[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The expression of GABA(A) receptors and the efficacy of GABAergic neurotransmission are subject to adaptive compensatory regulation as a result of changes in neuronal activity. Here, we show that activation of L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (VGCCs) leads to Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) phosphorylation of S383 within the β3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor. Consequently, this results in rapid insertion of GABA(A) receptors at the cell surface and enhanced tonic current. Furthermore, we demonstrate that acute changes in neuronal activity leads to the rapid modulation of cell surface numbers of GABA(A) receptors and tonic current, which are critically dependent on Ca(2+) influx through L-type VGCCs and CaMKII phosphorylation of β3S383. These data provide a mechanistic link between activity-dependent changes in Ca(2+) influx through L-type channels and the rapid modulation of GABA(A) receptor cell surface numbers and tonic current, suggesting a homeostatic pathway involved in regulating neuronal intrinsic excitability in response to changes in activity.
The EMBO Journal 04/2012; 31(13):2937-51. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The strength of synaptic inhibition depends partly on the number of GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) found at synaptic sites. The trafficking of GABA(A)Rs within the endocytic pathway is a key determinant of surface GABA(A)R number and is altered in neuropathologies, such as cerebral ischemia. However, the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that regulate this trafficking are poorly understood. Here, we report the subunit specific lysosomal targeting of synaptic GABA(A)Rs. We demonstrate that the targeting of synaptic GABA(A)Rs into the degradation pathway is facilitated by ubiquitination of a motif within the intracellular domain of the gamma2 subunit. Blockade of lysosomal activity or disruption of the trafficking of ubiquitinated cargo to lysosomes specifically increases the efficacy of synaptic inhibition without altering excitatory currents. Moreover, mutation of the ubiquitination site within the gamma2 subunit retards the lysosomal targeting of GABA(A)Rs and is sufficient to block the loss of synaptic GABA(A)Rs after anoxic insult. Together, our results establish a previously unknown mechanism for influencing inhibitory transmission under normal and pathological conditions.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2009; 106(41):17552-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are the major sites of fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, and the numbers of these receptors at the cell surface can determine the strength of GABAergic neurotransmission. Chronic changes in neuronal activity lead to an adaptive modulation in the efficacy of GABAergic synaptic inhibition, brought about in part by changes in the number of synaptic GABA(A)Rs, a mechanism known as homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Reduction in the number of GABA(A)Rs in response to prolonged neuronal activity blockade is dependent on the ubiquitin-proteasome system. The underlying biochemical pathways linking chronic activity blockade to proteasome-dependent degradation of GABA(A)Rs are unknown. Here, we show that chronic blockade of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) with nifedipine decreases the number of GABA(A)Rs at synaptic sites but not the overall number of inhibitory synapses. In parallel, blockade of L-type VGCCs decreases the amplitude but not the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents or expression of the glutamic acid decarboxylase GAD65. We further reveal that the activation of L-type VGCCs regulates the turnover of newly translated GABA(A)R subunits in a mechanism dependent upon the activity of the proteasome and thus regulates GABA(A)R insertion into the plasma membrane. Together, these observations suggest that activation of L-type VGCCs can regulate the abundance of synaptic GABA(A)Rs and the efficacy of synaptic inhibition, revealing a potential mechanism underlying the homeostatic adaptation of fast GABAergic inhibition to prolonged changes in activity.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(47):32544-50. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs), the principal sites of synaptic inhibition in the brain, are dynamic entities on the neuronal cell surface, but the role their membrane trafficking plays in shaping neuronal activity remains obscure. Here, we examined this by using mutant receptor beta3 subunits (beta3S408/9A), which have reduced binding to the clathrin adaptor protein-2, a critical regulator of GABA(A)R endocytosis. Neurons expressing beta3S408/9A subunits exhibited increases in the number and size of inhibitory synapses, together with enhanced inhibitory synaptic transmission due to reduced GABA(A)R endocytosis. Furthermore, neurons expressing beta3S408/9A subunits had deficits in the number of mature spines and reduced accumulation of postsynaptic density protein-95 at excitatory synapses. This deficit in spine maturity was reversed by pharmacological blockade of GABA(A)Rs. Therefore, regulating the efficacy of synaptic inhibition by modulating GABA(A)R membrane trafficking may play a critical role in regulating spine maturity with significant implications for synaptic plasticity together with behavior.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2009; 106(30):12500-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we investigated the role of GABAAR ubiquitination in regulating GABAAR endosomal trafficking. We show that the GABAAR 2 subunit, which plays a key role in synaptic targeting, can preferentially target internalized GABAARs to the lysosome for degradation. We demonstrate that this process is regulated by an amino acid motif within the intracellular loop of the 2 subunit, which is a target for ubiquitination and that mutation of this motif retards the lysosomal targeting of GABAARs. Inhibition of lysosomal activity or the trafficking of ubiquitinated proteins to lysosomal compartments increases the accumulation of GABAARs at synapses and the efficacy of synaptic inhibition. