The Ankyrin Repeat Domain Controls Presynaptic Localization of Drosophila Ankyrin2 and Is Essential for Synaptic Stability.
ABSTRACT: The structural integrity of synaptic connections critically depends on the interaction between synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and the underlying actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. This interaction is mediated by giant Ankyrins, that act as specialized adaptors to establish and maintain axonal and synaptic compartments. In Drosophila, two giant isoforms of Ankyrin2 (Ank2) control synapse stability and organization at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Both Ank2-L and Ank2-XL are highly abundant in motoneuron axons and within the presynaptic terminal, where they control synaptic CAMs distribution and organization of microtubules. Here, we address the role of the conserved N-terminal ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) for subcellular localization and function of these giant Ankyrins in vivo. We used a P[acman] based rescue approach to generate deletions of ARD subdomains, that contain putative binding sites of interacting transmembrane proteins. We show that specific subdomains control synaptic but not axonal localization of Ank2-L. These domains contain binding sites to L1-family member CAMs, and we demonstrate that these regions are necessary for the organization of synaptic CAMs and for the control of synaptic stability. In contrast, presynaptic Ank2-XL localization only partially depends on the ARD but strictly requires the presynaptic presence of Ank2-L demonstrating a critical co-dependence of the two isoforms at the NMJ. Ank2-XL dependent control of microtubule organization correlates with presynaptic abundance of the protein and is thus only partially affected by ARD deletions. Together, our data provides novel insights into the synaptic targeting of giant Ankyrins with relevance for the control of synaptic plasticity and maintenance.
Project description:The dimensions of axons and synaptic terminals determine cell-intrinsic properties of neurons; however, the cellular mechanisms selectively controlling establishment and maintenance of neuronal compartments remain poorly understood. Here, we show that two giant Drosophila Ankyrin2 isoforms, Ank2-L and Ank2-XL, and the MAP1B homolog Futsch form a membrane-associated microtubule-organizing complex that determines axonal diameter, supports axonal transport, and provides independent control of synaptic dimensions and stability. Ank2-L controls microtubule and synaptic stability upstream of Ank2-XL that selectively controls microtubule organization. Synergistically with Futsch, Ank2-XL provides three-dimensional microtubule organization and is required to establish appropriate synaptic dimensions and release properties. In axons, the Ank2-XL/Futsch complex establishes evenly spaced, grid-like microtubule organization and determines axonal diameter in the absence of neurofilaments. Reduced microtubule spacing limits anterograde transport velocities of mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. Our data identify control of microtubule architecture as a central mechanism to selectively control neuronal dimensions, functional properties, and connectivity.
Project description:In vertebrate neurons, the axon initial segment (AIS) is specialized for action potential initiation. It is organized by a giant 480 Kd variant of ankyrin G (AnkG) that serves as an anchor for ion channels and is required for a plasma membrane diffusion barrier that excludes somatodendritic proteins from the axon. An unusually long exon required to encode this 480Kd variant is thought to have been inserted only recently during vertebrate evolution, so the giant ankyrin-based AIS scaffold has been viewed as a vertebrate adaptation for fast, precise signaling. We re-examined AIS evolution through phylogenomic analysis of ankyrins and by testing the role of ankyrins in proximal axon organization in a model multipolar Drosophila neuron (ddaE). We find giant isoforms of ankyrin in all major bilaterian phyla, and present evidence in favor of a single common origin for giant ankyrins and the corresponding long exon in a bilaterian ancestor. This finding raises the question of whether giant ankyrin isoforms play a conserved role in AIS organization throughout the Bilateria. We examined this possibility by looking for conserved ankyrin-dependent AIS features in Drosophila ddaE neurons via live imaging. We found that ddaE neurons have an axonal diffusion barrier proximal to the cell body that requires a giant isoform of the neuronal ankyrin Ank2. Furthermore, the potassium channel shal concentrates in the proximal axon in an Ank2-dependent manner. Our results indicate that the giant ankyrin-based cytoskeleton of the AIS may have evolved prior to the radiation of extant bilaterian lineages, much earlier than previously thought.
