Activity-dependent transport of the transcriptional coactivator CRTC1 from synapse to nucleus.
ABSTRACT Long-lasting changes in synaptic efficacy, such as those underlying long-term memory, require transcription. Activity-dependent transport of synaptically localized transcriptional regulators provides a direct means of coupling synaptic stimulation with changes in transcription. The CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1), which is required for long-term hippocampal plasticity, binds CREB to potently promote transcription. We show that CRTC1 localizes to synapses in silenced hippocampal neurons but translocates to the nucleus in response to localized synaptic stimulation. Regulated nuclear translocation occurs only in excitatory neurons and requires calcium influx and calcineurin activation. CRTC1 is controlled in a dual fashion with activity regulating CRTC1 nuclear translocation and cAMP modulating its persistence in the nucleus. Neuronal activity triggers a complex change in CRTC1 phosphorylation, suggesting that CRTC1 may link specific types of stimuli to specific changes in gene expression. Together, our results indicate that synapse-to-nuclear transport of CRTC1 dynamically informs the nucleus about synaptic activity.
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ABSTRACT: The amount and availability of proteins are regulated by their synthesis, degradation, and transport. These processes can specifically, locally, and temporally regulate a protein or a population of proteins, thus affecting numerous biological processes in health and disease states. Accordingly, malfunction in the processes of protein turnover and localization underlies different neuronal diseases. However, as early as a century ago, it was recognized that there is a specific need for normal macromolecular synthesis in a specific fragment of the learning process, memory consolidation, which takes place minutes to hours following acquisition. Memory consolidation is the process by which fragile short-term memory is converted into stable long-term memory. It is accepted today that synaptic plasticity is a cellular mechanism of learning and memory processes. Interestingly, similar molecular mechanisms subserve both memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation. In this review, we survey the current view on the connection between memory consolidation processes and proteostasis, i.e., maintaining the protein contents at the neuron and the synapse. In addition, we describe the technical obstacles and possible new methods to determine neuronal proteostasis of synaptic function and better explain the process of memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation.Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 01/2014; 7:86.
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ABSTRACT: In the field of molecular and cellular neuroscience, it is not a trivial task to see the forest for the trees, where numerous, and seemingly independent, molecules often work in concert to control critical steps of synaptic plasticity and signalling. Here, we will first summarize our current knowledge on essential activity-dependent transcription factors (TFs) such as CREB, MEF2, Npas4 and SRF, then examine how various transcription cofactors (TcoFs) also contribute to defining the transcriptional outputs during learning and memory. This review finally attempts a provisory synthesis that sheds new light on some of the emerging principles of neuronal circuit dynamics that are driven by activity-regulated gene transcription to help better understand the intricate relationship between activity-dependent gene expression and cognitive behavior.Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 08/2014; · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The activity-regulated gene expression of transcription factors is required for neural plasticity and function in response to neuronal stimulation. T-brain-1 (TBR1), a critical neuron-specific transcription factor for forebrain development, has been recognized as a high-confidence risk gene for autism spectrum disorders. Here, we show that in addition to its role in brain development, Tbr1 responds to neuronal activation and further modulates the Grin2b expression in adult brains and mature neurons. The expression levels of Tbr1 were investigated using both immunostaining and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses. We found that the mRNA and protein expression levels of Tbr1 are induced by excitatory synaptic transmission driven by bicuculline or glutamate treatment in cultured mature neurons. The upregulation of Tbr1 expression requires the activation of both α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Furthermore, behavioral training triggers Tbr1 induction in the adult mouse brain. The elevation of Tbr1 expression is associated with Grin2b upregulation in both mature neurons and adult brains. Using Tbr1-deficient neurons, we further demonstrated that TBR1 is required for the induction of Grin2b upon neuronal activation. Taken together with the previous studies showing that TBR1 binds the Grin2b promoter and controls expression of luciferase reporter driven by Grin2b promoter, the evidence suggests that TBR1 directly controls Grin2b expression in mature neurons. We also found that the addition of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) antagonist KN-93, but not the calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin antagonist cyclosporin A, to cultured mature neurons noticeably inhibited Tbr1 induction, indicating that neuronal activation upregulates Tbr1 expression in a CaMKII-dependent manner. In conclusion, our study suggests that Tbr1 plays an important role in adult mouse brains in response to neuronal activation to modulate the activity-regulated gene transcription required for neural plasticity.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:280. · 4.47 Impact Factor