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: Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a negative-feedback mechanism for compensating excessive excitation or inhibition of neuronal activity. When neuronal activity is chronically suppressed, neurons increase synaptic strength across all affected synapses via synaptic scaling. One mechanism for this change is alteration of synaptic AMPA receptor (AMPAR) accumulation. Although decreased intracellular Ca2+ levels caused by chronic inhibition of neuronal activity are believed to be an important trigger of synaptic scaling, the mechanism of Ca2+-mediated AMPAR-dependent synaptic scaling is not yet understood. Here, we use dissociated mouse cortical neurons and employ Ca2+ imaging, electrophysiological, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to describe a novel mechanism in which homeostasis of Ca2+ signaling modulates activity deprivation-induced synaptic scaling by three steps: (1) suppression of neuronal activity decreases somatic Ca2+ signals; (2) reduced activity of calcineurin, a Ca2+-dependent serine/threonine phosphatase, increases synaptic expression of Ca2+-permeable AMPARs (CPARs) by stabilizing GluA1 phosphorylation; and (3) Ca2+ influx via CPARs restores CREB phosphorylation as a homeostatic response by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release from the ER. Therefore, we suggest that synaptic scaling not only maintains neuronal stability by increasing postsynaptic strength but also maintains nuclear Ca2+ signaling by synaptic expression of CPARs and ER Ca2+ propagation.PLoS biology. 07/2014; 12(7):e1001900.
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ABSTRACT: cAMP response element-binding (CREB) has been known to be an essential transcription factor that activates the gene expression required for the formation of long-term memory (LTM) in a wide range of animal models, from nematodes to higher animals such as Aplysia, Drosophila, and rodents. In mammals, various CREB mutant mice have been developed and analyzed. These studies have shown that gain or loss of CREB function improves and impairs, respectively, the formation of LTMs, enabling us to understand the roles of CREB in the formation and enhancement of memory. In this article, the analyses conducted on CREB mutant mice are reviewed with a particular focus on learning and memory formation.Brain research bulletin 05/2014; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The sensation of pain is associated with increased mortality, but it is unknown whether pain perception can directly affect aging. We find that mice lacking TRPV1 pain receptors are long-lived, displaying a youthful metabolic profile at old age. Loss of TRPV1 inactivates a calcium-signaling cascade that ends in the nuclear exclusion of the CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator CRTC1 within pain sensory neurons originating from the spinal cord. In long-lived TRPV1 knockout mice, CRTC1 nuclear exclusion decreases production of the neuropeptide CGRP from sensory endings innervating the pancreatic islets, subsequently promoting insulin secretion and metabolic health. In contrast, CGRP homeostasis is disrupted with age in wild-type mice, resulting in metabolic decline. We show that pharmacologic inactivation of CGRP receptors in old wild-type animals can restore metabolic health. These data suggest that ablation of select pain sensory receptors or the inhibition of CGRP are associated with increased metabolic health and control longevity.Cell 05/2014; 157(5):1023-36. · 31.96 Impact Factor