Project description:In a forward genetic screen for mutations that destabilize the neuromuscular junction, we identified a novel long isoform of Drosophila ankyrin2 (ank2-L). We demonstrate that loss of presynaptic Ank2-L not only causes synapse disassembly and retraction but also disrupts neuronal excitability and NMJ morphology. We provide genetic evidence that ank2-L is necessary to generate the membrane constrictions that normally separate individual synaptic boutons and is necessary to achieve the normal spacing of subsynaptic protein domains, including the normal organization of synaptic cell adhesion molecules. Mechanistically, synapse organization is correlated with a lattice-like organization of Ank2-L, visualized using extended high-resolution structured-illumination microscopy. The stabilizing functions of Ank2-L can be mapped to the extended C-terminal domain that we demonstrate can directly bind and organize synaptic microtubules. We propose that a presynaptic Ank2-L lattice links synaptic membrane proteins and spectrin to the underlying microtubule cytoskeleton to organize and stabilize the presynaptic terminal.
Project description:Synapses are intercellular junctions specialized for fast, point-to-point information transfer from a presynaptic neuron to a postsynaptic cell. At a synapse, a presynaptic terminal secretes neurotransmitters via a canonical release machinery, while a postsynaptic specialization senses neurotransmitters via diverse receptors. Synaptic junctions are likely organized by trans-synaptic cell-adhesion molecules (CAMs) that bidirectionally orchestrate synapse formation, restructuring, and elimination. Many candidate synaptic CAMs were described, but which CAMs are central actors and which are bystanders remains unclear. Moreover, multiple genes encoding synaptic CAMs were linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, but the mechanisms involved are unresolved. Here, I propose that engagement of multifarious synaptic CAMs produces parallel trans-synaptic signals that mediate the establishment, organization, and plasticity of synapses, thereby controlling information processing by neural circuits. Among others, this hypothesis implies that synapse formation can be understood in terms of inter- and intracellular signaling, and that neuropsychiatric disorders involve an impairment in such signaling.
Project description:Ankyrins are critical components of ion channel and transporter signaling complexes in the cardiovascular system. Over the past 5 years, ankyrin dysfunction has been linked with abnormal ion channel and transporter membrane organization and fatal human arrhythmias. Loss-of-function variants in the ankyrin-B gene (ANK2) cause "ankyrin-B syndrome" (previously called type 4 long QT syndrome), manifested by a complex cardiac phenotype including ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. More recently, dysfunction in the ankyrin-B-based targeting pathway has been linked with a highly penetrant and severe form of human sinus node disease. Ankyrin-G (a second ankyrin gene product) is required for normal expression, membrane localization, and biophysical function of the primary cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel, Na(v)1.5. Loss of the ankyrin-G/Na(v)1.5 interaction is associated with human cardiac arrhythmia (Brugada syndrome). Finally, in the past year ankyrin dysfunction has been associated with more common arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease phenotypes. Specifically, large animal studies reveal striking remodeling of ankyrin-B and associated proteins following myocardial infarction. Additionally, the ANK2 locus has been linked with QT(c) interval variability in the general human population. Together, these findings identify a host of unanticipated and exciting roles for ankyrin polypeptides in cardiac function. More broadly, these findings illustrate the importance of local membrane organization for normal cardiac physiology.
Project description:Giant presynaptic terminal brain slice preparations have allowed intracellular recording of electrical signals and molecular loading, elucidating cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurotransmission and modulation. However, molecular genetic manipulation or optical imaging in these preparations is hampered by factors, such as tissue longevity and background fluorescence. To overcome these difficulties, we developed a giant presynaptic terminal culture preparation, which allows genetic manipulation and enables optical measurements of synaptic vesicle dynamics, simultaneously with presynaptic electrical signal recordings. This giant synapse reconstructed from dissociated mouse brainstem neurons resembles the development of native calyceal giant synapses in several respects. Thus, this novel preparation constitutes a powerful tool for studying molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission, neuromodulation, and neuronal development.We have developed a novel culture preparation of giant mammalian synapses. These presynaptic terminals make it possible to perform optical imaging simultaneously with presynaptic electrophysiological recording. We demonstrate that this enables one to dissect endocytic and acidification times of synaptic vesicles. In addition, developmental elimination and functional maturation in this cultured preparation provide a useful model for studying presynaptic development. Because this giant synapse preparation allows molecular genetic manipulations, it constitutes a powerful new tool for studying molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission, neuromodulation, and neuronal development.
