Phase Separation-Mediated TARP/MAGUK Complex Condensation and AMPA Receptor Synaptic Transmission.
ABSTRACT: Transmembrane AMPA receptor (AMPAR) regulatory proteins (TARPs) modulate AMPAR synaptic trafficking and transmission via disc-large (DLG) subfamily of membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs). Despite extensive studies, the molecular mechanism governing specific TARP/MAGUK interaction remains elusive. Using stargazin and PSD-95 as the representatives, we discover that the entire tail of stargazin (Stg_CT) is required for binding to PSD-95. The PDZ binding motif (PBM) and an Arg-rich motif upstream of PBM conserved in TARPs bind to multiple sites on PSD-95, thus resulting in a highly specific and multivalent stargazin/PSD-95 complex. Stargazin in complex with PSD-95 or PSD-95-assembled postsynaptic complexes form highly concentrated and dynamic condensates via phase separation, reminiscent of stargazin/PSD-95-mediated AMPAR synaptic clustering and trapping. Importantly, charge neutralization mutations in TARP_CT Arg-rich motif weakened TARP's condensation with PSD-95 and impaired TARP-mediated AMPAR synaptic transmission in mice hippocampal neurons. The TARP_CT/PSD-95 interaction mode may have implications for understanding clustering of other synaptic transmembrane proteins.
Project description:Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA, and kainate type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively charged lipid bilayers in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction.
Project description:Previous work has established stargazin and its related family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) as auxiliary subunits of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) that control synaptic strength both by targeting AMPARs to synapses through an intracellular PDZ-binding motif and by modulating their gating through an extracellular domain. However, TARPs gamma-2 and gamma-8 differentially regulate the synaptic targeting of AMPARs, despite having identical PDZ-binding motifs. Here, we investigate the structural elements that contribute to this functional difference between TARP subtypes by using domain transplantation and truncation. We identify a component of synaptic AMPAR trafficking that is independent of the TARP C-terminal PDZ-binding motif, and we establish previously uncharacterized roles for the TARP intracellular N terminus, loop, and C terminus in modulating both the trafficking and gating of synaptic AMPARs.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The number of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is the major determinant of synaptic strength and varies from synapse to synapse. To clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms, the density of AMPARs, PSD-95, and transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) were compared at Schaffer collateral/commissural (SCC) synapses in the adult mouse hippocampal CA1 by quantitative immunogold electron microscopy using serial sections. We examined four types of SCC synapses: perforated and nonperforated synapses on pyramidal cells and axodendritic synapses on parvalbumin-positive (PV synapse) and pravalbumin-negative interneurons (non-PV synapse). SCC synapses were categorized into those expressing high-density (perforated and PV synapses) or low-density (nonperforated and non-PV synapses) AMPARs. Although the density of PSD-95 labeling was fairly constant, the density and composition of TARP isoforms was highly variable depending on the synapse type. Of the three TARPs expressed in hippocampal neurons, the disparity in TARP ?-2 labeling was closely related to that of AMPAR labeling. Importantly, AMPAR density was significantly reduced at perforated and PV synapses in TARP ?-2-knock-out (KO) mice, resulting in a virtual loss of AMPAR disparity among SCC synapses. In comparison, TARP ?-8 was the only TARP expressed at nonperforated synapses, where AMPAR labeling further decreased to a background level in TARP ?-8-KO mice. These results show that synaptic inclusion of TARP ?-2 potently increases AMPAR expression and transforms low-density synapses into high-density ones, whereas TARP ?-8 is essential for low-density or basal expression of AMPARs at nonperforated synapses. Therefore, these TARPs are critically involved in AMPAR density control at SCC synapses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:Although converging evidence implicates the importance of transmembrane AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) regulatory proteins (TARPs) in AMPAR stabilization during basal transmission and synaptic plasticity, how they control large disparities in AMPAR numbers or densities across central synapses remains largely unknown. We compared the density of AMPARs with that of TARPs among four types of Schaffer collateral/commissural (SCC) hippocampal synapses in wild-type and TARP-knock-out mice. We show that the density of AMPARs correlates with that of TARP ?-2 across SCC synapses and its high expression is linked to high-density AMPAR expression at perforated type of pyramidal cell synapses and synapses on parvalbumin-positive interneurons. In comparison, TARP ?-8 is the only TARP expressed at nonperforated type of pyramidal cell synapses, playing an essential role in low-density or basal AMPAR expression.
