[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arc/Arg3.1 gene product is rapidly upregulated by strong synaptic activity and critically contributes to weakening synapses by promoting AMPA-R endocytosis. However, how activity-induced Arc is redistributed and determines the synapses to be weakened remains unclear. Here, we show targeting of Arc to inactive synapses via a high-affinity interaction with CaMKIIβ that is not bound to calmodulin. Synaptic Arc accumulates in inactive synapses that previously experienced strong activation and correlates with removal of surface GluA1 from individual synapses. A lack of CaMKIIβ either in vitro or in vivo resulted in loss of Arc upregulation in the silenced synapses. The discovery of Arc's role in "inverse" synaptic tagging that is specific for weaker synapses and prevents undesired enhancement of weak synapses in potentiated neurons reconciles essential roles of Arc both for the late phase of long-term plasticity and for reduction of surface AMPA-Rs in stimulated neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assemblies of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides are pathological mediators of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and are produced by the sequential cleavages of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β-secretase (BACE1) and γ-secretase. The generation of Aβ is coupled to neuronal activity, but the molecular basis is unknown. Here, we report that the immediate early gene Arc is required for activity-dependent generation of Aβ. Arc is a postsynaptic protein that recruits endophilin2/3 and dynamin to early/recycling endosomes that traffic AMPA receptors to reduce synaptic strength in both hebbian and non-hebbian forms of plasticity. The Arc-endosome also traffics APP and BACE1, and Arc physically associates with presenilin1 (PS1) to regulate γ-secretase trafficking and confer activity dependence. Genetic deletion of Arc reduces Aβ load in a transgenic mouse model of AD. In concert with the finding that patients with AD can express anomalously high levels of Arc, we hypothesize that Arc participates in the pathogenesis of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angelman Syndrome is a debilitating neurological disorder caused by mutation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Ube3A, a gene whose mutation has also recently been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The function of Ube3A during nervous system development and how Ube3A mutations give rise to cognitive impairment in individuals with Angleman Syndrome and ASDs are not clear. We report here that experience-driven neuronal activity induces Ube3A transcription and that Ube3A then regulates excitatory synapse development by controlling the degradation of Arc, a synaptic protein that promotes the internalization of the AMPA subtype of glutamate receptors. We find that disruption of Ube3A function in neurons leads to an increase in Arc expression and a concomitant decrease in the number of AMPA receptors at excitatory synapses. We propose that this deregulation of AMPA receptor expression at synapses may contribute to the cognitive dysfunction that occurs in Angelman Syndrome and possibly other ASDs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) induce long-term depression (LTD) that requires protein synthesis. Here, we demonstrate that Arc/Arg3.1 is translationally induced within 5 min of mGluR activation, and this response is essential for mGluR-dependent LTD. The increase in Arc/Arg3.1 translation requires eEF2K, a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase that binds mGluR and dissociates upon mGluR activation, whereupon it phosphorylates eEF2. Phospho-eEF2 acts to slow the elongation step of translation and inhibits general protein synthesis but simultaneously increases Arc/Arg3.1 translation. Genetic deletion of eEF2K results in a selective deficit of rapid mGluR-dependent Arc/Arg3.1 translation and mGluR-LTD. This rapid translational mechanism is disrupted in the fragile X disease mouse (Fmr1 KO) in which mGluR-LTD does not require de novo protein synthesis but does require Arc/Arg3.1. We propose a model in which eEF2K-eEF2 and FMRP coordinately control the dynamic translation of Arc/Arg3.1 mRNA in dendrites that is critical for synapse-specific LTD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeostatic plasticity may compensate for Hebbian forms of synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), by scaling neuronal output without changing the relative strength of individual synapses. This delicate balance between neuronal output and distributed synaptic weight may be necessary for maintaining efficient encoding of information across neuronal networks. Here, we demonstrate that Arc/Arg3.1, an immediate-early gene (IEG) that is rapidly induced by neuronal activity associated with information encoding in the brain, mediates homeostatic