Project description:We have used the squid giant synapse to determine whether clathrin assembly by AP180 is important for synaptic vesicle endocytosis. The squid homolog of AP180 encodes a 751 amino acid protein with 40% sequence identity to mouse AP180. Alignment of squid AP180 with other AP180 homologs shows that amino acid identity was highest in the N-terminal inositide-binding domain of the protein and weakest in the C-terminal clathrin assembly domain. Recombinant squid AP180 was able to assemble clathrin in vitro, suggesting a conserved three-dimensional structure that mediates clathrin assembly despite the divergent primary sequence of the C-terminal domain. Microinjection of the C-terminal domains of either mouse or squid AP180 into the giant presynaptic terminal of squid enhanced synaptic transmission. Conversely, a peptide from the C-terminal domain of squid AP180 that inhibited clathrin assembly in vitro completely blocked synaptic transmission when it was injected into the giant presynaptic terminal. This inhibitory effect occurred over a time scale of minutes when the synapse was stimulated at low (0.03 Hz), physiological rates. Electron microscopic analysis revealed several structural changes consistent with the inhibition of synaptic vesicle endocytosis; peptide-injected terminals had far fewer synaptic vesicles, were depleted of coated vesicles, and had a larger plasma membrane perimeter than terminals injected with control solutions. In addition, the remaining synaptic vesicles were significantly larger in diameter. We conclude that the clathrin assembly domain of AP180 is important for synaptic vesicle recycling at physiological rates of activity and that assembly of clathrin by AP180 is necessary for maintaining a pool of releasable synaptic vesicles.
Project description:Giant ankyrin-B (ankB) is a neurospecific alternatively spliced variant of ANK2, a high-confidence autism spectrum disorder (ASD) gene. We report that a mouse model for human ASD mutation of giant ankB exhibits increased axonal branching in cultured neurons with ectopic CNS axon connectivity, as well as with a transient increase in excitatory synapses during postnatal development. We elucidate a mechanism normally limiting axon branching, whereby giant ankB localizes to periodic axonal plasma membrane domains through L1 cell-adhesion molecule protein, where it couples microtubules to the plasma membrane and prevents microtubule entry into nascent axon branches. Giant ankB mutation or deficiency results in a dominantly inherited impairment in selected communicative and social behaviors combined with superior executive function. Thus, gain of axon branching due to giant ankB-deficiency/mutation is a candidate cellular mechanism to explain aberrant structural connectivity and penetrant behavioral consequences in mice as well as humans bearing ASD-related ANK2 mutations.
Project description:Recently, inexpensive (<$300) consumer aerosol monitors (CAMs) targeted for use in homes have become available. We evaluated the accuracy, bias, and precision of three CAMs (Foobot from Airoxlab, Speck from Carnegie Mellon University, and AirBeam from HabitatMap) for measuring mass concentrations in occupational settings. In a laboratory study, PM2.5 measured with the CAMs and a medium-cost aerosol photometer (personal DataRAM 1500, Thermo Scientific) were compared to that from reference instruments for three aerosols (salt, welding fume, and Arizona road dust, ARD) at concentrations up to 8500 ?g/m3. Three of each type of CAM were included to estimate precision. Compared to reference instruments, mass concentrations measured with the Foobot (r-value = 0.99) and medium-cost photometer (r-value = 0.99) show strong correlation, whereas those from the Speck (r-value range 0.88 - 0.99) and AirBeam (0.7 - 0.96) were less correlated. The Foobot bias was (-12%) for ARD and measurements were similar to the medium-cost instrument. Foobot bias was (< -46%) for salt and welding fume aerosols. Speck bias was at 18% salt for ARD and -86% for welding fume. AirBeam bias was (-36%) for salt and (-83%) for welding fume. All three photometers had a bias (< -82%) for welding fume. Precision was excellent for the Foobot (coefficient of variation range: 5% to 8%) and AirBeam (2% to 9%), but poorer for the Speck (8% to 25%). These findings suggest that the Foobot, with a linear response to different aerosol types and good precision, can provide reasonable estimates of PM2.5 in the workplace after site-specific calibration to account for particle size and composition.
Project description:The amount of neurotransmitter stored in synaptic vesicles determines postsynaptic quantal size and thus the strength of synaptic transmission. However, little is known about regulation of vesicular neurotransmitter uptake. In recordings from the calyx of Held, a giant mammalian glutamatergic synapse, we found that changes in presynaptic Na(+) concentration above and below a resting value of 13 mM regulated vesicular glutamate uptake, consistent with activation of a vesicular monovalent cation Na(+)(K(+))/H(+) exchanger. Na(+) flux through presynaptic plasma membrane hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels enhanced presynaptic Na(+) concentration and thus controlled postsynaptic quantal size. Our results indicate that a plasma membrane ion channel controls synaptic strength by modulating vesicular neurotransmitter uptake through a Na(+)-dependent process.