Processing of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule neurexin-3beta by Alzheimer disease alpha- and gamma-secretases.
ABSTRACT Neurexins (NRXNs) are synaptic cell adhesion molecules having essential roles in the assembly and maturation of synapses into fully functional units. Immunocytochemical and electrophysiological studies have shown that specific binding across the synaptic cleft of the ectodomains of presynaptic NRXNs and postsynaptic neuroligins have the potential to bidirectionally coordinate and trigger synapse formation. Moreover, in vivo studies as well as genome-wide association studies pointed out implication of NRXNs in the pathogenesis of cognitive disorders including autism spectrum disorders and different types of addictions including opioid and alcohol dependences, suggesting an important role in synaptic function. Despite extensive investigations, the mechanisms by which NRXNs modulate the properties of synapses remain largely unknown. We report here that α- and γ-secretases can sequentially process NRXN3β, leading to the formation of two final products, an ∼80-kDa N-terminal extracellular domain of Neurexin-3β (sNRXN3β) and an ∼12-kDa C-terminal intracellular NRXN3β domain (NRXN3β-ICD), both of them being potentially implicated in the regulation of NRXNs and neuroligins functions at the synapses or in yet unidentified signal transduction pathways. We further report that this processing is altered by several PS1 mutations in the catalytic subunit of the γ-secretase that cause early-onset familial Alzheimer disease.
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ABSTRACT: Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and post-synaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation, and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.Protein & Cell 04/2014; DOI:10.1007/s13238-014-0054-z · 3.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Synapses, the basic units of communication in the brain, require complex molecular machinery for neurotransmitter release and reception. Whereas numerous components of excitatory postsynaptic sites have been identified, relatively few proteins are known that function at inhibitory postsynaptic sites. One such component is neuroligin-2 (NL2)1, an inhibitory synapse specific cell surface protein that functions in cell adhesion and synaptic organization via binding to neurexins. In this study, we used a transgenic tandem affinity purification and mass spectrometry strategy to isolate and characterize NL2 associated complexes. Complexes purified from brains of transgenic hexahistidine-Flag-YFP-NL2 mice showed enrichment in the Gene Ontology terms cell-cell signaling and synaptic transmission relative to complexes purified from wild type mice as a negative control. In addition to expected components including GABA receptor subunits and gephyrin, several novel proteins were isolated in association with NL2. Based on the presence of multiple components involved in trafficking and endocytosis, we showed that NL2 undergoes dynamin-dependent endocytosis in response to soluble ligand and colocalizes with VPS35 retromer in endosomes. Inhibitory synapses in brain also present a particular challenge for imaging. Whereas excitatory synapses on spines can be imaged with a fluorescent cell fill, inhibitory synapses require a molecular tag. We find the hexahistidine-Flag-YFP-NL2 to be a suitable tag, with the unamplified YFP signal localizing appropriately to inhibitory synapses in multiple brain regions including cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, and basal ganglia. Altogether, we characterize NL2-associated complexes, demonstrate regulated trafficking of NL2, and provide tools for further proteomic and imaging studies of inhibitory synapses.Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2014; 289(42). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.549279 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The deposition of amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregates in the brain is a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is generated from the cleavage of C-terminal fragments of the amyloid precursor protein (APP-CTFs) by γ-secretase, an intramembrane-cleaving protease with multiple substrates, including the Notch receptors. Endogenous modulation of γ-secretase is pointed to be implicated in the sporadic, age-dependent form of AD. Moreover, specifically modulating Aβ production has become a priority for the safe treatment of AD because the inhibition of γ-secretase results in adverse effects that are related to impaired Notch cleavage. Here, we report the identification of the adipocyte differentiation protein APMAP as a novel endogenous suppressor of Aβ generation. We found that APMAP interacts physically with γ-secretase and its substrate APP. In cells, the partial depletion of APMAP drastically increased the levels of APP-CTFs, as well as uniquely affecting their stability, with the consequence being increased secretion of Aβ. In wild-type and APP/PS1 transgenic mice, partial adeno-associated virus-mediated APMAP knockdown in the hippocampus increased Aβ production by ∼20% and ∼55%, respectively. Together, our data demonstrate that APMAP is a negative regulator of Aβ production through its interaction with APP and γ-secretase. All observed APMAP phenotypes can be explained by an impaired degradation of APP-CTFs, likely caused by an altered substrate transport capacity to the lysosomal/autophagic system.Human Molecular Genetics 09/2014; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu449 · 6.68 Impact Factor