Project description:Regulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) is crucial in normal synaptic function and neurological disease states. Although transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) such as stargazin (?-2) modulate the properties of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) and promote their synaptic targeting, the TARP-specific rules governing CP-AMPAR synaptic trafficking remain unclear. We used RNA interference to manipulate AMPAR-subunit and TARP expression in ?-2-lacking stargazer cerebellar granule cells--the classic model of TARP deficiency. We found that TARP ?-7 selectively enhanced the synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs and suppressed CI-AMPARs, identifying a pivotal role of ?-7 in regulating the prevalence of CP-AMPARs. In the absence of associated TARPs, both CP-AMPARs and CI-AMPARs were able to localize to synapses and mediate transmission, although their properties were altered. Our results also establish that TARPed synaptic receptors in granule cells require both ?-2 and ?-7 and reveal an unexpected basis for the loss of AMPAR-mediated transmission in stargazer mice.
Project description:AMPA-subtype ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission and contribute to high cognitive processes such as learning and memory. In the brain, AMPAR trafficking, gating, and pharmacology is tightly controlled by transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs). Here, we used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the structural basis of AMPAR regulation by one of these auxiliary proteins, TARP ?2, or stargazin (STZ). Our structures illuminate the variable interaction stoichiometry of the AMPAR-TARP complex, with one or two TARP molecules binding one tetrameric AMPAR. Analysis of the AMPAR-STZ binding interfaces suggests that electrostatic interactions between the extracellular domains of AMPAR and STZ play an important role in modulating AMPAR function through contact surfaces that are conserved across AMPARs and TARPs. We propose a model explaining how TARPs stabilize the activated state of AMPARs and how the interactions between AMPARs and their auxiliary proteins control fast excitatory synaptic transmission.
Project description:The spatial coordination of neurotransmitter receptors with other postsynaptic signaling and structural molecules is regulated by a diverse array of cell-specific scaffolding proteins. The synaptic trafficking of AMPA receptors by the stargazin protein in some neurons, for example, depends on specific interactions between the C terminus of stargazin and the PDZ [postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95)/Discs large/zona occludens-1] domains of membrane-associated guanylate kinase scaffolding proteins PSD-93 or PSD-95. Stargazin [Cacng2 (Ca2+ channel gamma2 subunit)] is one of four closely related proteins recently categorized as transmembrane AMPA receptor regulating proteins (TARPs) that appear to share similar functions but exhibit distinct expression patterns in the CNS. We used yeast two-hybrid screening to identify MAGI-2 (membrane associated guanylate kinase, WW and PDZ domain containing 2) as a novel candidate interactor with the cytoplasmic C termini of the TARPs. MAGI-2 [also known as S-SCAM (synaptic scaffolding molecule)] is a multi-PDZ domain scaffolding protein that interacts with several different ligands in brain, including PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog), dasm1 (dendrite arborization and synapse maturation 1), dendrin, axin, beta- and delta-catenin, neuroligin, hyperpolarization-activated cation channels, beta1-adrenergic receptors, and NMDA receptors. We confirmed that MAGI-2 coimmunoprecipitated with stargazin in vivo from mouse cerebral cortex and used in vitro assays to localize the interaction to the C-terminal -TTPV amino acid motif of stargazin and the PDZ1, PDZ3, and PDZ5 domains of MAGI-2. Expression of stargazin recruited MAGI-2 to cell membranes and cell-cell contact sites in transfected HEK-293T cells dependent on the presence of the stargazin -TTPV motif. These experiments identify MAGI-2 as a strong candidate for linking TARP/AMPA receptor complexes to a wide range of other postsynaptic molecules and pathways and advance our knowledge of protein interactions at mammalian CNS synapses.