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the loss of surface GABAARs observed in an in vitro model of ischemia can be inhibited by blocking ubiquitination of the lysosomal targeting motif in the 2 subunit. Thus, our results demonstrate that GABAAR ubiquitination is a key mechanism for regulating the strength and plasticity of synapses and the efficacy of neuronal inhibition under both normal and pathological conditions.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 106(41):17552-17557. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA(A)R) are the major sites of fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, and a critical determinant for the efficacy of neuronal inhibition is the number of these receptors that are expressed on the neuronal cell surface. GABA(A)Rs are heteropentamers that can be constructed from seven subunit classes with multiple members; alpha, beta, gamma(1-3), delta, epsilon(1-3), theta, and pi. Receptor assembly occurs within the endoplasmic reticulum, and it is evident that transport-competent combinations exiting this organelle can access the cell surface, whereas unassembled subunits are ubiquitinated and subject to proteasomal degradation. In a previous report the ubiquitin-like protein Plic-1 was shown to directly interact with GABA(A)Rs and promote their accumulation at the cell surface. In this study we explore the mechanisms by which Plic-1 regulates the membrane trafficking of GABA(A)Rs. Using both recombinant and neuronal preparations it was apparent that Plic-1 increased the stability of endoplasmic reticulum resident GABA(A)Rs together with an increase in the abundance of poly-ubiquitinated receptor subunits. Furthermore, Plic-1 elevated cell surface expression levels by selectively increasing their rates of membrane insertion. Thus, Plic-1 may play a significant role in regulating the strength of synaptic inhibition by increasing the stability of GABA(A)Rs within the secretory pathway and thereby promoting their insertion into the neuronal plasma membrane.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2008; 283(27):18538-44. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are the major mediators of fast synaptic inhibition in the brain. In neurons, these receptors undergo significant rates of endocytosis and exocytosis, processes that regulate both their accumulation at synaptic sites and the efficacy of synaptic inhibition. Here we have evaluated the role that neuronal activity plays in regulating the residence time of GABA(A)Rs on the plasma membrane and their targeting to synapses. Chronic blockade of neuronal activity dramatically increases the level of the GABA(A)R ubiquitination, decreasing their cell surface stability via a mechanism dependent on the activity of the proteasome. Coincident with this loss of cell surface expression levels, TTX treatment reduced both the amplitude and frequency of miniature inhibitory synaptic currents. Conversely, increasing the level of neuronal activity decreases GABA(A)R ubiquitination enhancing their stability on the plasma membrane. Activity-dependent ubiquitination primarily acts to reduce GABA(A)R stability within the endoplasmic reticulum and, thereby, their insertion into the plasma membrane and subsequent accumulation at synaptic sites. Thus, activity-dependent ubiquitination of GABA(A)Rs and their subsequent proteasomal degradation may represent a potent mechanism to regulate the efficacy of synaptic inhibition and may also contribute to homeostatic synaptic plasticity.
Journal of Neuroscience 12/2007; 27(48):13341-51. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of fast synaptic inhibition is critically dependent on the accumulation of GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses, a process that remains poorly understood. Here, we examined the dynamics of cell surface GABAA receptors using receptor subunits modified with N-terminal extracellular ecliptic pHluorin reporters. In hippocampal neurons, GABAA receptors incorporating pHluorin-tagged subunits were found to be clustered at synaptic sites and also expressed as diffuse extrasynaptic staining. By combining FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) measurements with live imaging of FM4-64-labeled active presynaptic terminals, it was evident that clustered synaptic receptors exhibit significantly lower rates of mobility at the cell surface compared with their extrasynaptic counterparts. To examine the basis of this confinement, we used RNAi to inhibit the expression of gephyrin, a protein shown to regulate the accumulation of GABAA receptors at synaptic sites. However, whether gephyrin acts to control the actual formation of receptor clusters, their stability, or is simply a global regulator of receptor cell surface number remains unknown. Inhibiting gephyrin expression did not modify the total number of GABAA receptors expressed on the neuronal cell surface but significantly decreased the number of receptor clusters. Live imaging revealed that clusters that formed in the absence of gephyrin were significantly more mobile compared with those in control neurons. Together, our results demonstrate that synaptic GABAA receptors have lower levels of lateral mobility compared with their extrasynaptic counterparts, and suggest a specific role for gephyrin in reducing the diffusion of GABAA receptors, facilitating their accumulation at inhibitory synapses.
Journal of Neuroscience 12/2005; 25(45):10469-78. · 6.91 Impact Factor