[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated pulses of serotonin (5-HT) induce long-term facilitation (LTF) of the synapses between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia. To explore how apCAM downregulation at the plasma membrane and CREB-mediated transcription in the nucleus, both of which are required for the formation of LTF, might relate to each other, we cloned an apCAM-associated protein (CAMAP) by yeast two-hybrid screening. We found that 5-HT signaling at the synapse activates PKA which in turn phosphorylates CAMAP to induce the dissociation of CAMAP from apCAM and the subsequent translocation of CAMAP into the nucleus of sensory neurons. In the nucleus, CAMAP acts as a transcriptional coactivator for CREB1 and is essential for the activation of ApC/EBP required for the initiation of LTF. Combined, our data suggest that CAMAP is a retrograde signaling component that translocates from activated synapses to the nucleus during synapse-specific LTF.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term memory requires transcriptional regulation by a combination of positive and negative transcription factors. Aplysia activating factor (ApAF) is known to be a positive transcription factor that forms heterodimers with ApC/EBP and ApCREB2. How these heterodimers are regulated and how they participate in the consolidation of long-term facilitation (LTF) has not, however, been characterized. We found that the functional activation of ApAF required phosphorylation of ApAF by PKA on Ser-266. In addition, ApAF lowered the threshold of LTF by forming a heterodimer with ApCREB2. Moreover, once activated by PKA, the ApAF-ApC/EBP heterodimer transactivates enhancer response element-containing genes and can induce LTF in the absence of CRE- and CREB-mediated gene expression. Collectively, these results suggest that PKA-activated ApAF-ApC/EBP heterodimer is a core downstream effector of ApCREB in the consolidation of LTF.
The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2006; 174(6):827-38. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the role of C/EBP-related transcription factors in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory storage, we have used the tetracycline-regulated system and expressed in the forebrain of mice a broad dominant-negative inhibitor of C/EBP (EGFP-AZIP), which preferentially interacts with several inhibiting isoforms of C/EBP. EGFP-AZIP also reduces the expression of ATF4, a distant member of the C/EBP family of transcription factors that is homologous to the Aplysia memory suppressor gene ApCREB-2. Consistent with the removal of inhibitory constraints on transcription, we find an increase in the pattern of gene transcripts in the hippocampus of EGFP-AZIP transgenic mice and both a reversibly enhanced hippocampal-based spatial memory and LTP. These results suggest that several proteins within the C/EBP family including ATF4 (CREB-2) act to constrain long-term synaptic changes and memory formation. Relief of this inhibition lowers the threshold for hippocampal-dependent long-term synaptic potentiation and memory storage in mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathology of trisomy 21/Down syndrome includes cognitive and memory deficits. Increased expression of the dual-specificity protein kinase DYRK1A kinase (DYRK1A) appears to play a significant role in the neuropathology of Down syndrome. To shed light on the cellular role of DYRK1A and related genes we identified three DYRK/minibrain-like genes in the genome sequence of Caenorhabditis elegans, termed mbk-1, mbk-2, and hpk-1. We found these genes to be widely expressed and to localize to distinct subcellular compartments. We isolated deletion alleles in all three genes and show that loss of mbk-1, the gene most closely related to DYRK1A, causes no obvious defects, while another gene, mbk-2, is essential for viability. The overexpression of DYRK1A in Down syndrome led us to examine the effects of overexpression of its C. elegans ortholog mbk-1. We found that animals containing additional copies of the mbk-1 gene display behavioral defects in chemotaxis toward volatile chemoattractants and that the extent of these defects correlates with mbk-1 gene dosage. Using tissue-specific and inducible promoters, we show that additional copies of mbk-1 can impair olfaction cell-autonomously in mature, fully differentiated neurons and that this impairment is reversible. Our results suggest that increased gene dosage of human DYRK1A in trisomy 21 may disrupt the function of fully differentiated neurons and that this disruption is reversible.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between ApCREB1a, ApCREB2, and ApC/EBP have been studied using conventional methods such as the yeast two-hybrid system. However, it is unclear whether these memory-related transcription factors actually interact in the native environment in neurons. To clarify this question, we have developed an Aplysia two-hybrid system and found, consistent with previous studies that ApCREB2 interacts with ApCREB1a and ApC/EBP, and that ApC/EBP forms homodimers. We have also found that ApCREB1a and ApC/EBP do not interact. Therefore, our study shows that formerly described interactions between the proteins actually occur in the Aplysia neurons and that interactions between these transcription factors are specific.