular and behavioral aspects related to latrophilin adhesion function in mice, zebrafish, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, including autism spectrum, bipolar, attention deficit and hyperactivity and substance use disorders.
Project description:FLRTs are broadly expressed proteins with the unique property of acting as homophilic cell adhesion molecules and as heterophilic repulsive ligands of Unc5/Netrin receptors. How these functions direct cell behavior and the molecular mechanisms involved remain largely unclear. Here we use X-ray crystallography to reveal the distinct structural bases for FLRT-mediated cell adhesion and repulsion in neurons. We apply this knowledge to elucidate FLRT functions during cortical development. We show that FLRTs regulate both the radial migration of pyramidal neurons, as well as their tangential spread. Mechanistically, radial migration is controlled by repulsive FLRT2-Unc5D interactions, while spatial organization in the tangential axis involves adhesive FLRT-FLRT interactions. Further, we show that the fundamental mechanisms of FLRT adhesion and repulsion are conserved between neurons and vascular endothelial cells. Our results reveal FLRTs as powerful guidance factors with structurally encoded repulsive and adhesive surfaces.
Project description:Teneurins and latrophilins are both conserved families of cell adhesion proteins that mediate cellular communication and play critical roles in embryonic and neural development. However, their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. In the past several years, three-dimensional structures of teneurins and latrophilins have been reported at atomic resolutions and revealed distinct protein folds and unique structural features. In this review, we discuss these structures which, together with structure-guided biochemical and functional analyses, provide hints for the mechanisms of trans-cellular communication at the synapse and other cell-cell contact sites.