A novel role for the actin-binding protein drebrin in regulating opiate addiction.
ABSTRACT: Persistent transcriptional and morphological events in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and other brain reward regions contribute to the long-lasting behavioral adaptations that characterize drug addiction. Opiate exposure reduces the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons of the NAc; however, the underlying transcriptional and cellular events mediating this remain unknown. We show that heroin self-administration negatively regulates the actin-binding protein drebrin in the NAc. Using virus-mediated gene transfer, we show that drebrin overexpression in the NAc is sufficient to decrease drug seeking and increase dendritic spine density, whereas drebrin knockdown potentiates these effects. We demonstrate that drebrin is transcriptionally repressed by the histone modifier HDAC2, which is relieved by pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases. Importantly, we demonstrate that heroin-induced adaptations occur only in the D1+ subset of medium spiny neurons. These findings establish an essential role for drebrin, and upstream transcriptional regulator HDAC2, in opiate-induced plasticity in the NAc.
Project description:Drebrin is a major F-actin binding protein in dendritic spines that is critically involved in the regulation of dendritic spine morphogenesis, pathology, and plasticity. In this study, we aimed to identify a novel drebrin-binding protein involved in spine morphogenesis and synaptic plasticity. We confirmed the beta subunit of Ca2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKIIβ) as a drebrin-binding protein using a yeast two-hybrid system, and investigated the drebrin-CaMKIIβ relationship in dendritic spines using rat hippocampal neurons. Drebrin knockdown resulted in diffuse localization of CaMKIIβ in dendrites during the resting state, suggesting that drebrin is involved in the accumulation of CaMKIIβ in dendritic spines. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis showed that drebrin knockdown increased the stable fraction of CaMKIIβ, indicating the presence of drebrin-independent, more stable CaMKIIβ. NMDA receptor activation also increased the stable fraction in parallel with drebrin exodus from dendritic spines. These findings suggest that CaMKIIβ can be classified into distinct pools: CaMKIIβ associated with drebrin, CaMKIIβ associated with post-synaptic density (PSD), and CaMKIIβ free from PSD and drebrin. CaMKIIβ appears to be anchored to a protein complex composed of drebrin-binding F-actin during the resting state. NMDA receptor activation releases CaMKIIβ from drebrin resulting in CaMKIIβ association with PSD.
Project description:Drebrin is an actin-binding protein that is preferentially expressed in the brain. It is highly localized in dendritic spines and regulates spine shapes. The embryonic-type (drebrin E) is expressed in the embryonic and early postnatal brain and is replaced by the adult-type (drebrin A) during development. In parallel, NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission, induced by low-frequency stimulation (LFS), is dominant in the immature brain and decreases during development. Here, we report that drebrin regulates NMDAR-dependent and group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent LTD induction in the hippocampus. While LFS induced NMDAR-dependent LTD in the developing hippocampus in wild-type (WT) mice, it did not induce LTD in developing drebrin E and A double knockout (DXKO) mice, indicating that drebrin is required for NMDAR-dependent LTD. On the other hand, LFS induced robust LTD dependent on mGluR5, one of group 1 mGluRs, in both developing and adult brains of drebrin A knockout (DAKO) mice, in which drebrin E is expressed throughout development and adulthood. Agonist-induced mGluR-dependent LTD was normal in WT and DXKO mice; however, it was enhanced in DAKO mice. Also, mGluR1, another group 1 mGluR, was involved in agonist-induced mGluR-dependent LTD in DAKO mice. These data suggest that abnormal drebrin E expression in adults promotes group 1 mGluR-dependent LTD induction. Therefore, while drebrin expression is critical for NMDAR-dependent LTD induction, developmental conversion from drebrin E to drebrin A prevents robust group 1 mGluR-dependent LTD.
Project description:Molecular and cellular adaptations in nucleus accumbens (NAc) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) underlie stress-induced depression-like behavior, but the molecular substrates mediating cellular plasticity and activity in MSN subtypes in stress susceptibility are poorly understood. We find the transcription factor early growth response 3 (EGR3) is increased in D1 receptor containing MSNs of mice susceptible to social defeat stress. Genetic reduction of Egr3 levels in D1-MSNs prevented depression-like outcomes in stress susceptible mice by preventing D1-MSN dendritic atrophy, reduced frequency of excitatory input and altered in vivo activity. Overall, we identify NAc neuronal-subtype molecular control of dendritic morphology and related functional adaptations, which underlie susceptibility to stress.