Project description:Endogenous polyamines profoundly affect the activity of various ion channels, including that of calcium-permeable AMPA-type glutamate receptors (CP-AMPARs). Here we show that stargazin, a transmembrane AMPAR regulatory protein (TARP) known to influence transport, gating and desensitization of AMPARs, greatly reduces block of CP-AMPARs by intracellular polyamines. By decreasing CP-AMPAR affinity for cytoplasmic polyamines, stargazin enhances the charge transfer following single glutamate applications and eliminates the frequency-dependent facilitation seen with repeated applications. In cerebellar stellate cells, which express both synaptic CP-AMPARs and stargazin, we found that the rectification and unitary conductance of channels underlying excitatory postsynaptic currents were matched by those of recombinant AMPARs only when the latter were associated with stargazin. Taken together, our observations establish modulatory actions of stargazin that are specific to CP-AMPARs, and suggest that during synaptic transmission the activity of such receptors, and thus calcium influx, is fundamentally changed by TARPs.
Project description:Dynamic regulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) is important for normal synaptic transmission, plasticity and pathological changes. Although the involvement of transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) in trafficking of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) has been extensively studied, their role in the surface expression and function of CP-AMPARs remains unclear. We examined AMPAR-mediated currents in cerebellar stellate cells from stargazer mice, which lack the prototypical TARP stargazin (g-2). We found a marked increase in the contribution of CP-AMPARs to synaptic responses, indicating that, unlike CI-AMPARs, these can localize at synapses in the absence of g-2. In contrast with CP-AMPARs in extrasynaptic regions, synaptic CP-AMPARs displayed an unexpectedly low channel conductance and strong block by intracellular spermine, suggesting that they were ‘TARPless’. As a proof of principle that TARP association is not an absolute requirement for AMPAR clustering at synapses, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by TARPless AMPARs were readily detected in stargazer granule cells following knockdown of their only other TARP, g-7.
Project description:Transmembrane AMPA receptor (AMPAR) regulatory proteins (TARPs) markedly enhance AMPAR function, altering ligand efficacy and receptor gating kinetics and thereby shaping the postsynaptic response. The structural mechanism underlying TARP effects on gating, however, is unknown. Here we find that the prototypical member of the TARP family, stargazin or ?-2, rescues gating deficits in AMPARs carrying mutations that destabilize the closed-cleft states of the ligand-binding domain (LBD), suggesting that stargazin reverses the effects of these mutations and likely stabilizes closed LBD states. Furthermore, stargazin promotes a more closed conformation of the LBD, as indicated by reduced accessibility to the large antagonist NBQX. Consistent with the functional studies, luminescence resonance energy transfer experiments directly demonstrate that the AMPAR LBD is on average more closed in the presence of stargazin, in both the apo and agonist-bound states. The additional cleft closure and/or stabilization of the more closed-cleft states of the LBD is expected to translate to higher agonist efficacy and could contribute to the structural mechanism for stargazin modulation of AMPAR function.
Project description:Synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are regulated by a family of auxiliary subunits known as transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs). TARPs control the trafficking and gating of AMPARs. However, the number of TARP molecules that assemble within individual AMPAR channels is unknown. Here, we covalently link AMPARs to TARPs to investigate the properties of TARP/AMPAR complexes with known stoichiometry in HEK cells. We find that AMPARs are functional when associated with four, two, or no TARPs, and that the efficacy of the partial agonist kainate varies across these conditions, providing a sensitive assay for TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry. A comparison of these results with data obtained from hippocampal neurons demonstrates that native AMPARs associate with TARPs with a variable stoichiometry that depends on TARP expression level. Interestingly, AMPARs in hippocampal pyramidal neurons are saturated by TARP expression, while those in dentate gyrus granule neurons are not, indicating that variable TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry provides a mechanism for cell-type-specific regulation of AMPAR function.