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed a variant of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) designed to be sensitive to static neuronal function. This method is based on resting instead of dynamic changes in oxygen-dependent signal and therefore allows for a spatial resolution that can detect signal from different hippocampal subregions in human subjects as well as in mice. We found that hippocampal signal was significantly diminished in elderly subjects with memory decline compared to age-matched controls, and different subjects showed dysfunction in different subregions. Among healthy elders, signal intensity from the subiculum was correlated selectively with memory performance. This method does not require an activation task; it can be used in anesthetized normal and in genetically modified and cognitively impaired mice. In mice the signal was found to be sufficiently sensitive to detect functional changes in the absence of underlying anatomical changes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The memory for sensitization of the gill withdrawal reflex in Aplysia is reflected in facilitation of the monosynaptic connection between the sensory and motor neurons of the reflex. The switch from short- to long-term facilitation requires activation of CREB1, derepression of ApCREB2, and induction of ApC/EBP. In search for genes that act downstream from CREB1, we have identified a transcription activator, ApAF, which is stimulated by protein kinase A and can dimerize with both ApC/EBP and ApCREB2. ApAF is necessary for long-term facilitation induced by five pulses of serotonin, by activation of CREB1, or by derepression of ApCREB2. Overexpression of ApAF enhances the long-term facilitation further. Thus, ApAF is a candidate memory enhancer gene downstream from both CREB1 and ApCREB2.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a culture system where a bifurcated Aplysia sensory neuron makes synapses with two motor neurons, repeated application of serotonin (5-HT) to one synapse produces a CREB-mediated, synapse-specific, long-term facilitation, which can be captured at the opposite synapse by a single pulse of 5-HT. Repeated pulses of 5-HT applied to the cell body of the sensory neuron produce a CREB-dependent, cell-wide facilitation, which, unlike synapse-specific facilitation, is not associated with growth and does not persist beyond 48 hr. Persistent facilitation and synapse-specific growth can be induced by a single pulse of 5-HT applied to a peripheral synapse. Thus, the short-term process initiated by a single pulse of 5-HT serves not only to produce transient facilitation, but also to mark and stabilize any synapse of the neuron for long-term facilitation by means of a covalent mark and rapamycin-sensitive local protein synthesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The formation of a persistently active cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is critical for establishing long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) in Aplysia. The injection of bovine catalytic (C) subunits into sensory neurons is sufficient to produce protein synthesis-dependent LTF. Early in the LTF induced by serotonin (5-HT), an autonomous PKA is generated through the ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated proteolysis of regulatory (R) subunits. The degradation of R occurs during an early time window and appears to be a key function of proteasomes in LTF. Lactacystin, a specific proteasome inhibitor, blocks the facilitation induced by 5-HT, and this block is rescued by injecting C subunits. R is degraded through an allosteric mechanism requiring an elevation of cAMP coincident with the induction of a ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although CREB seems to be important for memory formation, it is not known which of the isoforms of CREB, CREM, or ATF1 are expressed in the neurons that undergo long-term synaptic changes and what roles they have in memory formation. We have found a single Aplysia CREB1 gene homologous to both mammalian CREB and CREM and have characterized in the sensory neurons that mediate gill-withdrawal reflex the expression and function of the three proteins that it encodes: CREB1a, CREB1b, and CREB1c. CREB1a is a transcriptional activator that is both necessary and, upon phosphorylation, sufficient for long-term facilitation. CREB1b is a repressor of long-term facilitation. Cytoplasmic CREB1c modulates both the short- and long-term facilitation. Thus, in the sensory neurons, CREB1 encodes a critical regulatory unit converting short- to long-term synaptic changes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The generation of pacemaker activity in heart and brain is mediated by hyperpolarization-activated cation channels that are directly regulated by cyclic nucleotides. We previously cloned a novel member of the voltage-gated K channel family from mouse brain (mBCNG-1) that contained a carboxy-terminal cyclic nucleotide-binding domain (Santoro et al., 1997) and hence proposed it to be a candidate gene for pacemaker channels. Heterologous expression of mBCNG-1 demonstrates that it does indeed code for a channel with properties indistinguishable from pacemaker channels in brain and similar to those in heart. Three additional mouse genes and two human genes closely related to mBCNG-1 display unique patterns of mRNA expression in different tissues, including brain and heart, demonstrating that these channels constitute a widely expressed gene family.