RIC-3 has been identified as a chaperone molecule involved in promoting the functional expression of nicotinic acetylcholine and 5-HT(3) receptors in mammalian cells. In this study, we examined the effects of RIC-3a (isoform a) and a truncated isoform (isoform d) on RIC-3 localization, mobility, and aggregation and its effect on 5-HT3 receptor composition in mammalian cells. Human RIC-3a possesses an amino-terminal signal sequence that targets it to the endoplasmic reticulum where it is distributed within the reticular network, often forming large diffuse "slicks" and bright "halo" structures. RIC-3a is highly mobile within and between these compartments. Despite the propensity for RIC-3a to aggregate, its expression enhances the level of surface 5-HT3A (homomeric) receptors. In contrast, RIC-3a exerts an inhibitory action on the surface expression of heteromeric 5-HT3A/B receptors. RIC-3d exhibits an altered subcellular distribution, being localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, large diffuse slicks, tubulo-vesicular structures, and the Golgi. Bidirectional trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi suggests that RIC-3d constitutively cycles between these two compartments. In support of the large coiled-coil domain of RIC-3a being responsible for protein aggregation, RIC-3d, lacking this cytoplasmic domain, does not aggregate or induce the formation of bright aggregates. Regardless of these differences, isoform d is still capable of enhancing homomeric, and inhibiting heteromeric, 5-HT3 receptor expression. Thus, both isoforms of RIC-3 play a role in determining 5-HT3 receptor composition.
"Interestingly, FRET between α7 subunits returned to control values at a 5:1 transfection ratio (Figure 1), suggesting that at high expression levels RIC-3 loses its ability to mediate receptor assembly likely due to RIC-3 self aggregation . At sufficiently high chaperone concentrations in the ER, RIC-3 monomers may self-assemble, likely via their coiled-coil domains , leading to the formation of large aggregates. Such conditions would sterically hinder the ability of RIC-3 to effectively bring α7 subunits into close proximity, preventing assembly and retaining the subunits in the ER. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Recent work has shown that the chaperone resistant to inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (RIC-3) is critical for the folding, maturation and functional expression of a variety of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. α7 nicotinic receptors can only assemble and functionally express in select lines of cells, provided that RIC-3 is present. In contrast, α4β2 nicotinic receptors can functionally express in many cell lines even without the presence of RIC-3. Depending on the cell line, RIC-3 has differential effects on α4β2 receptor function – enhancement in mammalian cells but inhibition in Xenopus oocytes. Other differences between the two receptor types include nicotine-induced upregulation. When expressed in cell lines, α4β2 receptors readily and robustly upregulate with chronic nicotine exposure. However, α7 nicotinic receptors appear more resistant and require higher concentrations of nicotine to induce upregulation. Could the coexpression of RIC-3 modulate the extent of nicotine-induced upregulation not only for α7 receptors but also α4β2 receptors? We compared and contrasted the effects of RIC-3 on assembly, trafficking, protein expression and nicotine-induced upregulation on both α7 and α4β2 receptors using fluorescent protein tagged nicotinic receptors and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy imaging.
RIC-3 increases assembly and cell surface trafficking of α7 receptors but does not alter α7 protein expression in transfected HEK293T cells. In contrast, RIC-3 does not affect assembly of α4β2 receptors but increases α4 and β2 subunit protein expression. Acute nicotine (30 min exposure) was sufficient to upregulate FRET between α4 and β2 subunits. Surprisingly, when RIC-3 was coexpressed with α4β2 receptors nicotine-induced upregulation was prevented. α7 receptors did not upregulate with acute nicotine in the presence or absence of RIC-3.
These results provide interesting novel data that RIC-3 differentially regulates assembly and expression of different nicotinic receptor subunits. These results also show that nicotine-mediated upregulation of α4β2 receptors can be dynamically regulated by the presence of the chaperone, RIC-3. This could explain a novel mechanism why high affinity α4β2 receptors are upregulated in specific neuronal subtypes in the brain and not others.
"The idea that the function of RIC-3 may vary in different cellular environments was first raised by Cheng et al. (2007) in discussing how the effect of RIC-3 on receptor expression can be opposite in mammalian cells versus amphibian oocytes. Lansdell et al. (2008) took this further and demonstrated that Drosophila RIC-3 enhanced nAChR expression to a greater extent in a Drosophila cell line than in a human one, and that human RIC-3 was more effective at enhancing nAChR expression in human cells compared with Drosophila cells. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RIC-3 enhances the functional expression of certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in vertebrates and invertebrates and increases the availability of functional receptors in cultured cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes. Maximal activity of RIC-3 may be cell-type dependent, so neither mammalian nor invertebrate proteins is optimal in amphibian oocytes. We cloned the X. laevis ric-3 cDNA and tested the frog protein in oocyte expression studies. X. laevis RIC-3 shares 52% amino acid identity with human RIC-3 and only 17% with that of Caenorhabditis elegans. We used the C. elegans nicotinic receptor, ACR-16, to compare the ability of RIC-3 from three species to enhance receptor expression. In the absence of RIC-3, the proportion of oocytes expressing detectable nAChRs was greatly reduced. Varying the ratio of acr-16 to X. laevis ric-3 cRNAs injected into oocytes had little impact on the total cell current. When X. laevis, human or C. elegans ric-3 cRNAs were co-injected with acr-16 cRNA (1 : 1 ratio), 100 μM acetylcholine induced larger currents in oocytes expressing X. laevis RIC-3 compared with its orthologues. This provides further evidence for a species-specific component of RIC-3 activity, and suggests that X. laevis RIC-3 is useful for enhancing the expression of invertebrate nAChRs in X. laevis oocytes.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2012; 123(6). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12013 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The α7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) is one of the most abundant members of the Cys-loop family of receptors present in the central nervous system. It participates in various physiological processes and has received much attention as a potential therapeutic target for a variety of pathologies. The importance of understanding the mechanisms controlling AChR assembly and cell-surface delivery lies in the fact that these two processes are key to determining the functional pool of receptors actively engaged in synaptic transmission. Here we review recent studies showing that RIC-3, a protein originally identified in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, modulates the expression of α7 AChRs in a subtype-specific manner. Potentiation of AChR expression by post-transcriptional events is also critically assessed.
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