synaptic scaling of AMPA type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) via its ability to activate a novel and selective AMPAR endocytic pathway. High levels of Arc/Arg3.1 block the homeostatic increases in AMPAR function induced by chronic neuronal inactivity. Conversely, loss of Arc/Arg3.1 results in increased AMPAR function and abolishes homeostatic scaling of AMPARs. These observations, together with evidence that Arc/Arg3.1 is required for memory consolidation, reveal the importance of Arc/Arg3.1's dynamic expression as it exerts continuous and precise control over synaptic strength and cellular excitability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arc/Arg3.1 is an immediate-early gene whose mRNA is rapidly transcribed and targeted to dendrites of neurons as they engage in information processing and storage. Moreover, Arc/Arg3.1 is known to be required for durable forms of synaptic plasticity and learning. Despite these intriguing links to plasticity, Arc/Arg3.1's molecular function remains enigmatic. Here, we demonstrate that Arc/Arg3.1 protein interacts with dynamin and specific isoforms of endophilin to enhance receptor endocytosis. Arc/Arg3.1 selectively modulates trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) in neurons by accelerating endocytosis and reducing surface expression. The Arc/Arg3.1-endocytosis pathway appears to regulate basal AMPAR levels since Arc/Arg3.1 KO neurons exhibit markedly reduced endocytosis and increased steady-state surface levels. These findings reveal a novel molecular pathway that is regulated by Arc/Arg3.1 and likely contributes to late-phase synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Active behavior, such as exploring a novel environment, induces the expression of the immediate-early gene Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeletal associated protein, or Arg 3.1) in many brain regions, including the hippocampus, neocortex, and striatum. Arc messenger ribonucleic acid and protein are localized in activated dendrites, and Arc protein is required for the maintenance of long-term potentiation and memory consolidation. Although previous evidence suggests that Arc is expressed in neurons, there is no direct demonstration that only neurons can express Arc. Furthermore, there is no characterization of the main neuronal types that express Arc. The data reported here show that behavior- or seizure-induced Arc expression in the hippocampus, primary somatosensory cortex, and dorsal striatum of rats colocalizes only with neuronal (NeuN-positive) and not with glial (GFAP-positive) cells. Furthermore, Arc was found exclusively in non-GABAergic alpha-CaMKII-positive hippocampal and neocortical neurons of rats that had explored a novel environment. Some GAD65/67-positive neurons in these regions were observed to express Arc, but only after a very strong stimulus (electroconvulsive seizure). In the dorsal striatum, spatial exploration induced Arc only in GABAergic and alpha-CaMKII-positive neurons. Combined, these results show that although a very strong stimulus (seizure) can induce Arc in a variety of neurons, behavior induces Arc in the CaMKII-positive principal neurons of the hippocampus, neocortex, and dorsal striatum. These results, coupled with recent in vitro findings of interactions between Arc and CaMKII, are consistent with the hypothesis that Arc and CaMKII act as plasticity partners to promote functional and/or structural synaptic modifications that accompany learning.
The Journal of Comparative Neurology 09/2006; 498(3):317-29. DOI:10.1002/cne.21003 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain) is a member of the Ras family of proteins, and is in the immediate Ras/Rap/Ral subfamily. We found in three different mammalian cell lines that Rheb was highly activated, to levels much higher than for Ras or Rap 1, and that Rheb's activation state was unaffected by changes in growth conditions. Rheb's high activation was not secondary to unique glycine to arginine, or glycine to serine substitutions at positions 14 and 15, corresponding to Ras residues 12 and 13, since Rheb R14G and R14G, S15G mutants had similarly high activation levels as wild type Rheb. These data are consistent with earlier work which showed that purified Rheb has similar GTPase activity as Ras, and suggest a relative intracellular deficiency of Rheb GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) compared to Rheb activators. Further evidence for relatively low intracellular GAP activity was that increased Rheb expression led to a marked increase in Rheb activation. Rheb, like Ras and Rap1, bound B-Raf kinase, but in contrast to Ras and Rap 1, Rheb inhibited B-Raf kinase activity and prevented B-Raf-dependent activation of the transcription factor Elk-1. Thus, Rheb appears to be a unique member of the Ras/Rap/Ral subfamily, and in mammalian systems may serve to regulate B-Raf kinase activity.