N-cadherin modulates voltage activated calcium influx via RhoA, p120-catenin, and myosin-actin interaction.
ABSTRACT N-cadherin is a transmembrane adhesion receptor that contributes to neuronal development and synapse formation through homophilic interactions that provide structural-adhesive support to contacts between cell membranes. In addition, N-cadherin homotypic binding may initiate cell signaling that regulates neuronal physiology. In this study, we investigated signaling capabilities of N-cadherin that control voltage activated calcium influx. Using whole-cell voltage clamp recording of isolated inward calcium currents in freshly isolated chick ciliary ganglion neurons we show that the juxtamembrane region of N-cadherin cytoplasmic domain regulates high-threshold voltage activated calcium currents by interacting with p120-catenin and activating RhoA. This regulatory mechanism requires myosin interaction with actin. Furthermore, N-cadherin homophilic binding enhanced voltage activated calcium current amplitude in dissociated neurons that have already developed mature synaptic contacts in vivo. The increase in calcium current amplitude was not affected by brefeldin A suggesting that the effect is caused via direct channel modulation and not by increasing channel expression. In contrast, homotypic N-cadherin interaction failed to regulate calcium influx in freshly isolated immature neurons. However, RhoA inhibitors enhanced calcium current amplitude in these immature neurons, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of RhoA on calcium entry is regulated during neuronal development and synapse maturation. These results indicate that N-cadherin modulates voltage activated calcium entry by a mechanism that involves RhoA activity and its downstream effects on the cytoskeleton, and suggest that N-cadherin provides support for synaptic maturation and sustained synaptic activity by facilitating voltage activated calcium influx.
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ABSTRACT: A synapse is the connection between neurons that joins an axon of one neuron to the dendrite of another. One class of synapses is formed at the contact point between an axon and a small protrusion from a dendrite, called a dendritic spine. These spines are motile and deformable, which indicates that synaptic functions are controlled, at least in part, by their morphological changes. Recent studies show that the cadherin cell-adhesion molecules and their cytoplasmic partners, catenins, can modulate axon-spine contacts in a manner that responds to neural activity. These observations indicate that cadherins, which are essential for general cell-cell adhesion, also play a role in the control of synaptic dynamics.Trends in Cell Biology 05/2005; 15(4):216-21. · 12.35 Impact Factor
Article: NCAM 180 acting via a conserved C-terminal domain and MLCK is essential for effective transmission with repetitive stimulation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: NCAM 180 isoform null neuromuscular junctions are unable to effectively mobilize and exocytose synaptic vesicles and thus exhibit periods of total transmission failure during high-frequency repetitive stimulation. We have identified a highly conserved C-terminal (KENESKA) domain on NCAM that is required to maintain effective transmission and demonstrate that it acts via a pathway involving MLCK and probably myosin light chain (MLC) and myosin II. By perfecting a method of introducing peptides into adult NMJs, we tested the hypothesized role of proteins in this pathway by competitive disruption of protein-protein interactions. The effects of KENESKA and other peptides on MLCK and MLC activation and on failures in both wild-type and NCAM 180 null junctions supported this pathway, and serine phosphorylation of KENESKA was critical. We propose that this pathway is required to replenish synaptic vesicles utilized during high levels of exocytosis by facilitating myosin-driven delivery of synaptic vesicles to active zones or their subsequent exocytosis.Neuron 07/2005; 46(6):917-31. · 14.74 Impact Factor
Article: Modulation of NMDA receptor-dependent calcium influx and gene expression through EphB receptors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Protein-protein interactions and calcium entry through the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptor regulate synaptic development and plasticity in the central nervous system. The EphB receptor tyrosine kinases are localized at excitatory synapses where they cluster and associate with NMDA receptors. We identified a mechanism whereby EphBs modulate NMDA receptor function. EphrinB2 activation of EphB in primary cortical neurons potentiates NMDA receptor-dependent influx of calcium. Treatment of cells with ephrinB2 led to NMDA receptor tyrosine phosphorylation through activation of the Src family of tyrosine kinases. These ephrinB2-dependent events result in enhanced NMDA receptor-dependent gene expression. Our findings indicate that ephrinB2 stimulation of EphB modulates the functional consequences of NMDA receptor activation and suggest a mechanism whereby activity-independent and activity-dependent signals converge to regulate the development and remodeling of synaptic connections.Science 02/2002; 295(5554):491-5. · 31.20 Impact Factor