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synaptic plasticity, the ability of neurons to alter the strength of their synaptic connections with activity and experience, is thought to play a critical role in memory storage. Molecular studies of gene expression during long-lasting synaptic plasticity related to memory storage initially focused on the identification of positive regulators. More recent work has revealed that the establishment of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory also requires the removal of inhibitory constraints. By analogy to tumor suppressor genes, which restrain cell proliferation, we propose that these inhibitory constraints of memory storage, which restrain synapse growth, be termed memory suppressor genes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have isolated a novel cDNA, that appears to represent a new class of ion channels, by using the yeast two-hybrid system and the SH3 domain of the neural form of Src (N-src) as a bait. The encoded polypeptide, BCNG-1, is distantly related to cyclic nucleotide-gated channels and the voltage-gated channels, Eag and H-erg. BCNG-1 is expressed exclusively in the brain, as a glycosylated protein of approximately 132 kDa. Immunohistochemical analysis indicates that BCNG-1 is preferentially expressed in specific subsets of neurons in the neocortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, in particular pyramidal neurons and basket cells. Within individual neurons, the BCNG-1 protein is localized to either the dendrites or the axon terminals depending on the cell type. Southern blot analysis shows that several other BCNG-related sequences are present in the mouse genome, indicating the emergence of an entire subfamily of ion channel coding genes. These findings suggest the existence of a new type of ion channel, which is potentially able to modulate membrane excitability in the brain and could respond to regulation by cyclic nucleotides.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/1998; 94(26):14815-20. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The storage of long-term memory is associated with a cellular program of gene expression, altered protein synthesis, and the growth of new synaptic connections. Recent studies of a variety of memory processes, ranging in complexity from those produced by simple forms of implicit learning in invertebrates to those produced by more complex forms of explicit learning in mammals, suggest that part of the molecular switch required for consolidation of long-term memory is the activation of a cAMP-inducible cascade of genes and the recruitment of cAMP response element binding protein-related transcription factors. This conservation of steps in the mechanisms for learning-related synaptic plasticity suggests the possibility of a molecular biology of cognition.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1996; 93(24):13445-52. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The switch from short- to long-term facilitation induced by behavioral sensitization in Aplysia involves CREB-like proteins, as well as the immediate-early gene ApC/EBP. Using the bZIP domain of ApC/EBP in a two-hybrid system, we have cloned ApCREB2, a transcription factor constitutively expressed in sensory neurons that resembles human CREB2 and mouse ATF4. ApCREB2 represses ApCREB1-mediated transcription in F9 cells. Injection of anti-ApCREB2 antibodies into Aplysia sensory neurons causes a single pulse of serotonin (5-HT), which induces only short-term facilitation lasting minutes, to evoke facilitation lasting more than 1 day. This facilitation has the properties of long-term facilitation: it requires transcription and translation, induces the growth of new synaptic connections, and occludes further facilitation by five pulses of 5-HT.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over expression of Aplysia synaptotagmin in acutely dissected cholinergic neurons from the buccal ganglia, or in primary co-cultures of glutaminergic sensory neurons and motor neurons, causes a reduction synaptic transmission. Anti-sense oligonucleotide treatment of similar cultures produced an enhancement of synaptic transmission. The interaction between Aplysia VAMP/synaptobrevin and syntaxin is reconstructed using the yeast two hybrid system, and used to identify amino acid residues of VAMP/synaptobrevin that are required for this interaction. Point mutations around residue 50, close to the site of cleavage by botulinum toxins specifically disrupt the interaction with syntaxin. An additional VAMP/synaptobrevin binding protein, VAP33, is identified using the yeast two hybrid system. Intracellular injection of VAP33 specific antisera inhibits synaptic transmission in sensory-motor neuron co-cultures.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Before the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, a protein complex is thought to form between VAMP--an integral membrane protein of the vesicle--and two proteins associated with the plasma membrane, SNAP-25 and syntaxin. The yeast two-hybrid interaction cloning system has now been used to identify additional proteins from Aplysia that interact directly with VAMP. A 33-kilodalton membrane protein, termed VAP-33 (VAMP-associated protein of 33 kilodaltons), was identified whose corresponding messenger RNA was detected only in the central nervous system and the gill of Aplysia. Presynaptic injection of antibodies specific for VAP-33 inhibited synaptic transmission, which suggests that VAP-33 is required for the exocytosis of neurotransmitter.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cDNA isolated from the marine invertebrate Aplysia californica encodes a protein containing a domain with a high degree of homology to the Y-Box-binding factors. The expression of this gene is unaffected by the facilitatory neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxytryptamine. When expressed in Escherichia coli, the encoded protein is shown to bind RNA in vitro.