Project description:Drebrin is an actin filament (F-actin)-binding protein with crucial roles in neuritogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Drebrin couples dynamic microtubules to F-actin in growth cone filopodia via binding to the microtubule-binding +TIP protein EB3 and organizes F-actin in dendritic spines. Precisely how drebrin interacts with F-actin and how this is regulated is unknown. We used cellular and in vitro assays with a library of drebrin deletion constructs to map F-actin binding sites. We discovered two domains in the N-terminal half of drebrin-a coiled-coil domain and a helical domain-that independently bound to F-actin and cooperatively bundled F-actin. However, this activity was repressed by an intramolecular interaction relieved by Cdk5 phosphorylation of serine 142 located in the coiled-coil domain. Phospho-mimetic and phospho-dead mutants of serine 142 interfered with neuritogenesis and coupling of microtubules to F-actin in growth cone filopodia. These findings show that drebrin contains a cryptic F-actin-bundling activity regulated by phosphorylation and provide a mechanistic model for microtubule-F-actin coupling.
Project description:Myogenic differentiation involves cell-cycle arrest, activation of the muscle-specific transcriptome, and elongation, alignment and fusion of myoblasts into multinucleated myotubes. This process is controlled by promyogenic transcription factors and regulated by signaling pathways in response to extracellular cues. The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) pathway promotes the activity of several such transcription factors, including MyoD and MEF2, thereby controlling the muscle-specific transcription program. However, few p38-regulated genes that play a role in the regulation of myogenesis have been identified.RNA interference (RNAi), chemical inhibition and immunofluorescence approaches were used to assess the role of drebrin in differentiation of primary mouse myoblasts and C2C12 cells.In a search for p38-regulated genes that promote myogenic differentiation, we identified Dbn1, which encodes the actin-binding protein drebrin. Drebrin is an F-actin side-binding protein that remodels actin to facilitate the change of filopodia into dendritic spines during synaptogenesis in developing neurons. Dbn1 mRNA and protein are induced during differentiation of primary mouse and C2C12 myoblasts, and induction is substantially reduced by the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. Primary myoblasts and C2C12 cells depleted of drebrin by RNAi display reduced levels of myogenin and myosin heavy chain and form multinucleated myotubes very inefficiently. Treatment of myoblasts with BTP2, a small-molecule inhibitor of drebrin, produces a phenotype similar to that produced by knockdown of drebrin, and the inhibitory effects of BTP2 are rescued by expression of a mutant form of drebrin that is unable to bind BTP2. Drebrin in myoblasts is enriched in cellular projections and cell cortices and at regions of cell-cell contact, all sites where F-actin, too, was concentrated.Our findings reveal that Dbn1 expression is a target of p38 MAPK signaling during myogenesis and that drebrin promotes myoblast differentiation.
Project description:Dendritic spines (DS) are actin-rich postsynaptic terminals of neurons that are critical for higher-order brain functions. Maturation of DS is accompanied by a change in actin architecture from linear to branched filamentous structures. Presumably, the underlying cause of this is a switch in a mode of actin assembly from formin-driven to Arp2/3-mediated via an undefined mechanism. Here we present data suggesting that neuron-specific actin-binding drebrin A may be a part of such a switch. It is well documented that DS are highly enriched in drebrin A, which is critical for their plasticity and function. At the same time, mDia2 is known to mediate the formation of filopodia-type (immature) spines. We found that neuronal drebrin A directly interacts with mDia2 formin. Drebrin inhibits formin-mediated nucleation of actin and abolishes mDia2-induced actin bundling. Using truncated protein constructs we identified the domain requirements for drebrin-mDia2 interaction. We hypothesize that accumulation of drebrin A in DS (that coincides with spine maturation) leads to inhibition of mDia2-driven actin polymerization and, therefore, may contribute to a change in actin architecture from linear to branched filaments.
Project description:Drebrin is a filament-binding protein involved in organizing the dendritic pool of actin. Previous in vivo studies identified the actin-binding domain of drebrin (DrABD), which causes the same rearrangements in the cytoskeleton as the full-length protein. Site-directed mutagenesis, electron microscopic reconstruction, and chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry analysis were employed here to map the DrABD binding interface on actin filaments. DrABD could be simultaneously attached to two adjacent actin protomers using the combination of 2-iminothiolane (Traut's reagent) and MTS1 [1,1-methanediyl bis(methanethiosulfonate)]. Site-directed mutagenesis combined with chemical cross-linking revealed that residue 238 of DrABD is located within 5.4 A from C374 of actin protomer 1 and that native cysteine 308 of drebrin is near C374 of actin protomer 2. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that a zero-length cross-linker, 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide, can link the N-terminal G-S extension of the recombinant DrABD to E99 and/or E100 on actin. Efficient cross-linking of drebrin residues 238, 248, 252, 270, and 271 to actin residue 51 was achieved with reagents of different lengths (5.4-19 A). These results suggest that the "core" DrABD is centered on actin subdomain 2 and may adopt a folded conformation upon binding to F-actin. The results of electron microscopic reconstruction, which are in a good agreement with the cross-linking data, revealed polymorphism in DrABD binding to F-actin and suggested the existence of two binding sites. These results provide new structural insight into the previously observed competition between drebrin and several other F-actin-binding proteins.
