Neuronal calcium sensors and synaptic plasticity
ABSTRACT Calcium entry plays a major role in the induction of several forms of synaptic plasticity in different areas of the central nervous system. The spatiotemporal aspects of these calcium signals can determine the type of synaptic plasticity induced, e.g. LTP (long-term potentiation) or LTD (long-term depression). A vast amount of research has been conducted to identify the molecular and cellular signalling pathways underlying LTP and LTD, but many components remain to be identified. Calcium sensor proteins are thought to play an essential role in regulating the initial part of synaptic plasticity signalling pathways. However, there is still a significant gap in knowledge, and it is only recently that evidence for the importance of members of the NCS (neuronal calcium sensor) protein family has started to emerge. The present minireview aims to bring together evidence supporting a role for NCS proteins in plasticity, focusing on emerging roles of NCS-1 and hippocalcin.
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ABSTRACT: HD is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene that consists in a CAG repeat expansion translated into an abnormal poly-glutamine (polyQ) tract in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. The most striking neuropathological finding in HD is the atrophy of the striatum. The regional expression of mutant Htt (mHtt) is ubiquitous in the brain and cannot explain by itself the preferential vulnerability of the striatum in HD. mHtt has been shown to produce an early defect in transcription, through direct alteration of the function of key regulators of transcription and in addition, more indirectly, as a result of compensatory responses to cellular stress. In this review, we focus on gene products that are preferentially expressed in the striatum and have down- or up-regulated expression in HD and, as such, may play a crucial role in the susceptibility of the striatum to mHtt. Many of these striatal gene products are for a vast majority down-regulated and more rarely increased in HD. Recent research shows that some of these striatal markers have a pro-survival/neuroprotective role in neurons (e.g., MSK1, A2A, and CB1 receptors) whereas others enhance the susceptibility of striatal neurons to mHtt (e.g., Rhes, RGS2, D2 receptors). The down-regulation of these latter proteins may be considered as a potential self-defense mechanism to slow degeneration. For a majority of the striatal gene products that have been identified so far, their function in the striatum is unknown and their modifying effects on mHtt toxicity remain to be experimentally addressed. Focusing on these striatal markers may contribute to a better understanding of HD pathogenesis, and possibly the identification of novel therapeutic targets.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:295. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00295 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Calumenin is a Ca(2+)-binding protein that belongs to the CREC superfamily. It contains six EF-hand domains that exhibit a low affinity for Ca(2+) as well as an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal. Calumenin exhibits a broad and relatively high expression in various brain regions during development as demonstrated by in situ hybridization. Signal intensity of calumenin is highest during the early development and then declines over time to reach a relatively low expression in adult animals. Immunohistochemistry indicates that at the P0 stage, calumenin expression is most abundant in migrating neurons in the zones around the lateral ventricle. In the brain of adult animals, it is expressed in various glial and neuronal cell types, including immature neurons in subgranular zone of hippocampal dentate gyrus. At the subcellular level, calumenin is identified in punctuate and diffuse distribution mostly in somatic regions where it co-localizes with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and partially Golgi apparatus. Upon subcellular fractionation, calumenin is enriched in fractions containing membranes and is only weakly present in soluble fractions. This study points to a possible important role of calumenin in migration and differentiation of neurons, and/or in Ca(2+) signaling between glial cells and neurons.Neuroscience 12/2011; 202:29-41. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.11.069 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Calmyrin1 (CaMy1) is an EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding protein expressed in several cell types, including brain neurons. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen of a human fetal brain cDNA library, we identified SCG10 protein (stathmin2) as a CaMy1 partner. SCG10 is a microtubule-destabilizing factor involved in neuronal growth during brain development. We found increased mRNA and protein levels of CaMy1 during neuronal development, which paralleled the changes in SCG10 levels. In developing primary rat hippocampal neurons in culture, CaMy1 and SCG10 colocalized in cell soma, neurites, and growth cones. Pull-down, coimmunoprecipitation, and proximity ligation assays demonstrated that the interaction between CaMy1 and SCG10 is direct and Ca(2+)-dependent in vivo and requires the C-terminal domain of CaMy1 (residues 99-192) and the N-terminal domain of SCG10 (residues 1-35). CaMy1 did not interact with stathmin1, a protein that is homologous with SCG10 but lacks the N-terminal domain characteristic of SCG10. CaMy1 interfered with SCG10 inhibitory activity in a microtubule polymerization assay. Moreover, CaMy1 overexpression inhibited SCG10-mediated neurite outgrowth in nerve growth factor (NGF)-stimulated PC12 cells. This CaMy1 activity did not occur when an N-terminally truncated SCG10 mutant unable to interact with CaMy1 was expressed. Altogether, these data suggest that CaMy1 via SCG10 couples Ca(2+) signals with the dynamics of microtubules during neuronal outgrowth in the developing brain. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 11th European Symposium on Calcium.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2011; 1813(5):1025-37. DOI:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2010.12.023 · 4.66 Impact Factor