Project description:Homer is a postsynaptic scaffold protein that links various synaptic signaling proteins, including the type I metabotropic glutamate receptor subunits 1alpha and 5, the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, Shank and Cdc42 small GTPase. Overexpression of Homer induces changes in dendritic spine morphology in cultured hippocampal neurons. However, the molecular basis underpinning Homer-mediated spine morphogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the structural and functional properties of the interaction between Cupidin/Homer2 and two actin-cytoskeletal regulators, Cdc42 small GTPase and Drebrin.Cupidin/Homer2 interacted with activated Cdc42 small GTPase via the Cdc42-binding domain that resides around amino acid residues 191-283, within the C-terminal coiled-coil domain. We generated a Cupidin deletion mutant lacking amino acids 191-230 (CPDDelta191-230), which showed decrease Cdc42-binding ability but maintained self-multimerization ability. Cupidin suppressed Cdc42-induced filopodia-like protrusion formation in HeLa cells, whereas CPDDelta191-230 failed to do so. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Cupidin was targeted to dendritic spines, whereas CPDDelta191-230 was distributed in dendritic shafts as well as spines. Overexpression of CPDDelta191-230 decreased the number of synapses and reduced the amplitudes of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in hippocampal neurons. Cupidin interacted with a dendritic spine F-actin-binding protein, Drebrin, which possesses two Homer ligand motifs, via the N-terminal EVH-1 domain. CPDDelta191-230 overexpression decreased Drebrin clustering in the dendritic spines of hippocampal neurons.These results indicate that Cupidin/Homer2 interacts with the dendritic spine actin regulators Cdc42 and Drebrin via its C-terminal and N-terminal domains, respectively, and that it may be involved in spine morphology and synaptic properties.
Project description:The neuronal actin-binding protein drebrin A forms a stable structure with F-actin in dendritic spines. NMDA receptor activation causes an exodus of F-actin bound by drebrin A (DA-actin) from dendritic spines, suggesting a pivotal role for DA-actin exodus in synaptic plasticity. We quantitatively assessed the extent of DA-actin localization to spines using the spine-dendrite ratio of drebrin A in cultured hippocampal neurons, and found that (1) chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) stimulation induces rapid DA-actin exodus and subsequent DA-actin re-entry in dendritic spines, (2) Ca(2+) influx through NMDA receptors regulates the exodus and the basal accumulation of DA-actin, and (3) the DA-actin exodus is blocked by myosin II ATPase inhibitor, but is not blocked by myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) or Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitors. These results indicate that myosin II mediates the interaction between NMDA receptor activation and DA-actin exodus in LTP induction. Furthermore, myosin II seems to be activated by a rapid actin-linked mechanism rather than slow MLC phosphorylation. Thus the myosin-II mediated DA-actin exodus might be an initial event in LTP induction, triggering actin polymerization and spine enlargement.
Project description:The level of drebrin, an evolutionarily conserved f-actin-binding protein that regulates synaptic structure and function, is reduced in the brains of patients with chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Down's syndrome (DS). It was suggested that excitotoxic neuronal death caused by overactivation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) occurs in AD and DS; however, the relationship between excitotoxicity and drebrin loss is unknown. Here, we show that drebrin is a novel target of calpain-mediated proteolysis under excitotoxic conditions induced by the overactivation of NMDARs. In cultured rodent neurons, degradation of drebrin was confirmed by the detection of proteolytic fragments, as well as a reduction in the amount of full-length drebrin. Notably, the NMDA-induced degradation of drebrin in mature neurons occurred concomitantly with a loss of f-actin. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of f-actin loss facilitated the drebrin degradation, suggesting a functional linkage between f-actin and drebrin degradation. Biochemical analyses using purified drebrin and calpain revealed that calpain degraded drebrin directly in vitro. Furthermore, cerebral ischemia also induced the degradation of drebrin in vivo. These findings suggest that calpain-mediated degradation of drebrin is a fundamental pathology of neurodegenerative diseases mediated by excitotoxicity, regardless of whether they are acute or chronic. Drebrin regulates the synaptic clustering of NMDARs; therefore, degradation of drebrin under excitotoxic conditions may modulate NMDAR-mediated signal transductions, including pro-survival signaling. Overall, the results presented here provide novel insights into the molecular basis of cellular responses to excitotoxicity in vitro and in vivo.